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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Bonuses for Farina

Bonuses for Farina

The next subject was, "That substantial bonuses be offered for the production of farina and other products of the potato."

The remarks of the Sub-Committee were as follows :—" There has been a partial collapse of the potato trade from causes over which growers have little or no control. The North Island now grows more than she requites for her own wants, while larger crops are grown in the other colonies. It is, therefore necessary that an effort should be made to test the question whether or not farina, &c., could not be produced at a profit, and for that reason it is thought that if substantial bonuses were offered for the first twenty or twenty-five tons manufac-factured in the colony and sold at a profit an effort might be made in that direction, otherwise potato growing and the large amount of labour resulting therefrom will have to be abandoned. The introduction of a thoroughly efficient potato-digger would materially lessen the cost of production."

Mr Wanklyn suggested that the clause be struck out.

Mr Brown moved—"That substantial bonuses be offered for the production of j farina and other products of the potato." He was not in favour of the bonus system as a general rule, because he felt that they ought to be more self-reliant. He simply moved the resolution because he had been asked to do so, but he was opposed to tonuses.

Mr Fitzroy seconded the motion. He had been concerned in a little speculation with regard to farina, but though the armers let them have potatoes for nothing they could not make both sides of the j ledger balance.

Mr J. Holmes said it was unfortunate that the motion was put in the shape it was because the feeling was decidedly against bonuses. But how to dispose of their potatoes was a most important subject. Some years ago the industry was one which employed a large amount of labour, was well within the scope of farmers and their own family. Now potatoes were a drug. The Sydney market had been their last resource and now this door was closed against them. If the Conference could devise some method by which the potatoes grown in the colony could be utilised, they would be conferring the greatest possible Benefit on the colony.

Mr Brown, in replying, suggested that potatoes should be evaporated, and they would then be in a position to land them in Australia and elsewhere at a small cost.

After some discussion, in which Messrs Coleman Philips and Sinclair took part, in the course of which it was suggested that the Secretary, Mr Murphy, should obtain all information he could on the subject and have it published, the motion was put and negatived on the voices.

It was resolved that Mr Murphy be requested to take steps to collect information as to what could be done in the direction of the utilisation of the products of the potato, and publish the same.