Saturday, January 7, 2012


Our Chinese fellow citzens evidently understand the game of deputationising. Messrs Sew Hoy and Kwong Sing Wing, who were accompanied by Mr H. Houghton, waited upon the Hon. Mr M'Lean yesterday morning, and brought under his notice what they considered to be a hardship inflicted upon the Celestial race in this part of the world. Messrs Sew Hoy and Kwong Sing Wing are two well-known Chinese merchants.^ carrying on business in Stafford street, Dunedin. Mr Hou&hton explained that green ginger was largely imported from China to Otago, and used as an article of food by the Chinese residents. The duty of 3d per lb levied upon the dried white ginger of commerce, was also levied upon this green einger, which is xiLcd plentifully as a vegetable by the Chinese. Ihe latter thought that this duty was excessive, as it amounted to about 200 per cent, upon tho prime cost. Mr Sew Hot pointed out tnat in Melbourne the duty imposed on the green ginger was only 5 per cent. Mr M'Lean said that if this green ginger could not be manufactured here into dried ginger, the duty certainly looked like a hardship. Mr Sew Hoy said they sustained a further hardship through a great deal of the green ginger going bad during the voyage from China. He had a large quantity in bond at present, and a great deal of it had become useless through decay; yet he was called upon to pay duty for the bad as well as the good. Mr M'Lean said he did not think duty would be charged upon the ginger that went bad. If it were, it would certaiuly be a hardship. He did not see that there was anything to prevent the green ginger from being converted into dried ginger, and in that case if it were admitted at a lower rate of duty, the duty imposed upon dried ginger might be evaded altogether. Until he ascertained whether or not that could be done, he would say nothing further. Mr Sew Hoy was understood to say that they could not convert green ginger into dried ginger. Mr M'Lean thought there was scarcely any necessity for going to China to obtain the green ginger, as it was grown in large quantities in the South Sea Islands. Mr Sew Hoy thought that the ginger grown there could not keep longer than for about ten days. It was grown in Sydney as an experiment, but it decayed too rapidly. That grown in China kept well because of the hot climate, and through its being left in the ground for more than twelve months. Mr M'Lean promised to enquire into the matter, and the deputation left with him samples of the green and dried ginger, of which they brought several packages. Otago Daily Times , Issue 4623, 9 December 1876, Page 3

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