The subject of banking in the; Colony, !
has been so fully discussed by two of our I valued correspondents, J. Fallowfield and Q., that we will not occupy the time of our
readers farther than to contine their attention
to the real position of the present bank, and j the probable hold the new banking com-
pany will have upon the consideration of S
the public. j
Our present bank, it is fully admiltcd, hag s
been of most essential service to the com- »
muni ty; the establishment was originallyr formed willi this view, and the effect hi
been generally felt and strikingly apparent
to all who have inquired into its operations, '
or, in the course of business, have enjoyed j the partial assistance it affords. But it has ! become a matter of question whether the j
period has not arrived when more extended j facilities should be offered, by an estab- lishment receiving from the public the means from which such immense profits arc derived* If banking business is con- ducted at 12| to 15 per cent* charge upon the customer, it would appear idle to tell him that it is for his own benefit, and cor- rective agaixibt over-speculation, that he
should not have double the sum at half the rate of interest. Thooc who advance such
a doctrine are strange cursors of other men's means, and guardians of the public weal, for the man who in good for a sum at 12¿ per cent., must naturally be a better man with an advance of double that sum, at half the rale of interest; and the extra- vagance to milich this Email bank is said to oficr a moral check, is less likely' to be in- dulged in by a tiniving borrower,than in the case of an individual hampered by a load of interest, -which absorbs the greater pro- portion of his profits. I he existing bank acknowledges, we believe, that, in the want of competition, ihey will be induced to make concessions to meet the state of the money market. What becomes then of the high-flown assertion that the bank was es- tablished for the public ? why do not the proprietors thiow off their overw eaning affection for extravagant dividends, and meet the public liberally, before the hour of compulsion arrives ? It is narrow-minded policy not to do so, as they would gain to their establishment a feeling that their views were patriotic, and they would bind the Co- lonists by one tye of interest strongly united
with their own.
The hold the Australian Bank will have upon the community, appears to be centred
in the reduction of the amount of interest
chargeable on discount,-their extended fa- cilities in making advances,-and, gener- ally, a more liberal mode of conducting their business; added to these, they have a claim upon us in consideration of our pre- vious applications to them, which were fa- vorably received ; and, in such an instance, when we have been honorably met, and are likely to be fairly and liberally dealt with, we suspect the public will not hesitate to receive and reciprocate the advantage with- out any regard for the claims the local Bank may set up for their considera-
In offering these remarks we are by no means influenced by a disposition to dis- parage the usefulness of a local bank, cir- cumscribed though it ntfiy be, but we would rather see that the proprietors were urged on to feel the necessity of either uniting with, or preparing to meet their formidable competitor in the " money market."
The following communication from
friend, contains some matter for reflection on the part of our Colonial Bank Direc- tors, and thp proprietary j we must, how- ever, dissent from the proposition, that an increase of capital will occasion a rise in prices; this unwholsome staje of things has been forced to its -uttermost bounds, and competition being created'by increased
facilities, will undoubtedly have the oppo-
" Is the Bank o£ Western Australia to merge into the Bank of Australasia? This .0 a question of considerable importance to
the public, and it is desirable that its merits and demerits should be fully discussed, be-' fore the period of decision arrives, as a gentleman instructed to negotiate the sub- ject is understood to be now on his passage
here. ö ,
"A portion of the proprietors appeal- de* sirpus that the Bank of Western Australia should continue to exist under any circunv stances; that its capital should be increased» its rate of charges diminished; and its mode of business changed, to meet *tho views of some who dissent from its present system. 1 shall, in the first instance, ex. plain my ideas on this subject, as it effects the interests of the public, and then add some observations on those of the shares
a It must naturally result from the operas tions of two rival Banks, in so small a com-. munity, that money will become too abunda ant; giving rise to overspeculation, not based on real capital, and consequently we must expect occasionally, seasons of disaster, involving the prudent as well as the incautious. This abundance of money 'will cause commodities to rise in prices .
the effect may not be injurious to those en- gaged in trade, but must be prejudicial to ¡those who live on fixed incomes. And it [must be borne in mind that the additional I capital to be raised, in order to strengthen
the crusting Bank to meet an opposition, must be abstracted from other objects of investment, more profitable and more ne^
"As regards the shareholders, I doubt whether they can devise any plan, however perfect, which wonld unite so many suf- frages as the present system, or which" coulee have the effect of preventing the estab- lishment of the Branch of the Bank of Australasia. That.measure has been de- liberately decided on, and, I apprehend,
their agent will have no power to aller that " s decision. Such being the case, if the pro-. jposais of that establishment, which I pre-L j sume are liberal, are declined by the pre-. j sent Bank, their Branch Bank will, proba-
bly, act on the same sysicm adopted at Syd-, ney. The rate of charge for discounts will be reduced ; the Bank of Western Austra- lia must do so likewise ; thus diminishing their profits considerably, besides the fur- ther loss of dividing their business with ¿he rival establishment. The day of extras ordinary profita has passed, and they have hoy/ to choose between a moderate profit in case of union, and, in case of opposition, no profit at all. it is true, the Branch Bank would then be maintained at a loss, but if it is an object that it should be established, in what may be considered a rising settle- ment, a sacrifice of «£1,000 a year, to gain that object, would not lessen the amount of their general profits by more than sixpence in the pound ; and, I question whether it would suit the purposes of tim Colonists, to whom capital is &o valuable, to pursue this, losing game.
" Banking, within proper limits, is a bles- sing which has sustained this Colony in the hour of need, but in excess, it has prov- ed a scourge. The Bank of Western Aus-. tralia professedly originated in a desire to, promote the public good : we shall shortly see whether the proprietors are still actuated hp that laudable motive. The introduction of new capital to a large amount,*adminis- tered by one Bank, under a proper system, would infuse new vigor, and many advan- tages would result from a numerous and very influential body of men becoming di- rectly interested in our future progress and prosperity.. If I have fallen into error, I shall be happy to see it corrected, or to be the means of eliciting the true principles by which we should be governed."
Timber and Fire-wood Taxed. The Town Trust of Perth have brought about this consummation, not most devout- ly to be wished. Sawn timber is advanced to-25s. per 100ft., and firewood to 16s. per cord, if you offer to complain at the prices you are told, " but §ee the duty we have to pay," So in reality this imposition of a duty has formed a pretext for an in- creased charge upon the amount to be le- vied for duty, of several per cent. The" fact is, taxes in various forms are sa rapidly accumulating, that it behoves-us (q look,
about tis; look at our anticipated revenue«* of <£8,000^ to be derived from a handful of individuals, during the ensuing year. It may be a master stroke of policy to repre- sent to the world oui* capabilities of paying such sums, but the ready 'conclusion any prudent man coidd arrive at, and, more par* ticular3y,'a long headed Secretary of State would be, if you can raise so much within yourselves, you require less ffom, us; Will it be credited; that m the midst of à wilder*
»ess,«-a forest,--we have to pay a duty for our few logs of fuel. The mandate issued by the Directors is, and must naturally be, evaded by nine-tenths of the inhabitants, but m the mean time, after an old and ap- proved fashion, those who can pay must make up for those who will not; and the fallacy of imposing a tax which it is utterly impossible to collect is evident. The gen ^tlemen, the Directors of the Road Trust, .must consider and weigh well the conse-
quences of their acts ; more especially, as we see but little effected hythe means thus daily drained from the pockets of the
Guildford Road.—We understand the bridges on the Guildford road are in such a ehameful state that parties aware of the circumstance, have positively refused to lot their horses for hire, to go upon this road.
What are.the Trustees of Roads about? many of them traverse the road weekly ; has it never occurred to them that some re-
pairs were required ? The excuse which will no doubt be assigned for neglecting this road at present is, the probability of opening the road, on the opposite side of the river, so soon as the bridge across the flats, already tendered for, shall be complet- ed ; but it must be remembered that, during the several months intervening until the opening^of the bridge, much injury may be sustained by the public, equivalent even to tenfold the outlay which at present might remedy the evil.
Shipping.—Under the head of " Ship- ping Intelligence," in the Morning Adver tiser, our attention has been directed to a notice that the Laurie, of and from Mau- ritius, was totally lost at Swan River, pre- vious to the 9th October. The Lancier is the vessel no doubt alluded to, but as the circumstances under which this vessel was lost, are not alluded to, our port undeserv- edly obtains a bad name, and the rate of insurance is kept up greatly to our injury. The loss of the Lancier, on a fine calm day, was attributable solely to the hasty determi- nation of the Captain, to attempt to make an unauthorised passage into Gage's Roads to save a few hours in rounding Rottnest island. The misprint may deceive our friends at home into the belief that another
vessel was lost, we therefore give this cor- rection.
Botanical Specimens.-The season is approaching when our richest botanical i specimens may be seen, and collected and'
S reserved, with care, in their full bloom.
Ir. Drummond, a botanist of acute obser- vation, has contributed largely to the stores of information under this head, to several institutions in England and Scotland, with which, wre believe, he is still in communica- tion. Notwithstanding the other occupa- tions of shecp-iarmmg, etc., to which his attention is necessarily devoted, no time is lostf in the pursuit of the science he is so ably qualified to forward.