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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 60



I shall refer very briefly to one or two of our staple exports. On referring to our Government statistics extending back for 30 years, I find that the last two years, 1883 and 1884, stand at the head of the list for quantity and value of kauri gum exported, the production for 1883 being stated at 6,518 tons, worth £336,000, and for 1884 being stated at 6,393 tons worth £342,000. Our Secretary's statistics show that the climax has been reached for the present, and as I am informed, owing to the competition of other gums which high prices have called forth in the great markets of the world, we may expect to see a considerably lower total at the end of the present year. It is gratifying to know that after taking from the ground within 32 years the enormous quantity of 95,000 tons, valued at over £3,000,000 sterling—but which at present values would be worth nearly £4,000,000—the supply shows but little sign of an approaching termination, but, on the contrary, it would seem that, given a certain price, and the supply is maintained by more diligent seeking. By those who would rejoice to see new channels opened for the skill and industry of our rising population, the wish has often been expressed that some portion of this valuable export should be subjected to manufacture here, in preference to exchanging only in its crude state the entire product which is so liberally yielded to us by mother earth.