The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
The New Zealand Exhibition in London. To the Editor
The New Zealand Exhibition in London. To the Editor.
Sir,—My attention has been called to a letter upon the above subject signed "Discretion" in a recent issue of your valuable paper. It seems to me somewhat remarkable that anyone should be found presumptuous enough to so emphatically pronounce upon a scheme with the main features of which (to say nothing of details) he was entirely ignorant. The proverbial angel might well have feared to tread on such uncertain ground.
"Discretion" considers that to advertise our own dear country and its wealth of resources at Home would be "to forward the characteristics of ridiculousness with which we are already viewed by our sister colonies, and, indeed, by the world at large." Even with the help of a formidable array of dictionaries I have not been quite able to fathom the profound depths of wisdom doubtless conveyed in this remarkable sentence. One thing is clear. "Discretion" is altogether unaware that while New Zealand has spent pounds, sister colonics have spent thousands in advertising them-selves at Home. It is only the misleading croakings (which would be positively wicked in the falseness of the impression they give outsiders, did we not know that they arise merely from an undue accretion of bile) which bring the colony into contempt and ridicule abroad. And, thank goodness, there are now signs that all the mists of dismal misrepresentations are not sufficient to blind the eyes keenly watching us from abroad to the solid, though humble, prosperity of our people.
|An extended market and increased prices for our products.
|The introduction of foreign capital to furnish work for our people; whether that work is found in the mine, the factory, or the field is immaterial.page 13
|An increased population, provided the emigrants forming that increase come with the amount of capital necessary to establish themselves here.
Now, I appeal to any man of common sense who possesses some knowledge of the world whether these three objects cannot be better attained by a judiciously planned and properly conducted New Zealand Exhibition in the very heart of the world's market than by any other method. Is it then truly "unveiled hypocrisy" to scheme for such worthy ends as these?
Can our wool, our frozen meat, flax, timber, or minerals be brought before purchasers in any better way than by showing well prepared samples at their very doors?
Take our dairy produce alone. Even "Discretion" will not deny that here in New Zealand we can make butter and cheese which can compete, if given a fair opportunity, against the world. Yet our whole annual make of butter would not supply London's wants for half a day (vide statistics in Insurance and Finance Journal of June 1st and London Gazette for September and October). Nor can all our dairy factories in one year make enough cheese to keep up with the demand in London during four days. Surely we have, still unproductive, vast tracts of land fully equal to that already being grazed. What is wanted but capital and practical farmers and graziers to quadruple our output and to make our dairy products command the top prices at Home? If "Discretion" can project any practical scheme to achieve these ends, less costly and more efficient than a New Zealand Exhibition in Loudon, with exhibits to attract attention, working dairies to serve as illustrations, a Government intelligence bureau to secure the sale or lease of our lands, an efficient and well-equipped lecturer upon New Zealand, a New Zealand restaurant where the ablest French chef that money can procure will serve up nothing but New Zealand goods in the very best style—if he can beat this colossal cheap advertisement, let him do it, and I for one will heartily support him.
Finally, that M. Jules Joubert, who proposed the scheme, should be entrusted with its execution is only natural, for he has demonstrated that he can do what no colonial Government has yet been successful in doing—he can fun exhibitions at a profit.—I am, &c.
Wm. Freeman Kitchen.