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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Mr Joubert's Scheme. To the Editor

Mr Joubert's Scheme. To the Editor.

Sir,—It would be a thousand pities if the suggestion which emanated with Mr Joubert—that an exhibition of New Zealand manufactures and products be held in London under the sanction, and with the aid of, the Colonial Government—should be allowed to lapse for want of a careful analysis as to what would be the practical results of such an enterprise.

It is doubtless admitted that at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition New Zealand took anything but the important place in that representation which she was capable of doing, and I would unhesitatingly assert that an exhibition such as Mr Joubert suggests, with a minimum of risk and the surety of a maximum of practical result, cannot fail to commend itself to each colonist, after examination. It would appeal alike to the monied class and the mechanic, and do greater good than years of service of agents in the cause of imigration, and appeal to a more substantial class. The best result would be obtainable by the Exhibition being a New Zealand one pure and simple, without amalgamation of interests with any other page 14 colony or colonies. It would need powers to denude for the time being the contents of our museums, showrooms, and workshops in the interest of a high colonial cause.

We complain of our dairy interests and consignments not meeting with fair play; the same with our meat traffic, extending even to flax. Our cheese, butter, and meat are openly sold as the products of other countries, notably of Britain and America. It will establish the fact that an article bearing a New Zealand brand is equal to and superior in cases to the products of other countries.

It will tend to bring practically under the notice of shipowners and others the value of our coals for the supply of coaling stations in the Indian Ocean. It will aid the fruit industry. It will establish known information as to our New Zealand timbers, and with the kauri create a possible large demand for manufactures where absence of knots, etc.. is a great feature, as in the case of piano tops for subsequent ebonising; and with our woollens I believe that quite a demand was established during the Indian and Colonial Exhibition for the rugs of pure wool. But these are only sample cases of where a direct trade would be benefitted. New Zealand would undoubtedly reap a harvest from the establishment in such an exhibition of a systematised land bureau, conducted by a government officer well acquainted with all the Crown lands open for settlement, who could render information upon the subject, supported by large photographs of the districts and general scenery, and accept applications from intending settlers under any of the Land Settlement Acts who could assure them of the land they select being reserved pending their taking possession. This office would do more real good in a practical immigration cause than lecturers who would induce people to emigrate upon uncertainties. And those with means would feel assurance in determining to throw in their lot with those of this colony when they had the opportunity of negotiating for the land before leaving England, and with the surroundings and proofs of fertility which the Exhibition would be capable of illustrating. For this cause alone—the cause of a practical immigration and land settlement scheme, inducing an influx of vigorous colonists—Mr Joubert's scheme stands with glowing recommendations.

I would contend that such an Exhibition could be established and conducted with little or no subsequent loss so far as the immediate £ s. d. is concerned, and certainly with a happy result out of all proportion to the expense incurred. I suggest that the opinion of each member of the Legislature be obtained, and it would then be as certainable what probability there would be of the scheme being matured and accomplished if brought before the House during the coming session.—I am, etc.,

T. O. Kelsey.