WELLINGTON NEWS NOTES
(FItOJI OUK OWX COEKESPONDBXT.) WELLINGTON, .May 29, PERSONAL.
By the departure of Mr James Hugh, of Palmerslon North, who left to-day in the Wakanui, New Zealand loses a valued colonist, who has spent many years in this province. Mr Hugh was somewhat of an antiquary, and in his house, which was built in the style of a Swiss -chalet, lie had many art treasures, and r.or.ie rare pieces of carved furniture centuries old. The old furniture has boon disposed of in the colony, principally in Wellington and Duned'in; but the rarer pieces of pottery and bric-a-brac Mr Hugh is taking with him to Switzerland. Mr Hugh intends to settle near his old home at Lake Neuehatel, where His sister, a wellknown Swiss artist, reside;. There Las been an artist in the family for hundreds of years, and the works of Mips Hugh have beer, honoured with a place' in the National Gallery.
.1. understand there is a probability of move being heard of the recent university scandal at an early date. It will bo remembered thai one of the law* candidates had been supplied with certain examination papers beforehand. "Proceedings indirectly connected with the matter ere likely to be taken in the law courts. WEU.TKGTOX TEADE. An interesting and instructive address was delivered at the quarterly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce 10-day by Mr John Duthie, president of the chamber, referring to the trade of tli?' district. He said: —
'"My procedessor at the annual meeting drew attention to the fact that the trade of this district was underrated through the present misleading system of customs clearances. Much, produce, for instance, shipped here, but originated from coastal ports, was omitted from t'no exports of this port, and consequently tlio work of this, the main port, was greatly understated. It-is impossible to unravel these returns, but that the productive wealth of these districts s'lould bo better understood, I have treated the exports of the provincial districts of WclUng.ton, Hnwko's Bay, and Taranaki r,s a total, and find that, although not grain-growing or gold-producing provinces, still, in i 099. with a mean population of 201,903. their total exports wore :83,730.475, being equal to SIS 9s 6cl per head, compared with the rest of the colony on a population of 537.821. exporting £8;i97 ; 05i. or at the rale of £14 19s 3d per head, an excess of £3 10s 3d par head, or over £700 ; 000 for these districts above the rest of t'no colony. On turning to imports, the comnai-ison cannot be made, so accurate, since Auckland. lor instance, mainly imports sugar for all the colony, and here we may have a. small excess of Government imports: but f'have latralaled H;e four principal provincial division?, and ftml for 1839:—Canterbury: Population. 1*3.931: value of import, £1,369,239; average per ' head, £10* 18s. Otagor'Population, 173.413: value of imports, £2,149,567: average per he:ul. £12 7s lid. Auckland: Population. 161,194;.va1ue of imports, 32.258,584: average per head, £13 15s 2d. V/cl!in?ton: Population, 151,079: value-of imports, £2.181,53?.: average per head,-£l6 12s lOd. Colony: Population, 769,724:. value of imports. £8.669,539; average per head, £11 11s 3d. Although a good deal could be said pro and eon as to this import comparison, it at least fully bears out the value of our position as a distributing centre. The comparison is one for which members of this chamber have some reason to be proiid, since we are associated to protect and extend, the commerce of the port and c'.fci r-ot-
THE SAX FHANCISCV) it.UV BJ3EVICE. On the subject of mail ; servio6s Mr Dulhie makes ' snrae pertinent remarks'. For pome years. He said,", contractors have had to sub . rait to one squeeze after another, and to work under yearly contracts; where largo capital .13 employed, and belter steamers are wanted Tore tha development of ?. renr.mer.ilive passenger trade. The ov.-p.ers both in Iho Vancouver, and San Franoisco trade have naturally for 3cii;i been discontented, and when the Government allowed the Vancouver to al.'out run out before seeking a renewal, it was not to 1)0 wondered at that tlio owners left tlic fiovernmen't in the lure'?. The- position in different with San Francisco. Wish a view to extend commerce and provide available steamers in ease- of war, the United States Government have agreed to heavily subsidise American steamers, and we see that ilc33r» Sprcckols have secured the Australasian contract with ■.>. £50.000 subsidy. On" this three 6900-loii steamer* are bsius built, and are nearly re.iily for Hie trade, Mr Spreckcls is evidently a man of decision, listncrto the I'oslal department has avrauged time1 tables to suit public convenience. Mr Sprc-ekels apparently; considers only what suits his firm's convenience. Ho can run his boats most economically at three weekly intervals, so he fixes up his time (able at that odd interval with hi? outward steamer to leave Auckland two days before the inward, and for this peculiar service lie intimates that ho roqiiii-os the cnlor.v's contribution tti he increased £00.000. The not cost for 1695----93 of the Sair Franciveo mail service to this colony, excluding iJ'.e inlerprovineial distribution and American transit, is shown to have been £10,288, against which -510,399 was received by postage in the colony: and I doubt whether Ihe colony should agree to so large an increase, especially if without that proper control hitherto exercised. The conduct of the New Zealand Government has for long been ho exasperating- that, for ope, I confess to a good deal of sympathy wiih the American contractors; but this proposal and Ainorienn ie.^j'sb.tion excludes the New Zealand vessels from the trade. If the Government docs not agree, it seems possible that the San Francisco steamers may go direct to Sydney; but at whatever cost or whatever the consequences, the carriage of oiir mails and so large a subsidy payable by this colony should not be allowed to pass entirely to another Hag. Tf we do ths like, we will" speedily loi-c our position as the leading maritime power of (lie world.