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MERCANTILE AND MONEY ARTICLE.

Thursday Evening. "

The general half-yearly meeting of the New- castle Coal and Copper Company was held to- day at the office, Exchange-buildings. The chairman of the Company, Mr. H. Gilbert Smith, presided. The report of the directors, and also that of the manager at the mines, were read and adopted. The former declared a dividend for the half-year, at the rate»of 10 per cent, per annum. Mr. Fanning was re-elected a director, and Mr. H. Ferris and Mr. Richard Jones auditors. "

The half-yearly meeting of the shareholders in the Bathurst Copper Mining Company was

adjourned to-day to the 16th of September. '

The half-yearly meetings of the following companies will he held to-morrow (this day) : The Grafton Steam Navigation Company at noon ; The Australian Steam Navigation Com- pany (adjourned meeting*) at 3 o'clock ; and the Wentworth Gold Field Company at 3 o'clock.

j Messrs. Mort and Co. held to-day their weekly produce sale. The quantity of wool offered wat very small (12 bales), and prices, thetefore, are nominally the same. The following are the prices obtained:-Grease, llfd. ; fleece, Is.

lOd.

Sheepskins continue in demand. About 2345 were sold at from 8¿d. to 10|d. per lb.

The tallow market is a little firmer, and there has been a greater demand for lots for shipment. Beef brought £47 per ton ; mixed and station

tallow from £35 to £48 15s.

Hides were in greater request to-day, but prices continue the same as last week : 527 hides were sold at from 19s. 3d. to 28s. 9d. each. -

Messrs. Frith and Payten held to-day a sale of groceries, oilmen's stores, Sec. There was a good attendance of buyers, and the following prices were obtained : Teas, orange pekoe, in boxes, 37s. 6d. ; caper, 27s. ; gunpowder, 27s. 6d. ; hyson, 25s. 9d. Mauritius sugar, £52 per ton ; Sydney flour, £23 10s. per toa. The oil- men's stores brought rather improved rates, particularly bottled fruits and pickles.

The arrivals to-day include the Alloe, from Liverpool, with a cargo of salt, coals, and rail- way iron ; and the Revely, from New York, with a cago of timber, cement, soap, flour, and

tobacco.

By the Wonga Wonga, we have Melbourne papers to the 27th instant. The amount of gold-dust received by the escort during the week ended the 25th instant, was 58,217 ozs. 10 dwts. The Argus says

Added to the previous escorts of the year, 1,229,79!) ozs.5 dwts., thoso of the present week bring tho total up to 1,288,010 ozs.

15 dwts.

There Is little new from the gold-fields this week, but that littlo is cheering. Things uro looking brighter on the Bendigo ; at M'lvor the puddling-maohines aro at full work. Tho promises from Ballaarat aro being fu filled. At Maryborough three new quart» reefs have been opened-two near the township, and ono on the Dunolly road. The rush to Anrat is unabated, and large quantities of the metal may be expected thence by every succeed- ing escort from Maryborough, Dunolly, and Ballaarat. The Emu Creek is almost deserted. At Daisy Hill thero has been a great rush among the Chinese, in consequence of the finding of a 54-oz. nugget by one of that nation.

The shipments of the week havo been :

ozs.

By the Columbian, for England via Suez ... .,; ;., 40,171

King Philip, for London . 80,834

Steamer, for Sydney. 30 Sundry small shipments .' . l8 Previous shipments of the year, corrected by com-

parison with the entries passed at the Customs ... 1,410,287

Total., .1,487,310 Or, 01 tons 19 cwt. 1 qr. 20 lbs., tho valuo of which, at £4 por ounce, amounts to £3,049,300.

The shipments of specie havo amounted to £91,000, in British sovereigns, tho wholo being for England.

Doubts have been cast on the legality of the proclamations of the Queen in Council, declaring the coins of tho Sydney Branch of the Royal Mint legal tender in Victoria, inasmuch as their publi- cation bos not been preceded by a local enactment or an address from the Legislature praying lils Excellency to givo thom effect. Great interest is taken in this question, because of the refusal by ono or two of the banks to part with the British sovereigns ia payment of tho cheques of their clients, except at a premium. We aro glad to correct an error made in a former issue, in which " the banks" generally aro thus charged. The proceeding vns confined, we understand, to two banks, one of which, from its local connections, might have been expected to bo rather over-solicitous tliun otherwise about the character of tho Australian sovereign. Money continues plentiful for loan on mortgage, with few transactions taking »luce. For commercial purposes the maritet is easy. The banks chargo 7 per cent, for discounting bills'having under 95 days ourrcnoy, and 8 per cent, minimum for tho<c having over 95 days to run. For re- newals and for overdrawn accounts 10 per cent, is charged.

Tho banks issue drafts on England at 2 per cent premium. Bills against cold aro purchased at 1 per cent, premium. Freight on gold by direct steamers or sailing vessels 3Vtfd. per ounce, deliver- able in London. Insurance 1)4 per cent. The European and Aus- tralian Mail Steamship Company charge for gold and sped", by their route, p¿ per cent., thatis 7d per ounce as nearly as possibl o and hnvc a running rolicy at 11 per cent, for a limited quantity.

The share market has been remarkably quiet. There have been transactions in Jlobson's Bay Hallway, nt £85 for account (four months). Colonial Bank of Australasia have recovered from the effects of the call, and thcro aro few sellers, and thoso only of small parcels, at present under 22'X per cent. A few sales of Scrip of the Australasian Fire and Life Assurance Company havo taken placo at 75 per cent, premium. Theie have not been any

transactions in Government securities.

. There has been a littlo doing in tho wool market, in fellmon- gers' wools, at a decline of about 2d. to 3d. per lb. on tho prices ruling before the arrival of tho Columbian. Hides nro worth about B14a, per lb. for shipment. Tallow has been in limited de- mand, for local use, and sales have been effected this week at £51 per ton for beef and mutton, and £44 to £17 per ton for beef.

With the exception of the'flour .trade thero has been but little to notice in the import markets since the publication of our sum- mary. The town mills ore still selling at £25 per ton, but holders of Adelaide flour aro pressing for advance.

From the same journal we extract the latest report of the Melbourne markets.

Tho market for imported goods during the few days that havo intervened since our last report has exhibited a continued inac- tivity, difficult to account for. There is no want of confidence, and yet there is neither legitimate or speculative business doing in anything except flour, in whioh article thero has been groat

activity.

Holders of most descriptions of goods aro firm, notwithstanding that the trade with the interior continues very dull. Purchases for the country are now generally confined to cash transactions for

small parcels.

Bates of cartage, owing to the improved state of the roads, con- tinue very moderate, as compared with former winter prices.

Liquors.-Spirits of all kinds quite support prices. The demand, however, is solely confined to purchases for actual use, and wo be- lieve any large buyer would command a slight reduction on quoted rates. In wines, no great amount of business has been done. Good medium sherries and fair full-bodied ports, suited for bottling, quite maintain priées ; and as retailers' stocks are generally believed to bo low, there appears no probability of present alteration In quotations for these descrip- tions. Ale in draught, of favourite brands, continues of ready sale, though not at improved prices ; indeed, in midwinter high rates for this article can hardly be looked for. Draught porter is in light demand only, but holders of fresh parcels of good brands

aro asking higher rates. Tho demand for bottled is steady, but i

confined to best brands only.

Groceries.-Teas continue in steady demand for consumption without any alteration in prices.

Sugars, notwithstanding the favourablo reports, »re dull of sale, and tho prices procured during tho week hy auction intimato

a decline in value ; but as the parcels offered have been by no i means of prime quality, the rates procured do not perhaps indi- cate the value of really well-cured sugars.

Coffees are unaltered in valuo : the consumption is steady, and the article being in few hands there is no probability of alteration

in prices.

Rice has been very dull during the week. Tho late attempt to rush this article into speculative demand appears to have failed, and tho reaction has caused a greater degree of dulncss in tho article than oven previously existed.

Provisions continuo without any improved animation. There has been a movement in butter, and considerable sales have been

effected, but at prices which indicato rather an inclination to sell arrivals whioh must shortly take place." " -?'.-' «v.- --

Hams, nacoa, cheese, »nd other descriptions of provisions arc unaltered in value. Really prime qualities aro readily saleable though not at improved prices, while inferior, heated, and damaged are almost unsaleable. C imllcs continue to bo neg- lected Considerable quantities of foreign mako aro disposed of by auction, but the sorts in general uso hero are dull of sale, without any improvement in price.

Corn-sacks are in good demand, and bring full quoted prices. Woolpacks aro in few hands, and, being in good inquiry, im- porters are asking high rates-5s Gd has been refused for a considerable parcel, holders asking Os.

Building materials aro in brisk demand, and a fair amount of business, the season considered, is doing in thesoarticles at rather improved rates.

The Melbourne Age, of Saturday last, res- pecting the colonial sovereign, observes :

The proclamation affecting Sydney sovereigns appears to have been somewhat unexpected, if not rather premature on tho part of the Governor. It has this week occupied the attention of both Houses of Parliament, and been among commercial circles tho subject of considerable remark and even conjecture as to the cause of it« promulgation just now. The apparent advantage is pro- bably greater than the real, at least so far as the community generally are concerned. Tho Banks unquestionably arc imme- diately bencfltted, and that to an appreciable extent-so much so that wo have heard it hinted that the suggestion upon which the Governor acted in this proclamation originatPd not far from tho back parlours of certain banking establishments. Whether this step Is strictly legal, that is, whether the Royal Proclamation, as is- sued by the Governor of Victoria on his own motion, or at the instigation of the Executive or certain members thereof without the request of the Legislature, can render the Australian coinage a legal tender or not remains a disputed question, with which the proper parties are about to deal. What wo have to notice is, tho

proximate and ultimate effect of tho change. The increase in I current value will bo a boon to the bunks in whose coffers largo j sums in Australian coin may bavo been gradually accumulating for some time past. When the Imperial coinugo is drained out of tho colony, as it will unquestionably be, serious inconvenience will result to the merohants who wish to remit specie, as these sove- reigns aro not a legal tender in Great Britain. Tho bill to bo introduced by the Treasurer will exempt Australian coins from the export duty to which they aro now liable, but they will not bo available for remittances home until they aro placed by Imperial Proclamation upon precisely the samo footing as the other coln of the realm. To establish them as an integral part of the currency in all the Australian colonies is a step in tho right direction, but until they aro recognised at enjoying equal privileges with tho British coin- age, not only in nil the colonial dependencies, but throughout Great Britain, inconvenienco and even loss will be experienced by the commercial community here. Possessing a value slightly in excess of tho British sovereign, and emanating, not from an inde- pendent mint, but from an acknowledged branch of tho Royal Mint, thero is no reason why they should not have the samo ex- tent of currency, and be in every respect equal in privileges. Tho gold coinage of California presents a good precedent. The mint from whioh that is issued is'established as a branch of the United States' Mint, and tho coinage circulates through tho wholo of the States as a part of the general currency.

The Daily News of the 28 th April publishes the Board of Trade returns for the month, and the three months ending the 31st March, 1855, 1856, and 1857, were issued on the 27th. We subjoin a statement of the total declared value of the exports of British and Irish produce and manufactures during the month and three months, including only the " enumerated

articles : "

For the Month. For three Months. 1855 .£6,736,271 £17,311,192 1856 . 8,757,389 23,158,9 j3 1857 ' . 9.630,207 26,031,036

Including the " unenumeratcd " articles, the aggregate exports

stand thus :-?

For the Month. For three Months. 1S55 .£7,311,305 £18,808,517 1856 . 9,448,570 25,149,103 1857 .10,456,348 28,827,493

Tho increase over the corresponding month of 1856 is £1,007,778, or about 10 per cent., and over that of 1855, £3,145,013, or 43 per cent. Talcing tho figures for the three months, wo find an in- crease of £3,678,390, or 14 per cent, over the corresponding quar- ter of last year, and an increase of no le«s than £10,018,970, or 53

per cent, over that of 1855.

Examining tho chief items of those exports, wo arrive at tho subjoined general figures for the month, viz. :

Month of Matoh.

, ^ , 1855. 1850. 1857.

Apparel and slop« . £76,157 £125,987 £160,856 Beer and ale . 150,878 130,537 197,365 Coals and culm . 155,208 195,219 237,159 Cottons . 2,061,257 2,331,340 2,422,466

Cotton yarn . 513,796 693,442 714,518 Haberdashery and millinery... 277,130 343,707 381,955 Hardwares and cutlery . 246,299 298,747 333,249 Leather, unwrought. 25,809 26,821 32,957 Ditto, wrought. 45,589 73,972 132,374 Saddlery and harness. 22,252 15,078 20,073

Linens (cloths of all kinds

and cambrics).' 336,922 375,582 409,402 Linen yam ." 70,172 117,057 146,971 Machinery, steam engines ... 96,810 50,601 63,215 Ditto, other sorts . 7",449 107,712 175,613 Iron, pig. 77,965 126,812 135,523 Ditto, bar, bolt, and rod ... 269,183 551,809 613,452 Ditto, cast . 58,860 60,910 72,612 Ditto, wrought. 163,853 316,082 837,659 Copper, unwrought. 77,229 40,659 42,575 * Ditto, sheets and nsili ... 88,86) 135,299 135,522

Lead ., 47,074 29,610 53.12T

Tin, unwrought . 7,606 15,392 10,690» Tin-plates. 73,500 131,083 132,456: Oilseeds . 85,022 133,773 78,577

Silk manufactures ... . . 68,458 110,202 116,970 Silk, thrown . 14,060 49,516 73,699 Wool . 116,233 94,445 61,078=

Woollens. 117,809 223,614 283,29S Worsted stuffs . 218,863 275,424 287,218 Woollen and worsted yarn. 160,265 251,095 193,088

Ia nearly all the leading items a sensible in- crease is presented. Indeed, the evenness with which the augmentation is spread over all the important brandies of manufacturing and indus- trial business, forms one of the most interesting

features of these tables.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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