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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 58

Annual Report of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce. September, 1885

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Annual Report of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce.

Dunedin: Printed At The "Evening Star" Office, Bond Stehet.

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  • J. T. Mackerras.


  • G. L. Denniston.


  • R. Glendinning
  • R. H. Leary
  • E. B. Cargill
  • A. Maxwell
  • W. B. Boyd
  • G. Bell
  • W. Dymock
  • G. P. Farquhar
  • R. Wilson
  • J. M. Jones


  • H. Houghton.

List of Members

  • Bagley, R. P.
  • Bank of New Zealand
  • Bank of New South Wales
  • Bank of Australasia
  • Bardsley, S.
  • Bartleman, A.
  • Bathgate, J.
  • Baxter, D.
  • Beal, L. O.
  • Begg, A. C.
  • Bell, George
  • Benjamin, H.
  • Berens, A.
  • Black, T.
  • Blyth, George
  • Bradshaw, E. R.
  • Bradshaw, J. B.
  • Braithwaite, J.
  • Brown, Dr
  • Brown, Thomas
  • Brown, W.
  • Brydone, T.
  • Burt, A.
  • Cargill, E. B.
  • Carlton, W.
  • Chapman and Strode
  • Chapman, J. A.
  • Chisholm, Robt.
  • Colonial Insurance Co.
  • Colonial Bank of New Zealand
  • Connell, J.
  • Davie, John
  • Denniston, G. L.
  • Denniston, J. E.
  • Dick, Thomas
  • Dickson, William A.
  • Driver, Henry
  • Dunedin Financc Co.
  • Dunedin Iron and Woodware Co.
  • Duthie, Jas.
  • Dymock, W.
  • Edwards, Stanley
  • Elder, Wm.
  • Equitable Insurance Co.
  • Esther, George
  • Ewing, R.
  • Farquhar, G. P.
  • Fenwick, George
  • Fenwick, A. G.
  • Fish, junr., H. S.
  • Fox, Capt. Jas.
  • Franckeiss, J. F.
  • Fulton, General
  • Gage, Wm.
  • Gallaway,—
  • Gillies, R.
  • Gillies, J. L.
  • Glendinning, R.
  • Gow, W.
  • Graham, T. S.
  • Gregg, William
  • Grose, T.
  • Guthrie, H.
  • Hallenstein, B.
  • Hamilton, A.
  • Hardy, H. F.
  • Hart, H.
  • Hay, R., C.E.
  • Hayman, M.
  • Haynes, D.
  • Hazlett, James
  • Heycock, A. H.
  • Hislop, J.
  • Hislop, Walter
  • Hogg, James
  • Holmes, A.
  • Hosking, J. H.
  • Howison, C. M.
  • Hoy, Sew
  • Hudson, R.
  • Hunter, Thomas
  • Inglis, A.
  • Irvine, Major-General
  • Jack, A. H.
  • Joachim, G.
  • Joel, M.
  • Jones, J M.
  • Jones, H. S.
  • Kaitangata Coal Co.
  • Keast and McCarthy, Limited
  • Kempthorne, T. W,
  • Kenyon, E. P.
  • Lane, W.
  • Larnach. W. J.M.,C.M.G.
  • Law, H.
  • Leary, R. H.
  • Lees, A.
  • Low, Thos.
  • Mackenzie, M. J. S.
  • Mackerras, J. T.
  • Maclean, G.
  • Maclean. L.
  • Macneill, H.page 4
  • Marino Insurance Co.
  • Marshall, J.
  • Martin, P.
  • Meenan, F.
  • Melland, E.
  • Menderhausen, M.
  • Michie, A.
  • Mills, James
  • Mill, John
  • Mollison, A.
  • Morrison, J. H.
  • Murray, R. K.
  • Mutual Assurance Society of Victoria
  • McFarlane, A.
  • McLaren, R.
  • McQueen, C.
  • McVicar, R. S.
  • National Bank of New Zealand
  • National Insurance Co." of New Zealand
  • Nelli, W. G.
  • New Zealand Insurance Co.
  • New Zealand Shipping Co.
  • N.Z. Refrigerating Co.
  • Nicol, L.
  • Nimmo, R.
  • Oliver, Hon. R.
  • Park, J. A.
  • Park, R. and A. J.
  • Paterson, A. S.
  • Paterson, R.
  • Philp, W. L.
  • Pym, M,
  • Pyke, V.
  • Quick, W. H.
  • Ramsay, K.
  • Rattray, J.
  • Reeves, C. S.
  • Reid, D.
  • Reid and Duncans
  • Reid and Gray
  • Reynolds, Hon. W. H.
  • Ritchie, J. M.
  • Roberts, J.
  • Robin, J.
  • Rose, H.
  • Ross, A. H.
  • Royse, William
  • Russell, Gray
  • Sandtmann, Julius
  • Scott, Admiral
  • Scott, J. R.
  • Scoullar, W.
  • Scoullar, A.
  • Sievwright, B.
  • Simpson, W. L.
  • Sinclair, J.
  • Sise, G. L.
  • Smith, J.
  • Smith, R. F.
  • Smith, E.
  • Solomon, Saul
  • South British Insurance Co
  • Sparrow, R. S.
  • Spedding, D. M.
  • Speight, J.
  • Spence, E. J.
  • Sprent, J. S.
  • Standard Insurance Co.
  • Stanford, R. L.
  • Stewart, W. D.
  • Stephenson, John
  • Stout, Robert
  • Strachau, William
  • Street, W. P.
  • Stronach, D.
  • Thomson, A.
  • Thomson, A. E.
  • Thompson, Lamb
  • Tomlinson, T.
  • Towers, E. F.
  • Twopeny, R. E. N.
  • Turnbull, G.
  • Union Insurance Co.
  • Union Bank of Australia
  • Victoria Insurance Co.
  • Wales, N. Y.
  • Watson, W.
  • Watson, J. F.
  • Westport Coal Co.
  • White, J.
  • Wilkie, James
  • Wilkinson, T. M.
  • Wilson, James
  • Wilson, James
  • Wilson, R.
  • Wise, Caffin, and Co.
  • Wright, J. T.
  • Wright, Wm.
  • Wyper, R.
  • Young, T.
  • Young, H.
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Dunedin Chamber of Commerce.

Annual Report.

The retiring Committee beg to lay before the Chamber the following report of matters which have engaged their attention during their period of office.

Five General Meetings of the Chamber have been held in the course of the twelve months—three quarterly and two special—at which the following subjects were, after discussion, dealt with by resolutions of the Chamber:—

Anomalies of Customs Tariff.—Copy of the Report of a Sub-Committee appointed to consider this question was forwarded to the Minister of Trade and Customs, and was afterwards the subject of conference with the Minister, who promised to give due consideration to the representation of the Chamber.

Telephone Charges.—A resolution urging a reduction in the scale of charges was adopted and forwarded to Government the annual subscription has since been reduced to £8. There are now 384 instruments in use in Dunedin.

Harbour Board Works at Heads and in Channel.—A resolution was adopted strongly urging the vigorous prosecution of these works.

Trade Reciprocity with the Neighboring Colonies.—This subject was introduced by Mr Robert Gillies, who moved the following resolution—

"That the Government of New Zealand be respectfully urged to take such steps as they may deem necessary for extending to this Colony the Provisional Agreement entered into between the representatives of Victoria and Tasmania, for establishing a Reciprocity of Trade between those Colonies, by which natural products and articles of purely colonial manufacture be admitted into either Colony free from Customs Duties."

A lengthened discussion followed, and the debate was adjourned for further consideration; but owing to the illness of the mover, the meeting was allowed to lapse.

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Bank Circulation.—This subject was brought before the Chamber by Hon. John Bathgate, and after it had been referred to a Subcommittee and reported on, was discussed at some length, and the following resolution at length adopted by the Chamber:—

"That the Chamber memoralise the Government in order that a Parliamentary Committee may be appointed to investigate the whole subject of the currency, and the practice of Banking within the Colony."

Alterations in Customs Tariff proposed at present Session of Parliament.—This question, after discussion, was the subject of the following resolution:—

"That this Chamber, having carefully examined the Customs Tariff proposals by the Hon. the Treasurer, consider that the duties imposed on goods imported should be levied for revenue purposes only, and therefore object to any increase that bears unfairly on special classes; that the additions proposed to be made on the produce of several industries already established in the Colony are unnecessary, unwise in principle, and if operative will unfairly burden consumers."

The proposals of Government have since been largely modified, and many of the alterations objected to withdrawn.

Increase of Postage on letters via Brindisi.—The Committee regret that the Government has not seen fit to make any modification of the proposal of the Honble. the Postmaster-General. The rate of postage on letters via Brindisi was raised to 1s. per half-ounce, and continues so to this day. The Committee adopted the following resolution, and forwarded the same to the Hon. the Treasurer and Members for the City:—

"That this Committee view with concern the proposal of Sir Julius Vogel to increase the rate of postage on letters via Brindisi to one shilling per half ounce, as in their opinion such a step will practically close this route to the general community, and so deprive them of the mail communication with Home which they now enjoy.

"That great value is attached to the existing frequent facilities for communication; but while appreciating the advantages which the Direct Steam Service and the San Francisco Mail Route confer, the Committee are of opinion that it would be an unwise and retrograde step to curtail the present facilities."

San Francisco Mail Service.

East and West Coast Railway.

Transfer of Port Chalmers Dock Trust from the Harbour Board to Corporation of Port Chalmers.

The following resolutions on above subjects were adopted by page 7 the Chamber at their meeting on July 27th, and forwarded to Government:—

"That it does not appear desirable to put an end to the San Francisco service, but in the opinion of this Chamber the price proposed to be paid is too high, and ought to be reduced to mailmoney only; also that it should not be for a longer term than three years. Further, the Chamber express a strong disapproval of the prohibitive postage established by the Government via Brindisi."

"That this Chamber desire to place on record their strong objection to the extraordinary concessions proposed to be granted to Messrs Meiggs and Sons, and enter their emphatic protest against any alteration of the East and West Coast and Nelson Railway Act, 1884, or of the contract already entered into by the Governor for the construction of the aforesaid railway, which would in any way directly or indirectly pledge the revenues of the Colony, either by further concessions of land or guarantee of interest, or which would in any way whatsoever impose any burden or liability on the public exchequer."

"That this Chamber express their strong disapproval of the proposal by the Government to transfer the Dock Trust from the Harbour Board to the Port Chalmers or other Corporation, and of the methods adopted in connection therewith."

The Committee further dealt with the following questions:—

Facilities for discharging Home Ships at Dunedin.—Several conferences have been held with a Committee of the Harbour Board, with the result of bringing about arrangements satisfactory to consignees of vessels and cargo.

Draft Bills introduced to Parliament on subjects touching Commercial Interests.—The request of the Committee that these should be forwarded has been favourably met by the Treasurer, by whose directions copies of such Bills are now forwarded as printed.

Defences of Dunedin.—In response to a requisition by some members of the Committee, the following resolution of the Committee was forwarded to His Worship the Mayor of Dunedin, on March 14:—

"The Committee are of opinion that the question will be more effectively dealt with by the Mayer of the City, and that it be suggested to His Worship that he bring the matter before the Council, and seek the co-operation of the Councils of surrounding Municipalities, with the view of urging upon Government the propriety of taking immediate steps for utilizing the materials in guns, etc., now in hand, and promoting the efficiency of the Volunteer force, and of calling a public meeting for discussion of the question."

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Trade with Rio de Janeiro.—A letter was addressed, on 16th October, to the British Consul General, requesting information as to Markets for New Zealand produce, Customs Tariff, Port Regulation, etc., but no reply has yet been received.

Steamers Bilk of Lading.—A good deal of correspondence in reference to clauses which have been objected to has passed between the London Chamber of Commerce and some of the Colonial Chambers, and with Mr John Ewen and Mr John Ross, London, who have given much time and attention to the subject but no result has yet come of it.

High School Medals were presented as usual by the Chairman at the annual distribution of prizes.

Reduction of Charges for Cable Messages between New Zealand and the Neighbouring Colonies.—This subject has been brought before the Government by a letter addressed to the Colonial Treasurer, and also in the Assembly by Mr W. D. Stewart, without however eliciting any favourable reply, the Treasurer stating that instead of being high compared with other cables all over the world, the charges were by far the lowest, taking into account the length of the line; and that instead of getting lower rates for private messages, there was much more liability to an increase of rates.

The Committee desire to press upon Members of the Chamber and upon such of the mercantile community as have not joined its membership the propriety of according to it their hearty support. It is unnecessary to urge the value of the Chamber as the only recognised and readily available mouthpiece of the mercantile community, affording the ready means of calling the attention of the public or the authorities to any matter of interest, it is desired to bring forward for discussion, or to point to the good service it has rendered in the past. It is maintained at a very moderate expense, and yet it has been the somewhat painful experience of successive Committees that great difficulty is found in obtaining the moderate sum required for its support. This Committee, by a special canvass, succeeded in obtaining contributions, apart from ordinary subscriptions to the amount of £106, which helped to put the Chamber's Bank account in a better position, but the Committee feel that they leave to their successors in this part of their duty, a matter which will call for their most careful attention.

The Annual Statistics referring to the trade of the Colony—compiled chiefly from reports of the Registrar-General, the Department of Trade and Customs, and other official sources—will be found in the appendix to this report.

J. T. Mackerras,

Dunedin, Chairman.
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Address of the Chairman.

Proceedings at Annual Meeting.

In moving the adoption of the Report, I have to express my regret that Mr E. B. Cargill, our chairman, has been unexpectedly called to Melbourne, thereby throwing on me at the last moment the duty of presiding at this annual meeting. Consequently I have not had time to prepare such an address as is usually delivered from the chair on these occasions, and I must therefore throw myself on the indulgence of the Chamber as regards the few remarks I intend to make.

At this time last year the chief matter of concern to us all was the depression which prevailed all over the Colony; and now we have to deplore that that depression is in no degree lessened. Everyone is trying to trace the cause with a view to finding a remedy.

It seems strange that, with all the advantages we possess in the shape of productive soil, splendid climate, and other great natural resources, we in New Zealand should find the whole of our varied interests in their present state of suffering.

On looking around we find that our two main interests—the agricultural and pastoral industries—show no signs of amelioration; on the contrary, both are more depressed now than last year. And to what is this due ? Not merely to the unprecedentedly low prices which prevail for grain and wool, but also, in my opinion, to the action of our financial companies, with large sums of money at their disposal, who have induced farmers and wool-growers to invest in land at exorbitant prices, the high interest and charges on which are far beyond what even judicious husbandry and grazing of the lands can possibly return. Until this state of things is altered, and the lands of the Colony are in the hands of the settler at prices which will enable him, not only to pay fair interest on what he is obliged to borrow, but in addition return a reasonable profit on his labour, we cannot hope for permanent improvement

Another factor in the present depression is extravagance There is no concealing the fact that an important characteristic of our colonial life in the past has been extravagance. We have been all living too fast; and the consequence is that we are now brought face to face with the necessity for the strictest economy, not only commercially and socially, but also, and especially, on the part of the Government, who, since the Public Works scheme was inaugurated in 1871, have set us the example of unbounded extravagance. The Colony has had to pay enormous sums yearly by way of interest on heavy expenditure on public works which have been begun and not prosecuted to a reproductive point.

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From the returns attached to the Public Works Statement, and which have just been submitted by the Minister of Public Works, I find that on railways alone a sum of about one million sterling has been expended on lines not yet open for traffic; and on some of these lines the expenditure has been going on for eight or ten years, while had the works been prosecuted with vigour they might have long since been opened and yielding some return on the capital expended.

While a certain large outlay is unavoidable in the construction of our railways before they can become reproductive, I believe I am within the mark in estimating that the country is burdened unnecessarily from the cause I have stated to the extent of £50,000 a year; and this extravagant course will continue so long as we are liable to the formation of what are known as political railways and other purely political public works.

The only remedy for this state of things is for Parliament to lay it down as a rule, in so far as railways are concerned, that for the future, in the case of every new railway to the construction of which they give their assent, and which can be shown is worked at a loss, that loss shall be made good by a rate levied on the district through which the railway passes.

I now pass from the less pleasing features of our commercial position, and deal in a few sentences with one or two subjects of a more local character, which I think ought to present to us a more hopeful prospect, if not at present, certainly in the future. From the statistics of New Zealand for 1884-5, we find the value of the exports for the Colony amount to £7,009,667, of which Otago exported £2,214,800, or nearly one-third of the whole. The total imports for the same period amount to £7,663,888, and to Otago, £2,373,796.

Our industries and manufactures, notwithstanding the dull times, have steadily gone forward, and are now attaining a magnitude and position of excellence of which we may be justly proud. If Dunedin is to hold her own in onward progress, our manufactures must continue to bear an important part in that progress. In the prosecution of this department of commercial enterprise nature has supplied us with all the elements necessary to success. We have coal in abundance at our very door, and supplied at a minimum of cost; we have water power, which is not sufficiently appreciated, but is sure to be more utilised as our manufactures develope. While on the subject of motive power, I may say that the output of coal from our local mines for the year amounts to 110,000 tons, the value of which at the pit mouth is £62,000. This industry employs 265 men. As regards two of our local industries I have had forcibly brought under my notice the enormous loss to the Colony that arises from the present defective manufacture of butter and cheese—especially the former. Owing to this cause I am within the mark when I say that half our production goes bad, and in my opinion the only remedy for this is the encouragement of butter and cheese factories where a uniform standard of quality can be secured. Our export of butter for the year under review amounted to £66,593, and cheese to £25,095.

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Before leaving the subject of local industries, I would venture the remark that the Colony must sooner or later face the question how far new and struggling industries are to rely on receiving some fostering aid from the State, or whether their development is to be left to the intelligence and enterprise of the promoters themselves. In other words, we have to fight the battle of Freetrade v. Protection, and, without venturing an opinion on either side, I trust to the question being speedily settled one way or the other.

Our Harbour operations are progressing satisfactorily, both at the Heads and in the Upper Harbour. Already the mole which is being constructed at the Heads is producing the effect on the Beach current which was looked for, and it is confidently expected that the works, when completed, will realise the expectations of the Engineer.

The minimum depth on the Bar is now 19 feet at low water.

In the Victoria Channel a minimum depth of 14 feet low water, equal to 20 feet 6 inches at high tide, has been attained. This depth will be increased to 16 feet at low water within the next three months, and a small additional amount of work at three or four points would give us a navigating depth of 18 feet low water.

The arrivals at Dunedin wharves for the six months ending—
June 30, 1884—333 vessels = 57,633 tons
June 30, 1885-330 vessels = 86,625 tons

While the number of vessels coming up to Dunedin in 1885 was less than in 1884, the tonnage was about 50 percent, more.

In 1875 the revenue of the Harbour Board was £13,000; this year it will exceed £40,000. The present revenue from endowments is about £7,000 a year, and as the whole revenue now more than meets the interest on loans it may be reasonably expected that the rents to be derived from the large additional area of land available for leasing will shortly enable a material reduction to be made in the Port charges.

Of the many subjects dealt with by the Chamber during the past year I may mention the difficulties attending the discharge of Home ships at Dunedin wharf. The Committee of the Chamber have given their assistance to the Harbour Board in removing some of them.

The action of the Chamber, in conjunction with the other Chambers in the Colony, in memorialising the Government to reduce the price charged for the telephone, has been amply justified by results, observe, from the recently-issued report of the Telegraph Department, that the income from the telephonic services has been the large sum of £9,584 for the year, while the capital expended up to December 31 last was only £26,178. Now, as the annual cost of the services (including maintenance, repairs, and working expenses) is set down at £5,590, the Department is actually netting a profit at the rate of 16 per cent, per annum, I am inclined to think that the Chamber will be disposed to agree with me that no department of the State should be carried on with the object of extracting a large profit out of the already heavily-burdened taxpayer. The public, on the one hand, have a right to expect that a service should be efficiently and economically per- page 12 formed; and the Government, on the other hand, should he content with a reasonable margin of profit after meeting all proper charges for maintenance, salaries, etc. I do not think that I need ask business men whether a profit of 16 per cent, is reasonable in the circumstances? That the exchanges are popular is evidenced by the fact that on June 30 last there were over 1,100 subscribers in the Colony. Of this number Dunedin has 343, Auckland 320, Wellington 204, and Christchurch 184. Though the Department complacently points to the fact that in some of our cities the telephone is more largely used than in the United States, I think that this Chamber will act wisely in continuing to bring pressure to bear on the Department to further reduce the charge till this useful invention is brought within the reach of every class of the community. I feel persuaded that a uniform charge of £5 per subscriber would not only greatly popularise the exchanges, but would result in an appreciable increase of revenue.

The Committee had an interview with Dr Von Haast, the Commissioner appointed by the Government to furnish information on the subject of the proposed Indian and Colonial Exhibition, to be held in London, in 1886. The Committee sympathised most cordially with the movement, and resolved to afford all the assistance in their power to forward the objects of the Exhibition. They also appointed a Subcommittee to give their special attention to this subject.

During the past year death has removed three of our members—one of whom, Mr G. Lewis, took a great interest in the business of the Chamber, and made a most efficient member of committee.

Appended to the Report will be found a valuable mass of statistics, compiled by the Secretary, which I commend to the careful study of the members.

Public Works Expenditure.

Mr J. M. Ritchie moved the following resolution:—"That in order to strengthen the hands of Otago members of Parliament in resisting the beginning of new public works, especially the East and West Coast railway, and generally those involving an increase of borrowing on the part of the Colony, this Chamber are of opinion that it is desirable to forego the proposed expenditure for this year on the Otago Central railway, if by so doing the objects indicated above are gained." He had not time, and did not know that it would be desirable to occupy the Chamber with any lengthy remarks. It was a matter of notoriety, and had been frequently commented upon, that the increasing inclination on the part of the Government and members of Parliament to claim the full share of what they deemed necessary expenditure for public works, and to increase borrowing for that purpose, was becoming a serious matter for all who had the interest of the Colony at heart. He did not know that he need say much to emphasise this fact. It was patent before our eyes, and the present Government—about whom he was not going to say anything good or bad, because after all they were representatives of the people, and were merely pressing what was in the main the views page 13 of the people—were assisting by all means in their power to have these strong inclinations given effect to. He need only refer to one or two points in proof. The first was their extraoulinary action in reference to the Port Chalmers dock, which had after all simply put facilities in the way of increased borrowing. Then there was the large expenditure authorised for the North Island railway; and, worst of all, the expenditure which the Government were determined to commence, if they could, on the East and West Coast railway. He might take it as proved that there was no appearance on the part of the Government of any inclination to curb the borrowing inclinations of the people. It was true the House seemed to have a strong leaning towards economy, and had attempted by various means to give effect to this; but there was no evidence yet that they had brought themselves to the point of allowing their efforts to have any direct effect upon the districts which each section of the House represented. That was to say, members were very willing to talk about the necessity for decreasing the expenditure, but it must be in every case somewhere else than in the particular district represented by each member. In short, every member seemed perfectly willing to sacrifice the last drop of his brother's blood, but none of his own. It seemed to the speaker that if this went on the present evils were likely to be indefinitely perpetuated. The £150,000 proposed to be spent on the East and West Coast railway, small as it seemed, was merely the thin end of the wedge, and was the beginning of an expenditure of something like three millions. The only means by which a cure for this state of things might be looked for was by someone having the courage and self-denial to make a beginning in the direction of the principle which they all believed to be so important. For this reason he had brought forward his motion, and would only say that we in Otago seemed to be in a position to make the sacrifice with a better grace, or at any rate with less actual harm to the works in our own district than any other section of the Colony. We had got the Otago Central railway begun, and a good deal of money had been spent upon it, and it was so far advanced that it must be finished. Of course a large sum was lying idle in connection with the line, but on the other hand the year's expenditure would have but an imperceptible effect in bringing the line into a revenue-producing state, and we could fairly allow such a period to elapse without suffering much thereby. He had been told by one or two to whom he had spoken that this motion was too specific, meaning that they should pass some resolution more general in tone, and should not be so specific in reference to any particular work. He did not, however, agree with this, and he was intentionally thus specific in the wording of the resolution. The fact was that anything short of a specific act of self-denial would simply be relegating the motion into the region of generalities, and would have very small effect indeed with those they were seeking to influence. Besides, they felt that specific works in the North should page 14 be postponed, and of course the arguments of the supporters of these works would be that the Otago people should be the last to complain, having already got what they wanted—that Otago had its line and had no right to say a word about other places. There was, of course, a broader view from which the matter might be looked at; but they all knew what human nature was; it was impossible to give their arguments any weight by merely advocating general principles. He had purposely abstained from any reference to the specific question affecting the Otago Central railway. It would be very likely pointed out that hundreds of thousands of pounds were lying idle, and that a large section of the line only wanted a certain further sum spent to make it in a measure productive. To tell the honest truth, he had no idea of the position of the Otago Central Railway, as regarded these sections, but he felt that unless there was some extraordinary objection upon specific grounds there would be no serious disadvantage to the Country or district in carrying such a motion. He was sure the effect of it on the Government and the House would be very strong indeed. It would be the first exhibition of a desire on the part of the country to bring matters within proper bounds, regardless of how hard the consequences might press on special districts. He might say that he had been an opponent of the Otago Central from the first, and never had been able to see that the expenditure had done much good to Dunedin or to the district. The hopes of gain from such expenditure had been very much over-estimated, and he thought this hope of benefit to towns by expenditure was one of the main reasons for Parliament pressing its various schemes. He could repeat the argument used by Mr Donald Reid in speaking of the Port Chalmers dock, and say that he firmly believed if the East and West Coast railway could be laid down to-morrow—in one day,—there would not be a man in Christchurch grateful for it. There was merely an idea that expenditure would be good in these depressed times. If that were so, it was a very dangerous principle to go upon, and was merely putting off the day when we should have to act very differently in setting our house in order. They all knew the extent to which the prices of our products had fallen, and that very morning there came a message telling of a fall in the value of our wool which would, he believed, make hundreds of thousands of pounds difference to the Colony. The whole tendency was downwards, and this was the time, by whatever means, to bring matters to a point and speak out with a voice no Government could refuse to listen to, saying that we have had enough borrowing, and that it must be suspended until we see how far we can get along with the burdens we already have.

Mr A. C. Begg seconded the motion, remarking that the proposal for the construction of the East and West Coast railway meant the expenditure of about £3,000,000. He thought the stand they ought to lake was that they would not press for the completion of the Otago page 15 Central railway, and would at the same time oppose the construction of the East and West Coast railway or other such works. The proposal for the construction of the East and West Coast railway should be discouraged in every way. As to the Otago Central line, he was not particularly sanguine as to its paying very well; while of the East and West Coast railway, he did not believe that the Canterbury members believed it would pay, but that the Canterbury people wished it carried out so as to have this money expended among them.

Mr D. Reid considered that Mr Ritchie had placed the Chamber in somewhat of a dilemma, for he asked them to declare that the Otago Central railway, on which such a large sum had been expended, should be singled out He thought Mr Ritchie's motion was a very sweeping one, and would suggest that it should be altered so as to read as follows—" That any vote proposed for the initiation of the East and West Coast railway should be opposed, irrespective of the effect of such a position on other votes on the Public Works Estimates." They must oppose the East and West Coast railway, be the consequences what they might

Mr Ritchie said he was willing to accept Mr Reid's alteration of the motion, which was then put as amended, and carried unanimously.

Election of Office-Bearers.

The Chairman said that on former occasions it had been customary for the incoming committee to be nominated by the outgoing one, but some objection had been raised to this from time to time, and he had to intimate that now the election would be left entirely in the hands of the Chamber. Members had been requested to send in nominations, but none had been received, still the election would be left to the Chamber to nominate members now.

Mr Brown believed it was customary for one of the retiring committee to propose the new president, and he had therefore much pleasure in proposing that Mr Mackerras be president for the ensuing year. The manner in which he had fulfilled the duties of vice-president was the best guarantee that good work might be hoped for under his presidency.

Mr G. L. Denniston seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.

On the motion of Mr Glendining, Mr G. L. Denniston was then elected vice-president.

After some discussion the following gentlemen were elected the committee for the ensuing year:—Messrs R. Glendining, R. H. Leary, E. B. Cargill, Andrew Maxwell, W. B. Boyd, George Bell, W. Dymock, Grant P. Farquhar, Robert Wilson, and J. M. Jones

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Dunedin Chambers of Commerce.

Cash Account from 1st July, 1884, to 30th June, 1885. Dr. RECEIPTS. EXPENDITURE. Cr. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. To cash in hand from last year ... 1 11 6 By Balance from last year ... 111 3 4 " Waste Paper ... ... ... 3 10 5 " Rates and Taxes ... ... 43 12 6 " Sale of Reports ... ... ... 5 7 0 " Interest on Mortgage ... ... 315 0 0 " Use of Hall ... ... ... 41 6 6 " " to Exchange ... ... Company ... 206 12 5 " Stock Exchange ... ... 31 10 0 " Bank Interest ... ... 15 17 9 " Rents ... ... ... ... 350 0 0 " High School Medals ... ... 9 17 6 " Donations ... ... ... 106 1 0 " Cleaning Offices... ... ... 32 13 9 " Subscriptions ... ... ... 357 0 0 " Printing, Advertising, and Stationery 25 1 9 894 14 11 " Printing Annual Report ... 15 12 0 Balance ... ... 132 10 6 " Petty Disbursements ... ... 23 16 S " Books and Newspapers ... 41 1 6 " Secretary ... ... ... 150 0 0 " Telephone ... ... ... 9 2 6 " Insurance on Building 14 0 0 " " Furniture 0 10 0 14 10 0 " Corn Exchange Expenses 8 10 10 " Repairs ... ... ... 5 0 0 916 9 2 " Cash in Hand ... ... ... 1 4 5 £1028 16 11 £1028 16 11 By Balance ... ... ... £132 10 6

Examined and found correct— Dunedin,

John Davie.

Henry Houghton,

page 17

Imports and Exports.

Customs Revenue Returns for the year ended 31st March, 1885, for all Ports of Entry.

Total value of Imports into New Zealand £7,732,285
Total value of Exports 6,967,806
Total amount of Duty 1,548,304
Of which was collected at—
Dunedin £392,720
Invercargill and Bluff 39,801
Oamaru 12,659
Being a decrease on the previous year of £00,000
Value of Imports, per head of European Population £13 11 3
Value of Exports, per head of European Population 12 4 10

Comparative Table of Imports and Exports for the Port of Dunedin for the Years ending June 30th, 1883, 1884, and 1885, respectively.

Counties. 1883 1884. 1885.
Imports Exports. Imports. Exports. Imports. Exports.
United Kingdom £1,846,502 £1,442,211 £1,298,305 £1,178,593 £1,442,391 £1,099,168
Australia 400,557 339,723 309,138 423,396 342,395 447,830
India 60,780 39,368 4,393 61,795 746
China 84,602 4,150 49,696 10,116 45,970 6,705
Mauritius 160,786 378 165,318 2,842 94,046
United States 133,736 128,039 279 137,637 39
Canada 270 467
Other Countries 10,173 70,154 4,922 755 20,299 7
£2,697,406 £1,856,616 £1,994,786 £1,610,365 £2,145,000 £1,554,495
Showing increase on Imports for past year £150,214
A decrease on Exports for past year 55,870

Return of Shipping at the Port of Dunedin for the year ending 31st July, 1885.

TONS. TONS. Foreign ... ... 82 Vessels = 98,423 In, and 43 Vessels 73,597 Out. Intercolonial ... 147 " = 123,741 " 116 " = 111,728 " Coastwise ... 642 " = 168,502 " 688 " = 194,441 " Totals ... 871 = 390,667 847—379,766 1884 ... 917 352,333 879 333,039

page 18

Principal Items of Export.

Agricultural Products—
Butter and Cheese £97,705 0 0
Flour 29,775 0 0
Barley 25,919 0 0
Oats 270,773 0 0
Wheat 422,331 0 0
Hides 38,502 0 0
Flax 20,708 0 0
Potatoes 54,670 0 0
Sheepskins 42,554 0 0
£1,002,937 0 0
Wool 3,215,329 0 0
Frozen Meat 355,691 0 0
Preserved Meat 59,857 0 0
Tallow 213,731 0 0
Kauri Gum 325,282 0 0
Leather 40,865 0 0
Rabbitskins 108,640 0 0
Timber 128,990 0 0
Gold 946,208 0 0
Other Colonial and British and Foreign Produce 138,517 0 0
Miscellaneous 432,359 0 0
£6,967,806 0 0

Intercolonial Trade for the Year ending 31st March, 1885.

Exports. Imports.
Queensland £58,259 £34,718
New South Wales 714,916 675,831
Victoria 754,044 800,539
South Australia 45,505 26,306
Western Australia 263 17,910
Tasmania 18,537 80,458
£1,519,524 £1,635,762

Registered Tonnage of Colonial Owned Vessels, Port of Otago.

Steamers. Sailing Vessels.
No. Tonnage. No. Tonnage.
1st July, 1883 43 15,596 74 8,121
1st July, 1884 46 16,499 60 7,371
1st July, 1885 46 17,964 60 9,524

Return showing the number of Foreign and Intercolonial Vessels Entered and Cleared at New Zealand Ports during the year ending 31st March, 1885.

Inwards 852 Vessels = 559,188 Tons.
Outwards 872 Vessels = 534,242 Tons.

Return of Gold Exported from 1st April, 1857, to 31st December, 1884.

Total Quantity for New Zealand 10,616,196 ozs.
Of the value of £41,634,507
Exported from Otago 4,371,289 ozs.
Of the Value of £17,256,941

Exported for the year ending 31st December, 1884, 239,688 ozs., of the value of £927,433, of which Otago exported 78,810 ozs., of the value of £318,932.

page 19


Population of New Zealand, 30th June, 1885, estimated 569,394
Otago and Southland, estimated 157,083
Dunedin and suburbs, estimated 46,476

Being an estimated Increase during the year of 16,887 on total Population of Colony.

The Maori Population is 44,000 in addition to the above.

Occupations of People.

Residing within the Agricultural Districts of the Colony, estimated 323,983
Engaged in manufactures 13,475
Other occupations 168,263
Not enumerated 63,712
Principal Occupations of the People, March 31st, 1885.
Labourers 20,648
Millers 16,480
Domestic Servants 19,695
Commercial Clerks 4,872
Station and Bush Hands 11,873
Railway Labourers 3,324
Draymen and Carters 3,277
Shipwrights 578
Seamen and Engineers 5,027
Officers of Government 3,437
Persons who Buy and Sell (Shopkeepers, etc.) 14,509
Milliners and Dressmakers 4,278
Professional Men 11,873
Blacksmiths 2,748
Carpenters 7,275
Masons and Plasterers 1,758
Painters 2,200
Printers 1,897
Breweries 526
Engine Drivers and Firemen 1,306
Chinese 5,804
Laundresses 580
Butchers and Salesmen 2,556
Bakers 1,592
Sawmillers 4,870
Police 457
Constabulary 740
Supported by Charity 2,725
Hotelkeepers 1,591
Club, Inn, and Eating-house Servants 2,471
Widows 7,296

Freehold Estate.

30,684 persons and 80 companies own 18,511,350 Acres Freehold Land outside Boroughs and Townships of the value of £53,350,812.

Of these two companies hold areas over 150,000 acres, two over 100,000, one over 75,000, and three over 50,000. The total number of Freeholders in the Colony is 71,240, of whom 30,764 own 5 acres and upwards of country land.

page 20

Banking Returns, for the Quarter ending June 30th, 1885.

Notes in Circulation £1,038,995
On Government Account 561,363
Bearing Interest 5,777,017
Not Bearing Interest 3,546,401

Being an Increase of Deposits of £245,567 on the Year.

Advances, £15,306,987, being an Increase on the Year of £295,141.

Savings Banks—Government and Private.

Total Amount of Deposits in the Colony at the end of Year 1884, £1,499,112. Depositors, 65,717, averaging £22 16s. 3d. each Depositor, being an Increase of £89,861 on the year.

Property Tax Returns, for the Year ending 31st December 1884. Assessment capital value of real property under the Property Assessment Act

Real Estate £101,000,000
Personal Property 64,000,000

Exclusive of Railways, Telegraph, and other Public Works.

Returns for the present year not completed.

Amount secured by Mortgages 1885 26,089,774
Amount secured by Mortgages 1884 24,412,343
Increase £1,677,431

The National Debt of New Zealand.

Gross Public Debt, 31st March, 1884 £33,691,022
Less Sinking Fund Accrued 3,041,922
Cash Balance in hand 31st December, 1884 £335,736
Remaining to be expended out of Loan 573,012

From which, deducting cost of construction of Railways, £11,251,633, from the total indebtedness of £29,574,903, leaves £18,323,270 as the National Debt of the Colony at the present time apart from Railways.

Amount of Public Debt per head, less Sinking Fund accrued, £53 19s. 9d.


Total Mileage open for Traffic, March 31st, 1885 1,479 miles
Total amount expended for their construction £11,810,194
Equal to a cost for Construction, Rolling Stock, etc., of £8,758 per mile
Total number of Passengers carried 3,232,886
Total amount of Tonnage carried 1,700,049 tons
Total number of Live Stock carried 739,886
Total number of Parcels carried 325,000
Total receipts for year £1,045,712

Railway Revenue over Expenditure is approximately estimated up to 31st March last at £355,686. The amount realised on the estimated cost of the Railways is £3 0s. 3d. per cent, per annum.

page 21

Export of Frozen Meat.

Return shewing the total number of Sheep exported from New Zealand since its commencement in February, 1882, to the 31st August, 1884, with ports of shipment:—
1882—Dunedin 23,109
1883—Dunedin 60,218
Canterbury 55,563
1884—To August 31 270,332

Shipped from the following Provinces, from 30th June, 1884, to 30th June, 1885.

Auckland 7,021
Hawke's Bay 97,603
Marlborough 10,132
Wellington 115,247
Canterbury 112,546
Oamaru 67,910
Dunedin 96,969
Total 507,428

Agricultural Statistics.

Total number of holdings 29,114
Extent of land broken up—in acres 159,324
Extent of land sown in wheat—in acres 270,043
Estimated gross produce of wheat—bushels 6,866,777
Extent of land sown in oats—in acres 354,794
Estimated gross produce of oats—bushels 12,360,449
Estimated gross produce for green food or hay—acres 56,670
Extent of land in barley—acres 39,703
Estimated gross produce of barley—bushels 1,205,906
Extent of land in potatoes—acres 21,348
Estimated gross produce of potatoes—tons 123,504
Extent of land in turnips or rape—acres 352,956
Extent of land in other crops—acres 2,616
Total number of acres under crop exclusive of grasses 1,132,241
Extent of hay—acres 56,670
Estimated produce—tons 79,868
In grasses after having been broken up 2,592,492
Grass sown lands, not previously ploughed—acres 2,666,342
Peas and beans—acres 10,056
Mangold, beet and carrots—acres 4,870
Hop—acres 1,228
Garden or orchard 20,254
Plantations, forest trees 24,688
Average yield per acre in New Zealand, 1885 Wheat 25.43 bushels
Average yield per acre in New Zealand, 1885 Oats 34.84 bushels
Average yield per acre in New Zealand, 1885 Barley 30.37 bushels
Average yield per acre in New Zealand, 1885 Potatoes 5.79 tons
Average yield per acre in Otago, 1885 Wheat 29.33 bushels
Average yield per acre in Otago, 1885 Oats 37.58 bushels
Average yield per acre in Otago, 1885 Barley 32.09 bushels
Average yield per acre in Otago, 1885 Potatoes 5.61 tons
page 22

The Official Statistics for Victoria give the total yield of Wheat in that Colony during the season 1884-5 at 10,850,000 bushels, being an average yield of 9.49 bushels per acre.

South Australia.—The Returns give the area under crop as 1,942,453, with a yield of 14,621,755 bushels; the average being 7 bushels 32 pounds per acre.

Sheep Returns.

Total number of Sheep in New Zealand, 1883 13,306,829
Total number of Sheep in New Zealand, 1884 13,978,520
Total number of Sheep in New Zealand, 1885 14,580,597
Sheep in Otago 1885 3,800,000

Wool Shipments.

Total Quantity of Wool exported from New Zealand for the Season of 1884-5 80,324,631 lbs.
Of the Value of £3,215,329
Of which there was exported from Otago and Southland 73,175 bales
And of the Value of £823,219 Being a decrease of £395,071 on the year

During the past year 4,500 Bales of Wool, of the value of £50,625, were consumed by the Mosgiel, Kaikorai, Roslyn, and Oamaru Woollen Mills. These, added to the quantity exported, raise the production of Otago for 1885 to 77,675 Bales, and the value to £873,844.

In addition to the above the Kaiapoi Mills, Canterbury, worked up 2,050 Bales.

Coal Industry.

Output for the year—1884 480,831 tons
Output for the year—1883 421,764 tons
Being an increase of 59,067 tons
Number of Mines 94
Number of men employed 1283
Total output of coal to the 31st December, 1884 3,007,198 tons
Great Britain 5,969 tons
New South Wales 186,025 tons

Dunedin Harbour Improvements.

Total amount expended on Harbour improvements to 30th June, 1885 £543,538
From Loan £532,800
From Revenue 10,738
Present Annual Income of the Board.
From Endowments £7,000
From Harbour Dues 35,000

Vessels drawing 17ft. of water now discharge at Dunedin wharves.