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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45

Imports and Exports

Imports and Exports.

The following table exhibits the rapid growth of the import and export trade of New Zealand, from the date of the colony being established to 1878, inclusive—
Period. Imports. Exports, the Produce of the Colony.
£ £
1841-1845, average for 4 years 139,000 33,000
1845-1849 average for 5 years 193,000 77,000
1853-1855 average for 3 years 766,000 330,000
1856-1860 average for 5 years 1,188,000 438,000
1861-1865 average for 5 years 5,352,000 2,718,000
1866-1870 average for 5 years 5,168,000 4,335,000
1871-1875 average for 5 years 6,367,000 5,276,000
1876-1877 average for 2 years 6,939,000 5,783,000
1878 8,755,663 6,015,525

The great bound exhibited in the above table, as taking place in the quinquennial period 1861-5, was caused by the gold discoveries. The first considerable export of this metal occurred in 1861, the value being £752,657, increasing in the following year to £1,591,389; and the year subsequent, 1863, to £2,431,723. A more than corresponding large increase intthe imports took place in the same period, due to the great influx of miners and immigrants from all parts of the world.

The above statistics speak for themselves, and need no comment of ours to endorse them. We might devote a large number of pages to the production of evidence in support of our thesis—that New Zealand is the most page 13 flourishing of all the Colonies—but we will content ourselves with the evidence of one more witness, and then dismiss this portion of our work. At a banquet given to Judge Bathgate, in Dunedin, previous to his departure on a visit to the old country, that gentleman, in the course of an eloquent speech made the following remarks:

"I am talking to educated and intelligent men, that are able to weigh thoroughly every word that I shall say. Now, there are three facts I think of very great importance. You will have noticed in the letter I read the question, Is the climate healthy? Well, I should like to see the man that would stand up before me and say anything against the climate we live in.—(Cheers.) I can give you the opinion based upon my own experience. It is this: that a man may live in Britain, and transact business, but our atmosphere is such that instead of merely living in New Zealand, we enjoy life. The principal fact I mean to lay down is of the healthiness of our climate. I need not quote Dr. Thomson, who has shown from the records of the military stations in New Zealand that it is the healthiest station all over the world—far more healthy than Britain. Our death-rate to the 1000 is, I think, 12 and a fraction, while in Britain it is 22. Then, upon the other side, the birth-rate is 115, while in the old country it is only 36; so that we not only live longer, but we multiply and increase at a much higher rate. Then, as to the fertility of the fields, I quite believe there are doubters amongst us. I know it is the same now as in the time of the Apostles—' and some doubted.' There is always some cast of mind that cannot help doubting. It is its instinct, its idiosyncrasy. Now I will give you facts as to the fertility of our fields. Their fertility is something of which many of you have not the slightest idea. New Zealand as a grain growing country is the premier country of the world. I will give you the statistics to establish that—the comparative statement of the average yield of wheat per acre in the different countries specified—compiled from the official sources:—New Zealand, 31.5; Holland, 28.4; Great Britain, 27.5; Belgium, 20.3; Central Europe, 17; Tasmania, 16.4; Queensland, 16.4; Victoria, 15.5; California. 15; Egypt, 15; New South page 14 Wales, 14.7; France, 13; United States, 12.2; South Australia, 12 (I think this is overstated; it ought to be 8.7); Canada, 11; Natal, 10.8; Russia, 5.5. Now that is only one aspect showing the remarkable fertility of the soil of this Island, but it also shows you how commerce can be developed into large proportions and maintained and increased, because if we are far away from Home the large yield more than compensates by double for the distance we have to send our grain."

Of course in a work of this nature it is impossible to give more than a very brief outline of the Colony, its wealth, its commerce, its resources and its prospects. Those who desire to gain minute information respecting all the statistical details connected with New Zealand, should peruse Dr. Hector's Hand-Book of New Zealand. In that ably compiled publication will be found a perfect mine of useful and important knowledge, and the learned compiler deserves the best thanks of the colonists for his valuable work.

From the foregoing observations the intending tourist who never before has had the good fortune to visit this Colony, will be in a position to glean a fairly accurate idea of the country to which we cordially invite him.

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