OUR TRADE WITH NEW ZEALAND.
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sut,—It was indeed pleasing to read Mr. Hall Caine's letter in reference to the price of butter in your issue of January 9th. Shortly after -I read the letter the radio announced that to-day's price of butter was Danish 146s. per cwt., and New Zealand 108s.
At the present time our dairy farmers are right up against it. In this district there are several "soldier settlements —farms purchased by the Government and on which returned soldiers have been set up. It must be not only hurtful but humiliating to these hard-worldng men—some partially disabled— to read of such discrepancy in priceS. I 11MYer.-
stand that our butter is every whit as good as Danish in quality, and if this is so, one can only assume that it is mere " habit" for the Mother country to pay so much more for the foreign article. .
New Zealand did its bit in 1914-18, and during the last few years of depression I think we can claim that we arc again showing our loyalty by being staunch customers of British goods. Take, for example, one class of goods alone—motor vehicles. In 1931 75.25 per cent, of the ears imported into New Zealand came from the United Kingdom. compared with about 16 per cent. some three and four years ago. In 1929 the total value of motor vehicles, tyres and parts imported into this country was £5,914,936; so that our custom for this class of goods alone is considerable.
If the price of foreign butter goes up as the result of a tariff, and the British housewife is compelled to purchase our butter, then I trust the " buy Danish " habit will be broken, and New Zealand butter will be given a fair deal at least on-the Home market.—! am, Sir, &c., -