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Foreign Relations of the United States

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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

United Kingdom ,   pp. 1-135 PDF (51.1 MB)

Page 102

tinuously since 1885 have received compensation for the carriage of
mails either on a lump sum basis or a fixed amount per mile. The value
of the foreign trade between the Dominions and the United States for
the last sixty years has shown a constant, large, and healthy expansion
upward. In 1880 the total of imports and exports amounted to
$7,670,000, in 1900 $33,427,000, in 1910 $55,692,000, in 1930 $134,889,000
and in 1935 $98,000,000. The southern trans-Pacific route is considered
an essential trade route and warrants adequate, suitable, and modern
ships. Figures indicate that the Matson Line has not carried an undue
proportion of the cargo business available. Prior to the initiation of
the new Matson service in 1932 the three American ships then in the
trade were constructed in 1900, while the four British ships were built
in 1908, 1911, 1913 and 1924. It was inevitable that new and modern
ships would eventually be placed in service on this important route.
It so happened that the Matson ships were the first replacements.
  The Matson Line has used every means to promote and cultivate
friendly relationships not only with the commercial interests of
Australia and New Zealand but with the competing British lines serv-
ing that territory, and has consistently refrained from quoting any
rates or fares which could be construed as endeavoring through these
means to attract business away from other lines. It has maintained
its position in the shipping conferences and has made rates, fares,
rules and regulations in cooperation with those interests. Further-
more, the Matson Line vessels carrying passengers in the local trade
make one round trip only between New Zealand and Australia each
month while the Canadian-Australasian Line, Huddart Parker, Ltd.,
and the Union Steamship Company, have a joint schedule in this trade
with five ships. Doubtless, much of the Tasman Sea passenger traffic
carried by the Matson Line, is created by the character of the service
rendered. The Thirty-fifth Report of the Imperial Shipping Com-
mittee stated:
  "The important fact to be borne in mind is that the Matson Line
has won its present position not by cutting rates but by superiority of
amenities and speed."
  The general tourist business built up by the Matson Line during the
last few years has been a distinct benefit to New Zealand. While infor-
mation regarding the total amount disbursed in the Dominion is not
available, this business is certainly of an attractive nature, and indi-
cations from the Dominion point to a full appreciation of its value.
It is conceivable that the Matson Line, as a result of a prohibition on
the carrying of passengers on their present itinerary, may find it
necessary to alter their service.
  In view of the circumstances set forth above, especially the change
in the type of assistance provided for American vessels by the provi-

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