Opportunity for exploiting Samoa

A Samoan farmer tends a crop of taro, a nutritious, farinaceous root resembling a turnip. — Otago...
A Samoan farmer tends a crop of taro, a nutritious, farinaceous root resembling a turnip. — Otago Witness, 1.4.1924
Mr S.J. Collins, head accountant of the Samoan Crown Estates, who is at present in Dunedin, explained in the course of a conversation with a member of our staff, the policy which the Administration proposes to adopt for the disposal of the estates. Among the properties that are to be offered for lease are Mulifamia, Vartele, Baslele and Magia, which are the four largest plantations in Western Samoa. The three first mentioned are copra plantations of 4200 acres, 1400 acres and 1800 acres respectively of fully-bearing coconuts. The last-named is a cocoa plantation, which has recently been interplanted with coconuts. The conditions on which these would be offered for lease were as attractive as it was possible to make them, and it was regarded as desirable to attract New Zealand capital only. Copra has been produced by the Crown Estates at under £15 per ton at Apia and it should be possible to reduce that figure. The freight rates by direct steamers from Apia to London or the Continent are within the vicinity of £5 a ton, and given an average price in London of £25 to £30, the margin is very considerable. Mr Collins says there is a great field in Samoa for the production of bananas and pineapples. There exist at present the land, buildings and plant of a pineapple canning factory taken over from the late German company, which operated it up to the military liquidation period. These assets remain almost intact and could be made to produce revenue from canned pineapples in 12 months. Mr Collins considers there is an opportunity for exploiting the pineapple industry with a capital of not more than £10,000. Samoa possesses the soil, climate, and other conditions. What it needs is capital, business energy and enterprise to exploit its natural resources. It is suggested that if these are forthcoming from New Zealand, then instead of being a burden to New Zealand, Samoa will become a blessing.

Chemists’ school to be discussed

The sixth annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand will be opened at the Overseas Rooms on Monday, when the visiting delegates, who are coming from all parts of New Zealand, and one from Australia, will be welcomed by the Mayor (Mr H.L. Tapley). Many subjects are to be discussed, some of which are of interest not only to chemists but to the public as a whole. Amongst them is the matter of better control of the sale of narcotics and other dangerous drugs, and the establishment of a school of pharmacy to provide for a better education of pharmaceutical students.

The problem of meths

An elderly man, who it was alleged had been drinking methylated spirits, and was in too shaky a condition to appear in the City Police Court yesterday, had a charge of drunkenness against him adjourned for a week to enable him to be medically examined meanwhile. Mr J.R. Bartholomew SM was the presiding magistrate.

Influx from South Otago

The large annual picnic of residents of the Catlins district and of other parts of South Otago will arrive here by special train at half-past 10 this morning, leaving again at about half-past 4. It is expected that the train will bring about 1500 passengers.. — ODT, 29.2.1924

Compiled by Peter Dowden