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1 correction by shutcheon - Show corrections

'A r

?COTTON CULTIVATION.

»iii-jisfí f'-From Hie Maitland Mercury.J

£V*djave'been kindly favoured by Mr. Donaldson, pMiC.', with a copy of the Economist of the 6th -December, containing an article on the " Present and Future Prospects of .Great Britain relative to »the Supply and Consumption of Cotton." The .article-which is most ably written, and on the ^compilation of which great labour has evidently teen bestowed-is too lengthy to be entirely trans- ferred to our columns, and much of it has no special interest for the inhabitants of this colony. -We shall therefore confine ourselves to an indica- tion of the writer's general views, copying only such portions of the article as are of more than .usual interest, or refer more immediately to the tCOtton-growing prospects of Australia.

; The writer first directs his attention to the quar- ters whence Great Britain now draws her supply of raw cotton, which he classes under five divisions, yiz. :-North America, Brazil, Egypt, India, and .Miscellaneous Countries (chiefly the West Indies). .After exhibiting the supplies drawn from each of cthese sources in the four series of five years ex- pending from 1830 to 1849 inclusive, he thus sums .up the conclusions to which his facts and figures

have conducted him :

" I. That our supply of cotton from miscel- laneous quarters (excluding th_» United States) has <for many years been decidedly, though irregularly,

^decreasing.

1 «' 2. That our supply of cotton from all quart- iers (including the United Slates), available for 'home consumption, has of late years been falling off at the rate of 1,000 bales a week, while our ¡consumption has been increasing during the same /period at the rate of 3,600 bales a week.

" 3. That the United States is the only country where the growth of cotton ison the increase ; an J .that there even the increase does not on an average exceed 3 per cent.,or 80,000 bales annually, which tfs -barely sufficient to supply the increasing de .mand for its own consumption, and for the con- tinent of Europe.

.' " 4. That no stimulus of price can materially augment this annual increase, as the planters al- ways grow as much cotton as the negro population .can pick.

. .. 5. That,consequently, if the cotton manufac- ture of Great Britain is to increase at all-on its present footing-\i can only be einbled to do so .by applying a great stimulus to the growth of «cotton in otter countries adapted for the culture."

The writer next proceeds to inquire what other countries can be looked to for the additional sup- ply of raw material requisite to sustain the increas- ing cotton manufacture of Gi eat Bl ¡tain. Egypt Jie considers can be little lelied on, from the -peculiar circumstances of its government. From Brazil and India he does not expect any adequate increase of supply, because when prices are low in England the net remittance to the planter is quite insufficient to repay the cost of growing, picking, und packing ; the freight and carriage in both countries forming an inordinate proportion of the Ïrice of cotton. A range of prices 50 per cent,

igher than those of the last few years would, lie thinks, probably induce the planters of Brazil to increase their cotton giounds; and under the stimulus of high prices (such as pievuiled in De- cember) large quantities might be sent from India, but he does not participate in the sanguine expec- tations entertained by many parties that, even witli higher prices, the quantity and quality of East )ndia cotton sent to Great Britain can at all render

¿be manufacturers independent of the American supply. The writer's hopes He in a different direc- tion. He says

- " We-look to our West Indian, Afiican, and Australian colonies, as the quarters from which, would government only afford every possible 'facility (we ask and wish for no more), we might, , ere long, draw such a supply of cotton as would,

to say the least, make the fluctuations of the Ameri- can crop, and the varying proportion of it which falls to our share, of far less consequence to our ^prosperity than they now are.

, / *. The West Indies, as we have already seen, ¡used to send us, sixty years ago, about 40,000 bales, or three-fourths of our then supply. But .the enormous profits realised on the growth of sugar, partly caused, and much prolonged, by our prohibitory duties on all competing sugars, di- rected the attention of the colonists exclusively in that direction. As in the analagous case of pro- tected wheat in this country, other cultivation was gradually abandoned in favour of a single article ; the cane was grown in soils and localities utterly unfit for it, and into which nothing but the pro - tee ti ve system could have forced it; and cotton was soon altogether neglected. Many parts of the .West Indies, St. Vincent especially, which are worst adapted for the cane, are the best adapted for the colton plant, which flourishes in light and dry soils, and especially near the sea coast. The arti- ficial stimulus which our mistaken policy so long applied to sugar cultivation withdrawn, it must be abandoned in all unsuitable localities ; and would be replaced by cotton. What price would be re- quired to pay its culture there, we cannot say ; but considering at how small a cost it might be placed on shipboard in all these colonies, and how large a portion this item generally forms of the whole expense of production, we cannot see why cotton should not be grown in the Antilles as cheaply as in the United States, if only the negroes can be relied upon for steady and continuous labour dur- ing the picking season. Now the price of West Indian cotton ranges higher than that of the bulk of the American crop, as being longer in staple. Our belief is, that were the attention of our planters oqce energetically directed to this article, they might soon send us a regular supply of 100,000 bales per annum, and thus find a use for many estates that must otherwise be abandoned.

1 «. The experjmentof cotton growing has already been tried with success in one of our most hopeful African colonies-Port Natal. We have already received above 100 bales from this colony, the main portion of which consists of the indigenous "cotton, very similar to that shipped from New Qcleans-c)ean, fine, tenacious, but of a light brown colour. On the whole it is a most admirable article for ordinary purposes, and worth in the market to-day nearly 7d. per lb. The remainder " of the shipments have been grown from Sea Island " seed, and are of excellent quality. The cultivation ' is rapidly increasing, and about 500 bajes are ex ' pected next year from the colony.

«. From Australia we have as yet had no bulk of ' «Mpply» but several acres arc under cultivation,and

the samples sentare of so fine a quality as to prove beyond question the adaptation of the soil and climate for the production of as good an article as " any grown in America. We have now lying be-

fore us, along with the Port Natal cotton, samples of some grown from Sea Island seed at Bolwarra, in New South Wales, near Maitland, about 80 miles north of Sydney. \t is long, fine, and silky.

<< We believe that, under due encouragement, the cultivation of cotton in these quarters might in- crease in a steady ratio, equal to our increasing

demand.

«' We have seen that of the American cotton

crop, our annual supply during the last five years

<has nearly reached 1.120,000 bales; and that Hie yearly'increase of the crop being balanced by the yearly increasing demand for the United States and Jar the Continent-lhere is little pro- bability of our ever getting more than this on an average. Let us suppose that a due advance on prices raises the production of Brazil to what it had attained in 1830, and that of India nearly to what it was in 1841, and that Egypt and our own colo- nies will again send us some appreciable and in-

creasing imports. ]

Bales per annum.

United States ..'.say 1,200,000

Brazil. 200,000 |

India.:. 250,000 Egypt.-...'. 50,000

Our colonies. 50,000

" This would allow us a supply of 33,500 bales a week-the apparent consumption of this year. For any addition to this we must depend upon the increase of the colonial supply, or on that which a still higher range of prices will enable us to wring out of India or Brazil. The conclusion from the whole clearly is, that in order to secure such a supply of the raw material as is needed to meet our own present consumption, we must be prepared to pay a decidedly higher range of prices tlian has of late years obtained; that, in fact, the average prices for the last five years have proved quite inadequate, in spite of large crops in America, to draw to this country sufficient cotton to enable our actual machinery to work full time. Higher prices, therefore, must obtain in future ; nor should spinners and manufacturers wish it other- wise ; for experience has fully shown them that no circumstances can cause them so great or so certain a loss as an inadequate supply of the raw material ; and higher prices can alone avert this supreme

evil."

There is thus not only a market open for colo- nial colton, but a supply is urgently required from the colonies to meet the present consumption. The writer's opinion that higher prices must obtain in future, in order to secure the quantity of raw ma- terial required, appears to be based on carefully prepared and sufficient data ; but those who con- template growing cotton here must not in their calculations overestimate this probable increase of

price.

It is certainly highly satisfactory to receive from time to time, such unequivocal testimony to» the quality of the cotton samples sent from Au- stralia, more especially when it is taken into account that those samples were produced from seed obtained at hazard. A supply of good Sea Island seed is highly desirable ; and we are glad to here that Mr. Donaldson has sent home for .some, with a view to its being carefully tried in the neighbourhood of the Paterson and William Rivers. A bale of cotton grown on Mr. Bucknells estate, on the Paterson, was sent home in the Agrícola, in January last, through Mr. D., who will no doubt, in due course, furnish his fellow«colonists with the result of the experiment.

The perusal of the article in the Economist has strengthened our conviction, some time ago ex- pressed, of the expediency of confining the first efforts in cotton-growing in Australia to the finer descriptions. We question if inferior kinds will bear the expenses of cultivation and of transit to so distant a market as Britain, and leave a profit to the grower.

FRIGHTFUL TYRANNY OF THE BRITISH

GOVERNMENT. - THE CASE OF MR. PATRICK O'DONOGHUE.

THE following " specimen of the journal of Mr. Patrick O'Donoghoe," the present editor of a newspaper in Van Diemen's Land, will show how severely the tyrannical government of England visited the offences of the Bdllingarry cabbage- tree heroes. The studies of Messrs. O'Brien, Meagher (afterwards O'), and O'Donoghoe, will amuse the reader. The extract is from The Na- tion, Dublin newspaper :

SPECIMEN OF THE JOURNAL OF MU. PATRICK

O'DONOGHOE,

On his Way to Exile on board Her Majesty's

Sloop-of-War the Swift.

Thursday, 12th July-1th day.-Very rough. Great rain ; a stiff'breeze all night. After break- fast Mr. Meagher read aloud the " Book of Judith." My sea sickness better. I read " Tom Cringle's Ijog." Ship going three knots an hour. Sailors engaged at twisting ropes, &c. On the verge^of the Bay of Biscay, very heavy swell. After dinner M*Manus and I played a game of cards. Tea at six o'clock, after which O'Brien read aloud a peti- tion of Plutarch's " Life of Pericles." Still sea-

sick.

Friday, 13th.-Sea-sickness better. Mr. Meagher read aloud a chapter from the " Book of Wisdom." Went on deck, and read a portion of "Tom Cringle;" also M'Cullock's " Account of Van Diemen's Land." Two o'clock-about 200 miles off' Spanish coast. Three ships on our lar- board, coming from Mediterranean. Dinner beefsteak pie and biscuits. O'Brien and Meagher read aloud, alternately, remaining portion of Life of Pericles. Great annoyance from crackling of ropes, crying of the watch, and ringing of watch bells, officers' orders, and noises of all sorts.

Saturday, 14th. - Cocoa for breakfast. Mr. Meagher read six chapters from the Book of Wis- dom. A young nobleman, a midshipman, about thirteen years of age, named Lord Ockham, mount- ed the rigging for the first time this evening. He is a grandson of Lord Byron, his father, the Earl of Lovelace, being married to Ada. A fine boy, with dark expressive eyes. Mr. O'Brien read aloud Plutarch's Life of Cato the Elder. To bed

at nine.

Sunday, 15th.- Church service read by the captain, during which Meagher, M« Man us, and I remained below, and read our prayers privately. Went on deck at two o'clock. Saw an English barque, which crossed our lee ; signals answered by our captain j sea rough. Mr. Meagher read for me the Memoirs of Chateaubriand as we leant over the bulwarks at the gangway. Beautiful composition, great moral grandeur, far from the infidel tone of the generality of French historians and philosophers. After dinner read the Sermon on the Mount. 150 miles off Lisbon.

Monday, 16th.-Went on deck, and read the Catholic Epistle of St. James. Afterwards read some of Moore's Poems. Returned to the cabin, and played cards with M'Manus. After dinner read Emerson's Essay on History ; also the Voyage of the Nemesis to China, and one chapter of the Bible. Meagher read aloud Dickens's Pickwick, and O'Brien concluded Plutarch's Life of Cato the Elder.

Tuesday, 17th.-Sun very hot. Read Captain Tandy's Travels in the Arctic Regions. Dined at three on hashed mutton , read Book of Wisdom for Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Meagher read aloud an election sketch from Pickwick, true to life. Q'Bu- en read Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades.

Wednesday, IfiUi.-Madeira, in view. It is of an oblong form, both extremities composed of shelving rocks uf a conical shape, sharply pointed.

Some portions of it remind me of the Hill of Howth, Lambay, and Ireland's Eye, from Dublin on the Howth road. God be with that road,"its graceful windings, clusters of trees, and beautiful villas. A delicious perfume scents the gale which blows from the island. Hundreds of porpoises are disporting themselves round the ship, occa- sionally jumping to a great height out of the water. Evening calm-not a ripple on the waters ; the entire crew singing on deck, accompanied by a fiddle, the gay little doctor of the ship dancing a hornpipe.

Thursday, 19th.-Mr. Meagher read Byron's Siege of Corinth aloud ; also Byron's poem on George the Fourth's visit to Dublin in 1821. Mr. O'Brien read Byron's monody on the death of

Sheridan.

Friday, 20thl - Read Ecclesiasticus. Mr. Meagher on this day announced the "0" as a prefix to his name; henceforth he is to be known by the nime of Thomas Francis O'Meagher. Went on deck. The entire crew assembled on deck, with a fiddler playing Irish jigs and Scotch reels. Mr. O'Brien read Moore's Evenings in Greece.

Saturday, 21st.-Read Tom Cringle ; smoked a cigar.

Sunday, 22nd.-Read Book of Maccabees for O'Meagher and M'Manus. The captain read the church service on deck, surrounded by the crew. The fly fishes are frisking about. This day twelve months I took the chair as vice president of the

Grattan Club.

Monday, 23.-Entered the tropic of Cancer last evening. After dinner O'Meagher read aloud

Lalla Rookh.

Tuesday, 21th-16th day.-After breakfast Mr. O'Meagher read several chapters of the Bible. Went on deck. Day hot and gloomy. Sun nearly vertical. Ship sailing eight knots an hour. Read Byron's Vision of Judgment, and several other poems. After this Mr. O'Meagher read Lalla Rookh. Went to bed at eight, and slept well.

Wednesday, 25th.-Off' Cape Verd Islands, on the African coast. Day gloomy. Read Byron's Age of Bronze. It was this night twelvemonth O'Brien, Dillon, and I entered Ballingarry at the head of about five hundred men, whom O'Brien addressed from the chapel wall. On yesterday evening twelvemonth we entered Mullinahone for the first time, and unfurled the green banner. After some hours about two hundred men were assembled. The influence of Father Corcoran

and his curate, Father Cahill, dispersed them. O'Meagher read the Fire Worshippers.

Thursday, 2ßth.-Saw Islands of Brava and Fogo, two of the Capo Verd Islands,-Fogo con laming a volcano, which emits great quantities of lava, and is 9000 feet above the level of the sea.

Friday, 27th - Nineteenth day.-Read four chapters of Ecclesiasticus aloud. Read Byron's works the remainder of the day. O'Meagher read Lalla Rookh at night. Went to bed at nine. The ship becalmed, but torrents of rain all night, which, pouring into my berth, kept me in a warm bath till morning.

Saturday, 28th -Twentieth day.-The ship still becalmed, rain still pouring. A deep dark atmo- sphere, insufferably hot. Great headache and loss of appetite. Went on deck a short time, took a pill, and went to bed.

Sunday, 29th -I have thrown away the dirty old wig,-my hair, like that of the strong Naza rite. Samson, having grown, though I am now in

the hands of the Philistines.

Monday, 30th.- Saw four immense porpoises gamboling. Read Shelley's Queen Mab.

Tuesday, 31st.-Off Sierra Leone, quite black. I saw a star-like meteor flash for an instant, and disappear.

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