3rd Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Re-arrangement of Portfolios.
– I should have much preferred the Prime Minister to undertake the duty which, through his absence, is cast upon me. I regret to have to announce to the House the resignation of the Treasurership by my late colleague, the right honorable member for Swan. The letter in which he announced to the Prime Minister his intention to resign is as follows -
Grand Hotel, Melbourne,
My Dear Deakin, -
I very much regret that I feel compelled to tender, through you, my resignation of the office of Treasurer in your Government.
This action is very painful to me, when I remember the termsof intimate friendship which have existed between us for so long, and is made more so owing to your recent illness, from which, however, I am glad to learn you are becoming convalescent.
In my opinion, however, the outlook in Parliament, and the necessary observance of my election platform leave me no alternative.
Assuring you of my personal regard and esteem,
Believe me to remain,
Yours very sincerely,
To that the Prime Minister replied -
Melbourne, 30th July, 1907.
My Dear Sir John, -
Your regret is not greater than mine at the sudden discontinuance of our official relations, though of course those which have so long existed between us personally undergo no change.
I hope you will always enjoy the same harmonious associations that have existed in our Cabinet.
I am all the more reluctant to lose the great advantage of your assistance in the. Government, which is highly appreciated by all your colleagues, and especially by myself, because there is not, and has not been, anything rendering your retention of your high and responsible office in any way a sacrifice of principle’ or departure from your election platform. In all such matters one’s own sentiments properly count for a great deal. Each must judge for himself and sensitively what his obligations may demand before taking a step so unfortunate for all of us in the present state of business, but in respect to which I can only accept your resignation in the same regretful spirit in which you have tendered it.
With kindest regards, .
Your very truly,
The Right Honourable Sir John Forrest,
I desire to say, on behalf of every member of the Cabinet, that we sincerely regret the step which has been taken by the right honorable member for Swan. He is a gentleman who is esteemed throughout Australia, having held office for many years as Premier of the State of Western Australia, and having been a ‘ member of a Commonwealth Ministry, and a colleague of many of the present Ministers almost ever since Federation began. His relations with the members of the Cabinet individually have been most harmonious, in fact, I may say, in rebuttal of statements which have been circulated- at various times, that the harmony has never been disturbed. We have been a united family, as a. Cabinet should be. There are, of course, occasions when Ministers differ,, as they must when their principles compel them to do so ; but, although there have been slight differences of opinion, there has never been acrimony in the relations between the right honorable member for Swan and his late colleagues. That fact makes it the more regrettable that he has left us at this time. In view of his past career, and the work he has done for Australia, not only as a politician, but as an explorer of the interior of’ the Continent, a very large number of people must also regret his determination. It is no doubt an inconvenient time for him to leave; but I am sure that his relations with Ministers will continue as cordial and as sympathetic as they have been in the past.
– Will the honorable gentleman announce what changes are to be made in the Cabinet ?
– I am to fill ‘the vacancy created, becoming the Treasurer, the honorable member for Eden-Monaro is +0 be Minister of Trade and Customs, and the honorable member for Maribyrnong is to be Postmaster-General.
– I ask whether we may take it that the resignation of the right honorsable member for Swan is not due to any difference on a matter of public policy? I do not think that that is an unfair question.
– I have read the letter in which the right honorable member announced his intention to resign, and the Prime Minister’s reply to it. If he himself desires to say anything on the. subject, he is, of course, at liberty to speak, but it is not for me to do so. I decline to say that I know of any very serious differ ence on matters of policy.
.- I crave the indulgence of the House to say a few words. First of all, I desire to thank the Prime Minister for the friendly letter which he addressed to me in accepting my resignation of the Treasurership in his Government. Our friendship has been a lengthy one. We have not always been in agreement - and at the present time I differ widely from him as to the course that should have been taken - but the harmony of our personal relations has never been disturbed. I regret, owing to his unfortunate illness, that I have been compelled to take this step at this particular time ; but I felt that unless I took it now, when Parliament is fresh from the elections, it would lae impossible for me to take it later on. I had always intended to resign if the parliamentary outlook became what it seems to rue to be at the present moment. In my letter to the Prime Minister, I stated in a very few words the reasons for my resignation. I am not satisfied with the outlook in Parliament, and if I am to conform to my election platform, I do not think I can consistently continue ;to hold office under present conditions. I wish to say to the House, and to every one, that my action is my own. There is no_ one on this side of the Chamber, who heard of it from me, and there are only two honorable gentlemen on the Govern ment benches who were in my confidence. Therefore, I wish to disclaim any idea that there has been any cabal or any agreement or any understanding with regard to the action I have taken. I wish also to say that in taking my seat on the front cross Opposition Bench, I do not intend that of itself to be regarded as a hostile act to the Government. My reason for taking a seat here, is that I consider that my place in the House must be consistent with my platform when before the electors in December last, and it must appear so as well as be so. The public of Australia cannot go into intricacies in regard to matters of this sort. They judge by what appears, and my seat and my conduct in the House, must not on j be consistent with my election pledges, but must be patent to all. This, sir, is the reason why after careful consideration, I have taken the very grave step of taking my seat in the House alongside those who, like my colleague from Fremantle, and all the others here, were elected on exactly the same platform as myself. I am of the opinion that the public can see but little difference, and that the public of my own State will see no difference between habitually taking support from a party, and being in alliance with that party. My friends in the Labour corner - and I think I may call them my friends-
Labour Party Members. - Hear, hear !
– By every one of them I have been treated with’ respect, except, perhaps, on an occasion or two, and I have a regard, and a friendship too, for nearly all those honorable members of the party with whom I have come in contact. My friends in the Labour corner would have resented my conduct if I had delayed taking the course I have taken. They could fairly say, “ It is pretty hard on us to support a Government which includes a member who strenuously opposed us at the General Election, and did his best to defeat our party in Western Australia.” Of course, I should have an answer to that. The party tried to drive me, and- the Prime Minister, too, out of public life, but that was only tit for tat : I was doing the same thing with regard to them.
– Hear, hear. That is quite fair.
– I wish to say this to all my friends who were not in Western Australia - and my Western Australian friends will bear me witness, I think- that all through the campaign, I never mentioned the name of any member unless, perhaps, I mentioned the leader of the Labour Party by quoting something which he had said. I dealt with principles only, and not in any way with personalities. I can assure honorable members that I fought the election fairly ; but I did my best to defeat them, and I have no doubt that they did their best to defeat me. However, that is all past now. We are not going to carry the animosities of election time into our lives. Still, I can make a good deal of allowance for some honorable members who were put to considerable trouble and perhaps some expense in fighting their elections, and who may think that I had much to do with that. It is only reasonable that they should resent keeping me in office on a good fat salary after all I had done, or was thought to have done, to defeat them in their electorates. I think that they are right. I do not believe in fighting a party at election time and then, finding the need of that party,- taking them to my bosom afterwards. And if there are any members of that party who resent such action by me or by any one else, I consider that they are quite right, and I should be very much inclined to do the same, although I should be perhaps a little more polite in doing it than some of them were to me. I am of opinion that the course I have followed is much more creditable and honorable than the course of holding on to office by the favour of those I had so strenuously opposed. I should not have been surprised if they had despised me if I had continued in office, and submitted to be contemptuously treated, knowing all the time that they had a dominating influence and control over my remaining in office. These are the reasons which have actuated me in the course I have taken. As my friend the Minister has said, I have had a long career in this country, working in the public service and the public interest all my life. I have tried to hold up my head as a public man, so that no one should say that I had ever done anything that was discreditable to me. If there is one thing I do value it is my good name and the good-will of the people who know me well and among whom I have lived and worked; and I certainly shall not now, at the age of sixty years, do anything that will bring discredit upon myself, as I feel that I should have done if I had held on, under existing conditions, to place and power. My career in the public service has beer* a long and arduous one, extending over forty years. I have enjoyed supreme power for a long time in my own State before I came to this House. I have had six years’” experience of Ministerial office here. I ami not going to say that they have been six years of pleasure, because I have had toface great difficulties, and to undergo great* trials in filling the office of a responsibleMinister during the first years of Federation. But I can say that, although I haverelinquished office, although I have surrendered place and power, I never felt freer from baneful influences or more bold in my desire to do right than I do ‘to-day, because I . have the knowledge - and this= will sustain me - that I am doing what isright. During the recent election campaign-‘ I was asked the question twenty times by my opponents, “ What will you do should? the Deakin Government meet Parliament in a minority, and if you are dependent for your Ministerial existence upon the support of the Labour Party ?” Every time that question was put to me, it was in my mouth to reply, “ I will not continue. to hold officeshould such a contingency arise.” I felt that that was the only honest answer whichI could give. Perhaps I was not so outspoken then as I am now, and I replied,’ “ That is a hostile question, and I am notbound to answer it. I will take the fencewhen I get to it.” I have reached the fencetoday, and I have taken it. I wish to say to my friends in the Labour Party that F entertain no personal feeling against them.’ Some of them are mv best friends, and T hope will be my friends always. If during the years in which I have filled the” position of a Minister, or if in my capacity as a private member, I have done anythingto offend any honorable member of this House, I ask him to “ rub it off the slate,””’ and let us begin again. I thank honorablemembers for their kindness in permitting me to make this statement.
Mr. EDWARDS presented a petition’ from the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, praying that in the new mail contract provision should be made for the mail steamers to call at Brisbane and for cold storageaccommodation ; also that Queensland? should not be asked to contribute more thar her proper share of the subsidy to such* mail service.
– I desire to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether he has any objection to lay upon the table all the papers and correspondence which have passed between his predecessor in office and parties outside the House in regard to the resolution affirmed during the last Parliament relating to the importation of patent and proprietary medicines?
– I have no objection to comply with the honorable member’s request. I shall be very glad to furnish the information which he desires.
– I wish to invite the attention of the Minister of Defence to the following quotation from the report of the Military Board for the year 1906 -
The recommendations of the Committee of Imperial Defence for a general scheme of defence of Australia are contained in a memorandum, No. 40 C, dated 28th May, 1906. This memorandum was received at Head-quarters on 15th July,1906, and submitted to committees of officers of the Commonwealth Military Forces, assembled at Melbourne on the 4th September, 1906. The reports of these Committees were -submitted to the Minister on the 12th September last.
In view of the fact that the report contains the following comment on the above -
The preparation of defence schemes is necessarily held in abeyance until the strategical conditions are formulated and accepted by the Government,
I wish to ask the Minister whether - seeing that he has had ten months in which to consider the matter - he has yet arrived at a decision in regard to it ?
– If the honorable member would exercise his memory, he would know that the country has not yet been fortunate enough to command my services in the capacity of Minister of Defence for more than four months.
– I put the question to the Minister as the head of the Department.
– Immediately upon my taking office, the question to which the honorable member has referred, obtruded itself. There was a difference of opinion between the Imperial Committee of Defence and Australian officers. There is always a difference of opinion between military experts. At that time, we had no peace establishment, and no war establishment - in fact, no defence system at all. The work of harmonising the difference of opinion to which I have referred has been one of ex treme difficulty. Now we have a peace establishment and a war establishment, and, presently, we shall have everything that we desire. It is very difficult indeed to harmonise the English opinion with the Australian opinion; but I will. endeavour to do this as soon as possible, and I presume that, in a month or two, I shall be in a position to inform the House as to what is to be done. I am sure that the honorable member himself will appreciate the difficulty which surrounds the question.
– I wish to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs if he is in a position to inform the House whether the guarantee of £25,000 lodged by the contractors for the mail service to Europe, whose contract was recently cancelled, has vet been converted into cash ?
– The reply to the honorable member’s question is, “ No.” Instructions were given to the Commonwealth representative in. London to demand immediate payment of the guarantee, and further instructions are now being forwarded to take all necessary legal proceedings to recover the money if it be not forthcoming.
– I desire to ask the Acting Prime Minister whether any or all of the immigrants being landed in Australia at the present time are under agreement, and, if so, whether their agreements have been examined by the authorities with a view to ascertaining if they are in accordance with the terms of the Act?
– In reply to the honorable member’s question, I am not aware that all the immigrants to whom he refers are under agreement. In fact, I think that some of them are not, but I have had no official information to that effect. A few days ago, I noticed a statement in the press that some of them are not under agreement, and that these intend settling in whatever State most favorably impresses them. However, I will make inquiries into the matter, and will furnish the honorable member with the information which he desires.
– I wish to ask the Attorney-General whether it is a fact that he refused to allow a representative of the New South Wales Chamber of.
Commerce to be present at the Conference which was recently held in that State to consider the Bankruptcy BiT ; and., if so, whether he intends to consult the Chambers of Commerce throughout Australia before finally determining upon the shape of that measure?
– When the decision was arrived at to frame a Bill dealing with bankruptcy matters, the Government were confronted with this difficulty: that the six States had six different administrative systems, which had originated in their own peculiar conditions. Consequently, before we considered the foundation for a Bill - although we had the Bill in draft - it was deemed highly advisable to invite all the expert officers who had been administering the State Bankruptcy Acts, to hold a preliminary consultative conference with the Commonwealth authorities. When that step was decided upon inquiries were made from New South Wales and other States, whether outside- bodies could make representations.
– Chambers of Commerce ?
– We were asked whether those representations could be made in connexion with the Companies and Bankruptcy Bills. In fact I received a deputation to that effect, and. my reply was that we should be only too pleased to consider representations that were made to us by any representative bodies concerned. The only thing that we asked them to do was, to put their representations specifically in writing, so that we might appreciate their points.
– The Minister did not show them a draft of the Bill?
– It was impossible to do so at that stage.
– The Minister sent a copy of another Bill to the banks.
– None of those for whose use the legislation is proposed have seen the Bills.
– Who are they?
– Every one in Australia is interested in them.
– The Chambers of Commerce of Brisbane and Sydney made representations, and in Melbourne a combined report was obtained from the Chamber of Commerce, the Law Institute, and the Institute of Accountants. Their representa tions were submitted to us, and’ are nowreceiving consideration in connexion with the draft Bill.
– Upon the Minister’s answer, I wish to ask whether, before the Bankruptcy Bill is submitted tr> the House, he will give the Chambers of Commerce of Australia, and, if he thinksit desirable, other bodies, an opportunity of seeing the draft, and making suggestions as to the proposed legislation?
– r-We are only too pleased to receive suggestions from all the variousbodies that are interested in the proposed legislation - not only from Chambers of Commerce - because, naturally, each body concerned will make representations specially affecting itself. If any such- representations are made, we shall be pleased togive consideration to them.
– That is not ait answer to my question.
– The honorable and learned member wishes to know whether we will send round the draft Bill.
– As the Minister of Trade and Customs sent out a draft of the Customs Bill.
– I am not aware that he did that.
– He said that he did.
– I am not aware of it. At this stage I am not inclined to send the draft round to every representative body that may desire to receive it. I must make inquiries and look into the matter for myself. If it be considered necessary toobtain the opinions of any public bodies we shall be glad to obtain them, and we shall also be glad to receive suggestions which Chambers of Commerce and other such bodies may make.
– They cannot make suggestions until they know what the Government is going to propose.
– In Victoria the bodies which I have mentioned have made them> very fully.
– I wish to ask whether the Attorney-General will promise to give me a copy of the particular Bill to which reference has been made at the earliest’ possible moment?
– The honorable member will receive the same courtesy as every other honorable member receives.
– Following up the last question, I should like to ask the Attorney - Ceneral in whose interests the Bill relating to bankruptcy is being introduced ?
– In the interests of the public of Australia.
– I wish to ask the Attorney- General whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a. Royal Commission with power to take evidence from all the bodies interested in the Bill to which reference has been made, before he submits the measure to Parliament ?
– I have no intention of recommending to the Prime Minister the appointment of any Royal Commission whatever.
– I wish to ask the Acting-Prime Minister whether he noticed the following paragraph which appeared in Saturday evening’s Herald -
The negotiations between the Victorian Butter Freights Committee and the five steamship lines carrying produce to London were broken off to-day. An offer to pay a certain rate on butter had been submitted by the committee, and at the meeting of the committee to-day a letter was read from the steamship combination declining the offer.
In view of this information, I should like to ask whether the Minister will at once introduce a Bill for the purpose of establishing a Commonwealth line of mail steamers ?
– In reply to the honorable member, I have to state that there is a question upon the business-paper to-morrow in the nameof the honorable member for Barrier in reference to the same matter. I shall have to reply to that question to-morrow. It is difficult, however, to say where we should find the means to construct steamers even if it were decided to adopt that policy.
MINISTERS laid upon the table the following papers -
Transfers of amounts under the Audit Acts approved by the Governor-General in Council - Financial year 1906-7 (dated 19th July, 1907).
Amended Post and Telegraph Act Regulations - Telephone Regulations - Part I. - Telephone Exchanges; Part VI. - Telephone Junction and Trunk Lines, Regulation 51 ; Press Rates, Regulation 55 ; Part XI. - Time Signals - Statutory Rules 1907, No. 74. Value Payable Post - Regulation 4A; General Postal Regulations - Salt of Postage Stamps of one State in ‘another State - Statutory Rules 1907, No. 75. Private Mail Bags - Statutory Rules 1907, No. 79.
Amended Public Service Regulations - Nos.88, 88a - Statutory Rules 1907, No. 76.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
Whether he will obtain a report as to the probable cost of the alteration to the Port Elliot Post Office?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -
A report has already been submitted as to the cost of altering the Port Elliot Post Office, but it is not considered satisfactory, and a further report will be obtained with a view of providing suitable accommodation at that office.
asked the Minister of Defence, upon notice -
Is there any objection to his placing the correspondence between General Gordon, Major Hawker, and Bombardier Arthur E. Lang on the Library Table for inspection by members?
– I have not yet had an opportunity of considering these papers. 1 will inform the honorable member a little later on.
asked the Minister of Defence, upon notice -
Of what schools is the Second Battalion School Cadets composed ?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -
Scotch College, Church of England Grammar School, and Wesley College, Melbourne; St. Xavier College, Kew, and Church of England Grammar School and Geelong College, Geelong. The whole question of the re-arrangement of the Cadet Battalions of the Commonwealth has been delayed in consequence of the revision of the Cadet Regulations. These regulations have now been issued, and it is expected that the rearrangement of the Battalions will be considered shortly.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
In view of Regulation 49, under Part IV. of the regulations with respect to public telephones, will he reduce the charges for three-minute conversations between Bathurst and all surrounding centres within ten miles connected with the Central Exchange there, to1d., instead of charging 4d. as at present?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -
One penny is the proper charge for a threeminute conversation between the Bathurst Telephone Exchange, and all surrounding centres within a distance of ten miles which are connected with that Exchange, and steps have been taken to have this charge applied forthwith.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
Whether he will see that telephone exchanges are established at Norwood and Unley so that some of the present anomalies in telephone charges in South Australia may be obviated.
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -
The establishment of Telephone Exchanges at Norwood and Unley will be considered at an early date in connexion with the general question of Branch Exchanges in the various suburbs of Adelaide.
Motion (by Mr. Hutchison) agreed to -
That a Return be laid upon the table of this House, showing -
. The number and names of all South Australian firms of agricultural implement makers who have secured exemption under the Excise Tariff 1906.
The number of labourers employed in making agricultural implements by each of said firms who are classified as “ used to the trade,” and the number classified as “ not used to the trade,” and the wages paid to each.
The number of employes, other than labourers, employed in making agricultural implements by each of said firms, who are classified as “of average capacity,” “slow, under average capacity,” and “ under average capacity,” setting out the various occupations.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 26th July(vide page 1083).
First Schedule (vide page 1062).
Fibres. - N.Z. Flax, 10 years, 10 per cent. on market value,£3,000.
.- I do notintend to oppose this item, but wish to impress upon honorable members the fact that the peculiar characteristics of the country in which flax is grown in New Zealand have been largely responsible for the success of the industry. New Zealand flax grows naturally over very large areas there, but it is only of recent years that the preparation of the fibre has been a success. For many years those who sought to treat the naturally-grown flax lost largely, and in granting a bounty for the encouragement of the industry, the Government of the day must not fail to recognise that prospective growers must receive adequate instruction in the work of cultivation.
– Why does the honorable member speak of “ the Government of the: day?”
– Because changes frequently take place. We might have the honorable member once more holding office as Minister of Trade and Customs, and called upon in that capacity to administer this measure. The honorable and learned member for Bendigo and other honorable members have urged the necessity for the establishment of an Agricultural Bureau to supply to growers of these various products information that will enable them to enter upon the work with a reasonable prospect of success. Our desire shouldl be to secure success from the outset. New Zealand flax will grow only under certain conditions, and it is an open question whether it could be profitably produced in circumstances different from those in which it grows naturally in the sister Colony. For many years I have had large plants of New Zealand flax growing in my own garden, alongside a river where they have done well ; but we have to carefully consider whether it can be profitably cultivated in circumstances differing from those obtaining in New Zealand. If it can, then we shall be able to establish a very important industry, and put toprofitable use large areas of swampy land at present considered to be of practically ho value. As a matter of fact, this flax will grow only in land which is periodically flooded. I should be delighted if, as the result of practical instruction given to our producers, we were able to establish in Australia a large industry in connexion with New Zealand flax.
Mr.RE ID (East Sydney) [3.45].- I should like the Attorney-General to tell us whether it is correct that, as stated by the honorable member for Corangamite, New Zealand flax will grow only in swampy land? If it is, the possibility of the industry being successfully established inAustralia isvery seriously limited.
– The experts who met in conference have reported on the conditions under which this plant will flourish in Aus tralia. They state that there is every reason to believe that it can be successfully grown in Australia, and, as a matter of fact, it is being grown in places that are not flooded to the extent suggested by the honorable member for Corangamite.
– It must either be grown in swampy lands or very close to a watercourse.
– Success has attended its experimental cultivation in Western Australia, and there is every reason to believe that all the coastal country south of Fremantle is admirably adapted to its production.
– There are also large areas in Victoria which are suitable.
– That is so, and it can likewise be grown in Queensland.
.- On the occasion of a recent visit to New Zealand, I observed that flax was being largely cultivated there, although the production of the fibre, as an industry, was still in its infancy. I found it difficult to obtain accurate information about the growth of this plant, and am very doubtful whether the Industry is one that ought to be bolstered up by means of a bounty. If, as is said, large profits are to be made from it, we may well leave private enterprise to establish the industry without State aid. I agree with the honorable member for Corangamite that we should first of all establish an Agricultural Bureau to instruct inte’nd- Ing growers, among other things, in the steps necessary to the successful cultivation of flax. It was pointed out to me, while in New Zealand, that the successful cultivation of flax there is due largely to the fact that the supply of the necessary labour is adequate. The treatment of New Zealand flax involves work of such a disagreeable character, however, that I am inclined to believe we should find it difficult to secure the’ requisite labour. In order to insure success in its treatment a man has to stand up to his middle in stagnant pools - and such pools in Australia would be infested by mosquitos - and thresh the leaves in the water in order to separate the fibre from them. The report of the expert? sets forth that two tons of dressed fibre at .£20 per ton will yield ,£40. That is self-evident, but I was informed in New Zealand that the price obtained for dressed fibre was only £8 or £9 per ton. I am not satisfied with the experts’ report, much of which, by the way, has been culled from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. That is not the sort of thing we expect. We desire the evidence of experts.
– The honorable member will see that those figures were obtained from the officials of the Department of Agriculture in New Zealand.
– I prefer the evidence of practical men to that of the average’ official.
– I merely wished to correct the misapprehension, which the honorable member was apparently labouring under, that these figures were taken from the En- cyclopaedia Britannica.
– I desire to protest against being constantly misrepresented in this fashion. The Minister would apparently desire to make me contradict myself, and swallow my own words.
Item agreed to.
Flax and hemp, 5 years, 10 per cent, on market value, £8,000
– I observe that linseed (flax seed) is included lower down in the schedule amongst the oil materials supplied to an oil factory for the manufacture of oil to receive a” bounty. Flax cannot be grown for fibre without the linseed being grown at the same time. The two things are interdependent. There appears in one of this morning’s papers an article on the production pf flax, and the extraction of the seed from the flax as it is bought from the growers. Flax has been grown in Victoria for many years. I have attempted to grow it myself in the Western District. A large quantity was produced there at one time, but the farmers gave up the industry, as they found there were other products which paid, them better with less trouble. At the same time, there is a large area of. land throughout Australia which is suitable for flax cultivation. To give a bounty of £8,000 for flax and hemp, and another of ,£5,000 for flax seed, is practically to double- bank the .bounty on flax. Both the fibre and the seed are valuable products. The manufacture of the fibre into linen, twine, rope, &c, is a very important industry, and the seed is extremely valuable for the feeding of stock and the extraction of linseed oil. The honorable member for Laanecoorie asked me if the fibre and the seed could be obtained at the same time. I may tell the honorable member that, according to the article in this morning’s paper, most of the manufacture of flax in Victoria is carried on at Pentridge by the prisoners. The governor of the gaol buys the raw material from the farmer. It is broken, and the seeds taken out at the gaol. The fibre is then retted, broken, and scutched. The finished product, in the shape of fibre, is then sold to the manufacturers, who make it into twine, rope, and other articles. The seed, on the other hand, is sold to those who use it at the present time in Victoria, not so much for the extraction of oil as for conversion into crushed linseed and linseed cake for the feeding of stock. There is no necessity for double-banking the bounty in the way proposed in this schedule.
– The point mentioned by the honorable member for Corangamite was naturally not overlooked by those who made these recommendations. Probably the honorable member, with his extensive knowledge of agriculture, has, through a little slip of memory, for the moment forgotten the facts pointed out on page 10 of the memorandum. The following there appears -
Flax, when grown thin, is a prolific seed producer, but when cultivated for fibre, the more valuable product, the great aim of the grower should be to produce a plantwith a single seed boll on top.
A heavy crop of seed cannot be obtained at the same time as a large yield of fibre, or even a small one, of good marketable fibre. (Flax Culture, J. J. Wilson.)
The experts recommended the granting of two bounties, because flax grown for the fibre will not give the same results as that grown specially for the seed. It is therefore necessary to have one bounty for flax used for the production of fibre and another for the plant grown to obtain linseed.
Item agreed to.
Jute. 5 years, 20 per cent, on market value,
.- I should like to know when the Government discovered the national importance of the jute industry, because I find that it is not mentioned in their Bill of 1906?
Mr. GROOM (Darling Downs- AttorneyGeneral [3.57]. - Will the right honorable gentleman allow me to explain ? Unfortunately the right honorable gentleman was not present when I introduced the measure. If he had been, he would have known that the schedule which we are now submitting had been revised by experts, including one from his own State of New
South Wales. We also had the benefit of the advice of the Department of Agriculture of Queensland. The experts mentioned in their report the immense importance of the jute industry.
– I should think it was one of the most important of the lot. I simply desire to know why it was not mentioned’ before ?
– The right honorable gentleman will recognise that there is. a multiplicity of commodities capable of being successfully produced in Australia. This item is strongly recommended by the experts.
– I do not object to it at all.
Item agreed to.
Sisal hemp, 10 years, 10 per cent. on market value,£3,000 agreed to.
Mohair, 10 years, 10 per cent. on market value,£2,000.
.- There are some honorable members on this side of the Chamber who feel that the arguments so far presented by the AttorneyGeneral for granting a bounty for the production of mohair, are not as strong as; they might be. One honorable member informed me that he intends to move the omission of this item, and the addition of the amount to the bounty proposed for cotton.
– Has not that honorable member altered his opinion since then?
– I do not think so.
– Has the honorable member seen him since?
– I have not. Mohair is produced from Angora goats. It is very valuable. The goats can be grazed on country that will not carry anything else. They will do well on scrub country that will not carry sheep, and will practically carry only rabbits, but rabbits can live only on the ground floor, whereas the goats can live on anything up to 6 feet in height. The general experience is, that to graze Angora goats greatly improves the land, as the scrub is eaten out. At the same time, the’ establishment of a herd is most expensive, and their natural increase is very slow. The danger of Angora goats,like other goats, getting out of bounds and straying on neighbouring property is also great. It is, therefore, important to consider whether the inclusion of this item in the schedule is justified by the probable value of the industry to Australia under present conditions. If an urea in some part of Northern Australia could be set apart where the Angora goats could be segregated and kept within bounds—
– lt would not do in the Northern Territory.
– I suppose not, because the hot climate would affect the quality of mohair. Perhaps the honorable member for Boothby will be able to give the Committee some information on the subject. In South Australia, more has been done in the production of mohair than in any other part of the Commonwealth. I speak on’ this item because I know that some honorable members desire to have the question carefully considered, whether, under all the circumstances, this industry is worth establishing by means of a bounty. Of course, if a bounty will cause production on areas which at present are unproductive, that is something in its favour, and, from that point of view, I do not intend to oppose the item.
– I expected opposition to this item, but hardly from the quarter from which it has emanated. Of all animals the Angora goat is the most independent; and I did think that so independent a gentleman as the honorable member for Corangamite would have been the last to attack its qualities. The main objection to this item, to my mind, is that it appears to be an easy matter to establish flocks of Angora goats in Australia without the aid of a bounty. Two years ago a friend of mind told me he was establishing a flock on the highlands of north Queensland ; and if members of the general community are prepared to enter this industry without a bounty, what possible reason can there be for placing this item in the schedule? There is one point I have heard discussed in connexion with the production of mohair. I understand that mohair will practically never wear out ; and, if that be so, it may prove a serious matter for our wool industry. If we encourage the production of an article which is practically indestructible, so much less wool will be required for the world’s consumption..
– I thought the honorable member was a student of political economy ?
– I do not know why the honorable member should think so badly of me; because I have always endeavoured to suit myself to the level and atmosphere of the House. I suggest that the Minister should delete this item, and, if he chooses, transfer the amount to some other item. These small amounts can be of no use in the establishment of an industry, if that industry cannot be established naturally. We cannot establish a great industry like that contemplated in this item on £2,000 a year. Think of all the money spent year by year on the sugar industry, for instance, and of the position of that industry today.
– Nothing is expended on the sugar industry.
– If the honorable member will say that he will say anything. The large sums spent on an industry like the sugar industry should teach us the folly of endeavoring to start a new industry on £2,000 a year, and, therefore, I suggest that the number of the items should be reduced as far as possible. If we are to have bounties let us have some which may possibly do some good, and not those which mean the frittering away of small sums to no practical purpose.
.- I desire to correct a statement made by the honorable member for Wentworth. When dealing with the question of bounties it should be remembered that the bounty paid in connexion with the sugar industry is more than compensated for by the excise paid on the product.
– I should like to hear from the AttorneyGeneral some justification for the appearance of this item in the schedule, seeing that the mohair industry has been established in Australia for a number of years. In North Australia Mr. Maurice has produced quantities of mohair, and a large number of bales might have been seen at the exhibition held in Adelaide two or three years ago. It is only where land is very poor that it pays to run goats ; and there is any quantity of poor land that would justify a person entering- this industry, more especially in view of the fact that after the goats have cleared it, sheep will thrive on the land. In any case, the mohair industry is already established here; and anybody who cares to go to the trouble and expense of placing Angora goats on his run will find the venture profitable.
– Is- the industry thriving now ? ‘ 0
– The industry is thriving in the district I represent; and a great deal of enterprise has been exhibited in the importation of Angora goats. Goats are very profitable animals, and there is a great demand for them; indeed, the demand is greater than the supply. Under all the circumstances this is a well-paid industry which does not require the encouragement of a bounty. At the exhibition in Sydney only a few days ago Angora goats were selling at£5 a head; and the production of mohair pays adequately when people can be found with sufficient enterprise to take up the inferior lands of the country with that end in view. There is no better sphere for this industry than the Northern Territory ; indeed, honorable members, when passing through the Territory recently, travelled for three days amongst no other stock but goats, which thrive well in that hot climate. But the main thing is to import Angora goats into Australia; and this is really a proposed bounty on the introduction of the goat. I should like to hear some justification for this item.
.- During the second-reading debate and subsequently several honorable members on both sides of the House, while willing to vote for the appropriation, expressed their intention to oppose a number of the items, and reduce the schedule considerably, and to meet the reduction caused by excisions the AttorneyGeneral agreed to recommit the appropriation clause if then passed. Where are those members now, and what are they doing to allow all these items to pass without objection? Probably, the declarations of those honorable members induced others to vote for the appropriation, inthe belief that a number of the items would be deleted. It has already been abundantly shown that there is absolutely no necessity to spend one farthing in the encouragement of this industry.I move -
That the item be left out.
– I hope honorable members will not agree to delete this item; in fact, I feel sure they will not take that step. The honorable member for Robertson may not have had an opportunity to look into the report presented by the Conference of Experts on this industry ; if he had he would have found that this item is inserted on their special recommendation.
– No one engaged in the industry has asked for a bounty, and I have read everything published on the subject.
– I am glad to know that wehave such an omnivorous reader on the subject of mohair, and the Angora goat.
– Was there a mohair expert at the Conference ?
– In reply to the honorable member for Franklin, I would say that it is not to be supposed that the Conference was composed of gentlemen who were experts in connexion with each item referred to in the schedule. They were, however, invited to bring reports and information from the various experts of the Departments to which they belonged, so that we might be in possession of complete information to enable us to frame the schedule. - The Queensland report was apparently built up in that way by information from the various experts in that State, so that it might have some authoritative character. This item did not appear in the schedule of the previous Bill submitted, but it has been included in the schedule of this Bill for this reason. We have divers conditions in different parts of Australia. We have in some places arid country, and scrubby country that is not very good for sheep and other purposes, and we have been informed that in the arid portions of Australia, and especially where there is an abundance of scrub, the Angora thrives and produces a heavy and valuable fleece. It is inaccurate to say that the industry is in a flourishing condition in Australia.
– Where is it not in a flourishing condition?
– Will the honorable member say that it is in a flourishing condition in New South Wales?
– I do say so.
– I should be very pleased if the honorable member could give the Committee some information as to the number of flocks of these goats in New South Wales, and returns showing the export of mohair from . that State. I think the statement is rosier than is justified by the facts. At the outside there are not more than 300 Angora goats in Victoria. There are several flocks in Queensland, and in that State experience has shown that the returns are sufficiently promising. I find this in the Queensland report on the subject -
There are several flocks of Angora goats in Queensland. The fleece weighs from 3 lbs. to 5 lbs., varying according to individual animals, and the quality varying with the purity of the breed. The fleece of the buck weighs from 6 lbs. to 9 lbs. The goats require little more attention than sheep. If we average the fleece at 4 lbs., at is. 3d. per lb., each goat will produce 5s. Thus, on 3,000 acres, sufficient goats might be reared to yield a gross income of about ^750. Shearing, at £1 per score, would amount to ^150, and this, with baling and freight, would be the principal item of expenditure. Besides the mohair, the skins are valuable, and there is always surplus stock for sale.
At the present time there are only a limited number of these animals in Queensland, and I understand that there are a few also in South Australia and Tasmania; but the industry contains within itself the elements of success, and therefore it is one which we can strongly recommend, especially in view of the fact that it can be pursued in some instances as a subsidiary industry in association with other rural operations. I ask the Committee to retain an item which has so much to commend it.
.- I feel that the House having affirmed the principle of this Bill, one should not take up too antagonistic a position to some of these proposals. The proposal to give a bounty on the production of mohair seems to me to afford some opportunity of employment to the aboriginal natives of Australia, because I understand the Angora goat flourishes in the most arid regions. From a humanitarian point of view, therefore, I feel strongly inclined to support the proposals. But I am very much grieved to find that the Ministry have altered the construction of the Bill. Under this Bill it is only the aboriginal natives who will have a chance to look after the Angora in the arid regions of the Northern Territory. In the last Bounties Bill the Ministry submitted a more broadminded provision to this effect -
The employment of any aboriginal native of Australia or of any coloured person born in Australia, and having one white parent, in the growing or production of any of the goods specified in the schedule shall not prejudice any claim to a bounty under this Act.
There was some liberality in that provision, inasmuch as an aboriginal, and in addition any coloured person’ born in Australia of parents, one of whom was white, would be permitted to be employed in these industries. Under this Bill, the coloured children of parents, one of whom is white, would not have an opportunity of earning the bounty. In the far north, a child of an aboriginal and a white parent would be placed in a very unfortunate position, since, if the child were engaged in attending to only one Angora goat on a large plantation, that would be sufficient to destroy a claim to the bounty. Is not that carrying the White Australia policy a little too far?
– I do not suppose that is intended.
– That would actually be the result of the alteration which is made in this clause. I have read the provision of clause 6, as it appeared in the Bounties Bill of 1906.
– Is that the right honorable gentleman’s only objection ?
– It is one objection; there is another which I shall mention. I have stated that under this Bill the provision is limited to aboriginal natives of Australia.
– I think that would include half-castes.
– I hope the Minister will have no objection to put that matter right later on.
– I shall have it looked into.
– There is another great objection to this particular proposal from the point of view of the manufacturers of Australia - and we must look after their interest. I find that on the authority of the Conference of Experts -
Mohair socks, after six years, were still perfectly sound.
What show will our great Australian manufacturing industries have, and what is to become of the great manufacturing industries of Melbourne if socks are to be still sound and good for wear after six years’ use ? I find this further statement made -
A mohair rug used at an office door for twelve years showed little wear, while the lustre and colour remained as distinct as when it was new.
It is but a bleak look-out for our manufacturing industries if we are going to encourage the use for clothing of products which will remain good for use for twelve years.
– A man might wear his grandfather’s clothes.
– He could wear his grandfather’s coat, and it would still be going strong. This is a matter which I think should be looked into. If the Minister will give the unfortunate people in the Northern Territory, to whom I have referred, some chance of earning the bounty proposed in connexion with this item, there will not, I think, be any bitter opposition to the proposal.
– I intend to support the amendment. It is admitted by the Conference of Experts that at the very best, this is likely to be but a poor industry. The value of the total annual production of mohair is put down at £1, 100,000. In my opinion, it would be far better, as the honorable member for Kooyong has already said, to confine our attention to one or two really good industries, such as the cotton industry. There is a world-wide market for cotton.
– I think the honorable member referred only to the English market for mohair.
– After all, the English market is the great market of the world, and foreign markets are so protected that I am afraid we could not enter them at all.
– That is not so in the case of this item, I think.
– I believe that the industry would be but a small affair, commanding only a small manket, and if we have any money at our disposal for these purposes, it would be better to add the £2,000 which is put down as the maximum for this article to the £6,000 a year it is proposed to give to the cotton industry, since that might, in time, become an immense industry. The experts who met in conference were not very certain about the matter, and say that it is well known that Australian stock-owners have a natural preference for sheep. Australian stockowners are not fools, and this preference is not to be wondered at, because a sheep will do wherever an Angora will do.
– A merino, at any rate.
– That is not always the case. One or two stations in the northern parts of New South Wales have been cleaned! of scrub by Angora goats.
– Angora goats are useful for cleaning country to make it available for sheep.
– Then why not turn them on to the prickly pear country ?
– If I were assured by an honorable member that he had seen goats eating prickly pear, I would support the item; but nothing will eat that. The market for mohair is only a small one, and I therefore ask the Minister to consider the advisability of striking out the bounty for its production, and adding the amount thus saved to the bounty for cotton, for which there is an immense demand, and which possibly white people may produce at a profit. In any case, the production of cotton is better worth a trial than the produc tion of mohair. There is plenty of capital in the pastoral industry, which has so far succeeded without a bounty, and I am certain that if pastoralists ever regard Angora goats as likely to prove more profitable than sheep, they will breed them.
– I hope that the item will not be struck out. We desire to bring about the profitable occupation of all our land, and as there is not too great a quantity of good land available for sheep raising or for agriculture, we should encourage industries for which poor land is suitable.
-A bounty is not necessary for the encouragement of the mohair industry.
– The raising of Angora goats has not hitherto been found very profitable, but, as reports put before us show, mohair is used for a variety of purposes, and consequently its production should be encouraged. It would-be a mistake not to give a bounty for the encouragement of the industry, seeing that not only can what are now waste lands be used for the raising of Angora goats, but that the goats make such land more valuable. The breeding of these animals has been tried in South Australia by Mr. Maurice, but he has not got the returns for which he was entitled to look. I hope that the bounty will encourage others to enter the industry.
.- I hopethat the item will be struck out. About the only result that can be expected from the bounty is that those who are now breeding Angoras will add a few more to their herds. These goats are kept chiefly to clean up rubbish, and as soon as it is got rid of, sheep, where the land is good enough, take their places. The farmer who would keep Angora goats in preference to sheep might justly be called a goat himself.
.- I do not know that there are any considerable herds of goats in South Australia at the present time. The Angoras first tried there were kept in the country at the back of the Mount Lofty hills, and did fairly well, breeding freely, and producing good fleeces. But, as the honorable member for Corangamite pointed out, it is difficult to keep these animals within bounds, and in settled districts they are liable to do considerable damage to adjacent properties. Consequently, the raising of Angoras was abandoned at the place I speak of; but it was afterwards followed with great success at a station called the Peak, which is situated near Oodnadatta, in arid country which has a rainfall of only six inches per annum. Although the industry thrived there, the herd was dispersed because of the death of one of the partners, and the animals were sold and” sent to other parts of Australia, and to South Africa. I do not suppose that a bounty of £2,000 per annum will lead to the importation of many goats. The sum is not a large one to divide amongst many breeders.
– It would not be much to give to any one man.
– I shall support the item, because the results obtained at the Peak run show that the goats will do well in the country in the dry interior, for which it is so difficult to find a profitable use.
– - If there is one industry in Australia that does not need a bounty from this Parliament, it is the great pastoral industry. A point which has been overlooked is that the sale of mohair depends very largely on fashion. For the last two or three years there has been a run on the article; but every experienced person knows that a few years ago it was practically unsaleable; it was not a remunerative crop. I think that where the Angora goat has been tried, the experience has been that where it will live a merino sheep will live, and that the latter will give perhaps a 200 per cent, better return than the former. I am relating the experience of other persons. The chief use of the Angora goat seems to be in eating up rubbish and cleaning the country, and wherever it has been found that it will be carried by the country, the merino sheep has taken the place of the Angora goat. If any great quantity of mohair were produced, the great probability is that before the bounty was payable, the article would be almost unsaleable; certainly it would not be sold at a remunerative :price. We are asked to grant a paltry bounty of £2,000 a year to establish an industry amongst a class of men who, if there is anything in the industry at all, do not want any assistance from this Parliament. .If the Angora goat is to be a success in Australia, it will not be because of that trifling bounty, but because in the experience of practical men it is better and more remunerative than sheep. So far as I know, that has not been proved yet in any part of Australia. If it is proved, we shall have immediately the answer that the pastoralists who find that the Angora goat is more remunerative than the sheep, do not want a paltry bounty of ,£2,000 a year. I am altogether opposed to the payment of these bounties, because I believe that they will entirely fail to achieve the laudable object of their advocates. But if it is intended to give bounties at all, do not let honorable members fritter away the money on trifling industries which will only be a failure when the money is paid. Let -us assist an industry that will give employment to the people. There is no one who will venture to say that the bounty in question will employ one’ additional person. It will not establish an industry, because wool is very much more remunerative than mohair. In nine seasons out of ten, the wool will fetch a very much better price than the mohair, and the carcase of the sheep is of infinitely greater value than is that of the goat.
.- I do not know why an attack should be made on this little item. If it is the intention of honorable members to be -lavish with gifts to every variety of thing, why should they exclude Angora goats ? This industry is on a par with a great many others in Australia, but I do not say that that in itself should recommend the bounty. Nearly thirty years ago I shore Angora goats. There used to be a very fine flock of them at Mount Bute Station in this State. They were thriving well there, and I am quite confident that if they were as profitable as sheep, there would have been many thousands of them in Australia to-day. It may suit a few persons who have Angora goats to get the value of their flock increased, but I have not much faith in the idea that by the payment, of this paltry amount we should establish an industry. Still, if we have more money than we know what to do with, let us give it to the goats.
– - The more one hears on this subject, the more amusing it is. I understood that Parliament was going to render some assistance to industries which were languishing. Is this an industry which is languishing? No! The Minister in charge of the Bill said that in New South Wales they had done very little in the industry. He had to go to New South Wales for what information he was able to give from the report. I recognise that it is an extract from Mr. Blaxland’s circular on the subject. This industry was not started first in South Australia. It was Victoria which first imported a flock of Angora goats into Australia. From Victoria the goats got into New South Wales, and afterwards from both New South Wales and Victoria they got into South Australia.
– No; they came from Asia Minor.
– Some Angora goats were imported from South Africa. Mr. Maurice had a very successful run in North Australia, which required no protection. The only reason for ‘breaking up that flock was because there had been a death in the family, and then the animals found their way all over Australia. There was a demand for the Angora goat. Why ? Because they prevent disease from taking place among flocks of sheep. They are good for poor country. As high up as they can reach on their hind legs they will eat off the young shoots. There is an inducement to have goats on land; but any goat is suitable for such a purpose in Australia. It takes five crossings to produce Angora goats, so that persons would first have to import animals before they could establish an industry, and become entitled to claim the bounty of £2,000 a year. It seems to me that the Government are merely killing time. Why do they not go on with the Tariff if they have one to bring forward, instead of wasting the time of honorable members -on a mere hoax. The industry, so far as it does exist, is a success. Mr. Blaxland, of New South Wales has written to say that, so far as he has gone, he has found it a most profitable industry. Any one who has sheep will buy goats if he can get them, because there is an inducement to have goats among sheep. There is also an inducement to have goats on poor land, but to talk about working up an industry by means of this bounty is ludicrous.
– 11 seems to me that there has been a mistake made in the spelling of the item. ‘ Whoever was responsible for the Bill has left out two letters. If he had written “more hair” the item might have commended itself to honorable members much more readily than it is likely to do. If
Ave are going to offer a bounty to induce people to undertake the breeding of goats, why not make similar provision to encourage the breeding of sheep? According to the little information which is available upon the subject, those who have embarked upon the enterprise of rearing Angora goats have done pretty well out of it Need I remind honorable membersthat the alleged experts who inquired into this matter declare that the mohair industry has good prospects, and that in certain portions of the Commonwealth Angora goats, will pay better than will sheep?
– Where do they say that?
– In the second paragraph of their report. They say, further -
The Angora is able to prosper under adverse conditions, and its fondness for scrub is a strong point in its favour.
Obviously, all that is required to establish a profitable industry is that persons who have large tracts of waste land shall import Angora goats. That opinion isstrengthened by reference to the report of the Queensland expert, who says -
There are several flocks of Angora goats inQueensland. The fleece weighs from 3 to 5 lbs., varying according to individual animals, and the quality varying with the purity of the breed. The fleece of the buck weighs from, 6 to 9 lbs.. The goats require little more attention than sheep. If we average the fleece at 4 lbs., at is. 3d. per lb., each goat will produce 5s. Thus, on 3,000 acres, sufficient goats might be reared to yield a gross income of about £750. Shearing, at £1 per score, would amount to£i$o, and this, with baling and freight, would be the principal item of expenditure. Besides the mohair, the skins are valuable, and there is always surplus stock for sale. The owner of 160 acres could make a good addition to hisincome by keeping merely fifty Angoras, allowing them plenty of scrubby country for a run. The mohair from them would be worth diaper annum, the increase could be sold, the oldgoats could be replaced by young stock, and theskins of the former would bring IS. 8d. per lb. A skin weighs from’ 4 to 5 lbs.
For the Government to ask us to sanction an expenditure of £2,000 by way of a bounty upon mohair in the face of that report is preposterous. Obviously, if there be such bright prospects for those who choose to embark upon this enterprise,, there is no need for them to be more than informed of the fact. If it be once demonstrated that the industry is a profitable one, I am satisfied that many persons who have small selections will utilize them for the purpose of rearing Angora goats, especially those portions which are not fit for grazing sheep. In another portion of their report I notice that the experts declare that after Angoras have been running upon country for some time the land becomes useful for sheep grazing. That should be an addi- tional inducement to settlers to undertake the breeding of Angora goats without the aid of a bounty.
Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta) £4.45]. - x should like to ask whether any difficulty is experienced in producing mohair ? It seems to me the height of stupidity to assume that the pastoralists of Australia have not tried this experiment long ago - that they have not tested its possibilities as a commercial product.
– Numbers of them have tried it.
– It was tried forty years ago.
– Exactly. They have long since arrived at the conclusion that it is more profitable to grow sheep than goats. Let us take all that can be said in favour of the mohair industry by the State agricultural experts. They tell us that upon 3,000 acres sufficient goats may be reared to return a gross income of £750. That is equivalent to a gross yield of 5s. per acre. I venture to say that upon good average pastoral land in the Commonwealth the yield per acre is at the present time more like 10s. Under such circumstances are we likely to Induce our pastoralists to replace sheep by Angora goats?
– Is the return of 10s. ‘ per acre of which the honorable member speaks derived from sheep and cattle, or from sheep alone?
– It is obtained from sheep. I do not believe that I am making an excessive estimate when I say that the gross income obtained from good average pastoral country is 10s. per acre. But in the production of Angora goats 5s. per acre is set down as the gross return.
– Is not 10s. per acre far too high an estimate of the yield from sheep ?
– Not for the gross return.
– I think so.
– I venture to say that 10s. per acre is not an extravagant estimate of the gross return obtained from good average pastoral lands.
– The honorable member’s . estimate is about 100 per cent, too high.
– The honorable member is speaking of the net return from pastoral areas, whereas I am discussing the gross return.
– Upon what carrying capacity per acre is the honorable member’s estimate based?
– I am speaking of average pastoral land. Only a little while ago I heard a competent authority declare that average pastoral country was worth ros. per annum under good conditions. Consequently it appears to me that there is not very much likelihood of mohair supplanting wool as an item of Australian production. I again ask whether any difficulty is experienced in growing mohair? I understand that the bounties specified in the schedule of the Bill are intended to assist in the establishment of industries which, in their initial stages, require assistance. But where is the difficulty in getting a flock qf Angora goats and allowing them to clear out scrubby country as suggested? Surely that is not a difficult matter. I know of nothing which would be more easy. I hope that the Committee will not sanction this waste of public money in an attempt to force upon the pastoral life of Australia an industry which has on many, occasions been tried and found wanting. I do not say that the production of mohair should not be encouraged, but it could be done without the payment of bounties. Let the industry be conducted as collateral with some other species of mixed farming, and let the public money be applied in some more useful direction.
.- We have been listening for two hours to various phases of “goatology.” We are asked to spend ,£2,000 for the encouragement of the production of mohair. Last week, when I pleaded for an iron bounty I could not find a single supporter. In fact, I was treated like a lost dog, every one having a kick at me. I give that as an illustration of the way in which important industries are neglected, whilst we propose to lavish money on goats. Honorable members may be familiar with the phrase “ do not act the Angora.” For the benefit of those who have been reared in a refined atmosphere, I may explain that that means “ do not be so silly.” Surely that phrase could be applied to the present proposal. The absurdity of it is so striking that if there were any one present possessed of .the satirical powers of a Gilbert, he might make use of what is now going on for the purposes of comic opera. Why should we waste public money on encouraging the keeping of animals which are generally considered to be only fit to eat rubbish? Does the Minister seriously think that any good will be derived bv the Commonwealth from the expenditure of this £2,000? The honorable member for Boothby has told us frankly that there is no scope for the industry in South Australia. We should spend money on industries which will lead to the employment of the people, and will be more valuable to Australia as a whole than goatbreeding would be. The Bill has been recommended to us on the ground that it will encourage immigration. What class of people are we likely to attract to our shores for the purpose of keeping goats? Will it attract the Italian goat-herd, or the goatherd of Palestine, or of Abyssinia, orshall we attract immigrants from the country where, I believe, the goat is a “national bird?” I say nothing against the Welsh ; they belong to the land of my ancestors. But I do. not think that they are likely to be attracted to Australia by’ a ‘bounty upon mohair. In all seriousness, I ask the Committee not to “act the Angora “ in subsidizing this industry.
– The absurdity of this proposal becomes more apparent the more it is studied. I find from the report of the experts furnished to us that the total of the world’s production of mohair represents only £1,000,000, and that the crop, from each go’-tt represents only 5s. per annum.
– We learn from later returns that in England alone the imports of mohair are £1,500,000.
– That is different from the information supplied to us by the experts who say that the total value of mohair produced in the world is £[,000,000 from 4,000,000 pure Angora goats. The maximum annual bounty of £2,000 would cover the product of 2,000,000 goats. On the face of it, the Government could not have thoroughly considered this proposal, since there are only 4,000,000 Angora goats in the world. There is mo languishing industry to be assisted, and an industry cannot be established by the passing of this item. There ie nothing in the report of the experts to justify our agreeing to it. We have the statement on page 18 of the memorandum’ issued by the Minister that -
The figures quoted by the Conference from the
Pastoralists’ Review are apparently an underestimate of the world’s production, for Board of Trade figures show that the import for 1905 into the United Kingdom alone represented a value of ;£i>598,374.
Mohair is employed in the manufacture of a hundred and one articles. It is mixed with silk, and is even used in the manu facture of ties, but, whilst it is most extensively used in Great Britain, we find that the total value of th.e imports of mohair into that country in 1905 was only £1,598,374. This bounty would cover the product of half the Angora goat flocks cf the world. If the Minister has acted orr the advice of his officers in proposing this item they ought to be called to book, for it is one that is calculated to bring ridicule on the Parliament. The report of the experts states that these goats are worth from £4 to £6 each. I know as a fact that it is impossible to purchase them for less than £5 each.
– They were sold up to -C6 at the last Royal Agricultural Society’s Show in Sydney.
– That is so. Messrs. Blaxland and Knox have a flock of Angora goats in my electorate, and also one. in the electorate of Werriwa, but they find it impossible to cope with the demand for them. That being so, why should we waste time in considering such a proposal ? The industry should not require any encouragement of this kind. The fleece of a cross-bred Angora goat for the first year is practically of no value, and it is not until it is five years crossed that it produces the perfect article.
– It would pay the honorable member to run some on his own lands.
– I have endeavoured to secure Angora goats locally.. Mr. Blaxland had to import them from America, but Russia is really the home of the- Angora. I repeat that this proposal is a ridiculous one.
– - I wish to ask the AttorneyGeneral whether, in the event of an item in the schedule toeing omitted, the amount set apart in respect of it could be applied to another object provided for in the schedule? If, for instance, we struck out this item, could the amount set apart in respect of it be added to the bounty on the production of cotton?
– No; I think that the whole line would have to be omitted’.
– Under clause 2 a total appropriation of £530,000 is made-
– I have already stated that, in the event of any item being omitted from the schedule, I shall recommit that clause in order that a consequential reduction in the total appropriation may be made.
– Is there any constitutional reason for adopting that course ?
– This is really an Appropriation Bill for certain specified purposes, and we cannot divert any amount from one item to another.
– We can vary an amount.
– Quite so, but the point raised by the honorable member for Parramatta is whether we can leave out this item and divert to another item in the schedule the amount appearing opposite it. I doubt whether we could do that.
– Not on recommittal?
– I doubt very much whether we could.
– I thought that, under the regulations, the amounts could be varied.
– That could be done, but by striking out an item we should do something more than vary the amount set apart in respect of it.
– We could vary an amount by increasing it.
– We could divert to another year any amount not expended during the year fpr which it is set apart. But if the whole item went, the very foundation for the item would disappear.
– Do I understand that if we struck out half the amount set apart for this item, the balance could be added to the bounty to be given on the production of cotton?
– I do not think we could do that.
– That is to say, by no process of deletion could we increase the amount set apart for any item in the schedule.
– I do not think so.
– The opinion of the Committee seems to be that many of these items should be omitted, and I do not think honorable members would be adverse to a proposal that the appropriations made in respect of items so treated should be applied to other purposes specified in the schedule. If one point has been brought out more clearly than another during this debate, it is that this appropriation should be confined to a few of the principal items, and not scattered over the many paltry proposals that we find in the schedule.
– To meet a proposal of that kind, we should need to have later on a fresh message.
– I should like topoint out to the Committee the necessity of paying attention to the various stages of Money Bills. When in the preliminary Committee to consider the GovernorGeneral’s message, we could have altered these amounts as we thought fit ; but honorable members will recollect that it was protested at the time that it was a purely formal stage, and that the Government pleaded that we should not waste time in debating the question . at that juncture. That, however, was the stage at which these amounts could have been varied or altered. We are told now that we cannot vary them in the slightest degree. I hope honorable members will recognise the wisdom of the checks which are interposed, and the facilities for dealing with money measures that are afforded, in connexion with the various stages through which they have to pass.. The Attorney-General tells us that we cannot divert the amount set apart for this item to any other purpose ir> the schedule, because the resolution upon the message from the Governor-General was in itself an act of appropriation.
– A very different tune was sung by the Government when we were in the preliminary Committee.
– That is so. I hope that honorable members in future will carefully watch measures of this kind, because, once the preliminary stages have been passed, they cannot be altered so completely as they could have been before.
– When the message was under consideration, I said nothing inconsistent with the statement I have just made.
– I know that the honorable and learned gentleman is perfectly consistent. He says that we cannot strike out an item and appropriate to any other use the money set apart for it. We could have done so in the preliminary Committee.
– I misunderstood the honorable member.
– That initial stage, which Ministers claimed so emphatically to be purely formal, was, after all, really the only effective stage so far as this Chamber was concerned. However, it has gone by, and now it appears that we cannot do anything to increase these amounts, but can only strike items out. I hope that consideration will not deter the Committee from striking out the item now under discussion .
– I should regret it if the view of the honorable member for Parramatta could be given effect to, so as to allow one item in a schedule to be struck out, and the money for it to be added to another item.
– I think that is what can be done under this Bill.
– I’ sincerely hope not, for reasons both of business and procedure. If it could be done, let honorable mem.! bers consider the possibilities of log-rolling that would be opened up. In a schedule of one hundred items, there might be some in which several honorable members had a common interest - I do. not mean a personal interest, but a common interest as regards ahc welfare of their own districts. They could say, “ We will omit certain items which are not very popular, and add the -.money taken from them to the items which will suit us.” By that means it would be possible for honorable members to go behind the actual message sent by the GovernorGeneral through his responsible officers.
– If the House was strong enough to do that, it would be strong “enough to compel the Government to faring down a separate measure.
– That would be quite a proper -procedure. It will be quite open at the report stage for any honorable member to appeal to the House to give directions to the Government, and those directions the Government might or might not accept. I assume, however, that any reasonable Government would take the direction of the House at that particular stage, and provide the means necessary to give effect to the wishes of the majority. Surely that is the proper way to set about it. If, at this stage, an item cannot be justified, let the Committee omit it, but we should by no means agree to a proposal to omit an item and add the money to another item. That would be a dangerous procedure, which would undoubtedly lead to a condition of things that none of us particularly desire.
.- I desire simply to accentuate what I said before - that we are asked to pass what is more or less a retail Bill, and that instead of dealing with one or two large proposals, worthy of the Commonwealth, to encourage national industries, we are tinkering with the subject. The prolonged debate on this one item shows that the representations made last week by various honorable members were quite justified. I earnestly hope the sense of the Committee will be distinctly against this item, not only because it is undesirable in itself, but also as an indication of the objection of the Committee to the general principle o’f bringing in all these minor amounts. I protest against the inclusion of the item, and I hope it will not be sanctioned.
Mr. PALMER (Echuca) ^5.15]. - I intend to vote for the deletion of the item. ‘ I do not believe its inclusion will add a single settler to the land, or tend to encourage any industry substantially worth encouraging. It is also open to the objection which I raised at an earlier stage of this discussion, that the whole of these bounties, if they are agreed to, will probably go into the pockets of those who have already embarked upon the industries specified in the schedule. I find in the report of the Conference of Experts, the following extract from the Pastoralists’ Review -
The stud Angoras shown at the Royal Show, Sydney, by Messrs. Blaxland and Knox, were sold by auction ; one fetched 6 guineas, two 4 guineas, two 5 guineas each, one s£ guineas, and one Si guineas. These goats were just six months old.
This shows that Angora goats have already been introduced, and that certain individuals have flocks of them established. I take it that the only object of a Bounties Bill is to encourage people to enter into some industry which is languishing or some other which is entirely new. It has not been shown that this industry is either languishing or entirely new. It is probably being entered upon by a class of individuals who are financially strong enough, and generally well able to embark on any industry without State assistance.
– What was the date of the sale of Angora goats quoted by the honorable member?
– It took place at last year’s Royal Agricultural Show.
– How does the honorable member know? The report might be four or five years old.
– If the report is four or five years old, then there must already be sufficient Angora goats in Australia to mop up the whole bounty. If we are going to give any bounty it should be to some industry which promises to be of real substantial benefit to Australia.
.- The question put by the honorable member for Parramatta to the Attorney-General raises rather a difficult point. As I read the Bill, if we omit this item, it will simply leave, included in the total appropriation, a sum of money which can be applied to any of the other items in the schedule. The Government, having £530,000 available under this Bill, if it becomes law, will have power under clause 9 to vary the sums set out in the fourth column of the first schedule as the maximum amounts. If this item is struck out, it will mean that a sum of £2,000 a year for ten years is freed, and I do not see any legal objection to the Government varying the sum set down in the fourth column of the first schedule as the maximum amount payable in any one year -for ginned cotton from £6.000 to £8,000.
– The Attorney-General said he would do it the other day.
– I said the Government could do it by regulation.
– The clause provides that the Governor-General in Council may make regulations, “ not inconsistent with this Act.” The question then would be, whether a regulation of that sort would be inconsistent with the Act, and a very nice point of law would arise. As the Bill would pass, the amount for ginned cotton would be £6,000 a year. Then a regulation, claimed to be consistent with the Act, would vary the amount from £6,000 to £8,000 a year, and in one sense it could be held that that was inconsistent with the Act. I am sure that aspect of the matter requires looking into, as some question of the kind might be raised, although I do not know that any one would have any interest in raising it. We have the fact that the Angora goat has been established in Australia for a great many years, and that this is no new industry, or one which requires any initial capital, except that which is involved in every industry. As the goat thrives on arid land, we have a country eminently suited for it ; and there are no preliminary difficulties in the way. In view of these considerations, I feel inclined to give this money to some more important industry. It is quite clear that this industry is natural to many parts of Australia. From the useful report of the committee of experts, I learn that Angora goats are shown and win prizes at agricultural shows, and that there are sales of stud stock.
– With the existing produc-. tion, only about £38 of the whole bountywould be absorbed.
– This £2,000 per annum for so many years could well be used in> planting the seeds of some industry which might flourish in the future. My idea of a bounty is the planting of a seed, which may not come to anything, but which, on the other hand, may grow to be a mighty tree. I have a doubt about the mohair industry, because the Angora goat is here already, and, as he can flourish on empty tins and1 luxuries of that sort, I feel no anxiety about him.
– Do I understand the leader of the Opposition to> say that if we strike out any item, the regulations can be so framed as to re-introduce it?
– No; what I said was that the money can be used for some of the . other items which remain.
– I consider that if we strike out an item, the whole amount proposed for that item should vanish.
– Then the total appropriation of £530,000 would have to be reduced.
– I have offered to do that, and divide the remainder proportionately.
.- I understand that in the event of any amendment in the schedule, the Minister has; agreed to recommit the appropriation clause ?
– That is so.
– Then we need haw no anxiety on the point raised by the leader of the Opposition. I am not in favour of this item. No grounds have been put forward to support any just and reasonable claim for a bounty on this production. We have heard of numerous instances in which Angora goats are imported, and mohair is profitably grown. The whole difficulty in this industry is the fluctuation in prices. Intimes past, mohair was largely used in the making of braid for . the adornment oE clothing.
– That argument would apply to woollen and other goods.
– Not so, because the use of mohair is not so general as the use of wool, and the market fluctuations render it very unstable, regarded as a production which could be developed to any large degree. There are other industries more entitled to a bounty; and I shall vote against the item.
– Does the Attorney-General consent to the omission of this item ?
– In my opinion, it is absurd to retain it, because the money voted would not be collected. About 2 tons of mohair were exported from Australia last year, and, taking the average at 4 lbs. for each animal, we have a total of about 1,100 goats within the Commonwealth. It will be seen that if the item be passed, the maximum sum that could be collected by the producers would be £275. These facts show very clearly that the Minister has not looked into the question, and 1 would suggest that he could, without loss of dignity, consent to the omission of the item.
– I have listened very patiently to the arguments of honorable members, some of whom have made a great deal of sport about goat breeding as an industry, and have gone so far as to say that a man who keeps goats is a goat himself. It is a pity that such language should be used within these walls in regard to any industry. Whether an industry be great or small, it is desirable to encourage it - that is, if it is desirable to take any action whatever in that direction. Some honorable members have said that it is not necessary for us to deal with small industries, but that we should confine our attention to great industries. In my opinion, however, it is our duty to study every industry, whether great or small, and, in proportion, do as much for one as for the other. In many grazing countries a great deal of briar and other rubbish has been permitted to grow, and goats are very useful in clearing such land ; certainly goats are better than rabbits, which are also prevalent on many large properties, the owners of which allow those growths to flourish. If we can encourage graziers, whether large or small, to employ goats in keeping down these objectionable growths, it will be a great gain to the Commonwealth. The production of mohair would encourage its manufacture, which could be as well carried on in Australia as anywhere else.
– No one would put goats on country which would carry sheep.
– Unfortunately, there are some people who allow their runs to get into a condition unfitted for sheep. It has been said by some honorable members that merino sheep will live anywhere where goats will live; but this is not so, because I know land where goats flourish, but where sheep could not exist. I approach all questions of this kind with that seriousness which I consider becoming to those who are dealing with other people’s money. When I am dealing with my own money I may do as I like, but when I am dealing with other people’s money. I feel it my duty to be most careful.
– Would the honorable member start a goat farm?
– If I were a farmer, and had land in the condition of some land in Australia I should put goats upon it; on the other hand, I hope I should keep my land so free from noxious growths as not to require goats to clear it. I trust the item will be passed; and I point out that if there are so few Angora goats in Australia as has been stated, the money will not be used. I hope, however, that if the item be passed the industry will grow and prove of benefit to the whole of Australia. I can quite understand honorable members oh the other side, who are opposed to all bounties, objecting to this and every other item, but I cannot understand the position of those who are in favour of giving bounties for one item and not for another.
Question - That the item “ mohair “ proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule - put. The Committee divided -
Ayes … …. … 27
Noes … … … 26
Majority … … 1
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Item agreed to.
– Are we to understand that the result of the division decided the passing of the item?
– Yes. I subsequently put the item.
Oil materials supplied to an oil factory for the manufacture of oil - copra, 15 years, 15 per cent. on market value,£5,000.
.- I understand that on this item there is raised the whole question of the production of oils. I am prepared to agree that the industry of the manufacture of copra in Australia is one of very great value. Copra is obtained from the cocoanut, which in the Commonwealth is grown only in the Northern Territory, northern Queensland, and the north of Western Australia. I believe that at the present time copra is everywhere a product of black labour. The question is, can we produce copra in Australia with white labour? If so, I am prepared to vote for the item to encourage its production. We should know by whom it is to be produced, and how the cocoanut tree is to be planted and looked after in the future, and whether the small grower is to get the benefit of the bonus proposed to be given. If this money is to be given to the small farmer to encourage him to open up and develop the tropical regions of Australia, this may be considered one of the best items in the schedule; but it would be a very undesirable one if the bonus were to get exclusively into the hands of large manufacturing companies. I hope that we shall have an assurance from the Minister that every precaution will be taken to insure that the bounty is paid to the small men, upon whom we must rely for the opening up and development of tropical Australia.
– The object of the bounty on copra is to encourage settlement in the northern parts of Queensland and Western Australia, and in the Northern Territory. As the honorable member for Parramatta stated, if any of the proposals in, the schedule are justifiable, it is those that are likely to increasethe settlement of white people in our northern districts, the populating of which is particularly needful for purposes of defence. It is at least five years before cocoanut palms come into bearing, but probably no trees require less labour and expense in their cultivation, and the production of copra is, therefore, an industry well suited to farmers possessing only small areas.
– In the Northern Territory the white ants are very destructive to cocoanut palms.
– They can be kept in check by a planter who attends to his palms. In Queensland they are not to be feared at all, and there are large areas in that State in which the palms grow well.
.- The Minister tells us that the cocoanut palm grows well in the Northern Territory and in Queensland.
– It grows in Queensland from Rockhampton northwards. There is a plantation in Mackay which is doing very well.
– I believe that cocoanut palms will do well anywhere in our tropical coastal regions. They seem, indeed, to be indigenous to theNorthern Territory, where one sees them growing near the water’s edge, as they grow in the Pacific Islands. The white ant is, however, a very serious pest there. I have seen palms which had been hollowed out by the ants, so that the first gale of wind would blow them over, and at the Church of England at Port Darwin I was shown evidence of the fact that the ants had eaten through the mortar of a stone wall 18 inches thick, in order to get at the pewsand other furniture. This pest will be a trouble to those who try to grow cocoanuts to obtain copra ; but I do not think there is any need for the granting of a bounty for the cultivation of an indigenous palm. It takes from seven to nine years, according to the character of the soil and the climate, for cocoanut palms to come into bearing, but, while waiting for a crop, farmers could grow maize and other products just as in the South Sea Islands they grow maize and copra.
Item agreed to.
Mr. FRAZER (Kalgoorlie) [5.49I. - The method which we are adopting in dealing with the items in the schedule does not give fair opportunity for proper discussion of the proposals of the Government. I do not think that it offers an opportunity to honorable members to accurately express their intention. There may be some honorable members who, whilst they are not prepared to vote for the deletion of an item, may be prepared to vote in the direction of amending it. For instance, in regard to the item of copra, I think that there was a desire to have an understanding that the operation of the Bill shall not relate to trees or to plantations -which are in existence. The question of the number of years may come into consideration regarding some Items, but it may be only a question of months in regard to other items. I wanted to suggest that after the last item nad been retained the bounty should be limited to only five years, but when a vote is taken in such a way that if the amend- -ment be defeated the whole item is disposed of, it does not allow honorable members an opportunity to express their opinion in regard to amendments which might command a majority. I suggest, sir, that the amendment be put in such a way that, if defeated, it would still be open to an honorable member to move a further amendment.
.- I would suggest to you, sir, that the difficulty can be got over by taking a vote on the omission of the first word of an item. For instance, if a division were taken on the omission of the word “ copra,” it -would leave it open to an honorable member to submit an amendment as to another part of die item. When the question is put as it has been, honorable members are placed in an unfair position. The course I have suggested is the one which is usually followed in dealing with a Bill of this character.
– The ordinary rule is to submit the schedule as a whole, but the Committee desired that I should put each item, and I announced that I follow that course. An honorable member - I think it was the honorable member for Gwydir - moved the omission of the first item. I suggest to honorable members that if there as an amendment to be moved in regard to an item, it should be moved in respect of the first word of the item, so that, if defeated, an honorable member may be afterwards free to move any amendment which he may desire to submit. When I have put a question to omit the item, it has been done in consequence of an honorable member having moved that the item be omitted. I had to put the question in this form : - “ That the item proposed to be omitted stand.” I suggest to honorable members that the most convenient course to follow would be to move that the first word of an item be omitted.
Cotton seed, 8 years, 10 per cent, on market value, ^1,000.
.- I wish to point out to the Attorney-General that cotton seed is in the same category as flax seed. We have, in the third item of the schedule, flax and . hemp, and then, lower down, we find linseed (flax seed). We have, in the first item of the schedule, “cotton ginned,” and,, lower down, amongst the oil material items, we find the item “cotton seed.” It goes without saying that the cotton cannot be grown unless the cotton seed is grown. By putting the present item before the Committee the Government is simply double-banking the bounty. I am in favour of a bounty on the production of cotton, and should like to see its growth encouraged as much as possible. In the present state of the finances, however, and in view of the future position, we ought to consider very carefully whether we should sanction this item.
– What is the amount of the bounty?
– It represents an annual payment of £”1,000 for eight years. Although the honorable member may consider that to be a small amount, still, I feel that it is well worth considering.
– Compared with other items, it is small.
– All the items deserve careful consideration at our hands. I feel that there is a danger of double-banking here to the extent of ,£8,000.* I would suggest to the Minister that it is advisable to consider this item perhaps more carefully than has already been done. Ginned cotton is an original product, while cotton seed is a by-product. Practically, it is proposed to give a bounty on the production of refuse. Cotton-seed refuse is valuable for many purposes. It is valuable for the purpose of extracting the cotton-seed oil, and also for the purpose of making cake for the feeding of cattle. Under the circumstances, I think that there is no necessity to give a bounty in respect to this by-product of ginned cotton.
– This matter has been carefully considered. The boll contains the seed mixed with the fibre. It is submitted to the process of ginning, and the seed is extracted, the whole being called seed cotton. It was open to the Government to propose a bounty on the production of seed cotton, or to encourage the finning of the raw cotton here, the extraction of the seed, and the use of the by-products in Australia. Instead of proposing to give a bounty on the production of seed cotton, it was thought advisable, as in the case of other fibres, to give a bounty on the production of ginned cotton. There will not be two bounties paid. A bounty will be paid on the value of the fibre in one instance, and then a bounty will be paid in respect of the seed. If a bounty were paid en the seed cotton, which contains the seed, it would be a case of double-banking. The world’s price for ginned cotton varies from about 3Jd., per lb. Kitchen’s price in Australia for seed cotton is 1 3/8d. per lb. The cotton seed brings about four-fifths of a penny per lb.
– In other words, it is proposed to give the whole of the bounty to the manufacturer, and nothing to the grower.
– The honorable member is mistaken. The bounty, although it is payable on ginned cotton, is to be paid to the grower of the cotton which has been ginned exactly in the same way as a bounty is paid to the grower of sugar. In both instances, it is specifically enacted that the bounty shall go to the grower. The honorable member for Corangamite will see that by providing for the bounty to be paid in that way we shall be encouraging the ginning of cotton, and also the use of the by-product, which, as he mentioned, is very valuable indeed. It is very desirable that we should encourage persons to use by-products as much as possible.
– Does not the Minister think that people will use the by-products of their own accord ?
– We are desirous of encouraging persons to use by-products. In. past years they were thrown away, and now we seek to secure the utilization of them. I ask honorable members to pass the item, in its present form.
.- I sup- . port the position taken up by the honorablemember for Corangamite, because, in my opinion, this is simply a case of doublebanking a bounty. Already the Committeehas approved of the expenditure of £48,000- on the production of ginned cotton. As cotton seed is a by-product of cotton,, we are simply making growers a present of* £8,000, in addition to the £48,000 already allocated in respect of the industry.. This is not the only item in regard to which’ the objectionable practice to which I referhas been followed. I ask honorable members to carefully examine the schedule, and they will see that the same plan has been? adopted in connexion with other items. In* respect of these, it is proposed to grant at. further bounty, to encourage what, at firstglance, appears to be a separate product,. to further assist the establishment of practically the same industry. I submit that that is a very unfair way of placing Et schedule before the Committee
– We have informed honorable members of the exact position.
– We have already authorized an expenditure of £48,000 to encourage the production of ginned cottonWe are now asked to sanction an expenditure of £8,000 additional for the production of cotton seed, making a total oF £56,000 for the cotton industry. I submit that that is not a fair way of putting the items before the Committee.
– Full information has beer* given to the Committee.
– I dispute that statement, and again call attention to the artful? manner in which the schedule has been* prepared, and to the necessity of carefullyscrutinizing every item put before honorable members. I move -
That the item be left out.
.- I thinkthat my attitude upon the question oF bounties is generally known to the Committee. But I confess that I cannot follow the reasoning of the honorable member for Lang. In my opinion, the Government are acting consistently in proposing to offerbounties to encourage two distinct branches, of industry- one, the manufacture of cotton itself ;. and the other, the working-up of the by-product. The proposed bounty of £8,000 is intended to assist a distinct industry, notwithstanding that it has refer,ence to a by-product. If the honorable member for Lang presses his proposal to a division, he will force me to vote against him.
– The honorable member for Grey was in error in the last statement which he made to the Committee. To my mind, a bounty, to be of any use whatever, must stimulate industry, and that is the reason advanced by the Attorney-General in support of the Government proposals. But surely the honorable and learned gentleman does not wish us to believe that if the bounty already sanctioned will have the effect of stimulating the production of cotton, the by-product of that commodity will not be used ? We know that, to a very large extent, the growers of cotton depend upon these by-products to make their industry a profitable one. If cotton be grown successfully, it will follow as a matter of course that the by-product will be utilized, and, consequently, it seems to me absolutely unnecessary to offer a bounty for its utilization.
.- I would direct the attention of honorable members to the fact that there is an import duty of 4s. per cental upon cotton seed.- That fact, I think, should be recognised, because it has an important bearing upon this .proposal. I quite agree with the previous speaker that if cotton be produced in Australia, we shall have the by-product, viz., cotton seed, and, in view of the protective duty which is levied upon it, there is no doubt that that by-product will be utilized.
.- I move-
That the item be amended by leaving out “£1,000” with a view to insert in lieu thereof
I have already expressed my opinion upon this matter, and I have no desire to supplement it in any way.
.- When an item has been fairly threshed out and tested upon a- division-, it is scarcely fair to attempt to reduce the amount which it is proposed to appropriate for the payment of a bounty in respect of it. -There has been a fair fight upon the last one or two items, and in my opinion, the Committee, having decided to retain the item of cotton seed, the amount of the bounty proposed to be granted to assist its production is a mere bagatelle. The real question at issue is whether that commodity is entitled to anything in the form of a bounty. The honorable member for Lang, having been defeated upon that point, ought to be prepared to grant the Government the amount for which they ask. Throughout the whole of this discussion I have been favorable to offering encouragement to the cotton industry. To my mind, it is an industry which may rival our wool industry. I maintain that if we can foster the production of wheat, wool, or iron, we shall do some good. But I object to bounties being offered to assist the production of all the small items specified in the schedule. As, however, the article immediately under consideration is cognate to that of cotton, I urge that the amendment should be withdrawn.
Item agreed to.
Linseed (flax seed), 5 years, 10 per cent, on market value, ^5,000.
.- This is one of the items to which I referred a few minutes ago. The Committee have previously dealt with the flax industry, and have authorized an expenditure of about £40,000 in that connexion. Linseed is a by-product of flax, which people will naturally turn to commercial account, without any special inducement being offered to them in the form of a bounty. Yet we are asked to sanction the expenditure of a fur- 1 her sum of ,£5,000 to encourage its production - added to the ,£40,000 already voted. I strongly protest against this kind of thing, and, even though I may be in a minority, I shall not shirk what I believe to be my absolute duty in pointing out to the Committee what I think about the proposals, casting upon it, and upon the Government, the responsibility for passing them.
Item agreed to.
Olives, 15 years, 10 per cent, on market value, ,£2,500.
.- If there is one item in the schedule that ought to be struck out, it is that relating to olives. I hope that the Committee will not agree to it. The report of the experts laid before us by the Attorney-General shows us that the olive industry is already well established in South Australia, as well as elsewhere. Pure olive oil is a commodity which commands a ready sale. There is a safe mar-. ker for it. It has been demonstrated in South” Australia that the industry can be conducted on a commercial scale without a bounty. I venture to say that if any one’ goes into a shop in Sydney and asks for the best olive oil, he will be offered oil from South Australia. I learn from the Statistical Register of South Australia, that there has been a great increase in the industry in recent years. In 1896, there were 49,609 olive trees in South Australia, and the olive oil manufactured amounted to 6,512 gallons; in 1897-8, there were 51,824 olive trees, and 5,310 gallons of oil manufactured ; in 1898-9, there were 57.337 olive trees; in 1899-1900, 61,557 ; in 1901, 61,740; in 1901-2, 66,852; in 1902-3, 78,642; in 1903-4, 80,560; in 1904-5, 83,138; and in 1905-6, 85,443. These figures show a steady growth in the industry during the last ten years. I need not trouble the Committee by repeating all the figures relating to the quantities of olive oil produced, but I may state that they show an increase from 6,512 gallons, in 1896-7, to 17,762 gallons, in 1905-6. The industry is, therefore, being conducted on a payable .scale, and is thoroughly well established. The report of the experts shows that the olive tree grows slowly. Very little fruit is produced .until a tree is seven or eight years old. The proposal of the Government is that the bounty shall be paid straight away. That means that the money will be paid to those who have the trees already established, and will not’, therefor ?, encourage the development of the industry. If growers start to plant at once, their trees will not begin to bear until more than half the period to which the Bill applies has expired. The report states that the number of olive trees in South Australia is 85,433, and that the production of olive oil is 15,202 gallons per annum, as compared with 17,762 gallons shown in the South Australian Statistical Register for 1905-6. I do not know where the figures quoted by the experts are taken from. There is surely no need to vote money for the encouragement of an industry that is already flourishing, and in which the producers are already doing so well.
– Although I confess that I do not feel very strongly in favour of the vote on account of olive oil, I trust that honor-
Able members will retain the item. I should not vote for it were it not for the nature of the competition with which the growers have to contend. If honorable members will look at the report, they will see that £6,437 worth of olive oil is being imported into Australia. I would rather -see the industry protected by means of a duty.
– Is there not a dutv now ?
– There is, but Parliament is not likely to impose such a duty as would really help the industry.
– What is the present duty?
– It does not matter what it is if it is insufficient to enable the growers to compete against oil that does not contain the produce of the olive at all. The report shows, and analysts have confirmed the statement, that adulteration is so easy, and is practised to such an extent, that it is not possible for the genuine article to compete with adulterated oil. In my opinion, the adulterated article should not be permitted to be placed upon the market.
– What is it adulterated with ?
– It is adulterated with cotton-seed oil and all sorts of other oils.
– And we have just granted a bounty for the production of cotton-seed oil.
– We ought to prevent any article of consumption being sold that is not what it professes to be. J f we had a law to insure that, I should object to this item.
Mr.- Bowden. - How will a bounty prevent adulteration ?
– It will not, but it will give encouragement to those who do not adulterate their oil.
– Are they not successful without a bounty ?
– They are partially successful, but only in a small way. Settlers at Mildura are growing olives, and are very much interested in this proposal. My desire is that they should meet with the success which has so far attended the efforts of growers in South Australia, and that the industry in that State may be placed on an even more satisfactory footing than it is.
– Into whose pockets will this money go?
– A great many trees are now being planted in South Australia, and those who are planting, and have planted, olives, will participate in the bounty. If there is an industry that ought to be assisted by means of a bounty, it is one that has no protection against the cheapest forms of adulteration from abroad. The moment that honorable members are prepared to give the olive oil industry that protection, I shall be ready to agree to the abolition of this bounty. Such a protection would be sufficient in itself to make the industry a magnificent success. In ordinary circumstances, this bounty would be unnecessary, but in view of the facts I have stated, I am satisfied that the Committee will not strike out the item.
– I move -
That the item be left out.
This question was thoroughly debated on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, and it was clearly demonstrated that there was not the slightest excuse for proposing a bounty on the production of olive oil. I do not know whether olives are being grown at present at Mildura, but when this question was under consideration in the last session of last Parliament, it was pointed out that olive plantations at Mildura had been uprooted for the reason that there was no market for their product. The honorable and learned member- for Bendigo also told us on that occasion that he procured either . from Mildura or Sir Samuel Davenport a number of olive trees and was very successful in their cultivation, but that he had to uproot his plantation, because, like settlers at Mildura, he found there was no market for their product. In the report of the experts, it is stated-
At the same time there is a safe market for the pure oil ‘ of olives, and it has been demonstrated in South Australia on a commercial scale that the industry is of a payable nature.
The cultivation of other commercial trees has, however, appealed more strongly to Australian orchardists, and the olive has not received the attention which its importance merits.
The reason for this is that orchardists themselves find that they can direct their energies into more profitable channels. I would draw attention to what seems to be a remarkable discrepancy between two statements appearing in the report of the experts as to the value of olive oil imported into the Commonwealth. We find under the heading of “ Olive Oil “ a statement that the imports in 1906 amounted to 29,547 gals., the value of which was £6,437. In another paragraph, in the same report, we have the statement that “ the annual importations of olive oil into Australia represent a value of .£35,000.” There is a very great discrepancy between the two sets of figures. The report is so misleading - so absolutely contradictory as to facts, and the conclusions drawn from them, that it is impossible to attach any great value to it. But apart altogether from the question of whether there is, or is not, a market for the Australian product, we have the fact clearly demonstrated that the industry hasbeen established for a great many years - nearly half a century in fact - in South Australia, which seems to have been largely the home of olive production in the ‘Commonwealth. A very considerable proportion of this bounty for some years will find its way into the pockets of those who have already established the industry, as a payable concern. For the first five or six years these people will exclusively draw the bounty as an addition to their ordinary commercial profits. The total expenditure to which we are called upon to agree for the purpose of encouraging this industry is £37>5°°- We are asked to grant £2,500 per annum for fifteen years, and for about five years, if not longer, this annual expenditure will be an absolute and unconditional present to those already engaged iri the industry. Another point” worthy of note is that the bounty is to date’ from the 1st inst., so that as soon as the Bill becomes law those who are already making a handsome profit out of this form of production will receive a present of £2,500 a year, and give the community nothing in return. For these reasons, as well as for others, which I gave at length on a previous occasion, “I hope that the Committee will agree to omit this item.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.45 p.m.
– The reason given by the honorable member for Lang for inviting the Committee to omit this item is that the industry is established in South Australia.
– I gave another reason.
– That was the only one I heard. It is perfectly true that the olive “tree flourishes in South Australia, but not nearly sufficient olives are grown there to supply the wants of the Commonwealth.
– When we were at Mildura they were cutting the olive treesup, because they could not get a market for the fruit.
– If this Bill passesthere will be no more olive trees uprooted at Mildura. Rather a great many otherswill be planted. The honorable member for Lang will have to learn a little more- about olives before his statements on this subject will carry any weight. I believe that olives were originally planted in South Australia by the late Mr. Ednie Brown, Conservator of Forests.
– Long before his time.
– At any rate, Mr. Brown developed the industry very materially. I know, as a fact, that the late Sir Henry Parkes, when Premier of New South Wales, induced Mr. Brown to take the position of Conservator of Forests in that State.
– Not to plant olives.
– To plant olives and other trees: He did plant olive trees in New South Wales, and one of the first places was the town in which I have lived for the last quarter of a century. They are flourishing there still, in a way equal to those in any part of the Commonwealth. I know from actual knowledge that he desired to promote the cultivation of many “kinds of trees in every way possible, in order to give an impetus to Australian industries, and to produce fruits of all descriptions, including olives. In many conversations with me, he stated thai, the olive would flourish as well in various parts of Australia as in any other part of the world. Although he has been gone, from us for many years, the proofs are still with us that his statement was correct.
– What are the (proofs?
– The proofs are that the trees are growing, and that the olive oil industry only needs a little encouragement in the shape of a bounty. The honorable member for Nepean stated that in any shop in Sydney any one asking for olive oil would be given South Australian oil as the best that could be produced anywhere. It was very pleasing to me to- hear that statement, especially from the source from which it came. It shows that Sydney has awakened to the fact that Australia can produce an article superior to what can be produced outside the Commonwealth. I support the bounty on olives, because I know that the trees will flourish all over the Riverina, and through the northern parts of Victoria. I am personally aware that if the Bill passes, notwithstanding all that has been said against it, a number of small farmers will be prepared ‘ to plant olive trees, and wait the few years necessary before they can reap a return. It was said during the second-reading debate that the olive tree took something like nine or ten years to become profitable. Only fairly wealthy men could afford to wait that length of time for a return, but farmers need not wait half so long for the trees to produce a fruit equal for commercial purposes to any .fruit of a more mature age. As the object of this measure is to encourage industries, not only in South Australia, but in other States of the Commonwealth, and to give the farmers an opportunity of adding something to their general routine of cultivation, the Committee should pause before they accept the amendment. I am satisfied from my own knowledge and experience that time will prove that the Committee acted wisely in retaining the item.
– I hope the Committee will retain the item. I cannot understand the opposition to it. The industry is one natural to the soil of Australia. The fruit can be grown in many of the States, and is one of the products that the Committee should endeavour to encourage.
– Was the statement correct, that olive trees were cut down at Mildura?
– I shall come to that in a little while. There may, of course, be some difficulty in the payment of this bounty, just as in the payment of the bounties in respect of other plants that will not come into bearing for a number of years. I should like to see a provision introduced to enable people who come in later on to reap the benefit of the bounty, so as to insure the making of new plantations. Even on the information now before the Committee, there is ample reason for the retention of the item. According to the report of the Conference of Experts, we import 29,000 gallons of oil annually, and produce only 15,000 gallons. Consequently we import nearly twice the quantity we produce. That is a very strong and sufficient argument for this bounty. The whole of the olive oil consumed in Australia ought to be manufactured in Australia. I can quite understand some of the speeches which have been made against this bounty, seeing that the speakers are against every item. The example of Mildura has been quoted by some of those honorable members ; and I may say that I asked the Protectionist Association of that settlement to pass an opinion on this particular item, knowing that it would meet with some opposition here. The Protectionist
Association of Mildura is representative of the whole settlement, and this is the reply I received -
In respect of olives we coincide with the Conference recommendation that a bonus of 10 per cent, be paid for fifteen years to the grower of olives.- With a little encouragement, the olive would probably be more extensively planted here in hedges. It does better here in hedges than planted throughout a block, and the same result - the production of olives - is. gained. We note that the minimum quantity on which a bonus will be paid is one ton; and a hedge round a ten-acre block will .in time produce several tons, though probably we would not be able to collect any bonus for five or six years, as the olives scarcely pay for picking before then.
That is the opinion of experienced men, and it is an unanswerable reply to the statement that has been made that the settlers are pulling up the olive trees at Mildura. Had such been the case, it is not likely that they would have even suggested the continuance of the industry. There is manufacturing plant in Australia, and the reason that it is not utilized seems to be the shortage of the supply of olives. In this connexion the bounty would carry out the object we have in view, by encouraging the further planting of the olives.
– Olive oil produced here sells at nearly 2s. per gallon more than is paid for the imported stuff. There is, therefore, no reason why a sufficient quantity of olives should not be grown.
– I have calculated that there are about 45,000 gallons of olive oil consumed in Australia per annum, so that the full amount of the bounty would mean only is. per gallon. If the bounty extended anything like reasonable encouragement there would doubtless be a reduction in the price; and a reduction of only is. per gallon, even on the present basis of consumption, would return to the consumer the whole of the amount of the bounty given by the Commonwealth Government. There can, therefore, be no risk whatever in extending the assistance proposed.
– There is already a duty of is. 4d. per gallon on olive oil.
– And I hope the Tariff will provide for an increase of that duty, as well as of the duty on several other kinds of oil now imported to the detriment of the local product. That should be done not only to encourage the industry, but because a large quantity o/f the imported oil is adulterated. I hope the Committee will retain this item.
– I am glad to find from the interesting speech of the’ honorable member for Wimmera that the olive trees are not being pulled up at Mildura. If such action had been taken it must have been because the cultivation of the olive did not pay. We know, however, that the olive grows well in parts of Australia, and that 10 acres will produce sufficient of the fruit to give immense quantities of oil. According to the honorable member for Riverina, the olive grows well in the dry climate of his district. We can quite believe that the olive will grow just as well in the Riverina as in South Australia, or wherever there is a dry climate similar to that of parts of Queensland. . The olive also thrives in the Wimmera, but that is under cultivation - artificial cultivation - not natural to that part of the country. The industry is in existence in South Australia, where it has been made to pay ; indeed, the salad 011 grown in that State is preferred, and asked for, by every consumer throughout the Commonwealth. As I understand, a bounty is usually granted to encourage a native industry that can not be established without such assistance.
– The honorable member has mentioned only one part of Australia where the industry is established.
– The industry is suitable to Victoria, South Australia, Queensland^ and the drier parts of New South Wales.
– The oil is being produced in only small, quantities.
– But the industry is in existence in Australia, and we have a climate in which it thrives. As I have said, Australian salad oil is asked for in preference to the best oil of Spain, and I can see no reason for granting a bounty in order to bring about the establishment of an industry which is already in existence.
– The desire is to produce more oil.
– But if the olives be grown, there is a demand for theproduct. If protectionists are of opinionthat further protection is needed, let them propose to raise the duty, so as to exclude the foreign product, though the duty of is. 4d. per gallon is fairly high already: If it. be desired to give a bounty. why not give it to the Government of South Australia, seeing that the olive oil in that State is- largely produced by prisoners? We must not run away with the notion, however, that this is a bounty to establish an industry. How is it that there is no proposal to give a bounty on table olives, which are a very nutritious food? There are parts of Spain where the people live on nothing else but olives; and why not encourage their cultivation in Australia, and thus enable us to get rid of indigestion? It is through lack of. enterprise that this class of olive has not been produced, and a bounty might establish the industry. Thirty years ago I saw ‘olive trees growing in South Australia. I remember that the honorable and learned member for Adelaide, who was in charge of the Tariff, when it was under consideration, referred to the cultivation of the olive, and I was able to remind him of a fine lot of trees on his father’s estate which I saw when I was a boy. If it be desired to further protect the local product, raise the Tariff - though I would not support that - but why throw away thousands of pounds? Is it because they would be afraid, when the Tariff comes up for discussion byandby, to propose the imposition of a duty of more than1s. 4d. per gallon on olive oil ? Is it because that would make the duty prohibitive so that no revenue would be derived from this source? If duties were raised all round there might be a plea raised for new taxation in the form of an income tax. “ Really this humbug is irritating. The protectionists know that I am against them, but I ask them to go for something real, and not to humbug Parliament and the country by proposing to throw away money for the establishment of an industry that is already established. If honorable members desire to give those who are producing olive oil at present in the Commonwealth an advantage of more than1s. 4d. per gallon, let them do so in revising the Tariff. In my opinion, this proposal is not sincere. We should know something also of the financial aspect of the question. It seems that, with numbers, it is possible for the Government to carry anything, but the Committee will not be humbugged all the time. If the protectionists would advocate legitimate protection instead of a proposal to throw money away in this direction, they would obtain more credit in the country.
.- If the Committee agrees with this proposal to give a bountv to the olive oil industry, they will do a gross injustice by throwing away the money of the taxpayers. I ask my South Australian friends whether they really believe that the olive oil industry of South Australia is. one which requires such assistance in order to keep it going, or to further develop it? In South Australia olive cultivation is a big and a growing industry. As I previously pointed out, there are at least four big firms doing a large business in connexion with the industry to which we are now being asked to grant this bounty. I am surprised that honorable members representing South Australian electorates have not informed the Committee of the position of the industry in that State.
-Does the honorable membsr know the cheap adulterated articles which our olive oil has to compete against?
– Does the honorable membsr for Hindmarsh know that the South Australian product to-day commands in the markets of the Commonwealth very nearly 2s. per gallon more than the best imported oil ? In view of that fact, of what use is it for thehonorable member to talk of the industry in South Australia having to compete with adulterated imported oil ?
– Because the South Australian article can only be sold to people who know the difference between good and bad olive oil.
– It is a credit to the South Australian manufacturers that they are able to produce an oil of such good quality as that which they are putting on the Commonwealth market to-day, and can command about 2s. per gallon more for it than is paid for imported olive oil.
– One shilling per gallon more.
– It is more like 2s. The South Australian oil brings from 8s. 6d. to 9s. 6d. per gallon.
– No, 6s. 6d. to 8s. 6d.
– I have no desire to submit incorrect information, and I speak with absolute knowledge when I’ say that the price of South Australian olive oil ranges from 8s. 6d. to 9s. 6d. per gallon, whilst the price of the best imported is about . 6s. 6d. per gallon. Therefore, in saying that there was an advantage of 2S. per gallon in favour of the South Australian olive oil I was giving a low estimate, and if I had chosen to magnify the matter I might have said that there was a difference of 3s. per gallon.
– The difference is only about is. per gallon. The price of the South Australian oil is not as high as 9s. 6d. per gallon.
– Then perhaps the Acting Prime Minister will give the authority on which he disputes my statement.
– I shall give the honorable member the official figures presently.
– In South Australia the following firms are engaged in a large way in this industry : - Cleland and Sons, the makers of the Davenport oil, which sells from one end of the Commonwealth to the other; Thomas Hardy and Sons Ltd., the Waverley Vinegar Company, the Stonyfell Olive Company Ltd., and W. P. Auld and Sons. These firms are in a strong financial position in Adelaide to-day. We were told by the Attorney-General, when moving the second reading of the Bill, that these bounties were intended for the encouragement of new industries in Australia. How can that apply to a great industry like the olive oil industry of South Australia? It is further a matter of common knowledge that the firms to which I have referred are unable to supply the demand for olive oil in the Commonwealth. If we take even the Acting Prime Minister’s statement and agree that the difference In price between the Australian article and the best imported is1s. per gallon, when, in addition to that, it is remembered that Australian manufacturers cannot meet the Commonwealth demand, that should be sufficient to induce men to go into the industry. Although he gave no justification and supplied no figures in the short speech which he made, I am not at all surprised that the honorable member for Wimmera should have supported this proposal. He admitted that there was at present a duty of is. 4d. per gallon on this item, but he still thought himself justified in supporting the bounty in the interests of the settlers of Mildura. In the same way, the honorable member for Riverina thought the bounty justified in the interests of the olive growers of Riverina. That honorable member stated that the late Sir Henry Parkes imported a South Australian to New South Wales to develop the Forestry Department of that State. I have yet to learn that one of the trees grown in New South Wales under the system of forestry then proposed to be established there was the olive tree.
– He planted them, anyhow.
– He might have done so.
– He lost his position in two years.
– That is so; but apart from that I do not think that it ever entered into the wildest dreams of the late Sir Henry Parkes or of Mr. Brown that the growing of olive trees was to be a part of the work of the great Forestry Department Mr. Brown was employed to initiate in New South Wales.
– Olive trees were grown at the Gosford State Nursery.
– Apparently many here, who should be beyond the nursery stage, have very little information on this subject. The Minister, and those who support the proposal for a bounty on olive oil, should let us know what labour is required in its production. As a matter of fact, olive plantations require very little looking after, beyond pruning each year, and cultivation between the trees every two or three years.
– Labour is required in making and distributing the oil.
– The honorable member cannot tell us how much labour is so employed in South Australia. I fail to see what difference there is between the olive oil industry and other prosperous industries. It has been given as a reason for not proposing a bounty for the production of condensed milk that, if a bounty were given, the money would go into the pockets of men who now have big establishments for the manufacture of condensed milk. But will not the bounty for the production of olive oil go into the pockets of men who have big establishments for the manufacture of that oil ? What distinction can the Ministry draw between the two industries; both of which are well established, and need no assistance ?
.- I am prepared to support a bounty to encourage persons to establish new olive plantations, but I shall not vote for a bounty which would go into the pockets of men interested in plantations which are well established, andin factories which are yielding profit. I base my attitude on sworn evidence given before the Tariff Commission when in Adelaide. We there examined Mr. Cleland, the representative of the olive growers and olive oil manufacturers of South Australia, who asked for neither a bounty nor an increase of duty, but merely for protection against compounds adulterated with cotton seed oil.
He informed the Commission that £50,000 is invested in the olive oil industry in South Australia. No fewer than 83,000 trees there are now yielding oil - the output for 1905 amounting to 20,000 gallons. The oil is sold wholesale at prices ranging from 8s. 6d. to 9s. 6d. per gallon. To use Mr. Cleland’s own words, the industry is a growing one, and they can not keep pace with the demand. He mentioned that the local production has greatly increased of late years, because Inter-State free-trade has given access to the whole Australian market. What the olive oil growers in South Australia were opposing was the application of Messrs. Lewis and Whitty for the reduction of the duty on cotton seed oil. That was opposed because it was said that cotton seed oil is used as an adulterant in compounds which compete with olive oil. If the duty of 2s. per gallon on cotton seed oil is retained, the olive oil makers of South Australia will be content to leave things as they are. I asked Mr. Cleland several times, “ Are you satisfied with the existing Tariff?” and he said that he was.
– He spoke for South Australia only.
– I am of opinion that the manufacturers of South Australia should not have a monopoly of this industry, and therefore I am prepared to limit the bounty to olives which are the fruit of new plantations.
– What does the honorable and learned member mean by “ new “ ?
– Trees planted to obtain the benefit of this measure.
– Or trees which come into bearing after this measure is passed?
– Some of the olive trees in South Australia are twenty-five or thirty years old, and I should think that the growers would be almost ashamed to apply for a bounty in respect to the fruit produced from them. At a place like Mildura, where the industry is a struggling one, it might be desirable to make a concession.
– Would it not be sufficient to limit the amount to be paid to any single firm ?
– That is a matter of detail. I think that the bounty should not be paid to already established growers.
– Would not such an arrangement penalize their enterprise?
– It would be an abuse of the bounty system, and would not secure the object that we have in view if we were to make payments to old-established growers as well as to beginners.
– It will ruin the oldestablished firms if they are treated differently from beginners.
– I do not think so. A few years ago the Victorian Government granted a bounty for the planting of new vineyards. The money was payable only in respect* of new vines. It would have been as reasonable for Victoria to give a bounty to her well-established vignerons as it would be for us to give a bounty to well-established olive-growers. We should confine the bounty to those who are struggling. We should not give it to those who want no assistance.
Mr. BATCHELOR (Boothby) [8. 2 si- There seems to be a determination on the part of many honorable members on the other side to make an onslaught on this proposal to benefit a South Australian industry. It reminds me of a great fight which took place here a few years ago in connexion with another industry of South Australia, and that is the salt industry. The honorable and learned member for Bendigo said that the growers of olives and the manufacturers of olive oil in South Australia are doing so well that they are not asking for a bounty or an increased Customs duty. That is so, but he did not mention the fact that the majority of the growers and manufacturers - and in. most cases they are both - have had their olive plantations in existence for periods ranging from twenty-five to fifty years, and that, until the last five or six years they had not got any return from them. That cannot be denied. The growing of olives in South Australia was first begun by Sir Samuel Davenport at Beaumont, and Mr. Sheriff Boothby, with the aid of prison labour, in the Adelaide Park lands. Eight or ten years ago I went through the Adelaide gaol in order to see the methods of producing olive oil. At that time the olive oil produced by the Adelaide Corporation, with the aid of prison labour, was hardly saleable. The industry was not flourishing then. The olive plantations at the foot of the hills were certainly not successful.. It cannot be described as having been in any sense as a very thriving industry until quite recently. Since the passing of the Federal Tariff, and the better advertisement of
South Australian oil as a pure olive oil; the industry has been placed on a better footing, and the growers who at that time had established their plantations are doing fairlywell. They are not asking for a bounty, ind as the honorable and learned member for Bendigo said, they have not asked for an additional duty. But I desire to draw attention to the fact that, under the Bill, it is proposed to give a bounty to the chief competitors with the producers of olive oil. Of course one of the difficulties in Tariff legislation is that if we put a tax on the raw material of one manufacturer, it may affect other manufacturers. But under this Bill, what we” hare done so far has been to sanction the payment of a bounty to the producers of cotton seed. Cotton seed oil is the adulterant which is chiefly used in producing the cheap oil, that enters most into competition with the pure olive oil.
– Why did not the honorable member tell us that when we were asked to vote the bounty on the production of cotton seed oil?
– It was not my business to tell honorable members, because the Government proposal is a complete one. It also includes a bounty to the) growers of olives, and I certainly had no right to assume that honorable members proposed to establish a new industry by giving a bounty on the production of cotton seed, and at the same time to knock out the industry of olive growing by creating a bounty-fed competitor. Perhaps the principal reason why the olive-growing industry did not pay for so very many years was because there was some difficulty in regard to picking. An honorable member has interjected that the picking is done by child labour. It must lie done by boys, but they can hardly be said to be children, because their ages range from twelve to sixteen years. They do the picking during their holidays. Olivegrowing has also been successfully established’ at Renmark. I have never heard of olive trees having been pulled up there. Mr. Charles Chaffey has a” very good plantation at that place, and I think that the industry is fairly thriving. The other difficulty which had to be contended against by the producers of olive oil was the competition from the adulterated article. That still goes on, and it is only by a gradual recognition of the superior quality - from, a medicinal and food point of view - of olive oil to cotton-seed oil that we can hope to induce any greatly increased consumption on the part of the population. I am prepared to support the suggestion that existing growers of olives should not be allowed to absorb practically the whole of this bounty, as they would do if the item were carried without an amendment.
– What does the honorable member propose?
– I am not making a proposition ; but I am prepared to support an amendment which would prevent the present growers of olives from taking practically the whole of the bounty. It would take from eight to ten years for the olive trees to bear in payable quantities, and in default of a provision of that kind, the bulk of the bounty would naturally go to the present producers. I do not wish to see that take place. We desire to assist in increasing, if possible, the extent of country which is planted with olive trees. On the other hand it would be inadvisable to adopt the amendment proposed by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo. During the past few weeks there has been a very large increase in the number of olive trees planted in South Australia, and if we were to enact that the bounty should be payable only upon the fruit of trees planted after the passing of this Bill we should be inflicting a great injustice upon those individuals who have already planted their trees. At the present time they are reaping no benefit whatever. Certainly eight or ten years must elapse before they will be in a position to produce the oil. What the honorable and learned member really wishes to do, I tiling, is to insure that the bounty shall be payable only upon fruit produced from trees which come into bearing after the passing of this Bill.
– He said that it should be payable upon the fruit produced from trees “ planted “ after the passing of the Bill.
– As I have already pointed out, that would inflict a grave injustice upon those who are planting now. They will have to wait eight or ten years before they can obtain the slightest return upon their capital, and then they will not be able to get the bounty. This year we shall just about double the number of olive trees in South Australia. Indeed, planting, is going on all over Australia. The trunnions from which the olive trees are propagated are being distributed free to almost anybody who chooses to ask for them. This distribution will probably result in a very great increase in the production of olives, irrespective of whether or not the payment of the proposed bounty be authorized. I admit that if it were not for the competition of cotton seed oil, and the fact that we have already sanctioned the payment of a bounty upon cotton seed, we should not be able to make out a very strong case for similar encouragement being offered for the production of olives. But seeing that we have decided to offer a bounty for the production of cotton-seed, and that cotton-seed oil is the chief competitor of olive oil, we cannot very well avoid offering similar encouragement to the olive Industry which, although comparatively successful at present, has undergone a long struggle, and has experienced a very bad time generally.
Mr.SPENCE (Darling) [8.39].- It seems to me that the more we discuss this proposal the more difficulties we discover. As I understand the matter, the object of granting bounties is to encourage private individuals to start new industries, by affording them State assistance. But it now appears that we are getting into this position : An industry may have been started fifty years ago, and proposals may then be submitted to give it a “ lift.” The honorable and learned member for Bendigo has embodied a still more novel idea in his suggested amendment. He proposes that certain individuals who have had the courage to pioneer an industry, shall be faced with competitors just when that industry is becoming a payable one. It seems to me that the Government proposal is much fairer than that. Under it, we are asked to grant pioneering firms some reward for their pioneering work. But the question which presents itself to my mind is, “ Is it necessary to include olives in the schedule?” I took up a similar position when this matter was being discussed in the last Parliament. The olive oil industry is an established and payable industry. Under such circumstances, surely, there is sufficient private enterprise in our midst to successfully carry it on without the aid of a bounty to the growers of olives ! It seems to me that private enterprise must be in a very bad way indeed. As a matter of fact, we have not heard much of it since the last elections. If it cannot continue the olive industry after the way has been paved for it. I am justified in asking whether it is utterly dead? The honorable and learned member for Bendigo is becoming more of a Socialist than members of the Labour
Party, inasmuch as he is prepared to help any industry, even although that industry may be already in existence. His proposal opens up a very big field indeed. It means that though an industry has been established in one State, the Government ought to assist its establishment in another State. Personally, I am of opinion that it would be far Letter to eliminate this item from the schedule. Concerning the difficulty to which the honorable member for Boothby has called attention, I would point out that after the bounty has ceased to operate, the competitor to which he referred will remain. Seeing that we have already authorized the payment of a bounty upon cotton seed, it would be unfair to do anything which would damage the olive industry. That being so, the Government might very well recommit that portion of the schedule relating to the payment of bounty upon cotton seed. The adoption of that course would be preferable to advancing money to assist an established industry. I think that bounties should be granted only for thepurpose of encouraging persons to start new industries in the Commonwealth. When an industrylike that of the cultivation of olives and the manufacture of olive oil has been established, unless we intend to go in for its control by the State and for State Socialism, it should be carried on by private enterprise. South Australia has done many good things, and the establishment of the olive oil industry is one of them. Some of its enterprising residents have successfully engaged init. I repeat that the Government would be acting wisely if they eliminated this item, and reconsidered the effect of granting a bounty for the production of cotton seed upon the established industry of olivegrowing. It must be recollected that cotton seed is largely used as an adulterant of certain kinds of olive oil, and we ought to come down heavily upon any article which is used as an adulterant. Certainly we ought not to unfairly handicap those persons who have been struggling for many years to establish the olive oil industry.
– I agree with the honorable member who has just spoken, that the system of granting bounties could not be more effectually held up to ridicule than it is being now. We are asked to grant a bounty on the production of an article which is already being produced without one. Olive oil has been produced in Australia for fifty years, and now a bounty is to Le granted on olives, not to . those who have succeeded, but to others who are to compete with them. My sympathies are rather with the men who have had the courage to enter upon the industry without any Government assistance, and who, after fighting for years, have at length made a market for themselves. But the moment they are getting a fair return on their capital, as is the case with the South Australian olivegrowers, what kind of encouragement are we asked to give them?’ We are asked to say to them, “ Because you have battled and succeeded, because you have had the pluck to go into this industry and build it up by your own energy, we will encourage people in other States who have not had the pluck to make a market for themselves, to compete with you.” Absurdity could go no further than that. I agree with the honorable member for Darling that it is not for us to consider whether the olive industry has succeeded in Victoria or- New South Wales or not. The question for us is - has this industry been firmly established in Australia, and has it succeeded in winning its way in the Australian market? The whole of the evidence placed before the Tariff Commission, the whole of the evidence laid before this Committee, and the whole of the evidence which some of us have obtained from personal inquiry, shows that the olive industry has been established in South Australia, and has failed in Victoria. When a number of us went on an interesting trip to Mildura, we saw there heaps of olive trees which had been chopped down for firewood. I inquired the reason for this, and was told that the industry did not pay, because the price of olives was’ not remunerative. As one man put it to me, “It pays. us better to grow something else.” I do hope that the item will not be passed. We have discussed other items about which something like a case was made out - though not to my mind certainly. But on this question of olives not the slightest pretence of an argument has been adduced to show why we should grant a bounty. The honorable member for Bendigo has told us, as the result of his experience as the Chairman of the Tariff Commission, that one of the manufacturers of olive oil came before the Commission, and stated that no additional duty was required, but that what they wanted was to be protected from the very thing on the production of which we have just agreed to pay a bounty. The honorable member for Boothby is driven to vote for this proposal, because the Committee has agreed to a bounty on cotton seed, the oil of which is used to adulterate olive oil. What possible argument can be given in support of a bounty on olives, except that its production has been a success in one State and a failure in another? Every one who has had any experience in production in Australia knows that our markets are subject to fluctuations, and that producers very often meet with failure. Take the hop industry of Tasmania. I am not going to ask Parliament for a bounty for its benefit, but I am quite aware that ruin faced the men who founded the hop industry in that State. For years they had to carry on their business, some of them not merely without a profit, but in the face of heavy losses. During the present year they have had to pay as much as 3d. per lb. for picking, and I know of producers who have been hawking their hops round Hobart for 8d. per lb. The industry has, in fact, been subject to the most severe conditions, but’ we do not ask for a bounty because it has failed in one particular instance. Nor is it fair to ask for a bounty on olives because the growing of olives has not been a success in Victoria. It has been tried here, and to a considerable extent has been a failure. A large amount of money has been lost in it. Is it, then, fair to say to the men who have made a success of the industry in another State, “ We are going to do nothing to help you, but intend to bolster up competition where the industry has been a failure “ ?
– The ‘honorable member should recollect that there is a duty of 6d. per lb. on hops.
– Have not the olive “growers had the benefit of a protective duty all the time?
– There is a tax on olive oil of is. 4d. per gallon, which is equal to nearly 36 per cent, on imported oil. I suppose that the price of the imported oil f.o.b. is under 5s. per gallon. The honorable member for Wimmera has shown us what ai serious injustice we shall be doing to the taxpayers in giving a bounty on an article which is already subject to duty, and with which we shall have to deal again in a few weeks. Are we to have a double-barrelled shot at this busi- ness ? After we have agreed to a bounty, are we to give the industry the benefit of an increased duty under the Tariff? I am prepared to leave the Tariff as it is, but if we are to have increased duties let them be imposed fairly and squarely as protective duties. The history of bounties in Australia has shown that they have not succeeded in establishing industries. One honorable member after another has acknowledged that bounties have been a failure. But we could not do a more absurd thing than to give a bounty to create competition against the very men who are making a good living out of an industry. Personally, if bounties are to be given, I would rather give them to the men who have battled and established industries without Government assistance. I cannot see my way to support the course advocated by the honorable member for Bendigo, which would really penalize the men who have had the pluck to go into this industry without bounties. I earnestly hope that the Committee will refuse to pass this item.
– The greater part of the speech of the honorable member for Franklin had nothing to do with the case. There is no duty upon olives, though there is a duty upon olive oil. There is no proposal before the Committee to give any bounty to the makers of olive oil. From the arguments of the Opposition, one might imagine that some protection was afforded the olive-grower. As a matter of fact, he has none, and there is no likelihood of our imposing a duty on olives.
– Does the honorable member assert that a dutv on olive oil is useless to the grower of olives?
– It is of very Tittle use to him. It is proposed to grant this bounty, not because it is essential to the establishment of the manufacture of olive oil, but because it will assist the olive-grower. The honorable and learned member for Bendigo has stated that manufacturers of olive oil in South Australia do not want a duty, but he has not expressed the opinion of the olive-growers. I know that some of the manufacturing establishments have olive plantations, but we are now engaged in discussing a proposal for the encouragement of the cultivation of olive trees. It is admitted that the demand for olive oil has not been overtaken by local production, and the reason for this is that the supply of olives is insufficient. Only a day or two ago a South Australian grower distributed some thousands of cuttings from the Beaumont estate, with the object of encouraging plantations all over the State, and so enabling the outPut of olive oil to be increased.
– This has been done without a bounty.
– It has, but there is room for a vast expansion of the industry. .At the present time we annually import olive oil of the value of £35,000.
– No; that is a mistake in-, the report of the Conference of experts. The value of the imports for 1906 was ^6.437-
– Surely we ought to be supplying the local demand, and exporting every year olive oil of that value. Some honorable members who oppose this bounty were prepared to support one for the encouragement of the cotton seed industry, although cotton seed oil is used to adulterate olive oil. Is that the way to encourage the production of a first-class article? We have heard much in praise of the olive oil manufactured in South Australia, but not a word in condemnation of the adulterated oil with which it has to compete. A much larger quantity of olive oil would be sold but for the fact that the South Australian oil is used solely by those who recognise that it is the only pure article on the market. The mass of the people will always Buy that which is cheapest, unless they know that it means poison. I did my utmost to secure the insertion of a clause in the Commerce Bill that would have been of great value to the olive oil and other industries. A good many members of the Opposition supported me, but, unfortunately, my proposal was defeated. We compel importers of what purports to be olive oil to place a true trade description upon their goods, but as soon as those goods enter the Commonwealth, and are passed through the Customs, they can be adulterated. If we . had insisted on the true trade description remaining on the bottles or packages until they reached the consumer, I should not have supported this bounty on olives. If we insisted upon the true trade description remaining on the imported article until it reached the consumer, local manufacturers would not have to compete with adulterations, and the growers would not ask for a bounty. But until we amend the Commerce Act and the States supplement our efforts by passing Pure Foods Acts, we ought to do all that we can in this direction to encourage the expansion of industries that produce honest commodities.
– What is the difference between the effect of this bounty and. that of the Tariff ? They both relate to olive oil.
– The effect of the Tariff is to give the manufacturer assistance, whilst the effect of the bounty would be to encourage the grower himself. . I am sure that honorable members will support the retention of this item so that the plantations of olive trees may be increased, and the manufacture of pure oil encouraged, not only in South Australia, but throughout the Commonwealth..
Mr. ARCHER (Capricornia;) £9.1].- Only two arguments have been adduced in support of this proposal. The honorable member for Boothby has said that something in the nature of an onslaught on the olive oil industry has been made from this side of the House. With the exception of the bounty on mohair, I have consistently voted for all the items with which we have yet dealt, but I do not see my way to support this proposal.
– The other items affect Queensland.
– To a great extent I supported them because they seemed to me to affect the whole of the Commonwealth. It was for that reason that I supported the bounty on cotton, and if we had confined out assistance to the production of cotton alone, instead of also granting a bounty on cotton seed, the oil from which is used to adulterate olive oil, a more effective step would have been taken. I would far rather reverse that decision, and do away with the duty on cotton seed, than resort to what seems to be an ineffective means of counteracting the injury we appear to have thus done to the olive oil industry. It would not be wise to grant a bounty on the production of olives simply on the ground that we have agreed to a bounty on cotton seed. I repeat that I would rather reverse my vote in favour of the cotton seed bounty - a vote that I gave merely because I considered that the bounty proposed on the cotton itself would be utterly inadequate. I took the view that the cotton industry would be assisted by. every bounty granted in- respect of its by-products. We are told that we should agree to this item because of the competition of .-the adulterated article, but I fail to see how this bounty would assist the olive oil industry to overcome that competition. There is a1 proper way to protect an industry from such competition, and I will give all the assistance’ necessary in that direction. I do not think it is reasonable, however,, to prostitute the objects of this Bill in order to right that wrong. The Bill is designed to encourage- people to enter upon new forms of productive enterprise, and all the evidence we have had goes to prove that the olive oil industry is not only wellestablished,’ but progressive. The honorable member for Nepean has shown that during the last ten years there has been a steady rise in the output of olive oil. We have just been told that a great many olive, trees have recently been planted, and if we are to proceed on the broad principles of the Bill I do not know why the country should be called upon to pay bounties on the product of an industry which is well established and steadily going ahead.
– Was not the sugar industry going ahead at the time when we granted it a bounty ?
– Before Federation Queensland had invested a large amount of money in the sugar industry. It was well established at the time. An immense amount of private capital had been invested in it, and it gave employment to a great deal of labour-
– The honorable member is not in order in dealing with the sugar industry.
– Then I shall content myself with the statement that the sugar industry is not on all-fours with the olive oil industry. We are asked to give these bounties in small driblets to a number of industries, when it would be much better to concentrate the money and offer effective bounties on a few selected items, especially those which show promise of immense development, particularly the cotton industry, which has an enormous world’s market in front of it. The olive oil industry has a very small market before it in Australia, and is rapidly overtaking that mar5 ket. According to the report of the Conference, the value of the imports of olive oil in 1906 was ,£6.437. I should like to ascertain from the Minister which of these figures are correct - the £6,437 at the head of the report, or the ,£35,000 in the body of it?
– The figures in the body of- the report are, as I have stated, a misprint.
– Then that is all the better for my argument. It shows that there is a comparatively limited market ahead of the industry, which is being rapidly overtaken. I shall therefore vote against the item, and I hope that later on we shall have an opportunity of de- ^oting the money saved on if to the cotton industry, with its immense’ possibilities.
– I ask the Committee to pass this item. A good many honorable members appear to be under a misconception about “it. The honorable member for Illawarra denounced it strongly this afternoon, pointing out that there were already in South Australia four wealthy manufacturers who were producing large quantities of olive oil, admittedly of a very high quality. For that reason the honorable member asked the Committee not to give this bounty. The honorable and learned member for Bendigo said that one of those manufacturers came before him, and stated that they did not ask for a bounty or for any alteration of duty, but for something which this Parliament could not give them - a prohibition of the sale of adulterated olive oil. The control of the question of pure foods, except in so far as we can deal with it in Inter-State and oversea commerce, is purely one of intra-State concern. So far as we could deal with it in this Bill we have done so. We provide that the bounty is only to be payable on the production of goods being food stuffs of a prescribed quality.
– What is to prevent it being adulterated after it is produced?
– I said we had dealt with the matter so far as .we have the power. Even if we only have little power, it often happens that when the Commonwealth establishes a standard some of the States adopt it. I believe they will do so in cases of this kind, especially when it is for the good of the people as a whole.
– This Government would not help me to do it all the same.
– That was because the honorable member did not quite realize the constitutional position - that when once goods have crossed the border, and become part of State property, being intermingled amongst other Stare property, and ceasing to be in transitu, the Commonwealth control over them passes -away.
– We have power to deal with goods passing from one State to another.
– We have power to do it when goods are crossing the border, but after that we cannot interfere. The object of this bounty is not to give money to the manufacturers, but to increase the cultivation of this class of fruit in Australia as a whole. We desire, so far as. we can, to promote rural occupations, and therefore we have provided that this bounty is to go to the growers, although it is to be paid upon olives delivered at the factory for manufacture into oil, just as in the case of sugar cane delivered at sugar factories. We desire particularly that the growers shall get the benefit of this Act.
– Have the Government any means of guaranteeing that the growers only will get it?
– We know what we have done by administration in connexion with sugar.
– There is no analogy at all.
– The cases can be made analogous. It is only a matter of administration, and of making the regulations uniform. Seeing that we’ have not failed’ in the case of sugar, over a large area extending from Port Douglas down as far as the Tweed River, we hope to be as successful in this instance.
– Will the area be smaller?
– We hope not. We are told also that we ought not to assist the industry because it has been successful in South Australia. Possibly it has been successful there to a certain extent, but we hope the industry will become Australian. Even if the effect of the bounty was to make the South Australian industry the source of supply of the Commonwealth as a whole, we should in that way be doing our duty as a national Parliament to that part of Australia. Now that we are federated, it does not matter whether an industry is located in one place or another so long as it is successful. Our object is to regard each industry as national, and to give it encouragement wherever it may be established. Simply because this industry happens to have taken root in South Australia, and to be doing fairly well there, is that any reason why we should refuse lo help it to its completest development? Figures have been quoted to show the success of the industry. We are told that it has been in existence for about fifty years. We know that many of the trees are of a great age, but we are still far from supplying the Australian demand: The Australian production is about 15,000 gallons per annum.
– We are behind in the matter of population also, unfortunately.
– I hope we shall go ahead soon in that respect also. With the growth of population we shall have an expanding market for these articles. At present we have only captured one-third of the local market for olive oil. There still remains 30,000 gallons of Australian consumption to be captured. By what has been done in South Australia, the industry has given evidence that it is capable of successful development in the Commonwealth.
– A bounty will not create a demand.
– It will induce the growers to give that supply of olives which the manufacturers say they cannot obtain now.
– That has not been the experience of Victoria.
– There is a difference of opinion on that point. Unfortunately different men see the same facts in different lights, but those who have an intimate knowledge of the bounty system in Victoria know that it has been the means of establishing one great industry on a sound footing, and also of inducing many people to go into subsidiary industries of considerable importance. Any one who has moved about amongst Victorian producers, as I have, knows that. I have shown, in the first place, that there is a big Australian market to be obtained ; in the second place, that the bounty is not for the factory owners, but for the growers who are the settlers on the land, and also that the industry is one full of promise. As against the evidence of Mr. Cleland, I might say that this bounty was recommended by Dr. Holtze, of South Australia, whose reputation is deservedly high.
– That settles it !
- Dr. Holtze is a man who is thoroughly acquainted with the conditions of cultivation in South Australia.
– He is a botanist, is he not?
– He has full knowledge and experience of the products of South Australia, and, because he is an eminent expert as a botanist, I hope the honorable and learned member for Parkes will not hold him to be disqualified from expressing an opinion on a matter with which he is intimately acquainted: When he was invited to express his opinion he recommended that, for the purpose of encouraging this industry and putting it on a sound basis, this bounty should be given, so that the item does not appear here as a mere matter of theory, but on the advice of those who understand the subject. This is an important industry, which has immense possibilities. Although it may not be new in the sense that it hasnot been tried before, if it can be made a permanent and successful industry, the bounty will be justified. I ask honorable members not to accept the amendment.
.- The Attorney-General has become so enthusiastic over the Bill that he speaks of a “ big market” which is to be secured by means of a bounty totalling, if the . £2,500 per annum is paid for the specified term of fifteen years, £37,500. As a matter of fact, the value of the imports of olive oil in 1906 was only £6,437, we, in this Parliament, are speaking of the consumption which that represents as if it offered a great market which we ought to secure. Of course, an industry which may be small to-day, may grow to great dimensions in days to come, but why should we single this industry out of a hundred other agricultural industries ? . There are numerous industries which have been carried on in connexion with cultivation, and which are open to all sorts of vicissitudes and’ difficulties. Why are these not to be the subjects of bounties’? This olive industry is spoken of in the report in such words as these -
The olive tree grows to perfection in most of the States of the Commonwealth, and produces large yields of fruit. Pure olive oil is a commodity which commands a ready sale. . . . Pure olive oil of good quality commands a high price. … At the same time, there is a safe market for the pure oil of olive; and ithas been demonstrated in South Australia on a commercial scale that the industry is of a payable nature.
Surely there are more struggling industries which could better be assisted by means of bounties. This is to me one of the least excusable items in the schedule. We desire to see our industries encouraged and developed; but as we are not proposing to give bounties to them all, why should we select this particular industry, which has already acquired a sturdy growth, and has a safe future before it? But there is the complication suggested by the amendment foreshadowed by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo. That honorable and learned member suggests that we should distinguish between olive trees which are already in existence, and olive trees hereafter to be planted, giving the bounty in respect of the latter. I confess that my sympathies are all the other way. It would be cruel to thus distinguish between men who have had the courage to found an industry without assistance and men who have not had the same enterprise, or shown themselves to. be capable of the same sacrifices. The man who has pioneered an industry without help is more worthy of recognition that he who says, “ I will not go into the enterprise until you have put cash down to make the attempt safe for me.” I have the greatest possible respect for the settlement at Mildura, which Ithink is one of the grandest in Australia, and one of which we ought to be proud. But I do not suppose there is any land within the Commonwealth which is more profitable to its holders. If we wander over the lands of Australia, and note the annual yield, and if we then turn our eyes to Mildura, we shall find that there men get a more handsome return for their industry than they do elsewhere. I do not know whatthe return is per acre, but–
– The return ought to be reckoned per head, because the return per acre is not a fair comparison ; it depends on the amount of labour that has to be put in to the acre.
– I admit that.
– It costs about £20 per acre to work the land at Mildura.
– The honorable member is quite right in saying that that fact must be considered.
– The success at Mildura has been achieved only after many years of hard struggling.
– Recognising all these conditions, I say that Mildura is one of the grandest settlements in Australia; but my impression is that there have been some magnificent returns from the land there. I have heard of cases where cultivators there on a large scale have had enormous profits.
– For that matter, there may be a return of £40 and £50 per acre from potatoes.
– I do not feel inclined to offer a bounty to producers in connexion with this industry in South Australia or any other State. Those producers have thoroughly established themselves, and they have the advantage of a very substantial duty of1s.4d. per gallon.
– That is on manufactured oil.
– I am speaking of the oil which is produced from the olives to be grown under the proposed bounty. That duty is a very strong encouragement, and to double-bank encouragements of the kind is a very questionable policy. Of course, it is magnificent, as members of Parliament, to have the spending of £8,000,000 or £10,000,000 per annum of other people’s money ! We can be tremendously liberal under such circumstances ; but we ought to remember that we are dealing with the solid sovereigns of the people of Australia. While the people are prepared to give pioneers encouragement to enter upon industries which have not yet been established, they are not prepared to single out one in- . dustry, which is already established, to be the subject of a bounty at the expense of people engaged in hundreds of other established industries. The principle we must keep in view, in dealing with a Bill of this sort, is to give a start to new industries which have not established themselves ; that is the only legitimate object of a bounty system.
– The cotton industry has been established.
– I do not think we can say that the cotton industry has been established on a commercial basis.
– Near Ipswich I saw cotton, the product of 40 acres, being ginned.
– Was that cotton not being ginned in order to get hold of some bounty or other ? I have heard of most wonderful things having been done. In Victoria, a bounty of . £5,000 was offered for the manufacture of 5,000 yards of worsted, and, when the worsted had been produced and the bounty paid, no more was heard of the industry.
– The very reverse has been the case in Queensland, where the industry was established by a bounty aggregating a similar amount.
– That is a different experience. There is another complication in connexion with this Bill. In sub-section 2 of clause 3 it is provided -
The bounties shall be payable to the growers or producers only of the goods, or the materials of which they are made, and not to manufacturers.
Section 5 provides -
The owner, occupier, or lessee’ of any land or factory in which the good’s were grown or produced, or in which the goods have undergone any process, shall, unless the Minister, in writing directs, be deemed to have been employed in the production of the goods.
– That is for the purpose of applying the white labour conditions.
– It is for the purpose of the bounty too.
– No, the owner, occupier, or lessee of any land or factory would not, under that clause, be entitled to the bounty.
– Might I suggest that that clause would bring him within the terms of sub-clause 2 of clause 3, if he is to be deemed to have been employed in the production of the goods.
– Being employed .in the production of the goods does not make him the producer. He is an employe only, and not the producer.
– It is to meet an old difficulty.
– I see that, but I am afraid that the terms employed to meet the difficulty are rather too vague.
– If the right honorable gentleman will look into the matter a little more closely he will find that it is. not so.
– I feel very strongly . that if we are to give this bounty we should not overlook the men who have established the industry. On the other hand, I think it is fairer to the public that we should not regard this industry as one of those which is not established. If an. industry is established the bounty system is inapplicable to it, and it should be dealt with under the Tariff.
.- The olive-growers of South Australia have reason to be proud of the excellent advertisement which their olive oil is getting. If we are to continue speaking about it much longer it would not be a bad idea to get a little of it here for the throats of honorable members. The late Sir Samuel Davenport established and engaged in this industry for years without any assistance or profit, and in the circumstances it seems to me that it would be absolutely unfair now to give a bounty only to those entering afresh upon the industry. 1 cannot see how any private individual could be induced to launch out into a new enterprise in Australia if there were to be kept hanging over his head the possibility that the Commonwealth Parliament might subsequently pass a law to give assistance to others entering into the industry to compete with him. No private individual in the world would embark upon a business under such conditions. I do not know that the olive-growers of South Australia have ever asked for this bounty or that they need it. My own opinion is that the item should be struck out. It should, be remembered that olives can be grown in other parts of Australia as well as South Australia. In this connexion the experience of Mildura is no criterion, because we have there a dry country requiring irrigation. We have millions of acres of land in other parts of Australia on which olives might be successfully grown. I. do not, however, see why we should give a bounty for the assistance of an established industry. I hope the item will be omitted.
.- The more I consider this item, the less I am disposed to support it. It appears to me that we are here on very dangerous ground. If the bonus is granted as proposed we shall be handing over one-third’ of the amount to persons already established in the industry. That is a most important consideration. It really means anabsolutely free gift of about £800 a year to the four or five firms already established, and producing olive oil in South Australia. I do not think that would be right. The only condition on which I could be induced to support this item is that the bounty should be made applicable only to the oil produced in excess of the present production in Australia.
– Which oil would that be?
– That condition if imposed would enable the present producersto receive the bounty in respect of their increased production, and it would enable new producers to participate in the advantage which the bounty would confer.
– I do not think I could agree to that”. It would be a difficult provision to draft.
– “Unless some such condition is provided for, my vote must be emphatically against the proposal. By a reference to statistics we should have no difficulty in ascertaining the quantity of oil which is at present being. produced.
– But who should have credit for the excess production ?
– I am not prepared at the moment to go into particulars, but it appears to me that it would be quite possible to pay the bounty on the oil produced in excess of the present output. Undoubtedly it is wrong in principle to grant a bounty to an established industry. As the right honorable member for East Sydney has pointed out, the amount involved is very small. The annual pro- duction of olive oil at the present time in South Australia is put down in the report at 15,202 gallons. In the report of the Queensland Agricultural Department it is stated that the older trees fruit heavily, and what little oil has been made sells readily at 10s. per gallon. Thus we have a production in Australia amounting in value to something like £7,000 a year, and it is proposed to grant a bounty to encourage the production of the oil to a further valueof £6,437, which represents the importation for 1906. It appears to me. to be a monstrous’ proposal to give a bounty to such an industry as this when it would be productive of such a poor result. It is a very big mountain indeed to produce such a very little mouse.
– I agree with the leader of the Opposition that it would be outrageous for the Committee to penalize men who are already embarked in an industry. Whatever we do in this matter, we should treat on an equality all persons concerned in the production of olive oil. If the bounty were paid only to beginners in the business, it would be sufficient to enable them to wipe out those already engaged in it. The honorable and learned member for Bendigo cannot have given the’ matter full consideration before making his suggestion. If the bounty were to be paid only in respect to fruit yielded by plantations made after the passing of the measure, we should be legislating eight years before the event, because it takes practically that period for an olive tree to come into profitable bearing. I suggest that a way out of the difficulty is to be found by limiting the amount of bounty to be paid to any particular producer. If the bounty were paid as proposed in the Bill, the large producers would undoubtedly get the lion’s share; but if we provided that not more than , £100 per annum should be paid to any one producer, we should give encouragement to a large number of small growers. This suggestion may appear to conflict with my earlier contention that those already in the industry should not be penalized ; but £100 would be a very considerable amount for any producer’ to receive.
Colonel Foxton. - A coach and horses could be driven through a provision of that sort.
– I do not think so, though subterfuges, such as the subdivision of holdings, might be resorted to.
– A man who did anything of that sort would risk criminal prosecution.
– It would be a better thing, for the olive industry, to give no bounty at all, than to give a bounty to new producers only, thereby putting at a disadvantage the men already in the industry. I regret the adulteration of olive oil with cotton-seedoil, of which a number of honorable members have spoken. The Queensland analyst has drawn attention to it again and again.
– Yet the Committee has agreed to subsidize the production of cottonseed.
– Yes; but it must be kept to its legitimate uses.
– It is a humiliating admission to say that we must not produce cottonseed oil, because commercial people are so dishonest that they will misuse it. Honorable gentlemen who say that belong to the party which, on occasion, always contends that there is no such thing as commercial immorality. It is a fact that adulteration takes place, and it is the duty of Parliament to provide for the punishment of the villains responsible for it, because those who adulterate food, and especially those who adulterate medicinalpreparations, are villains of the deepest dye, who should be laid by the heels.
– This Parliament cannot legislate against adulteration within a State ?
– Unfortunately that is so, and unfortunately, too, there is, amongst those outside, considerable sympathy with adulteration. A prominent journal published in this city has put forward the plea that the adulteration of certain articles is in accordance with trade usage, and therefore not to be regarded seriously. Let us aim at encouraging the production of everything that, in the interests of the Commonwealth, is worth producing ; but do not let us hear the argument that a bounty must not be given for the production of a pure article, because villanous manufacturers adulterate it to increase their profits.
.- I have not hitherto spoken on this measure. My attitude towards it is somewhat cynical. I believe that a few years’ experience of its operation will much more effectively convince the people of Australia of the absurdity of these proposals than any argument could do. The electors having declared their partiality for a protective policy, and, incidentally, for the giving of bounties, I am willing that they should have a few years’ experience of legislation, of this kind, because I think that the effects will be highly educative to them. I have listened with some amusement to the arguments brought forward in support of the proposed bounty for the production of olives. The contention, which seemed to me pre-eminently absurd, is that, because the production of cotton-seed oil, which is used as an adulterant, is subsidized, the production of olive oil should be similarly encouraged. I regret that the laws against adulteration are neither so effective nor so universal in their operation as they ought to be throughout the Commonwealth. But we have nothing to do, I regret to say, with the matter of adulteration in connexion with the productions of the Commonwealth. It lies therefore with the States to see that no adulteration is practised. I believe that one of the reasons for the success of the olive oil industry in recent years is that stringent adulteration laws have been brought into effect in several States, and in that way the people have been educated into an appreciation of olive oil which is undoubtedly far superior to any mixture of olive and cotton-seed oil. I am also pleased to say that, in my opinion, the olive oil of South Australia is entitled to all the advertisement which it is getting out of this debate. But I should be very sorry to see the Committee take such a step as has been suggested by at least one honorable member, and that is to rescind the bounty on the production of cotton-seed, because cotton-seed oil fulfils a very useful function in the industrial and commercial world. Incidentally, I may say that the existence of a protective duty on olive oil which operates against the importation of cotton-seed oil has been the means of interfering with the establishment of what would otherwise have been a very important and profitable industry to the Commonwealth. I refer to certain evidence which was put before the Tariff Commission in connexion with attempts made to develop the maceration of animal fats in order to produce an article which is largely used in cooking, and to establish an industry for which I believe Australia offers a very favorable field. Owing to the existence of the Customs duty on cottonseed oil that industry has been prevented from being started at all, simply because cotton-seed oil is used in order to macerate the animal fat, which ultimately is reduced to the useful article I have referred to. I have listened very carefully to the reasons for and against a bounty being given indiscriminately on the production of olives.
– Is there no cotton-seed oil made in Australia at the present time?
– Very little, I ani afraid to say.
– Therefore, that is not a protective duty ?
– No ; but the duty was put on to protect the olive oil industry. It keeps out the cotton-seed oil, or only allows it to come in at such an enhanced price that it cannot be used in connexion with the industry I have alluded to. That is a striking instance of how a duty, which was put on to advantage one industry, seriously interferes with another, perhaps even more important. I am inclined to think that the argument for giving the advantage of the bounty to existing growers of olives is largely a sentimental one. Why should the pioneer grower, we are asked, be deprived of the advantage of the proposal? I think it has been fairly shown to-night that he is now deriving an advantage which the new cultivator of olives will not derive for many years to come.
– Is Australia, rich enough to reward every old pioneer?
– That question might very fairly be asked. I do not think that the old pioneers in the olive oil industry require the State assistance that has been suggested for their benefit. I think it has been shown very clearly to-night that they are in a highly enviable position. I fail to see how any proposal to give a bounty only to the new growers of olives will mean the slightest disadvantage to the present growers, at least for many years to come. I admit that it is somewhat absurd to say that the bounty should not go to all who cultivate the olive. But it seems to me a still greater absurdity to give the bounty to those who do not require it. The Minister in charge of the measure has to-night stated emphatically the object of the bounty, and that is to increase the cultivation of olives. If that is so, I contend that we are going away absolutely from the purpose of the bounty, if we give it to those who are already producing and profitably producing olives. We want to be as logical and consistent as we can ; I admit that it is very difficult to be so in political life, but in this case I think we can be. I hold that we ought to keep before us the distinct object of a bounty, and that is to give an impetus to an industry which has not yet come into successful operation. Although we have the industry established in one State, still, apparently, it has not been successful in other States, and, therefore, the object, in my opinion, should be to direct the bounty to those parts of Australia where evidently such an artificial stimulus as this is required. That is the logical and consistent intention of the bounty. With regard to the contention that olive growers will be penalized by such a bounty, if applied to only new olive growers, I would point out that there is a very simple and obvious way of getting out of that difficulty, if difficulty iris. We are asked to enact that the bounty shall operate for fifteen years. It is a fact, I believe, that olive trees do not come into bearing until they are at least eight years old.
– Five or six years.
– I think that olive trees are hardly productive in a commercial sense until they are about eight years old; at least that is the information I have obtained. What could be simpler and fairer than to reduce the term of years from fifteen to eight? Then give the bounty to those new growers during a period when their trees would be nonproductive. They would thus be getting it at a time when they were not entering into competition with the old growers at all. If any difficulty exists in that direction it could be obviated by some such method as I have suggested.
– Does the honorable member mean a bounty on the trees?
– Yes, because, as the honorable member for Hindmarsh pointed out, it is necessary to give a bounty in that way rather than on the production of the oil. I think that if the proposal is adopted by the Committee the difficulty as stated by many honorable members will be overcome, but I certainly intend to support the proposal of the honorable member for Bendigo, and will also move in the direction of reducing the term of years during which the bounty is to be payable from fifteen to eight, that is, assuming that the Committee is still prepared to give that protection to an industry which I think does not require it.
Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [9.53]. - I do not want to dwell on this matter unnecessarily ; but on the second reading of the Bill I intimated that I had some difficulty in regard to the general propositions which it contains, owing to the fact that our experience of bounties in Queensland has not been altogether satisfactory. I said then, and I think so still, that there will not be any great permanent advantage derivedfrom the granting of the bounties comprised in this schedule. At the same time when a considerable majority of the Committee appears to be quite willing to grant bounties of this kind, and when most of the products which are made the subjectmatter of them are peculiarly adapted for growth in the State from which I come, I think I should not be doing my duty as a representative of that State if I did not accept the good things which a majority of honorable members propose to confer upon that State together with other States and portions of States in which the various commodities can be grown. My opinion may be entirely wrong - and I hope it may be - and the opinion of the majority may be entirely right. It is quite possible that a very considerable benefit may ultimately be derived from the permanent establishment of some of these industries. Upon a previous occasion I threw out a suggestion which, if adopted, would, I think, have met every objection that has been raised to the amendment suggested by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo, and to other proposals which have been made as to the best method of dealing with the olive-oil industry. I am entirely in sympathy with the views entertained by the honorable member for Wide Bay and others, who have pointed out that it would be most unfair to authorize the payment of the bounty only upon the fruit of trees which may be planted after the passing of this Bill, because it would, when paid, subject the pioneers of the industry to most unfair competition.
– Would there not be an increased consumption by reason of a larger population ?
Colonel FOXTON. - That is possible; but the bounty-fed man, especially with a 10 per cent. bounty, would certainly be able to compete unfairly with the pioneers of the industry who would be still engaged in it. The suggestion which I threw outon a former occasion was that the incidence of the bounty should not commence until a sufficient period had elapsed to enable the “ new “ growers to claim the bounty. Then it could be shared equally by thegrowers of olives, irrespective of whether they were old or new. In other words, the bounty should not be exclusively enjoyed by those who are already engaged in the industry, during the six, seven, or eight years which must necessarily elapse before the new growers will be able to claim it. We have been assured that the industry is already established in South Australia upon a sound commercial basis. If that be so, those who are engaged in it at the present time do not require the aid of a bounty. As the Attorney-General interjected while the honorable member for Echuca was speaking, these bounties are intended by the Government to establish new industries, and not to feed well-established ones such as the olive-oil industry in South Australia. By altering the date specified in the schedule when this particular bounty is to become operative to a period seven years hence-
– Does the honorable member think that many prospective growers would be content to wait seven or eight years for the bounty?
Colonel FOXTON. - They will have to do so, because they cannot make their trees bear earlier. They cannot possibly claim the bounty) within the next seven or eight years.
– Will the honorable member submit .an amendment to that effect?
Colonel FOXTON.- I merely throw out the suggestion. I do not know how it can be introduced into the schedule in its present form.
– Make the item read, “Olives, the produce of trees planted after’ the commencement of this Act.”
Colonel FOXTON.- No. I hold that that proposal would ultimately give the new growers an unfair advantage over the pioneers, who, as the right honorable and learned member has already said, are deserving of praise for having established the industry in the first instance. My suggestion is that, instead of the bounty being payable as from ist July of the present year, it should be made payable as from’ ist July, 1915. Then all producers of olives, irrespective of whether they were new or old, would be able to share equally in the bounty.
– That is to say we should pass a law in respect of olives, which should begin to operate eight years hence ?
Colonel FOXTON.- Yes. That is practically what we are doing, except so far as the proposed bounty may operate in favour of those whose position in the industry is already well established. I now wish to say just a few words upon another aspect of the matter. The Committee have already agreed to the payment of a bounty upon cotton-seed, and cotton-seed oil is said to be used as an adulterant of olive oil. Surely that is a matter which may be dealt with by the various States under their Food and Drugs Acts ! That is the proper remedy to apply. If the adulteration is of such a subtle character that analysts cannot detect it, very little harm can result from its employment!
– It can very easily be detected:
– It is not so much a matter of mixing cotton-seed oil with olive oil, as of substituting the former article .for the latter.
Colonel FOXTON.- An analyst could easily detect that. All the States, I presume, have a Food and Drugs Act in operation, under which these frauds can be prevented. One honorable member has said that there is no more justification for authorizing the payment of a bounty upon cotton and cotton-seed than there is for granting similar encouragement to the production of olives. Surely the answer to that statement is obvious. As has already been pointed out, the production of olive oil is equal to one-third of the consumption in Australia. If the production of cotton were equal to one-third of the consumption of cotton goods in Australia, very few honorable members would be found .either asking for or supporting a bounty upon cotton.
.- We have heard a good deal from the honorable member for Wide Bay, who occasionally likes to get upon a pedestal, and lecture honorable members upon horrible trade practices, regarding the use of cotton-seed oil as an adulterant of olive oil. I am opposed to the principle of bounties, and I intend to vote against this particular item. The report of the experts upon olive oil states -
Pure olive oil of good quality commands a high price, and this fact has induced manufacturers to use a cheap substitute. At the same time there is a safe market for th”e pure oil of olives, and it has been demonstrated in South Australia on a commercial scale that the industry is of a payable nature. . . . Notwithstanding the perfection to which the olive grows in Australia, the demand for pure olive oil is greater than the supply. . . . The industry, although established in South Australia, is not as popular as it might be - and now comes a choice expression or opinion - and if a bounty will improve matters there are many reasons why it should be provided.
My idea is that the production of olive oil should not be encouraged by the payment of a bounty. I am firmly of opinion that cotton-seed oil, which has been so much maligned during the course of this debate, will gradually come into use as a substitute for olive oil. It is a very much cheaper commodity, and it is that consideration alone which has caused growers in Mildura to uproot the olive trees which they hud planted.
I am going to quote from a book issued by the American Government. This volume alone is an object-lesson to us. It is the Year-Book of the United States Department of Agriculture. Why should not something of the same sort be issued in Australia? It contains most valuable information about cotton-seed oil, palm oil, olive oil, sisal hemp, and numbers of other commodities. It is produced by the American Government for the use of farmers and others. The money that we intend to spend on bounties could be far better utilized in the establishment of agricultural colleges and the publication of information in the form of volumes such as this. Speaking about cotton-seed oil, it says -
Its first introduction into trade and commerce was as an adulterant ; and, as isusually the case with adulterants’, its own title to consideration as a product of inherent comestible value thereby became considerably impaired in the popular esteem.
It adds that 30 per cent. of the cotton-seed oil now manufactured in the United States is purchased by packing houses. That does not refer particularly to the packing houses in Chicago. it is utilized -
In the manufacture of various substitutes for lard. In fact, the price of this oil is now largely regulated by the fluctuations in the price of lard. Subsequent important uses to which this product has been put are as a substitute for olive oil in the packing of sardines and similar fish, as an ingredient in the manufacture of artificial butter, and for giving a “natural” butter colour to oleomargarine From the foregoing, it becomes apparent that the chief use of cotton-seed oil is the preparation of human food. Practically all the high grades are utilized for edible purposes.
Itis evident that this oil is gradually sup planting olive oil.
– According to that, it is a wholesome food.
– It is, but unfortunately it first came before the public as an adulterant, and honorable members all know that “ give a dog a bad name, and you may as well hang him.” Evidently it obtained a bad reputation which it will take time to live down. But what 1 have read shows dearly and conclusively that cotton-seed oil is a common substitute for olive oil, and very probably it is this oil which is gradually pushing olive oil from our markets. What is the use of our bolstering up an industry when there is really no need for its products?
Question - That the item “olives” proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule - put. The Committee divided.
Majority … … 6
Question so resolved in the negative.
Palm fruit, 15 years, 15 per cent. on market value, £3,000.
– I presume that this item is intended to encourage the production of palm oil. I should like to ask the Treasurer whether it was included in the schedule on his suggestion, and what prospect we have ofproducing a palm oil that will be of any great value to the people of Australia.
House adjourned at 10.19p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 30 July 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1907/19070730_reps_3_37/>.