A Report on British Trade with New Zealand was issued
by the Board of Trade on Wednesday. In view of the preference granted to certain specified goods, "the growth, produce, or manufacture of any part of the British Dominions," special interest attaches to the table showing the relative proportions of the foreign and British import trade during the last six years. The compilers of the Report observe that the figures as a whole suggest that the effect of this preference has been to divert to the United Kingdom and the British possessions a portion of the trade formerly held by foreign countries in commodities affected by the preference, and that in particular in the last year the United Kingdom and British possessions were enabled to secure the whole of the increase in the import of these commodities, which con- stituted in that year about twenty-two per cent. of the total imports into New Zealand. They are careful to add, how- ever, that in regard to a number of commodities—e.g., furni- ture, clothes, agricultural machinery—a continually growing share of the trade will be taken by the New Zealand manu- facturers, and that consequently British manufacturers cannot look for any expansion of the export of such goods. They also lay stress on the strenuous efforts of foreigners, especially Germans, to extend their trade. In conclusion, they assert that the improvement in British trade since 1902 is undoubtedly due in part to the greater energy and intelli- gence displayed by British manufacturers and traders, "and to some extent also to the effect of the preferential arrange- ments made in 1903."