[Image of page 351]
OTAGO is the most southerly settlement in New Zealand; and, including the Bluff, or port of Invercargill, (to which we shall presently allude) contains a larger quantity of land than any other province in the colony. The rain here being more frequent, and the cold greater, the climate in our opinion, is inferior to that of any of the other settlements. Such, however, may not be considered objections by those who have been accustomed to the bleak winds and drizzling rains of Scotland, from which country the majority of the Otago settlers have been drafted.
Within a large but inconvenient harbor, close to the small but unimportant village of Port Chalmers, all vessels of any importance are compelled to anchor, there not being a sufficient depth of water for them to approach nearer the town of Dunedin, the capital of the province. This town is nine miles from the port, and all goods have to be conveyed thither in small boats or lighters.
[Image of page 352]
The social condition of Dunedin, the capital of Otago--to what shall we compare it? In the present civilized state of society, the inhabitants of that town puzzle us to find any class in any country with whom to institute a comparison. Of the human kind, we know of no body of a similar character; and, for want of a better simile, we will compare the town to a fenced inclosure or large ring, within which a number of unhappy and spiteful creatures are like so many strange cats, that constantly endeavour to tear out each other's eyes. To avoid the daily encounter of the antagonists, the few respectable wanderers and peaceably disposed of the group, who might have been unconsciously drawn into the social turmoil, have only one way of escape, viz. --to leap the barrier, and fly the province for another, or to go into the interior of their own till something approaching to harmony shall reign in the discontented city.
Seriously, the political, theological, and social animosities displayed by the inhabitants of Dunedin towards each other baffles description. Some years since when the unhappy differences arose in the Scotch Kirk, a tour through Scotland made us unwilling spectators of the agitated state of that part of the United Kingdom. But bad as it was, the virulence of the north was of a mild character compared with that by which the majority of the Otago settlers are at present incited--a
[Image of page 353]
virulence that turns the sanctity of their professed Christianity into ridicule, and makes religion a subject of discussion for arousing the worst passions of man, instead of a consecrated medium for conveying evidence of a placid submission to the will of a superior Being.
By a few Scotchmen of contracted minds, possessing little beyond a local knowledge of one part of their own country, and less of mankind generally, the province of Otago was selected as a class settlement, i.e. --a settlement in which only those of the same country, and holding the same religious faith as the original settlers are admitted, or entitled to admittance on equal terms. But at the outset, and at the foundation of Otago, there was an attempt, as we are informed, to make the exclusive law still more stringent and exclusive; and the natives and immigrants from one part of Scotland only were to be deemed eligible for participation in the imaginary benefits which, in a free country, subject to British rule, a small band of sectarians supposed they had power to confer.
On the failure of an undertaking the projectors frequently attribute the want of success to other than the real cause. In a paper recently published in Otago, with a few statistics, &c, of the province (which we will copy without abridgment) the authorities state that " the object of the original association was not to confine colonization to any particular religious denomination." Unable to
[Image of page 354]
effect their desired end, they deny having had any such end to effect, although their friends and others do not attempt to disguise the matter. Here is the first sentence descriptive of the province by Mr. Earp, whose work was published soon after the foundation of the settlement:--
"The Otago settlement, the most, southerly of those at present established in New Zealand, is the first of what have been termed "class settlements;" i.e., such as are composed, at the commencement at least, of men of the same country, holding the same religious faith, and observing similar social customs."
The failure of the undertaking has only tended to kindle that bitter and unconquerable spirit of ill will which the old hands invariably display both towards Englishmen and a few liberal minded Scotch settlers, who, on the principle of religious and commercial freedom, opposed from the first the proceedings of their narrow minded countrymen. We need not travel far for evidence of the party spirit alluded to, or the length to which it is sometimes carried. On our arrival in Dunedin, a letter, of which the following is a copy, was addressed and forwarded to the Superintendent of the province:--
"Royal Hotel, 14th January, 1856.
"I am at present compiling a work on the rise and progress of New Zealand; for confirmation of this fact, I beg to refer you to his excellency the Governor, to whom I
[Image of page 355]
have been introduced by a letter from the English Government.
"If you will favour me with the name of some gentleman (for your own time will, no doubt, be fully occupied previous to the departure of the steamer), who can furnish me with any information that would be likely to interest the English public, and benefit the province of which you are the head, you will much oblige
"Your obedient servant,
(The writer's name in full.)
"His Honor the Superintendent."
Although this epistle was considered sufficiently deferential to merit some sort of notice, it failed to command a reply. The reason is obvious. The writer was an Englishman, and belonged to a country from which an importation of live stock was not deemed desirable, as it would not, as a matter of course, be found to amalgamate with, or add to the strength of the dominant party. Had the writer applied for information for a certain class of the Scotch instead of the English public, all the Mc'Neddies by whom a crotchetty superintendent and master--now in his dotage--is surrounded, would have responded to the call.
"We should indeed be sorry to confound the party spirit of those Sectarians who retard the advancement of their province, with the more enlightened and liberal policy of other settlers, who are evidently striving for the party liberation and
[Image of page 356]
commercial expansion of an extensive and promising settlement. We have no prejudice either for country or creed. Some of our best and dearest friends are Scotchmen; and we consider the Scotch, as a people, equal in every respect to any other community. But there are certain hypocritical clanish bigots--the settlers in Otago to wit--who merit and receive from the liberal minded of their own country a more severe and unqualified condemnation than we have, through a sense of duty, been compelled to pronounce. Even Otago may boast of its public censors. On hearing a gentleman in that province condemn the proceedings of his own countrymen, we politely reminded him that he was himself a Scotchman. "Yes," returned our respondent, "but, thank God, not an Otago Scotchman!" Enough. In pity, not unmixed with contempt, we dismiss the Otago Scotchmen--but not their province.
Otago, as we previously stated, contains a larger quantity of land than any other settlement in New Zealand; and although the climate is not so mild and agreeable as the more northern parts of the colony, the province, as an agricultural and pastoral district, cannot eventually fail to become an important one. The following statistics and land regulations, from a paper recently published by the authorities, will furnish the present position of the province, while the succeeding review from
[Image of page 357]
the local newspaper will show the progress made by the settlement since its foundation.
"The Scotch colony of Otago was founded in 1848 by the New Zealand Company, in conjunction with an Association of Lay Members of the Free Church of Scotland. Under the auspices of this association, the foundation has been laid of an orderly and industrious community. The object of the Association was not to confine its colonization to any one particular religious denomination, but to secure a careful selection of emigrants, and to provide for their religious and educational wants at the outset. The success of their efforts will be best understood on reference to the statistics annexed. The colony having now been fairly set a-going, the functions of the Association have ceased, as being no longer necessary.
"The province has a surface of above 16,000,000 acres --the whole of it acquired from the natives, whose number is only 633 souls (viz., 348 males, and 285 females,) and who, in small and widely separate parties, are in a state of peaceful progression upon lands that were reserved by themselves when they sold to the Crown, and which reserves amount in the whole province to about 16,000 acres.
"Land sales are fixed at the lowest price of 10s. per acre, but with conditions, for the purpose of excluding monopoly.
"All purchasers, from least to greatest, are on the same footing of right and freedom of choice.
"The low price of 10s. per acre leaving nothing for public improvements, roads will have to be made by means of an adequate land tax.
"Lands not otherwise required are appropriated for cattle runs upon leases of fourteen years.
"The whole administration of land is at the hands of a Waste Land Board, whose proceedings are open to the public.
[Image of page 358]
"The province is governed, according to the New Zealand Constitution Act, by a Superintendent and Provincial Council--all of them elected by the people.
"The climate is temperate and remarkably healthy; free from draughts or anything like excessive summer heats.
"The following statistics of the Province of Otago, New Zealand, are taken from the Report of P. Proudfoot, Esq., Commissioner of Crown Lands:
"Area of province from 16,000,000 to 20,000,000 acres.
"Land sold, about 38, 222 acres.
"Runs for depasturing purposes, one hundred and twenty-four applications. Licenses granted for depasturage purposes, seventy-three applications.
"Estimated extent of country granted under above licenses, 1,190,360 acres."
[Image of page 359]
EUROPEAN POPULATION OF THE PROVINCE OF OTAGO. --December 1854.
EUROPEAN POPULATION OF THE PROVINCE OF OTAGO.
[TEXT IN TABLE: Dunedin, Port Chalmers, Taieri Village and Waihola, Inch Clutha, Clutha River to Popotunoa, North of Port Chalmers,
Rev. Thomas Burns, of the Otago Presbytery. Rev. J. A. Fen ion, Church of England. N.B. --A second Minister in connection with the Otago Presbytery is expected Rev. William Will, of the Otago Presbytery, whose visits are received by all, and his ministrations accepted (Roman Catholics of course excepted, though in neighbourly harmony), and the funds are also contributed to in common with the mass of the people.
Rev. William Bannerman, of the Otago Presbytery, who preaches on consecutive Sundays in each of three districts. All receive his visits, and contribute in one shape or other to the expenses; and all attend his ministry, except the Roman Catholics, who are in neighbourly harmony with their fellow settlers
* Of this number 44 are half-castes. The families of this district, with nine exceptions, are squatters of old standing. A German Missionary (the Rev. J. F. H. Wohlers) is stationed at Ruapuke, having a general supervision of this district and Stewart's Island.
The people of these districts have applied to the Otago Presbytery for a Minister, and made satisfactory arrangement for his support. The Minister has been sent for accordingly. A Wesleyan Missionary (the Rev. W. Kirk) takes charge of natives only at Waikouaiti, Moeraki, Waitaki, Purakanui, and Otakou.]
[Image of page 360]
RETURN OF CULTIVATIONS AND LIVE STOCK IN THE PROVINCE OF OTAGO, NEW ZEALAND,
RETURN OF CULTIVATIONS AND LIVE STOCK IN THE PROVINCE OF OTAGO
[Wheat, Oats, Barley, Potatoes, Fallow, Hay, Pasturage, Gardens, Fenced but not cultivated, Horses, Horned cattle, Sheep, Goats, Rye Grass]
SEPTEMBER 25th, 1855. --10,269 Acres have been taken up since April last under the new Regulations, by 257 several parties, all on the spot. Much of this land is now under the plough, and preliminary operations for the whole of it are. in full activity. Resident Colonists being thus supplied for the extension of their cultivations, the increase upon the above Return for 1854 is already large. But new Colonists (from Australia in the first place) are also beginning arrive and supply themselves on the same terms.
[Image of page 361]
FROM THE "OTAGO WITNESS."
Dunedin, Saturday, March 29th, 1856.
"The eighth year of our existence as a colony has just closed, and many are the changes we have witnessed. In truth it does appear that the world progresses at a railroad pace, and even in this, the most remote portion of the British Empire, somewhat of the onward progress begins to be felt. We say begins, for during the first five years of our existence we seemed scarcely to advance at all. At a great distance from the home country, unsupported by Government aid, unassisted by powerful private patronage like our neighbours, almost unknown, neglected, if not despised--our earlier days were days of struggle. For the first two or three years Dunedin made rapid progress, and it was not unusual to hear exclamations of surprise from those who returned to the settlement after a brief absence. Since that period the town has been almost stationary, and the onward progress has been visible in the rural and pastoral districts. But notwithstanding the fact that the extent of the town has not greatly progressed, the amount of business done, and being done, in the town has augmented, and is augmenting, at a rapid pace, giving an unmistakeable evidence of the prosperity and extent of productive efforts in the real work of colonization--the subduing of the wilderness.
ABSTRACT OF THE VALUE OF THE IMPORTS, EXPORTS, AND CUSTOMS REVENUE FOR THE QUARTER ENDING 31ST MARCH, 1856.
Imports. Exports. Revenue.
£22,648 £8907 £1278
"The amount of shipping entered inwards and outwards has materially increased.
[Image of page 362]
The subjoined table of the imports and exports for the last eight years, shews the gradual and satisfactory increase of trade:--
ABSTRACT OF THE VALUE OF IMPORTS AND EXPORTS, and of the CUSTOMS REVENUE, for the province of Otago, in each year, from the establishment of Customs in May, 1848, to 31st December, 1855.
[OTAGO: IMPORTS AND EXPORTS]
"The returns of immigration and emigration for the last year shew a balance of immigration of 223 souls, and for the first quarter of the present year, 275 souls, making an increase of the population from this source of 498 souls. Unfortunately we have no statistics of the extent of land under cultivation, or of the increase of stock since last year; but from the quantity of land sold during the last twelve months (since the reduction in price), amounting to about 16,000 acres, and which has been wholly purchased by bona fide colonists, we have every reason to believe that a very considerable breadth of land has been brought under cultivation.
"The amount of stock at the average rate of increase upon the ascertained quantity last year is about the numbers stated in the following table:--
Cattle, Sheep, Horses.
"From the foregoing statement it will appear that the progress of the province of Otago has been gradually acce-
[Image of page 363]
lerating. The imports have greatly increased, and the exports have made strides during the last year exceeding the exports of the whole of the previous seven years; and when we take into consideration the amount of land sold, and the great extent of country we have yet for sale, we cannot but feel that there is a glorious future before us. "
Is a large district in a southerly direction, in the province of Otago. There is an excellent harbor here, and the port, which was publicly proclaimed during our stay in Otago, and named by the Governor "Invercargill," is about 120 miles south of Port Chalmers, or the town of Dunedin, the capital of Otago. We had not an opportunity of visiting this district, but we have good authority for stating that it contains a large tract of excellent land, available both for agricultural and pastoral purposes. When a township shall be formed near the port, and so soon as sheep owners and farmers become located here, and gather from the soil the periodical riches that await manual labor and commercial enterprise, this will no doubt become an important place in the southern part of New Zealand. It matters but little what part of the colony is selected by that immigrant who is determined to keep himself aloof from the political and social broils that agitate certain settlements; and we quite agree with the following closing sentence on the subject from "Chambers's Papers for the People":--
[Image of page 364]
"Whether, therefore, he choose Wellington, Nelson, Otago, Auckland, or Canterbury as the field of his enterprise, the emigrant will find in New Zealand all the materials which industry can desire to work upon. He will enjoy a fine climate, a ready soil; a land where coal, iron, copper, stone, and wood are in abundance; where sweet, pure, wholesome water is plentiful; where corn, and all other kinds of grain, may easily be raised in splendid crops; where his labor may be well rewarded; where he will have few taxes to pay, and few of the unnatural restraints imposed by our old society to observe. Shortly, doubtless, he will be admitted to a share in those free institutions which are the peculiar pride of the British people; and thus, with every natural aid to his energies, he may enjoy independence in a region which of all others on the face of the earth, most nearly resembles his parent country."
THE BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND
As a noble, unselfish, and highly gifted member of the human race, is one of the most remarkable men not only in this, but in any other colony, country, or community. The versatility of his talent is only exceeded by the excessive toil, daily application, and personal endurance by which that talent is applied and regulated for the present and future welfare of his scattered flock. The zeal thus displayed in the constant exercise of his love for the benefit of others, makes him forgetful of his duty to himself; for by taxing his physical powers beyond their means of endurance, the
[Image of page 365]
robust form, if not the health, of a fine constitution occasionally betrays symptoms of distress.
A biography of Bishop Selwyn, however, is alike out of our province and our power. But how can we refer to any human source from whence the colony has been benefitted, or to deeds by which good has been accomplished, without reference to the author? And never was more done to extinguish the savage customs, allay the bad passions, and improve the social, moral, and mental condition of a native race, than what has been accomplished among the Maori tribes of New Zealand by the individual exertions of the right reverend and learned divine in question. A man who refused the lucrative see of Sydney with no other hope or expectation than that his gratuitous and unrewarded labors might effect more good in a country where much had already been effected by him; --a prelate who travels on foot and unattended from one end of the colony to the other, penetrating uninhabited forests, swimming rivers, and preaching the Gospel to the local tribes in their own native tongue; --a man who not only advocates self denial in others, but who sets a noble example of it in himself; -- such a man is surely worthy of note--note by a higher authority and by a more able pen than ours.
Should we not exceed our duty in referring to so grave a subject, we would suggest that a
[Image of page 366]
page from the life of Bishop Selwyn might be copied, or perhaps studied, with profit, by a few right reverend prelates residing in a part of the world the opposite to that of New Zealand.
Conjointly with Bishop Selwyn, and as a worthy co-patriot in the public weal of New Zealand, may be named Chief Justice Martin, a gentleman whose varied knowledge and strict impartiality in his public character, and whose benevolence, gentle demeanor, and affability in private life, fully entitle him to the high rank he has obtained in the country, and to the highest honor man can obtain from his fellow men, viz. --public respect won by equity, and private love secured without favor. In a colony like New Zealand, where even families and friends are divided and subdivided by political elements, it is gratifying to learn that the Bishop and Chief Justice merit and possess the respect of all.
That his honor the Judge, with renewed strength and vigour, and accompanied by his amiable lady, may soon return to New Zealand, cannot fail to be the wish of all who have the well-being of the colony at heart.
[Image of page 367]
THE GOVERNOR OF NEW ZEALAND.
A celebrated writer once observed--"a momentary glance will enable me to take stock of an individual." Without arrogating to ourselves the knowledge or keen perception of the learned author in question, it will only be necessary to remark that we are favorably impressed with the appearance and manner of Colonel Gore Browne, K.C.B., the newly appointed Governor of New Zealand. As a gentleman, we can aver from our own personal knowledge, he is all that could be desired by the most critical observer. As a Governor, the eminent statesmen of the respective provinces will in due course pass judgment on him. Should he obtain a favorable verdict from so many contrary elements, he will add to the character of a gentleman that of a marvellous ruler--in having obtained under his administration a concord of sweet voices that never yet graced the most praiseworthy efforts of any predecessor. His task is not an easy one. We wish him well in the impartial exercise of a somewhat onerous duty; and with a hope that favorable appearances may lead to the enlightened policy which we imagine will be persued by his Excellency, we will merely say -- esto quod esse videris.
[Image of page 368]
In closing the complex task imposed by our antipodal mission, a brief review of the feeble, but--to the extent of the writer's ability--faithful sketches in the preceding pages, affords confirmatory evidence of the difficulty, if not of the impossibility, of supplying in so limited a space, more than a mere outline of the subject treated therein. A retrospective and momentary glance at the vastness of the Australian continent, and the strange compound of mind and matter revealed in its early history, would appear again, as at first, almost to paralyze the pen and bewilder the imagination; while reflection on such mingled matter tends only to a confusion of ideas, symbolical of the varied difficulties encountered in our endeavour to render a vivid and condensed illustration--on a few sheets of paper--of a country and a community composed of so many elements, and pregnant with so much wealth and wickedness.
As a work of reference, however, in which a rough draft, rather than a highly-finished picture
[Image of page 369]
of the places and people described, may afford useful information to the intending emigrant, this volume will represent, though somewhat crudely, the author's original design. It remains for the historian--a resident native, not a foreigner--to record the late extraordinary fleet of Australian events, and to present the public with a faithful and. minute exposition both of the cause and effects of the sudden rise and population of a country, for which the historical annals of British dependencies may be searched in vain for a parallel.
To a reflective mind what infinite matter for opposite emotions--for pain and pleasure, hope and despair--does this Australian drama of five years disclose! The scene, the action, and the actors, would have puzzled the learned philosopher, as they astonished the humble spectator. In knowledge of mankind we confess ourselves to have been merely in infancy previous to witnessing the representation of this great commercial yet, in other respects, fearful spectacle of the nineteenth century. Conscious of the vice and virtue to be found in settled and civilised communities-- acquainted with the conventional forms of polite society, and aware of the coarse exhibitions peculiar to the opposite class, we were totally unprepared for those painful realities in human nature which the dawn of colonial wisdom presented to our astonished vision. If, as the moral tells us, "from evil good may arise," we will indulge the
[Image of page 370]
hope that others, with ourselves, may profit by the light of colonial experience.
Without doubt, the primary cause of the concentration in one part of the Australian continent of so many bad characters, and the great amount of vice and immorality consequent thereon, may be traced to the gold discovery, which, in the words of a Reverend Divine, "has proved both a benefit and a curse to the country." We believe, however, that this, as every other great event or important change in the world, has been wisely ordered for some purpose beyond the knowledge or calculations of the human mind. The well-disposed and more respectable members of the Australian community will, no doubt, correct many of the monster crimes of the baser half, so soon as a more settled state of society, and just laws for the protection of commerce, shall aid the correction.
Some of the mercantile gamblers and commercial swindlers who have given a bad name to Australia have already found that their dishonest practices only serve them for a season, and that the actors, once known by their friends on the opposite side, are not again trusted.
Haters of hypocrisy or any and every outward show in which there is a want of sincerity, we at the same time entertain a sincere conviction that those persons who are utterly regardless of their duty to God and man cannot finally prosper--even in this world. The acquisition or retention of
[Image of page 371]
wealth by dishonest means does not necessarily insure its enjoyment to the possessors. The frailty of human nature will occasionally give place to a consciousness of guilt that must assuredly keep from its bondmen that unalloyed enjoyment of life which is the very height and essence of prosperity. Let it not be supposed that we are qualified or wish to make a profession of honesty ourselves, or to define its rules of action for the guidance of others. Men may express a sincere regard for good qualities although they do not possess them. Shakspeare says, "assume a virtue if you have it not." That, however, is a piece of advice on the part of the great poet which we either misinterpret or disapprove. Sinful persons may inwardly regret what they are, without adding to their offences by outwardly assuming what they are not. Though far, very far, from what we ought to be, we nevertheless believe that true prosperity proceeds alone from the Great Giver of all good, and we pity rather than condemn those who hope for any real happiness without such faith.
In conclusion, however, we will venture a few words of advice, --not to colonial adepts, but to those of our young friends on our own side the globe, who are at present unskilled in the dark ways of the world--to those who in the spring of life may have been deprived of a father's aid, or a mother's care, and who contemplate leaving their own for a distant country, in the hope of improving
[Image of page 372]
or making either a position or a fortune. In earnest and respectful sincerity, we advise such young persons not to follow the example of the majority of those who have preceded them, by regarding dishonesty as a virtue rather than as a vice. Be assured, young emigrants, before your departure from friends and home, that upright and fair dealing will finally prove triumphant, even in countries or colonies where the opposites prevail. In your commercial transactions, honesty will be found your best and most profitable bookkeeper, and will insure for you a balance on the right side of the ledger, even in your dealings with rogues. This is not a mere poetical fiction, but a palpable truth--a truth unaffected by the change and flight of ages, and confirmed by the history of nations as well as of men. Take this truth for your motto, and follow it, and you will prosper; disregard it, and failure, either in purse or peace of mind, will be the result. With faith for your bulwark, and truth for your guide, your bark will bear you with honor and in safety through the storms and calms of life--
Though anchored firmly on your native strand,
You seek for fortune in your father-land,
Or, in the writer's track, with sails unfurl'd,
You breast the waves and journey round the world; --
Whate'er your course--whatever storms attend, --
In honesty you'll find a faithful friend.
And whether on sea or on land, you will derive the great satisfaction of being able to reflect on
[Image of page 373]
your past career without producing the pain which would arise from such reflection, by the adoption of an opposite course. And the pleasure thus derived from the past will stimulate you to increased exertion and higher honors in the future, in which you will enjoy, as the just reward of your own labors, that blossom of prosperity here that will ripen into the fruit of happiness hereafter.
Note. --The above remarks are only partially applicable to New Zealand, as there is probably less crime in that colony, by two-thirds, than either in Australia or Tasmania.
[Image of page 374]
NEW ZEALAND IMPORT DUTIES.
FIXED JULY 3, 1851.
DUTY. £ s. d.
Agricultural Implements, not otherwise described, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Ale, Porter, and Beer of all sorts, in casks, per gallon. 0 0 4
In bottle, per dozen, of two gallons....0 1 0
Alkali-Pot and Pearl Ash, per cwt.........0 2 4
Soda, per cwt....................0 2 4
Alum, for every £100 value........10 0 0
Animals, (living) .....................Free.
Apothecary Wares, not otherwise described, for every £100 value...............10 0 0
Apparel, not otherwise described, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Arms and Ammunition--
Ordnance of brass or iron, Muskets, Fowling Pieces, Pistols, Gunpowder, and Percussion Caps, (importation prohibited, except under license from the Government,) for every £100 value........10 0 0
Arrowroot, per cwt..........0 3 6
Arsenic, for every £100 value..............10 0 0
Artificial Flowers, for every £100 value..........10 0 0
Bacon and Hams, per cwt.................0 2 0
Baggage of Passengers................Free.
Gunny bags, per dozen....................0 0 6
Corn Sacks, per dozen .......................0 1 0
Bark, for every £100 value......................10 0 0
" " per tierce.........................0 6 0
" " per barrel........................0 4 0
[Image of page 375]
£ s. d.
Blankets (see Woollens)
Blacking, for every £100 value..............10 0 0
Blocks, for ships' rigging, and Dead Eyes .......Free.
Books, Printed, not being Account Books.........Free.
Account Books, for every £100 value..........10 0 0
Boots and Shoes--
Boots (Wellington and other long), per dozen pair..0 8 0
Half Boots, per dozen pair ...................0 4 0
Shoes, and Women's Boots and Shoes, per doz. pair...0 3 0
Children's Boots and Shoes, per dozen pair.......0 2 0
Bran and Pollard, per bushel ....................0 0 1
Brass Manufactures, of all sorts, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Bread and Biscuit .............................Free.
Bricks, Bath and Flanders, per 100................ 0 2 0
" Fire and other, per 1000 .................0 3 0
Bottles, Glass and Stone, (empty) per dozen.........0 0 1
Butter, per lb................................0 0 1
Cabinet and Upholstery Wares, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Cocoa Nut, Palm, Spermaceti, Stearine, and Wax, per cwt....................0 14 0
" Tallow, per cwt. ........................ 0 4 8
Canvas Duck, per bolt..........................0 3 0
Canes and Sticks, for every £100 value. ...........10 0 0
Cloth, per dozen.......................0 2 0
Woollen, per dozen.....................0 0 8
Carpeting, (see Woollens)
Carraway Seeds, per lb.......................0 0 1
Carts and Waggons, for every £100 value.......10 0 0
Carriage Wheels of all sorts, for every £100 value..10 0 0
Casks (see Wood)
Cement, Roman, per barrel....................0 2 6
Chalk, per ton..............................0 2 0
Charcoal, Animal and Vegetable, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Cheese, per cwt...............................0 4 8
[Image of page 376]
£ s. d.
Chocolate and Cocoa, per lb..................0 0 1
Cycler and Perry, in bottles, per dozen of two gallons...0 13
Clocks and Watches, for every £ 100 value........ 10 0 0
Coal Pitch and Tar.........................Free.
Confectionery, for every £100 value............ 10 0 0
Copper and Composition, Sheathing, Nails and Bolts.. Free.
" Wrought of other sorts, per lb............. 0 0 1
Cordage and Cables............................. Free.
Coffee, per cwt...............................0 4 8
Corks, for bottling, per gross.................. 0 0 3
Corn, Grain, Meal, Flour--
Barley, per bushel............................ 0 0 4
" Hulled, (see Pearl and Scotch Barley)
Barley Meal................................ Free.
" Malt, per bushel...................... 0 0 8
Beans, per bushel............................. 0 0 8
Oats, per bushel.............................. 0 0 4
Oats, Hulled (see Groats or Grits)
Oatmeal .................................... Free.
Peas, per bushel.............................. 0 0 8
" Split, per bushel......................... 0 1 3
" Flour .............................. Free.
Maize, per bushel ............................ 0 0 3
Calicoes and Cottons, white or plain, over 36 inches wide, per yard .......................0 0 0 3/4
" 36 inches and under, per yard ............ 0 0 0 1/2
" Printed, checked, stained, or dyed, wide, per yard .... 0 0
" Narrow, per yard........................ 0 0 0 1/2
Dimities, Ginghams, Nankeens, Damasks, Diapers, Quilting, per yard.........0 0 1
Cotton Shawls and Handkerchiefs, for every £100 value ..............10 0 0
Muslins, Cambrics, Lawns, Laces, Gauzes, Crapes, Muslin Shawls and Handkerchiefs, for every £100 value ..........10 0 0
Velvets, velverets, Velveteens, and Cords, per yard... 0 0 2
[Image of page 377]
£ s. d.
Fustians, Jeans, Jeanets, &c, per yard .......... 0 0 1
Counterpanes, each............................ 0 2 0
Bed Quilts, each............................. 0 0 6
Lace and Patent Net, for every £100 value........ 10 0 0
Hosiery, --Stockings, per dozen pair ............ 0 1 0
Of all sorts, for every £100 value...... 10 0 0
Tapes and Small Wares, for every £100 value...10 0 0
Cotton, for stitching or sewing, per lb............ 0 0 1 1/2
On Reels, per gross................... 0 0 1
Cotton Twist and Yarn, for every £100 value...... 10 0 0
Earthen and China Ware, for every £100 value.... 10 0 0
Engravings, for every £100 value................ 10 0 0
Fish, dried and pickled, per cwt................... 0 2 0
Fishing Tackle, including Nets, Lines, and Twines, for every £100 value .....10 0 0
Fruit, Apples, Apricots, Peaches, Pears, &c, fresh per bushel ........0 1 8
" Dried, per lb.................... 0 0 0 1/2
" Almonds, per lb...................... 0 0 O 1/2
" Shelled, per lb............................ 0 0 1 1/2
" Currants, Raisins, Dates, Nuts, Walnuts, Filberts, Figs, and Prunes, dried, per lb...... 0 0 1
" Oranges, Limes, and Lemons, fresh, per dozen. 0 0 2
Glass, Crown and Sheet, per 100 feet ............
Glasses, Looking and Mirrors, for every £100 value..10 0 0
Glue, per lb................................... 0 0 0 1/2
Groats, or Grits, per cwt......................... 0 2 4
Haberdashery & Millinery, not otherwise described, for every £100 value............10 0 0
Hardware and Cutlery, not otherwise described, for every £100 value.............10 0 0
Beaver, Castor, and Silk, per dozen............. 0 12 0
Chip or Willow, Felt, Leather and Straw.......... 0 1 6
Hay, per ton................................... 0 8 0
Honey, per lb................................... 0 0 1
Hops, per lb................................... 0 0 1
[Image of page 378]
£ s. d.
Iron, Bar, Bolt, Rod, Sheet, and Hoop, per ton ....1 0 0
Nails, per cwt.............................. 0 3 0
Anchors, Chains, and Chain Cables, for ships.... Free.
Chain, per ton ............................ 2 0 0
Holloware, per ton.......................... 2 0 0
Not otherwise described, for every £100 value.. 10 0 0
Jewellery, not otherwise described, for every £100 value ...................................... 10 0 0
Juice of Lemons and Limes, per gallon ............ 0 0 9
Junk ....................................... Free.
Lard, per lb................................... 0 0 0 1/2
Lead, manufactured, per cwt......................
Lead, black, red, and white, per cwt................ 0 3 0
Leather, sole, per cwt........................... 0 7 0
" Kip and calf, per lb...................... 0 0 1 1/2
" Basils, per dozen........................ 0 0 9
" Kangaroo,,, ........................ 0 3 0
" All other sorts, for every £100 value ...... 10 0 0
Linen Manufactures, White or Plain, per yard ...... 0 0 1
Checked, Striped, Printed, Stained, or Dyed, per yd. 0 0 1
Cambrics and Lawns, per yard.................. 0 0 2
Damask and Diaper, per yard.................. 0 0 1 1/2
Sail Cloth and Sails ......................... Free.
Linen Manufactures, Ticking, per yard ............ 0 0 Of
" Hosiery, --Stockings, per dozen pairs ........ 0 1 0
All other sorts, for every £100 value.......... 10 0 0
" Tape and small wares, for every £100 value---- 10 0 0
" Thread, for stitching or sewing, per lb......... 0 0 2
" Yarn, per lb.............................. 0 0 1
Litharge of Lead, per cwt........................ 0 3 0
Macaroni and Vermicelli, per lb.................. 0 0 2
Machines, Thrashing, Winnowing, and Draining---- Free.
Machinery for Mills ............................ Free.
Matches, Lucifer or Congreve, per gross.......... 0 0 8
" Vestas, per gross ...................... 0 1 6
Molasses, per cwt............................... 0 1 2
Musical Instruments, for every £100 value.......... 10 0 0
Mustard, bulk, per lb............................ 0 0 1
" in lib. bottles, per dozen ................ 0 1 6
" in fib bottles, per dozen ................ 0 0 9
[Image of page 379]
£ s. d.
Mutton, salted, per cwt......................... 0 2 0
Oakum ...................................... Free.
Oil Cloth, per square yard.......................... 0 0 3
Oil, Cocoanut, Linseed, Rapeseed, Hempseed, Neats'-foot, per gallon.......0 0 4
Olive, Castor, and unenumerated vegetable, per gallon............ 0 2 0
" Blubber, and Bone, the produce of Fish, or creatures living in the sea ...........Free.
Oil of Turpentine, per gallon .................... 0 0 6
Paints, per cwt............................... 0 3 0
Painters' and Dyers' Colors and Materials, not otherwise described, for every £100 value ............ 10 0 0
Paper, Brown, Wrapping, or Blotting, per cwt....... 0 4 0
" Printing and Cartridge, per cwt............. 0 7 0
" Writing, per lb........................... 0 0 1
Paper Hangings, per dozen yards ................ 0 0 1
Parchment and Vellum, per skin.................. 0 0 2
Perfumery of all sorts, for every £100 value ........ 10 0 0
Perry, (see Cyder.)
Pickles and Sauces, in quart bottles, per dozen ...... 0 1 6
" " in pint bottles, per dozen........ 0 0 9
" in half-pint and smaller bottles, per dozen .................. 0 0 6
Plants, Bulbs, Trees, and Seeds ..............Free.
Ploughs ...................................... Free.
Pork, salted, per barrel.......................... 0 5 0
Rice, per cwt.................................. 0 2 0
Rosin, per barrel .............................. 0 2 0
Saddlery and Harness, for every £100 value ...... 10 0 0
Sago, per cwt................................... 0 3 6
Salt, Coarse, per ton ............................ 0 6 0
" Fine, per ton.............................. 0 10 0
Saltpetre, per cwt............................... 0 3 6
Silks and Satins, per yard................... 0 0 6
Hosiery--Stockings, per dozen pairs .......... 0 5 0
[Image of page 380]
£ s. d.
Silk Manufactures-- Not otherwise described, for every £100 value.. 10 0 0
Stuffs, Ribbons, Lace, Fringe, Trimmings, &c., for every £100 value.....10 0 0
Sewing Silk, per lb............................ 0 1 0
Twist and Yarn, per lb...................0 1 6
Stockings of Silk and Cotton, per dozen pairs ...... 0 2 0
" of Silk and Linen, per dozen pairs........ 0 2 0
of Silk and Worsted, per dozen pairs...... 0 2 0
Silk Velvet, at per yard.......................... 0 1 6
Slates, (see Stones) in frame, per dozen ............ 0 0 6
Slops--Trousers, Moleskin and Tweed, per pair...... 0 0 4
Shirts, blue and red serge, per dozen .............. 0 4 0
Regatta and Cotton, striped, per dozen ...... 0 1 6
" White, per dozen ........................ 0 2 0
Soap, common, per cwt........................... 0 3 0
" fancy, per cwt............................. 0 6 0
Spades and Shovels, per dozen .................... 0 3 0
Specimens illustrative of Natural History .......... Free.
Spices--Cassia, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace, Pimento, and Nutmegs, per lb.......0 0 6
Ginger, per lb ............................... 0 0 1
Pepper, Red or Cayenne, per lb................. 0 0 1
Black and White, per lb................. 0 0 1
Spirits of Tar, per gallon........................ 0 0 6
" Turpentine, per gallon.................... 0 0 6
" Brandy, Gin, Rum, and Whiskey, not exceeding hydrometer proof, and so in proportion for Spirits of a greater strength. All Cordials, sweetened Spirits, and Liqueurs, being rated as proof Spirits, at the rate of for every gallon, imperial measure ................ 0 6 0
Scotch and Pearl Barley, per cwt.................. 0 2 4
Starch, per cwt................................. 0 4 8
Stationery, not otherwise described, for every £100 val...10 0 0
Steel, per cwt.................................. 0 4 8
Stones--Hearth, Flag, and Slab, per ton .......... 0 5 0
" Grindstones, per foot .................... 0 0 8
Slates--Ladies, per 1000 ........................ 0 10 0
" Countess and Duchess, per 1000 ............ 0 15 0
Stone Blue, per lb............................... 0 0 1
[Image of page 381]
£ s. d.
Sugar--Refined, Loaf, Crushed, and Candy, per cwt.. 0 4 8
" Raw, per cwt............................ 0 2 4
Syrup, in bottles, per dozen ..................... 0. 1 6
Tapioca, per cwt............................... 0 4 0
Tea, per lb..................................... 0 0 2
Tin, in plates, per cwt........................... 0 3 0
" Block, per lb............................... 0 0 1
" Ware, for every £100 value .................. 10 0 0
Tobacco, Cigars, and Snuffs, per lb. ................ 0 2 0
" Manufactured, per lb..................... 0 1 0
" Unmanufactured, per lb................... 0 0 9
Stems ................................ 0 0 9
Tobacco Pipes, common clay, per gross ............ 0 0 4
" Other sorts, not described, for every £100 val...10 0 0
Tongues, per barrel ............................ 0 5 0
Toys, for every £100 value ...................... 10 0 0
Treacle, (see Molasses.) Turpentine, (see Oil or Spirits of.)
Twine, (except Sewing) .............. 0 0 1
Varnish, for every £100 value ................. 10 0 0
Vinegar, per gallon............................. 0 0 2
Watches, (see Clocks and Watches.)
Wines, in cask, per gallon........................ 0 1 G
" bottled, per dozen of two gallons............ 0 5 0
Wood, Board, Plank, and Scantling, per 100 feet.... 0 1 0
" Cedar, per 100 feet........................ 0 2 0
Casks, empty ............................ Free.
Handspikes, Masts, Yards, Bowsprits, Oars,
Trenails or Trunnels..................... Free.
Shingles and Laths, per 1000 .............. 0 1 0
" Palings, per 1000 ........................ 0 10 0
Wooden Ware, for every £100 value.............. 10 0 0
Wool, unmanufactured ......................... Free.
Cloths, Broad, per yard........................ 0 1 3
Kerseymere, per yard....... .................. 0 0 8
Baizes of all sorts, per yard.................... 0 0 3
[Image of page 382]
£ s. d.
Pilot and Flushing, per yard.................. 0 0 4
Flannel, per yard ............................ 0 0 1
Tweeds, per yard ............................ 0 0 3
Blankets, per pair........................... 0 2 0
Blanketing, per yard.......................... 0 0 9
Carpets and Carpeting, per yard................. 0 0 3
Pugs or Coverlets for Beds, each................ 0 0 4
Stuffs, Woollen or Worsted, for every £100 value.. 10 0 0
Hosiery--Stockings, per dozen pairs ........... 0 1 0
" All other sorts, for every £100 value...... 10 0 0
Tapes and Smallwares, for every £100 value...... 10 0 0
Woollen or Worsted Yarn, per lb................ 0 0 0 1/2
Woolpacks, each................................. 0 0 6
Zinc, per cwt.................................. 0 3 6
All Goods, Wares, and Merchandise, not otherwise
enumerated, for every £100 value................ 10 0 0
*** The repeal of some, and the modification of other, of these Duties are subjects now under consideration with the New Zealand Government.
[Image of page 383]
SHIPS, SHIP OWNERS,
As a supplementary subject, we purpose making a few brief remarks on the general management of passenger ships--their comparative comforts and inconveniences. We do this less on account of any pleasure or annoyance we have ourselves experienced on our numerous aquatic trips, than for the information of the public and benefit of those who may contemplate a long sea voyage.
A long voyage is either very delightful or the very opposite--conducive to the health, vigor, and enjoyment of the voyagers, or fraught with personal inconveniences and social discomforts that are bearable only because incurable. In a good ship, well provisioned, ably commanded, and peopled, but not overcrowded, with agreeable passengers, two or three months may be passed on the ocean as a charming summer of relaxation and
[Image of page 384]
repose--a season to be envied by the merchant as by the mechanic, by a mind previously oppressed with care, or by a body enfeebled with exertion. By landsmen nature may at such a period be seen and enjoyed as she was never seen or enjoyed before. Withdrawn for a time from the excitement of city life, or freed from the formalities and vanities of the fashionable world, the mental faculties, turning to higher objects, will expand with the sublimity and grandeur of the surrounding scene, while the invigorated body strengthens the mind for its exalted reflection. True; the votaries of pleasure, the nightly frequenters of the opera or the ball-room, regard the poop or quarter-deck of a ship as altogether too circumscribed for their notions of enjoyment; and the ethereal and ever-changing elements, with the boundless space above and below, are scarcely deemed worthy of a thought--except with regard to personal inconveniences that occasionally arise therefrom. But to men of the world, sensible, thoughtful beings, the change from the busy mart to the placid or foaming ocean affords time both for pleasure and instruction. How can it be otherwise. With fresh air, wholesome food, and agreeable society by day, and refreshing repose at night, what so delightful or half so healthful as sailing for a couple of months on the expansive ocean. Here we pause. In journeying through life--in the commercial and social, as in the
[Image of page 385]
natural world--there will be found fine pictures and fair seasons; but these fine pictures and fair seasons are unfortunately--or rather wisely for their just appreciation--alternated by others which are neither so fine nor so fair. These truths have not a partial but universal reference; they apply alike to all countries and all communities, and may be confirmed in any land or on any sea. A sea voyage, as we before observed, will be found to be something either very bright or very gloomy --a brilliant and fruitful summer, or a cheerless and hungry winter. With fresh air--for fresh air, except by day, is not obtainable in overcrowded ships--wholesome food, and genial society, nothing can be more delightful than an aquatic trip. Wanting these or any of these things, than a sea voyage nothing can be more objectionable. Experience both of the one and the other will enable us to say a few words descriptive of either. But every effect may be traced to a cause; and previous to a further description of the effects to which we have alluded, let us for a moment turn to the source from whence they spring.
Ships, ship-owners, and ship-agents, have in no small degree tended to establish, as they still tend to maintain England's pre-eminence as a mercantile nation. The owners and agents form a part, and no inconsiderable part, of Great Britain's first-class merchants. As a body their position and respectability are indisputable. It is, there-
[Image of page 386]
fore, unnecessary to dwell on this part of the subject--a part composed of historical facts which are patent to every Englishman who knows anything of his own country. But, in one respect, ship-owners are like other great commercial bodies. They are not immaculate. Mighty as a whole, the body is not exempt from its connexion with mean or unworthy parts--and to these our observations are chiefly directed. Connected with the shipping interest may be found individuals-- brokers, or agents, or whatever they may please to call themselves, --who, under a systematic plan of deception, would appear to ensnare and delude intending emigrants without the slightest compunction or fear. The snare they adopt is of the most seductive and frequently of the most heartless description; for the fair promises by which unsuspecting persons are seduced generally prove false when they are defenceless. The person who is induced by the plausible puff of a resident tradesman to enter his wareroom with the hope of obtaining a bargain, has a perceptible advantage over one who, by similar representations, is enticed and secured as passenger on board a ship. The one has the privilege of taking or declining the goods submitted to his notice, agreeably with his own inclination or judgment. The other can only inspect the apartment in which his fare is to be provided; and being at once compelled, by prepayment, to discharge his part of the contract, the
[Image of page 387]
fulfilment of the other part, as also the quality of the articles to which he is entitled, are matters over which he has no control, and leave him entirely at the mercy of others--not a very tender mercy either we regret to say. Even in the case of purchase from a tradesman, the purchaser on discovering a fraud, and proving false representation, can obtain immediate redress. Not so the deluded passenger who has entered on a long voyage. He has first to bear in his own person the infliction of an injury, and to discover on the termination of the same that to attempt a remedy for the benefit of others would prove a more serious matter than that from which he has been released. On arriving in a distant land one is more disposed to look to future comfort than to review past grievances; besides which, one of the remarkable features of human nature goes to prove that privations and suffering, which provoke their victims to bitter lamentation and sad complaint at the time, are but seldom thought of when they are over. With a serious determination we vow--at the time--to bring to the bar of justice the poor cabman who has defrauded us of a threepenny piece; but the early dissolution of our intention, and the escape of the delinquent, are merely typical of events of greater moment. Nevertheless, it becomes the duty, as also the privilege, of one man to expose and endeavour to check all or any evil that may come under his notice--if only
[Image of page 388]
for the benefit of others. And with regard to passenger's fare, &c., on board ship, we have ample materials for illustrating cases of premeditated and gross deception. Our object, however, in this as in other matters, is not to particularize, by supplying individual cases for illustration, but simply to direct the attention of intending emigrants and others to existing evils, and to suggest --if not a remedy--at least the mode by which such evils may be avoided or mitigated. For those who have the means to apply it, the remedy for the evil in question will be found simple enough, viz., in the selection of first-class ships, or ships belonging to, and sailing under the flags of first-class owners. As a rule, avoid chartered ships--ships chartered by cheap brokers and agents--those who, by tempting baits, solicit cabin passengers at half fares. The hook will be found--to the sorrow of those who take it--the only reality attached to the offer. Of our own knowledge we can aver that a second-class passenger in a ship owned by a first-class firm is better accommodated, better fed, and better attended to, than a first-class passenger in a second-class ship. The charges for accommodation, &c, in these vessels--like those in first and second-class hotels --will, of course, be found somewhat higher in the one than in the other; but the difference in this respect is by no means in proportion to the comfort and convenience obtainable in the one
[Image of page 389]
over the filth and misery to be found in the other. In the cabin and at the head of the table in the one we have an agreeable and intelligent commander. Each meal is served by competent stewards, and in a manner that would not disgrace a first-class hotel. In the cabin and at the head of the table in the other we have a coarse ill-bred skipper, with everything else in keeping with the same. The chief repast is served by dirty cuddy boys, and the meal itself is composed of dishes and messes which, both with regard to the cooking and the matter, would disgrace a shilling ordinary. Again--in the one there will be order and attention during the week, and a proper mark of respect to distinguish the seventh from other days. In the other all will be confusion and riot, while little or no regard will be paid either to persons, days, or things. Indeed, were the reader suddenly to shift his quarters from a West-end club-house to an East-end pothouse, the contrast produced by the change would not be greater or more striking than that presented by these ships. And such is the contrast suggested by first and second-class ships--ships belonging to first and second-class merchants-- that sail from the port of London. We cannot, from personal experience, speak of the numerous ships that sail from Liverpool and other ports; but we presume the case described to be applicable anywhere. The lowest in price is not always the
[Image of page 390]
cheapest article, although necessity may compel its selection; but where a purchaser has the power or the privilege of choice, he will do well--either with regard to ships or anything else--to consider the value as well as the price of an article.
Those who have never made a long sea voyage have little idea of the good things, besides fresh air, that are to be found on board a liberally provisioned, ably commanded, and well conducted ship. The mere recital of our usual dinner-fare on board the Windsor (owned by Messrs. Green), by which we made a delightful passage from Sydney to London, may enlighten our readers on the subject. First course--mock turtle, ox tail, or other excellent soup, alternated by preserved salmon. Second course--fowls or clucks, or both, turkeys, geese, or a sucking pig occasionally, with sundry joints of roast and boiled (fresh) meat. Third course--a variety of puddings, tartlets, &c, which for quality could not be surpassed anywhere. Lastly, cheese, followed by an excellent dessert. In addition to bottled ale and stout, and the usual dinner wines daily, the table would be supplied with claret in warm weather, and champagne twice a week in all weathers.
Well, reader, would you, as a voyager, be disposed to grumble or frown at a dinner-fare similar to that comprised in the above list? Until we know you, or have made your acquaintance as a
[Image of page 391]
fellow passenger, we beg leave to entertain considerable doubt on the subject. " It's not the world that's so strange, but the people that make it so, " said a celebrated writer. There are people who have just cause for complaint; those who have been deceived by others, in the manner described at the commencement of this article. There are others again, who will find fault with perfection itself--men who
"Wherever they may he,
On land or on the sea,
are never satisfied, but who are ever disposed to make themselves disagreeable to others, a plague to themselves, and objects of annoyance on all subjects and on all occasions. These persons are to be met with on sea as on land; although in the latter region they are sometimes compelled, through the dread of approaching shame and contempt, to restrain their natural foibles for a time, and to fall in with the views of those who insure their own comfort and enjoyment, by endeavouring to contribute to the amusement and happiness of others. Commanders of ships are frequently censured or condemned by over-exacting and troublesome passengers. True, commanders may not always be blameless; but the love of truth and justice compels us to say that in our humble opinion--an opinion founded on the experience of some half dozen long voyages--the passengers
[Image of page 392]
in first-class ships have, in the majority of cases, only themselves to blame for the evils they complain of. To escape the unmerited censure of every passenger, a commander must be something more than mortal: he must be invested with the power to satisfy those who have never yet been satisfied with anything or anybody--but themselves. With kindness, combined with justice and independence he will please the majority --not all. In conclusion we will merely observe that the three great things to insure comfort on a sea voyage are as follow:--Firstly, good ships, owned by first-class men; secondly, able commanders; and thirdly, agreeable passengers. Good ships and good owners generally insure able commanders; but neither the one nor the other, nor both, will always insure agreeable passengers. Nevertheless, intending voyagers may deem our remarks worthy of some consideration; and those who really are agreeable, and who are anxious for everything on the voyage to be in unison with their own good qualities, have only to seek the primary objects after the manner and by the means suggested. Whether sailing from London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Southampton, Bristol, or elsewhere; or as first, second, or third-class passengers, our friends will find that first-class ships are the best; and, for a sea voyage, the best ships will be found the safest and quickest, consequently the cheapest.
[Image of page 393]
ENGLISH INSURANCE COMPANIES.
Probably, a few of our English readers--disposed, through interested motives, rather to quarrel with us for the introduction of the subject than to discuss it--will say, what have English Insurance Companies to do with the "Rise and Progress of Australia?" Our reply in such a case would be definite and brief. While British institutions which involve a large amount of capital give rise to, influence, and regulate local ones or branches in British dependencies, the character and security of such institutions or associations become a matter of some, if not equal importance in the English colony as in the English capital; a great commercial crisis or monetary panic in the one, not failing in a greater or lesser degree to affect the other. Should the answer be deemed insufficient, we would claim an Englishman's privilege--that of fearlessly expressing an opinion on any public
[Image of page 394]
matter, or directing attention to a subject, the neglect or calm consideration of which may seriously or beneficially affect the future of thousands.
Of late, there has been a growing disposition on the part of the public to effect life insurances, by which provision may be made for surviving friends, aged relatives, or rising branches of the present generation. Such a desire reveals a noble trait in the English character, and is worthy of encouragement; for the object is a laudable one, and the means of its accomplishment ample and just. But, unfortunately, the greatest blessings are open to the greatest abuses; and so soon as a ready disposition is evinced by the public to invest money in some substantial institution, or honorable undertaking, so soon will arise a number of gingerbread establishments and wily adventurers, each and all--so far as outward appearances go--fully equipped and prepared for legitimate action, although in reality, only ready with delusive schemes, plausible devices, and artificial baits to tempt the weak and mislead the unwary. Has this been the case, and to what extent, with regard to the so-called public institutions under review? Although the materials on which our opinion is founded may not at once determine the question, or dispose of a subject where secresy and mystified accounts are known to prevail, they may nevertheless assist those of our
[Image of page 395]
readers who are personally but not officially interested in arriving at a correct conclusion.
In 1848 the number of Insurance Companies in London was 145; in 1851 the number had increased to 165; and in the present year (1856), there are 254 offices, which represent more than double the number that existed ten years since. Should the increase multiply at the same rate during the next twenty years, London in the year 1876 will contain more than one thousand Insurance Companies. The question suggested by such a table is simply this--has the late extraordinary increase in the number of companies to which the figures refer been justified by the requirements of the public? If so, it will be well for those, or the descendants of those whose faith on the subject is at present intact; if not, the ultimate fate of many, if not the majority of the institutions themselves--in which innocent subscribers will be the victims--must be obvious. If these naming establishments are only kept open and supported at the expense of the shareholders and a few luckless captives, the crash, though distant, will be great and certain. Of the action of public companies, as of private individuals, where the expenditure is greater than the income, the result may be anticipated with certainty, although time can alone determine the extent of the operations, or the period of their final development. A man whose sole capital is one hundred thousand
[Image of page 396]
pounds in the funds, and who spends ten thousand a year, must in the course of a few years, or so soon as his capital and credit are exhausted, come to a stand; and the society, however rich, that may continue to expend forty thousand a year, while its income amounts to only one half that sum, will, sooner or later, find itself in a similar fix. It may be said, however, that these are only presumptive cases in which certain specified operations would lead to certain results, and that it is necessary to prove the existence of a cause before supplying evidence of the effect. Well. Without summoning to our aid the apparitions of departed Insurance Companies, in order to show the withering effect of previous baneful action on the part of deceased adventurers, we will deal only with objects that have still some lingering sparks of vitality; and without attempting in our examination to say or insinuate more than has been said by themselves, their own figures will, if we mistake not, clearly prove our proposition, viz. --that there are Insurance Companies at present in operation, both Fire and Life, as will be seen by the following statement from " The Times " of July 24th, which, by continuing in their past course, will eventually ensure their own ruin, if not the immediate poverty or future destitution of the subscribers or their descendants. It will, however, be gathered from their own plea, that the
[Image of page 397]
past is not to be their future course of action; and that although one office has exceeded its income by the small sum of about £20,000 a year, its income in the course of time may be in excess of its expenditure. We will only say with "The Times," "it will be for the public to judge how far the argument is to be carried, and whether it will justify such figures as are now presented."
"The Return recently published of the accounts of Assurance Associations contains all the documents furnished to the Registrar of Joint-Stock Companies by the offices established since the Joint-Stock Companies Act of 1844, and which alone are required to prepare annual statements for public registration. Owing to the deficiencies of the Act, which provides neither the form of balance-sheet to be submitted, nor any proper means of enforcing compliance with its provisions, these accounts are in many instances of the most vague and unsatisfactory description. They give some leading figures, however, which are sufficient to indicate the general progress of each office, the extent to which its funds have been drawn upon, and the plans it has pursued in order to gain business. As regards fire insurance companies, these particulars will be found condensed in the following table. It shows the operation of nine offices for the specific periods over which their latest returns extend. In three cases--namely, the Royal, the Manchester, and the Lincolnshire--the transactions appear to have been of a perfectly satisfactory character, a surplus of profit being exhibited after the payment of dividends. In the six remaining cases--namely, the Equitable, the Lancashire, the Unity, the British Empire Mutual, the National Provincial, and the Times--the expenditure has been largely in excess of the receipts. This result is the most striking in the instance of the Unity, because the accounts of that company
[Image of page 398]
extend over a longer period than those of the National Provincial and the Times, which would otherwise be still more remarkable. In three years, during which the receipts of the Unity have been £59,521, an expenditure has been incurred of £115,106, including £10,789 distributed in dividends. The plea for this system is, that by a large outlay for advertisements, agencies, &c, a connexion is formed which in future years will more than repay the money at first risked, and that the amount should consequently be placed under " preliminary expenses, " and be provided for by appropriations out of future profits through a long period. It will be for the public to judge how far the argument is to be carried, and whether it will justify such figures as are now presented. It is certain that if every other insurance office, in order to meet this kind of competition, were to pursue a similar course, they would all speedily be ruined.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSACTIONS OF SOME OF THE EXISTING FIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES, Registered under the Joint-Stock Companies' Act, 7 and 8 Vic. c. 100, abstracted from the Parliamentary Return of Assurance Companies just issued.
TRANSACTIONS OF SOME OF THE EXISTING FIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES
[Image of page 399]
From the above tabular statement it appears that the total losses and expenses have averaged on the net premium receipts, &c., 96.41 per cent.; including dividends, 109.64 per cent.
"Annexed are the paid-up capital and funds of the above-named Fire Offices:--
"The following Fire Companies have not registered any accounts--viz.:--
"The Athenaeum (winding up in Chancery), the Emperor, the London Mercantile, and the Saxon."
"And the following have been dissolved--viz.:--
"The British; English and Cambrian; Halifax, Bradford, and Keighley; Legal and Commercial; National Guardian; National Mercantile; Preston and North Lancashire; Protestant; Sceptre; Star; and Times Fire and Property."
[Image of page 400]
If the entire body of London Insurance Associations are fairly represented by the thirteen named in the foregoing statement, a similar classification would present the following results:--
Number of offices showing a profit over and above expenses....59
Number of offices showing the expenses to be greater than the profits ........118
Number of offices showing accounts in such manner that no distinct details can be given to the public...77
Total .......................... 254
After the perusal of accounts furnished by a few companies only, those persons who, without inquiry, may place faith in any and every newly established Assurance Association, will not, we think, deserve much sympathy on account of any future loss or disappointment they may experience through their own simplicity. The following brief account of an expiring body furnishes rather a cheerless prospect for those whose policies bear the stamp of some insolvent institution. It is but poor consolation for the surviving friends or relatives of one who insured his life, to find their single claim greater than the entire assets of the company in which the assurance was effected.
VICE CHANCELLOR'S COURT, July 12.
(Before Vice-Chancellor Wood.)
in the matter of the Athenaeum life assurance society.
Mr. Roxburgh (with whom was Mr. Daniel) appeared in support of a petition by the directors, praying that the
[Image of page 401]
company might be wound up in chambers under the provisions of the Joint-Stock Companies' Winding-up Acts.
The company which had been formed in 1851 had incurred liabilities to the amount of £28,000, arising from policies and annuities granted by them, one of their heaviest losses being upon a policy for £13,000 upon the life of a gentleman, which was now due. The assets of the company were stated to be £10,000. A meeting of the shareholders had been held on the 27th of June last, at which it was resolved that the directors should be authorized to take such steps to wind up the company as should be deemed expedient. A meeting of the directors was held on the same day, at which it was agreed to wind up the company under the provisions of the Winding-up Acts.
Mr. Selwyn, on behalf of some of the shareholders, though he looked with the greatest suspicion upon any proposition coming from the directors, admitted that there was no possibility of the company being carried on with advantage, and was content that an order for winding up in chambers should be at once made. He asked that the costs should be reserved.
Mr. Willcock and Mr. Freeman, upon a similar petition by some of the shareholders, characterized in strong terms the reckless manner in which the business of the company had been conducted by the directors.
Mr. H. Stevens was instructed to oppose the petition on behalf of other shareholders.
The Vice-Chancellor made the order for winding up the company in chambers upon the two petitions, reserving the costs.
When, after so brief a career, symptoms of disorganisation, failure, and dissolution appear in the camp of the newly formed forces, what will
[Image of page 402]
any disinterested person think of the remaining body, the heads of which--like certain of the Crimean heroes--have a special interest in declaring their own professional solvency and invincibility to the last. Secret associations are remarkable in this respect, and often succeed for a time in inducing a belief in their efficiency and power. But fortunately, as a general warning, occasionally internal commotions force some scattered fragments of their doings to the surface; and the Press, being the mirror through which these misgivings are reflected, conveys to the public a tolerably fair estimate of the body beneath. But with regard to Assurance Companies, our surprise is, not that so few of those recently established have come to a stand, but that any of them should so soon be compelled to declare themselves in such a position. With men of the world, even with those who have private property at stake and may sacrifice it in the struggle, there is generally a desire to prolong their commercial existence, although all reasonable hope of recovery may be extinct. But board-room gentlemen, or self-constituted directors and managers of public companies, who deal with public funds, are still more tenacious of life, and seldom finally retire from their well furnished official quarters--as a host of defunct societies have fully proved-- while the balance at their bankers is considered sufficient to pay for--"another champagne lunch!"
[Image of page 403]
Without consideration, it would therefore seem strange that any one of these recently formed associations should have expired so soon after birth. Such premature fatality might induce a stranger to inquire whether the numerous diseases incidental to babes and sucklings attack, without distinction of class or complexion, all newly formed bodies? Or is it that the innocent lives accepted by these large but lax bodies have, in too many instances, represented the feeble structures on which the promoters' hopes were founded, while the dissolution of the one has unexpectedly involved the other in a similar fate? Anxious for business and its immediate substantial reward, have they not accepted any life, from the puny infant to the, diseased and drooping centenarian? Hence the sudden stoppage of a few of the least wealthy of the establishments--see the case reported--in which the claim on a single policy is sometimes larger than the reputed assets of the company that granted it.
The public however feel more interest at present in the stability of existing institutions than in the defalcations of those which have ceased to exist. The doings and doom of the latter are no longer secrets, unless those who have paid or are paying the penalty of misplaced confidence wish to preserve them as such. But in the state of the former, the future position of thousands and tens of thousands of respectable families in this
[Image of page 404]
country is staked; and the success or failure of the stake-holders will of course determine the fate of the subscribers--whether prize or blank, whether plenty or poverty is to be their future lot. Having, then, briefly noticed a few past events connected with this subject, let us for a moment consider whether the minor misgivings to which we have alluded are likely to be succeeded by a more healthy state of things, or whether they merely denote similar events of greater magnitude, or a crisis fraught with danger to the public at large. We have resided for a time in a country of volcanic origin, in which earthquakes are of periodical occurrence, and where a great convulsion is invariably preceded by minor indications of the coming calamity. We trust this fact may not influence our opinion, and induce us, unjustly, to institute a comparison between those terrestrial commotions and the commercial or monetary disasters which periodically take place in this country. No. Although there are certain precursory signs in these occurrences which resemble each other, our forebodings in the present instance are founded on something stronger than a mere recognition of such a resemblance. They spring from facts and figures, and from a reasonable presumption for the cause why facts and figures are so mystified as to be unintelligible to the public. Our premises are not shaped by private but public information;
[Image of page 405]
and any of our readers have themselves equal opportunities for making their own deductions from official documents or occasional reports from our law courts. But Englishmen, as a body, seldom trouble themselves to inquire into the real state either of private debtors or public companies, in whom they may be personally interested, until the inquiry, as a precautionary measure, becomes unnecessary. When a great crash does take place, or a bubble suddenly explodes, then the dormant but sanguine creditor may be heard to exclaim, "ah! who'd a' thought it!" And have we not every reason to fear that, sooner or later, such will be the general exclamation with respect to a large number, if not the majority, of newly formed Assurance Societies? Do not past events and present statistics justify such a presumption with regard to the future? If not, all human calculations and predictions, as suggested by the commercial barometer, are unworthy of consideration or trust; and people have no right whatever either to foretell, guard against, or try to avoid a coming storm; but simply to dwell on mischiefs after they have taken place, or endeavour to repair damages that, with many, may be found to be irreparable-According to this doctrine, an Insurance Company or any other company whose expenditure may be in excess of its income by twenty thousand a year, cannot be questioned as to the
[Image of page 406]
probable result of such a game so long as the game is not ended. The players may make fresh moves in favor of the shareholders or their supporters; and until the game be declared at an end, those of the public without the ring have no right to speculate as to the period or nature of its termination. The author of the following extract from an article on "New Speculations," a list of which appeared in "The Times" of July 4th, surely merited, if he has not received, severe reprehension for expressing, without reserve, his opinion on a subject of vital importance to the community.
"The fever of speculation now gradually commencing will he watched with anxiety by all who regard the permanent welfare of the country. Every one can see that with the influx of bullion, the demand for new investments will increase, that this demand will be met on all sides, and that the majority of the schemes introduced will call not merely for the surplus funds seeking employment at the moment, but will pledge the community to a continued outlay long after the tide may have turned. They can also recognize that the final result will be a crash such as was witnessed in 1825, 1836, and 1847, and which in this country may be looked for with absolute precision once every eleven years. The whole population will nevertheless go on, each man believing that he will pause in time, and that his neighbour is to be the person who must suffer. In such a state of affairs all warnings are useless since there is no difference of opinion as to the end. The only service that can be rendered is to remind the public from time to time of their actual position, so that if they increase
[Image of page 407]
their commitments to an extravagant extent, they may at least do so with a full knowledge of what they are undertaking. Thus far no danger has been incurred, but a retrospect of the enterprises of the past half-year, will show that the amounts already engaged to be furnished are considerable, and that when these shall have been doubled or trebled--as will, perhaps, be the case during the next six months--they will make an aggregate sufficient to absorb the disposable means of England for three or four years thereafter. "
After furnishing a list of the companies introduced on the Stock Exchange since the 1st of January, 1856, the writer goes on to state the aggregate capital required by them to be £23, 490,000. But in a subsequent issue of the same paper an additional list is given, which augments the previous amount by about ten millions, making a total of £33, 490,000. A tolerably fair amount of English capital this--a large portion of it for the continent--arranged for by a few companies--independent of assurance associations --which have been formed during a period of little more than six months. These figures would appear large enough without being doubled or trebled, as predicted by "The Times" writer, to precipitate a crisis, which the brief space of a few years, or probably less, cannot fail to bring about.
With regard to some of the recently formed assurance associations, however unsound in construction, artificial in design, or reckless in action such institutions may be, the probability of an
[Image of page 408]
immediate or general wreck is not so great as with delusive schemes of a different character. Yet, the more remote the period of a smash the greater the amount of the disaster. A man who subscribes for two or three years only to an undertaking that will yield him nothing in return, is clearly not so great a loser as he would be on continuing his subscription for a longer period with a similar result. And if any existing insurance office--like some departed relative--should keep open until its assets are not sufficient to cover the claim on one policy, what, we would ask, will be the share for others? Free at present-- as Heaven grant this country may continue to be --from the cholera, or any such fatal malady, the large numbers of persons who have recently insured their lives are not, it is to be hoped, so near their exit from this world as to test the solidity of the institutions in question for the next few years. And during the lives of its valuable subscribers will any such office voluntarily close its doors against its unselfish and noble-minded directors and ingenious officials--and, above all, against the material matter on which the nobility of the one and the ingenuity of the other are found to thrive? Enough. Ten or fifteen years will disclose more than we have either said or intend to say on this subject. Of the manner in which some of the companies are formed, and of the character and doings of those by whom they are formed, our
[Image of page 409]
readers may themselves judge by the following extracts from the examination of an ex-manager, who recently (August 7, 1856,) brought an action against the directors of a company at present in existence:--
"Plaintiff, cross-examined by Mr. James. ---Witness was not formerly connected with the Equitable Life-office, but with a fire-office of that name, and he travelled about the country as their agent. The directors who were appointed in March, 1856, to manage the offices of the Athenaeum Society were an entirely new set of gentlemen. Mr. Harris, one of the old board, by whom witness was appointed, was a solicitor. He had been insolvent. Did not know where he was now, but believed he was in some lunatic asylum. Mr. Howard, another of the old board was a surgeon. Did not know what had become of him. Mr. Carrington Jones, another director, he believed, was now engaged some way in the army, and he believed was at Malta. He was formerly secretary to the Athenaeum Life-office. Witness once had a promissory note from him for £257 10s. It was a security for money advanced to him by the society. The Rev. Mr. Bartlett and a person named Sutton were also directors of the society in 1853. Sutton, he believed, was the promoter of the company. The Rev. Mr. Bartlett lived at Fulham, but he did not know of his having any benefice. Witness was not to be paid his full salary until 2,000 preference shares were paid up. The society had no money until he found them some. Their revenue in 1853 was not more than £70 or £80. Sutton was what was called the "getter-up" of the company. He was formerly a clerk in an insurance-office. Soon after he was appointed the directors gave him shares to the amount of £1,000, and they lent him £750 from the funds of the society, to pay a deposit of 15s. upon each of the shares, and this was entered
[Image of page 410]
in the books as a real transaction, and it was made to appear that he was the actual bolder of that number of shares, and that he had paid the deposit upon them. In point of fact he did not pay a single farthing.
The Chief Baron (to the witness)--Why, in point of fact, the "transaction" was all fudge, was it not?
Witness. Well, my Lord, it was very much like it. (A laugh.)
Cross-examination continued. ---The object of the proceeding undoubtedly was to make the public believe that the nominal capital of the company was larger than it really was. Did not think that the proceeding was adopted at his suggestion. There were only five directors at this time, and each of them bad £2,000 worth of shares given to him in the same manner, and the deposits were taken from the capital of the company, and none of them paid a farthing of their own money for the shares. These transactions were all entered in the books as though they had been genuine ones.
The witness was then further cross-examined by Mr. James. --He said that at the time he was appointed there were other shareholders than the five directors whose names he had mentioned. The directors and the shareholders were, in point of fact, one body. He was then questioned upon several money transactions, and be admitted that a sum of £250, which appeared on the books as having been lent to the Athenaeum Life-office was, in point of fact, advanced to Mr. Carrington Jones, one of the directors, who gave a promissory note as security, and he was to pay six per cent, interest. The same gentlemen who were directors of the fire-office, were also directors of the life department, and the money was entered as having been lent to that department. The entry was undoubtedly fictitious. He objected to the proceeding at the time, but the directors persisted on it, and he considered he was bound to obey their instructions.
[Image of page 411]
Mr. James. --"Was any portion of this £250 ever repaid to the society? Witness. --No.
The Chief Baron asked what had become of Jones.
The witness said he did not know. The last time he heard of him he was serving in a foreign regiment at Malta.
A private ledger kept by the witness was here handed to him, and he was asked to explain how it was that the date appeared to have been altered in one of the entries, and September, 1855, substituted for June, 1853, in relation to a sum of £250. The witness said he knew nothing about it--the alteration had been made by the accountant of the company.
The Chief Baron said it appeared to him that there had been gross fraud, and that some of the persons concerned ought to have stood on the other side of the court.
The plaintiff, on further cross-examination, said that Jones was paid the dividends upon the shares that were placed in his name. The two offices--the Athenaeum Life, and the Athenaeum Fire were carried on in the same building. They were in the habit occasionally of borrowing money of each other. In May, 1853, there was a proposition for the fire-office to advance £400 to the life-office upon a deposit note at six per cent. The money was drawn on two checks, one for £300, which was crossed to the life company's bankers, and another for £100. The latter was not crossed, and it never came into the possession of the life company, and no one knew what had become of it. Field, the detective officer, was employed to investigate the matter, but no trace of the £100 check was ever discovered. He could not say why he did not cross the £100 check, but he supposed the board told him not to do so. Mr. Sutton, one of the directors, told him not to put the name of the Athenaeum Life Company's bankers on the
[Image of page 412]
check, and to put his own hankers, the London and "Westminster, instead. The loss of the £100 check was very annoying, and he was told by Field that he had traced the notes that were paid for it to within twenty yards of the Athenaeum-office. He believed that Mr. Sutton was at present in London, and that he was engaged in getting up another company. (A laugh.) There was another entry on the books referring to a sum of £107 16s. 6d., which was represented to have been lent to the Athenaeum Life Company, and which was fictitious. In point of fact, this money was employed to pay a bill incurred by another society, called the Security Mutual, with which witness was connected. The money was employed to take up a bill, to which witness and Mr. Coyne, who was a director of the Athenaeum, were parties; but it was represented in the books that the money had been advanced to the Athenaeum Life-office.
The Chief Baron remarked that the operations of the company appeared to be very extraordinary. The same set of gentlemen appeared to be shuffling the money backwards and forwards to each other.
Mr. James. --The fact was, my Lord, that, whenever any of the directors wanted to borrow any money, they took it out of the funds of the company, and it was entered as a loan to the life-office. (A laugh.)
Cross-examination continued. --Witness was the projector of the Security Mutual-office. It was now in process of being wound-up. (A laugh.)
In answer to a question put by the jury, the witness said that several of the directors of the Athenaeum Life and Fire-office were also directors of the Security Mutual Company.
By Mr. James. --The Security Mutual gave him the same number of shares that he received in the Athenaeum, and it was also made to appear that he had paid up £750 upon
[Image of page 413]
his snares. This was not at all an extraordinary proceeding, and the only thing that was remarkable about the transaction was the smallness of the amount. (A laugh.)
Will any sane person, after reading the statements in the preceding examination, be disposed, without the strictest scrutiny, to invest money in newly formed Insurance Companies? For our own part, we should -be very loth, as a commercial speculation, to give a shilling in the pound for the sole right to supposed sums that may hereafter become due on policies granted by the majority of life-offices of recent formation. Why? After the evidence, not ours, but of others, furnished in this brief review, can an answer be necessary?. Can any who attentively peruse that evidence have the slightest faith in the majority of recently formed life associations? Impossible. If, with us, our readers have no faith in the majority of such institutions, they might perhaps wish our information to extend a little further to enable them to learn the number and names of the minority. But however desirable such information might be for the future security of others, it is alike beyond our power and province to furnish. Having supplied what we deem a necessary caution on an important subject, we should exceed our duty by naming for public support particular objects from a large number recently established, without being able to distinguish from the general body those which
[Image of page 414]
contribute to clangers that make this warning necessary. Where, however, there are no such doubts, there need be no such scruples; and for the information of those who may require it, we furnish the names of a few London and country establishments which--to use an expressive term of assurance where no doubt can possibly exist-- we believe to be "as good as the Bank of England." Personally we are unacquainted with any one connected with such institutions. The simple fact that they have ever been and are still respectably conducted, while the majority if not all of them have been in existence for more than thirty years--some for more than a century--is our only inducement to name, as worthy the confidence of uninformed branches of the community, those institutions which experienced members of the public consider worthy of trust without our recommendation.
Royal Exchange, Fire, Life, Marine.
London Assurance, Fire, Life, Marine.
County and Provident, Fire, Life.
Atlas, Fire, Life.
Guardian, Fire, Life.
London Life Association.
Liverpool and London, Fire, Life.
Sun, Fire, Life.
[Image of page 415]
Imperial, Fire, Life.
Alliance, Fire, Life.
Globe, Fire, Life.
Union, Fire, Life.
Hand in Hand, Fire, Life.
North British, Fire, Life.
Norwich Union, Fire, Life.
Leeds and Yorkshire, Fire, Life.
National Mercantile, Life.
Scottish Union, Fire, Life.
Scottish Equitable, Life.
Scottish Provident, Life.
City of Glasgow, Life.
Scottish Amicable, Life.
Scottish National, Life.
Alliance British and Foreign, Fire, Life.
There may be, as no doubt there are, offices of recent origin, the solidity and respectability of which entitle them to a place by side of the above. But how or by whom can such offices be named or. identified, when only three out of thirteen--as represented by their own accounts-- have shown their revenue to be in excess of their expenditure? It may be said that all must
[Image of page 416]
necessarily have a beginning, and that small beginnings often lead to great results. Very true. But such beginnings have generally a forward tendency. Had the above named institutions, like those of recent formation, commenced by a retrograde movement, such institutions would long since have ceased to exist.
But even as thoughtless children will, on the morrow, forget the timely advice or gentle admonition of to-day, the adult or more experienced part of the population would appear to be equally forgetful of, or to profit little by, the severe monetary lessons of the past. Were it otherwise, the recent failure of the Royal British Bank would furnish a lasting sign of the danger of placing much, if any, faith either in institutions or directors which are not well known to the public at large--such as occasionally become known to be found wanting in the only essentials necessary to their respective positions.