2 SEPTEMBER 1876, Page 3

Mrs. S. F. Neill states that the cultivation of the

mulberry-tree, which is the first condition of a new production of silk, proceeds rapidly in Australia. The tree was very early imported from the Cape ; she herself imported 1,000 plants from Shanghai of the celebrated " Tu " variety, and 120 white Veronese mulberries, and there are now at least 1,000,000 mulberry-trees growing in Australia. Mrs. Neill also succeeded after great effort and expense in importing healthy European grain from Switzerland, and now the quality of the Australian silk has obtained the highest testimonials from Continental experts, and—which is the highest testimonial of all—offers of 100 francs per kilo. for the reeled Australian silk. This is most satisfactory to Australians, and ought to be equally so to Europeans, as silk threatens to advance to a price like that it fetched in Queen Elizabeth's reign. The world can live without silk, but it is a pity to lose anything at once beautiful and useful, especially when one woman's energy and brains can do so much to preserve it.