John H. W. Pettit letters to his family in England, illustrated with sketches by the writer, 1852-1868 - Page 297
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on the condition that for the first 12 months the new gold-field yields 5000 ounces per week. So much importance has been attached to facilitating easy communication from this colony to the Snowy River, that the government have already taken steps to have a line of road surveyed, and with this and other schemes afloat, intending emigrants will find these new regions of wealth as accessible from Melbourne as from Sydney.
The Inglewood diggings are making great progress both in extent and richness. A large number of building have gone up within the last few weeks - a newspaper, a post office, and an escort have been established; and a telegraph, it is expected, will soon follow. The first escort left with 9233 ozs.of gold, and £2432 in cash.
JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
Another month of dulness and inactivity in commercial circles. Notwithstanding the punctual arrival of the English mail with advices to the 16th of March, no improvement took place. The up-country trade has fallen off, and transactions have been considerably curtailed in consequence. In ales and porter, very little has been doing, and prices remain nearly the same as
last month. The spirit market was somewhat animated at the commencement of the month, and prices slightly advanced. Martell's brandy is now quoted as 11s. 6d.; old tom, best brands, are firm. Very little has been doing in wines. The flour market has been somewhat quiet, but, in the absence of foreign supplies, prices will advance. Wheat is quoted at 9s.6d. Oats have advanced slightly, and a little business has been done in the retail trade. There has been little doing in the market for Eastern produce. There has been a fair demand for rice, and a slight advance has taken place. Butter remains firm at 1s.5d. for first-class parcels. Candles: Belmonts are selling at 1s. 5d., Nevas at 1s. 5½d.; both are in good demand.
In the stock and share market, business has been limited, and very few transactions have taken place. Several of the mining companies have had their bi-monthly meetings. The shareholders in the Gordon Parker's Company have determind to wind up, and a document has been sent round for signature. The Melbourne shareholders in the Emu Reef Company have held a meeting, and expressed their dissatisfaction at the conduct of the local directory.
The banks now issue drafts on england at 60 days' sight at par. Drafts against gold, etc., purchased at 1 per cent.
discount. Freight on gold per sailing vessels, 2½d. per oune,; per overland mail steamer, one per cent., deliverable at the Bullion office, Bank of England. To Mauritius, Ceylon, or Indian ports, ¾ per cent; to Hong Kong ¾ per cent. Insurance 1½ per cent.; and overland 1¾ per cent.
A meeting of the shareholders in the Sandridge Sea Bathing Association was held on the 17th, and a dividend of 2s. per share declared.
The second half yearly meeting of the shareholders of the National Bank of Australasia was held on the 1st. The balance-sheet showed a balance to the credit or profit and loss of £7,472. The outgoing directors were re-elected with one exception, and the meeting broke up after a very stormy discussion. The manager has since resigned. A special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held on the 3rd., for the purpose of receiving the report of the committee appointed at the annual meetin to consider the commercial depression. The cause assigned was the falling-off in the yield of gold, from the cessation of immigration, and the excessive importations.