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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76



Having many inquiries from Lancashire, at the first available moment I visited Manchester, Accrington, Stockport, Warrington, and surrounding districts, where I made known as widely as possible the objects of my mission.

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At the special invitation of his Lordship the Mayor of Manchester, I had the pleasure of attending a semi-public lunch in the Town Hall, where, in response to an invitation, I had the privilege and pleasure of briefly reviewing the history of the colony, pointing to the many advantages New Zealand offered to Britain's sons seeking a home beyond the seas. A suggestion was made by Mr. Bythel, the chairman of the Shipcanal Company, that New Zealand might, with advantage to its export trade in wool, frozen meat, tinned meats, butter, and cheese, consider the advisableness of developing closer trade relations with Lancashire and surrounding districts by way of the Ship-canal, which he claimed could serve the growing population (now numbering eight millions of people) more effectively than by the present system of shipment viâ London. Replying to this, I assured the meeting that the Government were always ready and willing to assist the settlers in New Zealand to find profitable outlets for their produce, and I ventured to recommend that whenever the Manchester people could place before you some definite workable scheme for submission to the Government you would be found ready and willing to assist in any movement that had for its object the improvement of the colony generally. I humbly suggested that if the advantages of the Ship-canal, so ably set forth by the various speakers, were placed before the trading communities in the outer world, such information would assist in accomplishing the end so much desired. The example already set by the Wholesale Co-operative Society of Manchester in sending their delegates to New Zealand might be followed in the joint interests of the Ship-canal and Corporation.

I assured the meeting that, as New Zealand had chosen a Lancashire man as Premier of the colony, they could rest assured the Right Hon. E. J. Seddon would have the fullest sympathy with any proposal from his native land.

It is with pleasure I refer to the accompanying cutting from the Manchester Guardian of the 23rd instant, referring to the appointment of a special committee now visiting Canada in the joint interests of the Manchester Corporation and the Ship-canal Company. I also understand that it is not improbable that a similar committee will be appointed to visit New Zealand.