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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Melbourne. 14th July, 1875. Thomas M. Stewart, Esq., Bank of New Zealand

page 6

Thomas M. Stewart, Esq.,

Bank of New Zealand.

My dear Sir,—I return you the Share List of the New Zealand Shipping Company, and also the paper showing the magnitude of the agency operations under its auspices, during the year 1874; and in thanking you for your confidence in consulting me as to a fit and competent person to take the general management of the Company at Christchurch, I regret to say I cannot unhesitatingly recommend any one. I have taken the Directory beside me, and carefully considered the merits of * * * * * and * * * * * there are few who, in my humble judgment, would make good and efficient managers. Of the gentlemen you named to me, I can, with every kindly respect say, they lack every essential qualification. I have thought of two—one * * * * * and * * * * * lately of * * * * * a man of extensive though somewhat bitter mercantile experience * * * *.

You will pardon my adding that I think your friends hardly estimate the importance of the position of a General Manager of such a Company, or appreciate the value of such qualifications as he must be invested with, if he is successfully to conduct a concern, requiring, besides extensive general mercantile knowledge—which can only be acquired by years and years of experience—special abilities and aptitude of administration of interests which, ignorantly or inefficiently handled, would suffer irretrievably; or they would not expect to secure the services of a really competent man, at a salary which is not infrequently given here to managing clerks of large mercantile establishments, and which is not one-half of that accorded to men in such positions in England.

And I may not be trespassing beyond the confidence you have reposed in me, if I tender the advice to your friends to pay a good man if they can secure him, so well as to make interests and prosperity identical and identified. With such a proprietary, and such facilities and advantages as the N.Z.S. Co. has, there is a grand career before them, if only the right man is at the helm. The business It will be the duty of the General Manager of this Company to forecast, to initiate, to carry out all these schemes; to regulate and control the working at all the branches; to be responsible for all the details, &c.; and such a man should be efficiently paid. The necessary qualifications are the purchase of years of labour, experience, and care, and should be adequately rewarded. * * *

I am, &c.,

H. Selwyn Smith.