Volume 65: Macarthur-Onslow correspondence, 1846-1929: No. 410

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[Page 410]

growing, and the dimensions of the industry in old silk-growing countries, but the question for us is, how are we situated with regard to it here in New South Wales.

  It seems to be the opinion among experienced men, that we are exceptionally favoured in regard to Climate and general conditions.

Chinese to Japanese merchants visitors to the Sydney Exhibition of 1879, told a Macclesfield manufacturer who was the judge of silk exhibits, that "New South Wales was the best place in the world for growing silks."  When we remember that China is the oldest silk growing country in the world, and that in far-off days there it was death to give silk-worm eggs or reveal any of the methods, this testimony tells.  And we have the further practical testimony of the Italians at the little settlement of New Italy, on the Richmond River, New South Wales, who lately harvested their first crop of silk off one-year-old trees.  They are astonished at the facility with which silk is grown here as compared with their native country.  A rearing off such young trees would have been there impossible.  One year's growth in Italy being about three feet, while here these trees have reached a height of twelve feet in the same time and are well weighted with leaf.

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