A HINDRANCE TO BRITISH TRADE WITH SOUTH AFRICA.
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sin,—If only England, that is, the merchants, would push in our markets and leave off hankering after Russia and Germany we should begin to move. Even in this ultra-British town I have the utmost difficulty in getting British-made goods. Knives, spades, dog chains, barbed wire arc all things that I have lately asked for, and in all cases I have had foreign. made things offered me. Only after much trouble was the English article forthcoming. But few people will take this trouble, and most do not even think about it. I boiled with rage, especially when I wanted ten rolls of wire and was offered first American and then Belgian or German-made wire. When I said, "Have not you a British wire?" they said,
" Oh, yes," and there it was at the other end of the vast store. It apparently cost about one shilling a roll more. But the real reason is that the sellers make a large profit on these foreign things.
We could not hear of an English car when we wanted one except an odd one here and there, and of no agents from whom spare parts could be got. This is the more extraordinary as more cars are used (per population) in South Africa than in any other country save America. Consuls and Chambers of Commerce and merchants and tradesmen could do much if they would bestir themselves.—I am, Sir, &c.,