Strong prejudice, and the interest of parties connected with the timber-trade in other countries, have served to keep the inexhaustible forests of Western Australia in the obscurity which has hung over them from primeval times.
The first explorers “loaded their vessels with timber” when ready to return to Greenland, where the lack of timber was so great that the settlers found it necessary to use stone for building material. The Vinland timber-trade became naturally an important business, but neither Greenland nor Iceland could furnish emigrants to occupy the country.
Quebec was the great timber-trade and shipbuilding centre; Montreal the point where furs were collected for export. From Quebec 151 vessels took clearance in 1774. In 1800 there were 21 Quebec-built vessels on the local register. Ten years later there were 54. The Great Lakes had no such early development. Moreover, the days of their small beginnings were full of retarding difficulties.
It is the same with all other speculations; no one will embark, even in a timber-trade, when he knows that he is placing his capital at the mercy of a grasping and short-sighted Government. How much more lucrative, and how much more statesman-like would it prove, were our rulers to display as much good policy as the peasants of Norfolk, who do not pluck their geese until they be well feathered!
The immense piles of sawn timber lying here give to us new-chums some notion of the vast timber-trade of Northern New Zealand, especially since we learn that much which goes to the South Island and elsewhere is shipped direct from Whangaroa, Hokianga, the Kaipara, and other ports in the north.