(from the 'Mark Lane Express')
(Continued from our Last.)
The repeal of the duty upon wool gave a little zest to the present sales.
It is stated upon good authority thus --
"We are decidedly of opinion that the repeal of the foreign wool duty has,
by giving increased confidence to the manufacturers, had its due influence
in the improved tone given to the market; and so far from colonial being
injured by the repeal, that it will prove an eventual benefit to every
branch of trade."
The July sales brought forward not less than 13,890 bales of Australian
wools. The prices obtained were generally equal to those of June. As
respects the recent alteration in the duty on foreign wools, a trade
circular states --
"We are decidedly of opinion that the repeal of the duty will prove
advantageous to all."
In the recent arrivals from Australia there are a few most interesting items
of intelligence to agriculturists at home, whether flockmasters or others
connected with the culture of the soil. It is said in a communication
before us --
"The Australian colonies are now producing so much fine wool, that the price
of that article in England is not much more than half what it was twenty
years ago. This must be admitted to be a great boon to the manufacturing
interest of this country; in fact, it is a great national benefit, even
though it comes from a convict colony, or rather a colony that has been so.
"Persons here, who have sons to provide for, come to me often inquiring what
prospects there are in New South Wales for young men going there with
moderate capital ? The inquiry has lately been made with much doubt and
hesitation, owing to the embarrassments which have latterly overtaken the
colony. The question cannot be answered shortly, for reasons which I shall
"If English shepherds can be got at £24 per annum, or if Indian shepherds be
allowed to be imported into the colony, there is no doubt whatever but that
sheep would pay a good return, either depasturing on government land, or on
land purchased from government at 5s. or even 10s. per acre, to the extent
of an acre for each sheep proposed to be kept on it; i.e. provided such
land (as is almost always the case) have a good back run.
If these data be granted, there is no doubt in the case. The wool would pay
the current expenses of the establishment; I mean all the expenses except
the interest on the capital invested in sheep, land, buildings, horses,
bullocks, and everything else required on setting up an establishment of the
kind; much of this establishment would cost but comparatively little at
present; bullocks not broken into the yoke, which were lately worth from
£10 to £14, are now to be got at £2 ! and horses which were lately worth
from £45 to £60, are now to be got at £16 to £20.
Suppose, then, a farmer should be moderately fortunate, he would at the end
of seven years have a flock of upwards of 100,000 sheep; and suppose them
to be worth 8s. each, the value of his flock would be £40,000. This is not
a bad return in seven years, without taking into consideration at all the
value of his cattle, horses, buildings, &c.
"It may be said that my statement is imaginary, the increase incredible; my
reply is, the increase stated is founded on experience; it might, in short,
be a great deal more."
"It may be remarked, too, with perhaps greater force, that at the end of
seven years sheep will not be worth 8s. This is a matter that cannot now be
settled to demonstration; but I confess I see little chance of their being
below that figure, and much of their being greatly above that. The weathers
generally feed to upwards of 60 lbs. neat meat. I have lately seen
grass-fed mutton, that had been cured by the patent air-exhausting curing
machine, and had been a voyage to the West Indies and back; the fat was
still white, and the meat altogether much superior, both in taste and
appearance, to salt meat in general. If the farmers in New South Wales get
a few of these machines, cure part of their meat, and send it to the
Mauritius, and elsewhere, they will be very unfortunate if they cannot get a
return for it equal to 2d. per lb. prime cost, which would be equal to 10s.
per head for weathers.
The following remarks, quoted from our Sydney contemporary, are german to
the subject above given --
COMPETITION OF AUSTRALIAN WITH GERMAN WOOLS.
"the eventually beneficial competition of Australian with German wools, long
foretold by the father of our colonial wool-growers, the late J. MACARTHEY,
seems now to be taking place upon a considerable scale. It appears, from the
information referred to, that a number of the small German sheep-owners are
reduced to a state of bankruptcy, and that the large flock-masters are
extensively curtailing their establishments. The immediate causes of this
occurrence seems to have been, that by reason of the scarcity of food, and
the costliness of bringing the wool to market in a state fit to compete with
the Australian produce, sheep were beginning to be practically found not to
pay the grower.
Hence it was confidentially calculated, that in the ensuing season the
German wool crop would have fallen off at least one fourth, the growers not
being able to carry on their operations for want of capital. It is further
represented that the west of England manufacturers and clothiers have been,
and are still manifesting a further inclination to be large purchasers of
Australian wool. They are rapidly discovering the superiority of our raw
material, and thus the extention and competition in the home market is
placed beyond a doubt.
"When it is recollected, in addition, that in consequence of the settlements
of political disputes between Great Britain and the United States, the
American market is rapidly reverting to its ordinary state as regards
demand, rational anticipations of advantage may be Entertained. It is
difficult, moreover, to fix a limit to the amount of good that may accrue to
us from the opening of the China trade, in the matters of British fine
"Upon the whole, we may safely look to a decided advance in the price of
Australian wools, a prospect which, pleasing at all times, is most
consolatory in the present condition of the colony."