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STATE STEAMERS.

STATEMENT BY MR. MOXON.

I When spoken to by a "West Australian" J

representative with regard to the State > steamers on Saturday, Mr. W. E. Moxon, i

the manager of the Adelaide Steamship j

Co.'s affairs in this State, could only be i induced to discuss the subject on couti't'on that the political side of it was not rr f wi ed to, but he had some remarks to >:iake -in so far as the commercial aspect was con- cerned. He stated, that when his company lost the North-West coastal contracts, which were secured by the State service, it immediately withdrew its steamer from the North-West trade. He had at the time explained that the North-West trade was unprofitable before the s.s. Western Aus- tralia entered into it, and therefore, as I the s.s. Allinga could not be run at a pro 1 fit, she was withdrawn, and she was now I profitably employed elsewhere. The com-

pany also had the s.e. Junee running under charter last year on the coast, but more lucrative employment being available *be 1 also was transferred. As the introduction I of the Government steamers took away con

. siderable of the earnings formerly enjoyed ' iby steamers which took cargo northwards

and stock southwards ; a« the low rates on : stock which obtains for coastwise vessels !

, could only he quoted when there, was euffi-1 ! cient up freight as well as down "freight to : make the round voyage possible, and as

J there was not sufficient up trade now to ' warrant it, obviously tonnage had had to ; ho withdrawn. Th's was entirely the busi . ness aspect. His company looked upon the i State steamers and any other shipping ven

j ture that attempted to force itself . into

trade from an entirely business point of v!ew. His long experience in the North West/trade warranted him in emphatically stating that the coast did not provide Fuffi cient revenue to warrant the introduct'ou of a third competitor, and the result must necessarily he that the introduction of Voat« of the Koombana tvpe or any improvement of the existing type of ship working the coast would be impossible under pit snit conditions. So far from there being felt anv rancorous feeling or of placing his c«ra pany against the Government, Mr. Moicn said that the company did business with (he , State service for a part of its requirem-juts, \ and it had not any fault to find in conuec

i tion with its dealinge.

! The writer of a letter on the subject of

State steamers, which wa«? published in last Friday's issue of the "West Ausrtalian," asked : "Is it not surprising that as shipping companies keep an account of every trip as it ie completed, and prepare earnings notes

for ihp tain, nf, mrprv nnrf. wlipr« MTriinffB

are made, there should be such murky ob- J 6curity regarding results, which should be ; apparent trip by trip? Call for the trip

accounts, general public, and only take thc !

figures from the Auditor-General?" The at- j

tention of Mr. Mosen was drawn to this.

He said that euch a question should surely ; i not be necessary, for if entirely separate «

trip accounts were not kept the manager I

I could have no indication as to how a par- j j ticular venture had turned out, and ho I : could not adjust his rates for future ven- |

tures, or similarly make a reduction in the ( event of competition, if he had sufficient | margin to do co. The general manager* of . every shipping companv was aware how each j one of the ships was doin<r trip by trip, and j there should not be any difficulty in prepar-

ing such a statement as that asked for. j

Tn conelus'on, Mr. Moxon remarked : "I do i not want on any account the suggestion to be made that my companv i's girding at the I fact that it lost the Ñorth-West and south

East mail contracts, as everv ton of shio pinç belonging to us is busily cmploved, I and it is perfeot'y true that, except under I profitable conditions, any company is far

better without a mail contract, as the lat- ter carries heavy responsibilities. The ! contractors are liable to a fine of £5 per

I hour if the mail steamer should run late

and a satisfactory explanation is not given."

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