3rd Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker took the chair at 10.30 a.m. and read prayers.
Mr. HUGHES presented a petition signed by music teachers of Sydney praying that the old duty of 20 per cent. upon pianos be not increased.
Mr. WATKINS presented a similar. petition signed by music teachers of Newcastle.
Petitions received. .
Duties on Bottles and Cases.
– I desire to ask the Treasurer whether,- in view of the fact that the public are suffering great inconvenience as the result of the “hanging up” of a number of items in the Tariff, he will consent to an early consideration of the item “ bottles and cases” ? I may add that if he will do so it will greatly facilitate the transaction of business.
– I should like the honorable member to recollect our experience when the Government decided to. allow the item of wire netting to be considered out of its order on the Tariff. I regret very much that I cannot agree to his suggestion.
– I wish to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether he has read a cablegram which appears in the newspapers this morning stating that representatives of the manufacturers of leading proprietary articles of medicine had waited upon Captain Collins in London to protest against the proposed legislation of the Commonwealth Parliament to compel the disclosure of the formulae of such articles? The cablegram adds -
The deputation, on leaving, asked to be kept informed of the scope of the provisions and the progress of the new Bill to be introduced by the Government.
In compliance with this request, Captain Collins has now announced that the new Bill contains provisions for the compulsory disclosure of the formula of patent medicine, except in special cases.
I wish to know whether the report is correct, and, if so, why Captain Collins has been furnished with information which the Government have refused to supply to this House?
– I regret to say that, as a result of the late sitting last evening, I have not had an opportunity of reading this morning’s newspapers. I shall be glad, however, to peruse the cablegram in question and to give the honorable member the information which he desires.
– I desire to ask the Minister whether- - if. I move the adjournment of the House in connexion with this matter - he will be able, during the two hours’ discussion which will ensue, to obtain the information which I seek ?
– I ask the honorable member to give notice of his question.
– I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether, in contemplating the completion of a new European Mail Contract for a term of five or seven years, he has taken into consideration the fact that the rate of speed which it is stated the vessels will probably maintain, namely, sixteen knots, is the very minimum which should be insisted upon, seeing that at the end of the period over which the contract will extend it will be notoriously behind the requirements of the age? I also wish to know whether he will not stipulate that the vessels shall be capable of steaming more than sixteen knots, even if the maintenance of an increased speed should neces sitate the payment of a higher subsidy ?
– The contingency which the honorable member has in mind has been kept in view. Of course there is great uncertainty as to whether it is possible to maintain a higher speed than sixteen knots at a sufficiently economic rate. But in a contract of the duration proposed, I agree with the honorable member that it is necessary to make some provision in that regard
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
What is the cause of the delay in starting the work of making the additions to the Unley Post Office ?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows : -
On further consideration, it has been decided to make more extensive additions than those originally proposed, and the matter of arranging for the additional funds is now under consideration.
Motion (by Mr. Deakin) agreed to - .
That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday next, at 3 p.m., or such time thereafter as Mr. Speaker may take the chair.
In Committee of Ways and Means (Consideration resumed from 31st October vide page 5465) :
.- There is really no reason why the proposed increase in the duty upon condensed milk should be adopted. I fail utterly to understand the motive of the Treasurer in proposing such an increase. Under the old Tariff the condensed milk industry was a particularly flourishing one. This question was very carefully investigated by the Tariff Commission, whose members in their report distinctly state that they cannot recommend any increase in the old rate. Under the previous Tariff the duty was1d. per lb., and the proposed duty represents an increase of ‘ 50 per cent. We all know that condensed milk is an absolute necessity to our pioneers in the back blocks of Queensland, Western Australia, and New South Wales, and it would be exceedingly hard if they were penalized by the imposition of an additional duty upon that article. It is a curious fact that the condensed milk manufactured in the Commonwealth- excellent as it is in many ways if used immediately the tin is opened - will not keep for any length of time in hot weather, whereas the imported article will keep for a considerable time.
– Has the honorable member made an exhaustive inquiry into that matter, because I doubt the accuracy of hisstatement?
– I have been assured again and again by residents upon the goldfields that the imported article is the only condensed milk which will keep in a hot climate for any considerable time.
– I do not think that that is so.
– The Treasurer does not know anything about the matter. I have that information upon the testimony of men who are thoroughly reliable. I am informed that if a tin of condensed milk of local manufacture is opened in a hot climate, it must either be consumed at once or it will go bad; whereas the imported article will keep for some time after it has been opened.
– Is the honorable member speaking of a particular brand ?
– I believe there is one brand which is preferable to all others. I dare say that the honorable member knows the name of it as well as I do. The industry, I repeat, is in a flourishing condition - -
– Notwithstanding the serious defect mentioned by the honorable member.
– Notwithstanding that serious defect. The industry must be a very flourishing one indeed when it is able to overcome that defect. It would be a great pity to interfere with an industry which is capable of standing upon its own bottom. I hold in my hand a letter written by the manager of a condensed milk company to the Prime Minister in reference to this item.
– To what company, does the honorable member refer ?
– To the Standard Dairy Company, which has its offices in Marketstreet, Brisbane.
– Does not the condensed milk manufactured by that company keep in a hot climate ? I think that the article which it produces is quite equal to Nestles milk.
– Let us hear what the general manager had to say. In a letter to the Prime Minister, he wrote-
I have the honour to inform you that the matter of the proposed increased duties on the importation of condensed milk has been carefully considered by the Directors of the Standard Dairy Co. Great fears are entertained by them that any duty in excess of1d. per lb., as specified in the present Tariff, may ultimately prove most inimical to the interests of the industry. It is under the stimulus of the protective duty of1d. per lb. that the Standard Dairy has come into existence, and the Wyreema Condensed Milk Factory, on the Darling Downs, became established.
-That destroys the honorable member’s argument. If they make milk which will not keep, how can they carry on ? .
– This shows that there must be a large consumption in some districts where this particular form of homemade milk is not required. This company makes a good milk, but the duty proposed by the Government would prevent the introduction of a still better commodity. The letter continues -
The success of this factory has become so great that the directors have been induced to put up a. second factory at Colinton for an output six times as large as’ that of the first, provided with all modern ‘ appliances, at a total cost of about £10,000,. while the enlargement of the Wyreema factory has also been entered upon.
The duty of1d. ver lb., while permitting of the manufacturer competing against the product of cheap European labour, also affords him the means of paying a most remunerative price to the dairy farmer for his milk. On inquiry it would be found that in the various Australian States where this industry has been established the price paid for. whole milk is equivalent to from 5d. to 5½d. per gallon. That even the lowest figure is most remunerative may be gathered from the tact that farmers, even shareholders in prosperous butter factories, prefer to sell their whole milk at5d. rather than to send their cream to the butter factory and feed pigs with the by-product.
– That is quite contrary to the report of the Queensland Commission. They said, that an industry of this kind robbed the butter factories.
– The letter continues-
It is fully demonstrated that with the moderate protective duty of1d.per lb. the farmer and manufacturer alike are prosperous, the industry is soundly developing, and the interests of the consumers are also safeguarded. What more can be desired?
Any extra duty should bring about an increase in the price of condensed milk, as otherwise it would be of no use. An increase in the price of raw milk would inevitably follow, but would only last until over production and internal competition would bring prices down.
– That is what they fear.
– That may be; but it must be admitted that this was an urgent appeal to the Prime Minister to consider the position.
In the meantime, however, under intense stimulus, it might cause the erection of condensed milk factories by people who do not see far ahead, in localities near existing butter factories, which, unable to compete in the purchase of raw material, would have to close their doors. It would create an unfair competition against the butter industry.
Protectionists willnot admit that the imposition of a duty leads to the establishment of a number of small factories which enter into competition with each other. This has a tendency to decrease wages and to bring about the production of an inferior article. A leading protectionist in the Opposition corner recently confessed to me that the higher the duty imposed on an article which he manufactured the worse would be the position. The letter continues -
The difficulties in the successful working of condensed milk factories are very great, but are all of a scientific nature. Even in some oldestablished factories, these difficulties have not yet- been overcome for the want of proper scientific guidance and the same cause has brought about the failure of many attempts made in the starting of such factories. But, as stated above, these difficulties are of a purely scientific nature, and no Tariff, however high it might be, could assist in overcoming them. Such high Tariff may cause, however, the production of a lot of inferior milk, which could only be sold at low rates and interfere with sound trade.
The manifest desire of your Government of assisting this industry miffht be proved in a more effective manner by giving encouragement to an export trade rather than by increased import duties, as the time may soon arrive when the local production will overcome local consumption.
This is one of our primary industries which has to compete in the markets of the world, and we are doing our best to tax it out of existence -
This is an important matter, which must re ceive timely consideration, as an export trade cannot be created in a day.
In conclusion, sir, I beg to say that the directors of this Company are perfectly satisfied with the protective duty of1d. per lb. If this were maintained they would feel encouraged in further developing their operations, but if the duties were permanently increased they would certainly renounce their intentions of opening new factories in this or the other States.
The Bacchus Marsh Company, which is one of the largest producers of milk in Victoria, has also protested strongly against an increased duty. The industry is firmly established, there being twelve factories in operation, representing seven firms, with an approximate capital of no less than £150,000. The manufacturers did not submit any evidence to the Tariff Commission, although it is reasonable to assume that they would have done so had they desired an increase.
– Some of them seek an increase.
– It is rather late in the day for them to ask for it. Under the old duty of1d. per lb., the output of Australian condensed milk increased by leaps and bounds, and notwithstanding that in some districts the imported article remains longer in good condition, it is rapidly displacing imported milk. The Tariff Commission recommended that the duty should remain at1d. per lb., and a Conference of Experts on the Bounties Bill reported that the industry was firmly established and required no assistance in addition to the old substantial duty of1d. per lb. The Attorney-General, in moving the second reading of the Bounties Bill, distinctly said that in his opinion, this article required no further duty. I presume that the Treasurer holds himself responsible for that statement.
– Not at all.
– The Attorney-General said that on the grounds set out in the report of the Conference of Experts, bounty was not to be given on condensed milk. I take from that report the following extracts -
After careful and protracted deliberation the Conference decided torecommend that no bonus be given to concentrated or powdered milk. . . . As it is desired to increase the local production there appears in the face of it, to be a good case of stimulating the industry by means of a. bonus. . . . After fully weighing all these considerations, the members of the Conference agreed that it was not advisable to have any bonus on condensed milk. . . . It may be also pointed out that the production of condensed milk in Australia is increasing, and that the industry is in the hands of strong firms, who, aided by a substantial duty, appear to have no difficulty in holding their own against the imported article.
– The Attorney General is now in the Chamber. Will the honorable member ask him whether he said in moving the second reading of the Bounties Bill that a duty was unnecessary ?
– No. I shall refer honorable members to the Hansard report of his speech. The honorable member, who became quite poetic, said -
– Is the Bill going to bring about all that?
– I hope the Bill will be found to do so. It takes many streams to make a mighty river, and the Government believe that this Bill represents a stream which will be one of the purest contributions to that river. The Bill, as it was introduced last session, has been modified in several respects. Some of the items included in the previous Bill have been omitted on the recommendation of experts. We have omitted for example, . . . condensed milk.
– Go on.
– Very well. The report continues -
– Was the item of unsweetened milk considered ?
– Yes; the whole of the items were considered, as they appeared in the previous schedule, and amongst them was sweetened and unsweetened milk.
– It is not referred to in the report.
– Where did I say that I was not in favour of the duty ?
– The honorable gentleman distinctly stated that, on the grounds disclosed in the report of the Conference of Experts, a bounty was not to be paid on condensed milk. The Government admitted that further assistance to the industry was unnecessary when they adopted the report of the Conference of Experts on the Bounties Bill, which recommended that no bounty was necessary in respect of condensed milk. Any increased duty must of necessity press heavily on those who work on the land - the labouring classes, who are the mainstay of the country. I think I have proved the great hardship which an increased duty would inflict on those engaged in pioneer industries, and I sincerely trust that the Committee will make a reduction in the impost.
– I do not think that the honorable member for Hunter has proved his assertion that the local product will not keep; indeed, I have strong proof to the contrary, seeing that Australian preserved milk is used verylargely on our mining fields.
– To what reduction in the duty will the Treasurer consent ?
– I shall not, willingly, consent to any reduction. I do not know whether the honorable member for Hunter is aware that Australian preserved milk is now purchased by the Admiralty for use on the war vessels in Australian waters.
– But hundreds of tins are opened in one day on those vessels.
– At any rate, we may take it that the Admiralty would not purchase an inferior article.
– The milk is kept in cold storage on board ship, but the pioneer has no cold storage
– the fact that the Admiralty prefers Australian preserved milk is an answer to the honorable member that that milk will not keep. This milk is being made to a considerable extent by the Bacchus Marsh Company.
– Is that sweetened or unsweetened ?
– Sweetened ; it is the same as Nestles milk. Last year the importations were : From Great Britain, 5,179,344 lbs. ; from New Zealand, 426,664 lbs. ; other British possessions, 17,812 lbs. ; Belgium, 347,097 lbs. ; France, 3,041,746 lbs.; Germany, 389,438 lbs.; Italy,. 67,868 lbs.; Norway, 384,113 lbs.; Switzerland, 117,693 lbs.; United States, 39,494 lbs.; and other foreign countries, 3,792 lbs., or a total of 10,615,061 lbs.
– That is, roughly, 5,000,000 lbs. from Great Britain, and 5,000,0.00 lbs. from other countries.
– Just so; and the largest foreign importations are from France. The value of the importations last year was£186,700; and surely some of that trade ought to be secured to producers in a country , like this, which is essentially suited for the production of milk.
– Preserved milk was produced here with a duty of1d. per lb.
– When we import 11,000,000 lbs. we are not doing our duty to ourselves; and I sincerely hope that the Committee will adhere to the rate proposed.
– Is the preserved milk which is exported from Great Britain manufactured there?
– My own opinion is that only a very small proportion of that milk is manufactured in Great Britain, but we have to take the figures as given in the returns. I may say that there has been some “ funny work’ ‘ between
Nestle’s people and the companies over this item outside Parliament. A representative of Nestle’s called upon me, and informed me that it was the intention of his firm to start this industry in every suitable spot in Australia. He described the sort of places which would be suitable, and told me that, having been to Bacchus Marsh, he intended to visit Gippsland. His desire was, he said, to establish the industry where there was good land, and where dairying was carried on by small farmers, who were not too scattered over the country. This gentleman also informed me that he had bought out, or had arranged to buy out, one company in Queensland, and that he intended to make further inquiries at Mudgee, and two or three other places in New South Wales. Circulars were issued by most of the companies engaged in this industry, asking that the duty should not be increased; and I take it that those circulars were due to the influence of the statements made by Nestle’s representative during his travels throughout the States.I understand now, however, that this gentleman has, as it were, thrown over those companies with the exception of the one in Queensland ; and since then the companies have issued further circulars praying that the duty may be increased. I mention these facts in order that honorable members may know how people outside are influenced in regard to the Tariff. The letter read by the honorable member for Hunter discloses one of those instances in which competition is not desired.
– That letter was written a month ago.
-Yes ; and I dare say that since then the same company has issued another circular to an opposite effect. There is no doubt that preserved milk can be manufactured here, and that it is purchased as readily as the imported article. If, by means of an increased duty, we can give our dairymen, not larger profits, but a larger market, we shall be doing a very good work. All the statements 1 have made can be verified ; and I hope the Committee will agree to the increased duty.
.- I regret that the honorable member for Coolgardie is not in his place, because I know he has gone to considerable trouble in establishing a strong case in favour of the reduction of this duty. The honorable member has desired me, in his absence, to lay some of the information he has collected before the Committee ; and I have much pleasure in doing so. It is all very well for honorable members to say that we ought to have milk direct from the cow, but that is impossible in the back country, where miners and other pioneer workers are to be found, and where milk can be obtained only in condensed form. I do not say anything about the quality of the local articie, because I know nothing whatever about it. The Treasurer, as usual, has tried to besmirch those who take an opposite view in regard to this duty. It seems to me that every time the honorable gentleman rises he insinuates that those who do not agree with him are jogues - that only those on his side are honest. We have had enough of that sort of thing, and I can only say that if mud is cast about in this way more mud may come fromother quarters. When the Treasurer was quoting the figures relating to- imports, he might have told us that, although preserved milk is an absolute necessity in thousands of places, and is, in many instances, the means of’ saving infant life, the duty collected last year amounted to . £44,759. One of the immediate effects of the increased duty has been to raise the price of the commodity. I have here vouchers obtained by the honorable member for Coolgardie from various parts of the Commonwealth, which go to show that, as a direct result of the higher impost, preserved milk has been raised in price by½d. per tin.
– That is only on the imported milk.
– No; on the local milk, too. The honorable member for Coolgardie requested me to take up this matter, and to use his papers freely ; and I have found among them vouchers from different parts of Australia testifying that this milk has been bought at increased prices. Let me read this letter addressed to him by the Bacchus Marsh Concentrated Milk Company -
We note that you inquired of the Minister of Customs yesterday whether Australian manufactured condensed milk had been increased in price since the introduction of the new Tariff.
We are the largest manufacturers of condensed milk in Australia, and we immediately increased our prices on the introduction of the Tariff, and we are aware that all the other leading manufacturers of condensed milk in Australia have done likewise.
We are opposed to the duty being increased beyond1d. per lb., as hitherto, with which duty we and the other principal manufacturers were satisfied, but we see no reason why, if the Government insist on increasing the duty and giving us more protection, we should not take advantage of it.
That is dated 30th August.
– Most of them have changed their minds since then.
– The Minister has not quoted letters from them. This letter was sent to the honorable member for Coolgardie, unsolicited.
– That letter did not come from Bacchus Marsh. It came from a Melbourne company, which has the market and wishes to keep it. Any one can steal a good name. Where was the letter written from?
– From 277, Clarencestreet, Sydney. It is signed by Mr. Purbrick, as manager of the. company. Does the honorable member doubt its genuineness?
– Bacchus Marsh is in my constituency, and I know the manufacturers there well. They have had nothing to do with it.
– I do not understand these insinuations. If we quote anything in opposition to the proposals of the Government, the protectionists suggest that there is something underhand.
– There is a letter here from Melbourne?
– Preserved milk is used in nearly every home in the back country, and to increase the duty on it would make it dearer. The manufacturers do not desire a higher duty. In many homes the use of this milk has been instrumental in saving the lives of infants, and it is of great value in places where it is impossible to get fresh milk. As I am opposed to increasing the price by raising the duty, I move -
That after the figures “2¼d.,” paragraph A (1), the words “ and on and after 2nd November, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., l½d.,” be inserted.
If that be carried, I shall move to make the duty against the United Kingdom1d. I have a great deal of correspondence on the subject which I could read, but I refrain from doing so, in order to shorten the discussion.
.- As chairman of directors of a company which has pioneered this industry, I wish to say a few words in regard to the Australian manufacture of preserved milk. When the last Tariff was under discussion, I said very little, and did not vote on any item in which I was interested. But I was told by the press that I wasfoolish in doing so, and ever since it has b-en imputed to me that I did the very opposite, so that on this occasion I intend to give the Committee the benefit of any knowledge I may have in regard to any item, whether I am interested in it or not.
– There is no harm in doing that, so long as the honorable member’s position is understood.
– I understand that an. honorable member has stated that milk preserved in Australia is not of good quality, and is unreliable.
– That was not said; but it was said that the English milk keeps better.
– The honorable member said that the Australian milk would not keep; that it has to be used as soon as the tin is opened.
– If that statement was. made, it is an error. Our climatic conditions cause difficulties which at first it was found difficult to overcome; but now they have been overcome, and Australian milk if properly made will keep well. Of course, milk is not always . properly made, and I have even known large quantities of Nestle’s milk go bad in Northern Queensland and to be thrown into a river. It must be remembered that the Australian preserved milk is made from milk the product of the dairies of the country and sugar which is produced in Australia, and is manufactured by Australian labour. The only imported material used in placing it on the market is the tin plate with which the cans are made and the timber used for the cases, though in some places Australian timber is used.
– Why is timber imported ?
– We do not import timber; but we use what we find to be suitable, and that, at present, is imported timber. The Ministry who framed thefirst Tariff proposed a duty of1½d. per lb. on preserved milk, but through the determined exertions of the Nestle’s Company’, the rate was reduced. That company is a huge concern, one of the most powerful in Europe, with an enormous capital, and sometimes adopts methods of carrying on its business which are an imitation of those pursued by the Standard Oil Trust of America. Its milk is advertised all over Europe and the East.
– I always understood it to be a good article.
– It is very good. I have nothing to say against it.I do not speak. against the quality of Nestle’s production as those who represent the company speak against other brands. By the determined efforts of the Nestle’s Company the duty was reduced to i1d.
– That is not a fair thing to say.
– It was reduced because it was much above the average of the State iduties.
– It may have been higher than the South Australia duty, but the Victorian duty was 2d., and the same rate prevailed in other States.
– In some of the States there was no duty.
– It was, I believe, entirely owing to the statements made by the agents of this company in the circulars which were sent to honorable members, and at interviews with them, that the duty was reduced from1½d. to1d.
– Surely honorable members are bound to listen to the representations of both sides?
– No doubt; but I am merely recounting the facts. It was overlooked that, although a protective duty of id. per lb. was. imposed, the local manufacturers of preservedmilk - there are eight or ten factories - have to pay aheavy duty on the sugar used in the manufacture, which, for various reasons, costs from £6 to £8 a ton more than that used by manufactories abroad. As 40 per cent, of condensed milk consists of sugar, upon which the Australian manufacturer has to paya high duty, the protection of1d. is thereby reduced. He is under other disabilities which I need not mention. So far from 1d. per lb. being an excessive duty, it is really a low one. But if the Nestle Company had abstained from taking the action which they have taken, I should have felt inclined to retain the old rate, seeing that the industry, has already been established. The total quantity of condensed milk consumed in Australia is about 400,000 cases annually. Of this quantity, Nestle’s supplied about three-fourths, some years ago. But the Australian manufacturers have steadily forged ahead in the face of tremendous competition. I could mention instances in which agents of the Nestle Company have greatly reduced “the price of their milk to the extent of 3s. to 4s. per case in order to “squelch “ the local product.
– We have, legislation to deal with that sort of thing now.
– I am speaking of the past. That has been the policy of the Nestle Company.
– It is the policy of everybody.
– After having done all that it could to retard the establishment of the industry in the Commonwealth, it is very well for that company to come for ward and say that it will start operations all over Australia.
– Why should it not do so?
– It has a perfect right to do so. But it has no right to practically invite us to fall into its arms as if it were a saviour of the country after it has done all that it can to kill the industry here. I understand that this company has acquired an option over a place in Queensland. Of course I do not know what are the motives underlying the actions of certain persons who have forwarded circulars to honorable members in reference to this item. But I do know that one circular, which emanated from a gentleman at Bacchus Marsh, is strongly opposed to any increase of the duty, whilst another circular from the same source favours the adoption of exactly the opposite course. I cannot say whether the fact that the Nestle Company has acquired an option over certain concerns has not had some effect upon the views put forward by certain individuals at various times. Unless we are extremely careful we may do great harm to this industry, which has been established under most difficult circumstances. But for the fact that an attempt is to be made by this company to do in Australia what was done in Europe, namely, to overshadow and gradually “mop” up all the smaller manufactories, I should favour the retention of the old duty.
– Does the honorable member suggest that the imposition of a higher duty will tend to discourage a trust ?
– shall have something to say upon that aspect of the matter upon another occasion. My own experience has been that the operation of a high duty has the effect of reducing prices, because it almost invariably leads to a reduction of the profit by stimulating over-production. To that extent it does not encourage the creation of combines. Let us suppose that we levy a high rate of duty upon this particular article. If its production is thereby confined to. Australia, the operation of that duty will not tend to the creation of a trust, for the reason that if a trust, were formed local competition would always lead to a new combination.
– As in America, I suppose ?
– There are only oneor two great permanent Trusts in America, namely, the Standard Oil Trust and the Beef Trust, and they have stood only because they have acquired control of the means of transportation. Had they not acquired that control they would have gone the ‘way of most other trusts. It is most instructive to study the history of trust’s in America. Ninety per cent. of them are merely stock exchange speculations, promoted either for the purpose of pushing on to an unsuspecting public businesses which are in a condition of decadence,or for the purpose of raising prices. These concerns are always over-capitalized, and the result of their creation is that some new enterprising company ‘ very soon comes along which is free from the disability of overcapitalization; and then the so-called trusts fall into the hands of the liquidators. I do not advise honorable members to adopt the duty of1d. per lb. or 2d. per lb. or any other rate. But I have never known- a more barefaced attempt to damage a legitimate industry than that which was made with a certain measure of success by the Nestle Company.
– I am afraid that this display of feeling rules the honorable member out.
– I am merely dealing with facts.
– With one side of them.
– I am prepared to hear the other side presented by the honorable member, and I may take an opportunity of answering his remarks. The very fact that the Nestle Company ask that certain things shall be done ought to make us extremely cautious.
– The honorable member is opposed to that company anyhow.
– I am not. I say that in Australia condensed milk can be produced equal in quality to that produced in any other part of the world. Some eight or ten factories are in existence within the Commonwealth, but none of these have a very large output at the present time. This is owing to the difficulties with which they have had to contend. In the first place they have had to combat the prejudice which existed in favour of the European article. In this connexion I may say for the information of the honorable member for Hunter that formerly no stronger advocates of the use of the foreign article were to be found than were members of the medical profession.
– Might not their advocacy have been an honest one ?
– I am not suggesting that it was otherwise. I am merely mentioning the fact.
– Why were the medical men opposed. to the use of the local article?
– I merely say that they were opposed to it.
– MacRobertson’s factory is full of Nestle’s milk at the present time. He will use no other.
– I am very glad to say that many of the members of the medical profession have now entirely changed their attitude towards the use of Australian condensed milk, and, as a result, the use of the Australian article has gradually come tobe regarded with more favour by the people. I believe that the condensed milk produced in Australia, being newer than the imported milk, is the better article. The fact that it is used within a few weeks of the period when it is manufactured is undoubtedly a great recommendation, because condensed milk is a perishable product at the best. Australian condensed milk having gained the approval of the medical profession, the demand for it is now increasing.
– Does the honorable member think that the industry is quite capable of standing upon its own merits?
– The honorable member for Hunter meant to ask the honorable member if the industry could stand without any protection being accorded to it.
– I did not understand him to ask that.
– Does not the honorable member think that a duty of1½d. per lb. is a sufficient protection to extend to the article ?
-I am not prepared to say. I did notrise to advise the Committee as to the rate which should be imposed. I put the facts before the Committee, leaving honorable members to determine for themselves what the rate should be. With regard to the price at which Nestle’s milk has been selling, owing to the prejudice
– Not the prejudice, but the quality of the article.
– I was about to say when the honorable member interrupted, that because of the prejudice in its -favour, due to its reputation for quality, . it sells at a higher price than rules for locally produced milk. When I speak of “‘prejudice” I have in mind that which may be a perfectly legitimate feeling, the feeling that an article is good and reliable ; but there are some whose prejudice in favour of one article leads them to decline -to judge another “on its merits. .The price of Nestle’s milk has been from is. to is. 6d. per dozen tins, or, in other words, from id. to 1½d. per lb. in excess of that at which local brands Rave been selling; but gradually, as the local brands of milk are becoming better known, the Nestle” Company has shown a tendency to reduce its price. Although, under the old Tariff, there was a duty of id. per lb. and formerly a duty of 2d. per lb. upon imported milk, the public have not had to pay the full, amount of the duty, or anything like it. As Nestle’s correctly state, they have in the past been able ro command a better price than rules for the Australian production,- and that fact is” advanced as an argument against an increased duty. What the industry requires, however, is not an- increased price, but a larger output, and an extended field of operations. The . larger the area the larger the trade, and the lower “the cost of production. We already have so many factories in existence that even if the duty were fixed at 6d. per lb., I do not think that it would affect the selling price. Twelve months hence the competition amongst the lo’cal factories in existence would be sufficient to keep down the price to a reasonable rate, based, not upon the cost at which the article could be imported, but upon the rate at which it could be legitimately produced in Australia.
– Is it true that the local factories cannot now supply their orders ? ‘
– It is perfectly true that the capacity of the existing factories at the present time is such that they could not produce the whole of the milk consumed in Australia; but they are rapidly moving towards a point at which they will be able to do so. That is why the’ Nestle” Company now say, most magnanimously, Australia is a grand country for the production of condensed milk, and we are going to produce it here.” That was not their attitude before the imposition of the Tariff. They have already acquired one factory in Australia and may acquire more.
– The extra duty of id. per lb. has had a ‘ stimulating effect upon them.
– ,1 think that they found that the pressure was becoming greater and greater. The old feeling that condensed milk cannot be well made in Australia still remains to a considerable extent, but since we are able to place on the London market the best dairy produce obtainable there, the contention that we cannot produce good milk is, to say the least, a curious one. It has been urged that a large proportion of our imports of preserved milk come from England. As a matter of fact, only a small proportion of the condensed milk consumed in England is made there. There are some factories in the Old Coun-try, but for the most part the condensed milk consumed there is imported from the Continent of Europe. According to the report of the Government Statistician last year 5,579,344 lbs. of preserved milk’ were imported from the United Kingdom into the Commonwealth. On glancing at the column headed “ Country of Origin, “, I find, however, that of that quantity, representing - a value of £98,059, only £20,950 worth, or about 1,500,000 lbs.,, came from Great Britain. It is a curious fact that no -imports are shown as coming from Switzerland, but from France we had art importation of 3,041,746 lbs., representing a value of £56,635. The returns show, however, that of that quantity only £241 worth, representing about 2,000 or 3,000 lbs., was made in France. Honorable members, in determining what should be the preference granted to Great Britain.; should not lose sight of the fact that only a very small proportion of our imports are actually produced in the Old Country. The bulk of our’ imports last year, which totalled 10,600,000 lbs., were’ produced on the Continent of Europe. The honorable member for Parramatta referred to the heat displayed by me. I “do not think that I ‘was at all heated.”
– Ari honorable, member who talks about “bare-faced attempts “ certainly shows some feeling.
– Perhaps I, in order to please the honorable member, should have used language to conceal my thoughts. My desire is to candidly express my opinion on this question. As a matter of fact, neither I nar the company with which I am associated have had anything to do with the recommendation of a duty ; we have issued no circulars. The matter is one entirely for the Committee to determine. I am speaking as a representative of a dairying district, and I feel that I can honestly say that this industry is one that ought to receive every consideration.
– - If it has been decided, as I assume it has, to adopt a protectionist policy, I certainly know of no industry which could be more appropriately protected than this
One. The constituent parts of sweetened Or condensed milk - milk and cane sugar - are staple products of Australia., in the production of which we have made considerable strides. But it appears to me that those who have spoken on this question are unable to appreciate the real difficulties that stand in the way of - the success of this industry, and the effect of the imposition of a duty upon it. I was very Sorry to hear the honorable member for Hunter, speak so slightingly of a native product. His criticism is one that is too common amongst Australians. A certain class of Australians are never tired of decrying the native products. I am proud to say that, although I am, and always have been, a free-trader, I have always been among, those who purchase local goods in preference to imported articles. We all very well remember that at one time one had only to place the name of a local manufacturer on a tin of jam or jelly to at once make it anathema; the people would not look inside the tin. The fact that it did not come from Dundee Or Aberdeen, or from Crosse and Blackwell’s factory,’ was sufficient to condemn it. That was a very unfortunate state of affairs. It has been contended that by the imposition of a duty of 2¼d. per lb. this industry will rapidly expand. I must be . permitted to doubt the correctness of that contention. And I doubt it from the very best of reasons. I admit that at present the milkproducing industry is in an abnormal condition. It is obvious that when a dairyman can get nd. per gallon for his milk, as he can, at the present time, in New South Wales, he is not going to sell it to the Hawkesbury River Condensed Milk Company, or to any one else, for anything short of 1 id.
– Can a man get a market for has milk every day at that price ?
– Unfortunately, a mart cannot always obtain a market for fresh milk. It is obvious that the condensed milk factory cannot alford to give anything likethat price, because those who buy at” nd. have to sell at from is. 6d. to 2s. Con:densed milk will not permit of a charge of anything like nd. per gallon; I should say that the highest possible price would be 5d. On the Hawkesbury, ‘we are told,, suppliers of fresh milk are paid 20 .per cent, in advance of the existing prices. The existing price is 5d., so that 6d. is now being paid; and the reason is that on certain days, which are called stock days, the great distributors in the metropolis take the milk; and, while it is worth nd. to them, it is worth nothing to the man who might have it left on his hands, because pigs and calves cannot be fed on alternate days. Under- the circumstances, two or three days’ supply of milk would be sold at 6d. ; but it does not pay ‘to sell at 6d., though, of course, to take that price is better than to throw the milk into the paddock. Those engaged in selling fresh milk will never look forward to the condensed milk industry as a means of petting; rid of supplies. The bulk of the dairy trade is concerned, not with the sale of fresh milk, but with the sale of cream to butter factories, and for that cream about 4fd. a gallon is paid. At the outside, the condensed milk factory could pay only ¼d. or Jd. more, and it could not possibly absorb anything like the amount of milk poured into the creameries. The Tariff Commission pointed out very clearly that the establishment of condensed milk factories could only disturb the constant and regular supply to the butter factories, and the latter, without such a supply, must suffer. If the supply of milk were diverted .in such a way, the result would be that both the condensed milk factories and the butter factories would be in a state of semi-starvation. I do not deny that an increase in the duty might have the effect of starting more condensed milk factories,, but I do not think that it would have the effect of putting the industry, as such, on a better footing. In any case, I cannot see my way clear to vote for a duty of 2¼d. and 2d. ; nor can I support a duty of 1½d. and id., for the. reason that, although the Treasurer told us that 5,000,600 lbs. come from Great Britain, he omitted to mention the salient fact that only about “one-fourth of that condensed milk is -manufactured in Great Britain, the balance being from the Continent, and exported via the Old Country. Under the circumstances, any preference to Great Britain would be very flimsy, and would affect only about 1,400,000 lbs. out of 5,000,000 lbs. In my opinion, if the people of Australia are to be protected they should be protected thoroughly ; and, therefore, this one-fourth, which represents British manufacture, is not worth consideration. If we gave a really substantial preference of Jd., the tendency on the part of foreigners to export their goods here via Great Britain would be very strong; and, therefore, I am not in favour of giving Great Britain any preference. I point out to the honorable member for Hunter that, according to general opinion, .the foreign condensed milk is better than the British; and, of course, a strong argument against the duty is that, while the Australian ‘industry is being built up so as to cover the requirements of the whole Continent, we ought not to penalize the consumer. I do not think that we ought to impose a penalty on the consumer to the extent of seven-tenths of the total imports; and in my opinion there ought to be a duty of 1½d. all round. The Treasurer complained about the honorable member for Hunter reading his brief ; but the Treasurer himself knows absolutely nothing about the business, and he ought to be the last to criticise. A duty of It’d. all round would conserve the revenue, and, while protecting the consumer, would give the industry the stimulus it needs.
– How much would that duty represent per gallon?
– I do not know. But I cannot see how any condensed milk factory in normal times could possibly afford to pay more than 5½d., which represents, on the average, about f d. more than is paid at the butter factory ; and even then I do not know that the sale would1 pay the producer. If the amendment before us be withdrawn I shall move that the duty be 1½d. all round.
– It is of great service that we have had a statement from the honorable member for Mernda, who has had long personal experience of the manufacture of condensed milk. We have also just had the advantage of a statement by a gentleman who, I suppose, represents the dairying industry of Australia, and who has put the case as affecting the producers in a clear way. Having those two statements before them, honor able members will be considerably helped in arriving at a proper conclusion.’ One of the results of the remarks of the honorable member for Mernda, who is interested in a condensed milk company, was that I got an urgent appeal to go out and be interviewed by the gentleman who represents Nestle’s Company. I had not before the honour of this gentleman’s acquaintance, but I thought it only fair when a gentleman interested in the colonial industry made statements affecting Nestle’s Company, that the representative of the latter should be heard. I rather discourage interviews with manufacturers, and I do not think I have seen more than two or three since the discussion on the Tariff began; but, under the circumstances, I felt it was only fair to hear what this gentleman had to say. What I liked about the speech of the honorable member for Mernda was that he frankly told lis he was connected with one of the condensed milk companies. So long as honorable members know that fact, it is a source of information to them to have the benefit of the experience of a gentleman who has been practically engaged in building up the industry. I must say that I agree with the honorable member for West Sydney that this is an industry which ought to flourish in Australia, for the reasons he has mentioned, and that it is a most legitimate industry for any protective policy to embrace. But we must not forget that there are other ‘ considerations. We must not forget, that this item represents a necessity of life in the vast spaces of Australia where the cow is never seen. We, in the crowded centres, get, I have no doubt, the best of milk every day all the year round ; but people in distant parts are unable to get any but condensed milk. Then, all over Australia, condensed milk is sometimes a necessary of infant life, which I suppose we are all anxious to conserve as of as much importance as even the interests of shareholders in condensed milk companies. One of the curses of modern civilization is that, with all our enlightenment, we have not sufficiently cared for the purity of the commodities which the infantile population consume. In that aspect I look on Mr. Beale’s work with the most cordial approval. There has, I think, been an immense amount of good done by that gentleman’s labours in this connexion..
– Mr. Beale did not touch on the most important question of the food of children.
– Of course Mr. Beale’s labours, like the labours of every other human being, are open to criticism.
– Very much open !
– That may be; but I am glad that some one is drawing our attention more pointedly to the vital necessity there is for seeing that the articles of food intended for the people, and especially for the infant population, is not only pure, but of the best.
– Could that not be better insured if we made the articles here instead of importing them?
– That is a question of quality ; there is no charm to the infants in the brand on the tin. We must really leave the fiscal question when an infant is struggling for its life. The main point is the quality of the article ; and how can I express any opinion as to the quality of the respective brands’? We can, however, all proceed on certain broad lines, where we cannot go far wrong. For instance, the honorable member for Memda says that Nestle’s brand commands a higher price than other brands by1½d. per lb. That simple fact is a very eloquent one, because, out in the bush, the mother’s idea, and very proper idea, is to get the best, whether it’ be English, Swiss, or Australian milk. That mothers are prepared to pay the. higher price for Nestle’s is a fact which, in itself, seems to show that that is the best article. But I understand that, regarded as a food for children, the main point is the uniform quality of the milk - that that is the vital point in regardto condensed milk just as if is with regard to natural milk. If it can be obtained from the one cow, so much the better, because I understand that medical authorities regard uniformity of quality as a special virtue in infants’ foods. If Nestle’s milk is the best on the market, the chances are that the company possesses a trade secret which enables it to produce a specially good article, because . the elementary conditions of manufacture are not complex, and there cannot be much mystery about them. I am glad to hear from the representative of the company that it has established two factories in Queensland and is on the point of establishing one in New South Wales and another in Victoria. If we agree to a higher duty, we shall therefore have the comfort of knowing that we have given a big lift to Nestle’s Company. It is coming, into Australia as a manufacturer.
– It has bought property in Australia; I know that.
– Will not its competition bring about a decrease in price?
– It may bring about a ring.
– As rings have been mentioned, I ask is it not a temptation, where a dozen manufacturers - in this case, there will be thirteen if Nestle’s Company comes here - are controlling a market, and you raise the 6-ft. fence which protects them to 12 feet, to increase pricesto just below the very top of it? They will not’ go an inch higher, because outside competition will prevent them from doing so.
– Does the honorable member think that’ Parliament is unable to cope with that sort of thing?
– However exalted my opinion of Parliament may be-
– I want a straightout answer. I know that the honorable member is a superior man.
– The honorable member is not yet in a position to dictate as to how I shall answer his questions. I am speaking, not out of my superiority, but out of the inferiority which attaches to age. I should like to have the superiority which attaches to my honorable friend’s years. What I was going to say was that, after twenty-seven years of experience of the wonderful miracles which Parliament can work, I have had bred in me a profound distrust of its omnipotence. Of course, we are wonderful miracle workers on the hustings.
– I believe that the honorable member is an expert there.
– I was at one time, but it has become a political trade, monopolized by the Labour Party now. They are the , miracle workers of Australia. The more experience one gets in public life, the more moderate become his expectations of the benefits to be obtained from legislation. I have the disadvantage, when I read the magnificent platform of the Labour Party, which would convert Australia into a paradise
– Order !
– Is paradise out of order here? I merely wish to ask if honorable members have not recognised the miserable failure of nearly every attempt that has been made to regulate these things.
– Are we therefore to abandon hope?
– No. The honorable member may indulge in the pleasures of hope; but before his hopes are realized, tens of thousands of infants may die. I would rather see them survive to obtain the benefits of the improvements which, no doubt, it is intended to effect. The statement of the honorable member for Mernda was a gratifying one. The history of the establishment of the milk (preserving industry in Australia is the history of successful industries in all parts of the world, whether they have sprung up under protection or under free-trade. There has always been effort and struggle against prejudice. One of the worst things about the Australian people is that they often harbor an unpatriotic prejudice against local . manufacturers. Whatever one’s fiscal policy may be, he has no right ‘to have a prejudice of that kind.
– An honorable member sitting to the left of the honorable member has been condemning the Australian production all the morning.
– He has spoken from information received from actual consumers of the local article, which is entitled to be heard and’ weighed. I do not think that “he laid down any absolute rule. He merely gave the statements of persons whose testimony he credits. I was glad to hear the remarks of the honorable member for Mernda. This is an industry which is natural to Australia, and is doing well here. In spite of the tremendous efforts of Nestle’s Company, to which the honorable member made reference, twelve other companies have established themselves here, and are increasing their business. Personally, I have no opinion as to the relative merits of the various brands. I merely wish to point out that the former rate was id., and that the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission recommended its’ continuance. Of course, their recommendation does not bind us; but in regard to a matter about the facts of which we are not quite clear, a recommendation of staunch protectionists, who examined witnesses at great length, and with much ability, should have weight with us. They recommended that the duties should not be increased on an article which is a necessary in parts of Australia which are the least comfortable to live in, and is often needful for the preservation of infant life.
– The attitude of some manufacturers in regard to this duty is very surprising. In my opinion, the condensed milk made in Australia is equal, and in some cases superior, to the imported article. In the early history of the industry, factories which had turned out an excellent milk occasionally injured its reputation by being unable to keep their output at a high level of quality. Australian preserved milk often went bad, though sometimes imported condensed milk dogs this too. These things do not happen so frequently now. Milk condensed in this country should be superior to milk condensed abroad, and conveyed through the tropics in the warm holds of steamers. Both sections of the Tariff Commission have recommended the continuance of the old rate of duty, and some of the leading local makers have sent circulars to honorable members, intimating that they are satisfied with that rate, and opposed to an increase.
– That has been said on behalf of only two out of seven companies.
– I have had communications from three companies, though I admit that in one case, if not in more, the first statement has been reversed. The honorable member for Corio took exception to a letter read by the honorable . member for Grey because it was addressed from Sydney. Apparently he thinks that nothing coming from Svdney should receive attention. The letter which I am about to read was addressed from Melbourne. It is from a manufacturer of condensed milk, and contains these statements -
The output of condensed milk in Australia is steadily increasing, as the difficulties of manufacturers, due to climatic ‘conditions, have been surmounted. In the early days of the establishment of this industry the progress was slow owing to these influences, and it is due to the fact that it is only recently that scientific research and experiments have overcome these difficulties, that the industry is now forging so rapidly ahead by leaps and bounds. The duty of id. per lb. compensates Australian manufacturers for the higher prices they have to pay for labour and for materials used in manufacture, and at the same time enables them to pay a price for milk to farmers, which is more remunerative to them than any other branch of the dairying industry. The request for the increased duty does not come from the manufacturers, who are satisfied and prosperous under the duty of id. ber lb. In fact, not one of them submitted evidence before the Tariff Commission on the subject, thus showing that they were completely satisfied with the then existing state of the Tariff.
That is very strong evidence that they were satisfied with the old rate. The manager of this company interviewed me, and expressed a desire to withdraw his request that the old duty should be retained. He further urged that an increased rate should be imposed. The reasons which he. advanced for his change of front were such as should not influence any honorable member. He abandoned all consideration of what was good for the industry or the people and simply endeavoured to induce me to vote in favour of what would be good for his particular concern.
– He was a pure merino at the start.
– Yes. Originally he stated that the industry was sufficiently protected by the operation of the old duty of id. per lb., but subsequently - owing to certain changes in the personnel of his competitors - he desired honorable members to repudiate their opinions, and to do something which would favour him personally.
– As a matter of fact, he appears to have desired the imposition of a duty which would have subjected him to more competition, instead of less.
– That is a very plausible way of putting the position, and it is not an accurate one. What was the reason which this gentleman advanced for his change of front? It was that Nestl6’s Company had decided to establish factories in the Commonwealth.
– Their resolve to do that was not prompted by the proposed rate of duty.
– I believe that that is so. What was the proposal of this gentleman?. He urged that if for a time - owing to the imposition of an excessive duty - Nestle’s Company could be shut off from the source of their supplies, and if they were not able to obtain a sufficient supply of local milk - as they would not for some years, until their arrangements had been completed - the continuity of their brand would be destroyed, and his own company would thus be able to get their own brand established in popular favour. That is a nice argument to advance’. Honorable members were practically invited by him to enter into a deliberate conspiracy in favour of one firm. I am sure that some of the milk manufacturers in Australia are too high-minded to adopt an attitude of that sort. If we were to allow a particular brand, which some persons prefer, to be absolutely excluded, in order that we might favour one firm, we should be guilty of a highly improper act. The same gentleman alleged that it would not be to the interests of Australia to allow Nestle’s Company to become established here.
– We are delighted that they should come here.
– Exactly. He alleged that it would not be to the interests of Australia to allow the firm to become established here, because it would become a big monopoly, and would eventually secure control of the market, after which it would compel the consumers to pay higher prices. I asked him whether he expected me to swallow such a statement. I said, “ If this firm does not establish itself here, and such an enormous duty is levied upon condensed milk, is it not very likely that the manufacturers will combine to take advantage of the premium which is offered to them to increase the price of that article?”
– That would apply only so long as we were dependent upon imports.
– If there were no imports there would be a greater safeguard still granted to such a combination. Even in the interests of the condensed milk manufacturers themselves, I doubt whether such high” duties as those proposed are desirable. I think that the evidence is altogether in favour of the suggestion that an impost of id. per lb. is sufficient.
– If there is one industry in the Commonwealth which is performing Australian work, it is the condensed milk industry. If with our enormous dairy herds we cannot produce sufficient milk to supply our own requirements, I do not think that it augurs well for the future. Of course, it has been said that the present supply of milk in the Commonwealth is scarcely sufficient. If that be so, I hold that we should do what we can to stimulate the dairying industry and to enable those who are engaged in it to enjoy a profitable future. Yesterday the honorable member for Corangamite stated that in the western district of Victoria the pig supply had failed simply because the growers could not obtain a sufficiency of skimmed milk. The condensed milk industry and the hog industry are thus seen to be inter-dependent, and the sugar industry might also be included. When the Tariff was under consideration in 1902 it was argued by the opponents of protection that the quality of Australian condensed milk was not equal to that of the imported article. But to-day we have heard not only from the honorable member for Mernda, but from the honorable member for North Svdney, that the secret process connected with the manufacture of this article- ‘
– I did not mention anything about a secret process.
– The honorable member stated that to-day the Australian manufacturers of condensed milk could turn out a good article, whereas formerly they could not. Consequently, the argument which was advanced in 1902 has no longer any force. As a matter of fact, the locallyproduced milk is in many cases superior to the imported. The reason is that in almost every State there is a Pure Foods Act in operation, and thus it is almost impossible for any manufacturer of foods to use other than the best ingredients. From the stand-point of the dairyman, I wish to point out that whereas the butter factories pay only 3½d. per gallon for milk, the condensed milk factories pay 5½d. per gallon. From the stand-point of the farmer, an industry that will enable him to get 2d. a gallon more for his milk than he could otherwise do is well worth preserving.
– Do they not get their skimmed milk from the butter factories?
– They do, in both cases.
– No. Milk which is condensed gives none.
– The .farmers take a certain refuse from the condensed milk factories, and use it as pig’s feed.
– The honorable member is under a misapprehension.
– I have seen the farmers take from these factories refuse which they give to their pigs. I wish to emphasize the point that it has been shown, beyond the possibility of doubt, that we can produce good preserved milk in Australia; that it is scandalous that we should have imported last year 10,000,000 lbs. of the commodity, and that, by fostering this industry, we shall do a great deal, not merely for the manufacturers, but for the dairymen and farmers throughout the Commonwealth.
.- I am in favour of an increase of duty. This item relates to what is essentially one of ‘the rural industries of Australia. It seems to me that we are always ready to grant an increased duty to any manufacturing industry carried on in our cities, but that when a proposal is made to protect a purely rural industry, the raw material of which is produced in the country, and the whole of the labour associated with it carried out there, there is a stampede on the part of some honorable members. This is an industry which deserves encouragement. The fact that we are annually importing over £200,000 worth of condensed milk, and that the whole of that mill: could be made here if the industry were encouraged, is sufficient to induce me to support the duty. Whilst I favour an increased duty, I would certainly prefer a duty of 1½d. as against British imports and of 2d. per ]b. on imports from other countries, to the duties proposed by the Government. Of £186,000 worth of imports of. this commodity introduced last year, £166,000 worth was the product of countries other than Great Britain, so that it will be recognised that under my proposition we should have a duty of 2d. per lb. practically against the whole world.
– One of the chief considerations that appeal to me in connexion with this item, is the fact that at the present time an enormous quantity of preserved and condensed milk is imported into Australia. The prejudice against Australian products is a matter to which we should pay some attention. Foreign trusts or combines who wish to destroy a local industry never fail to make use of it. Even in the United States of America a foreign trust, which is fighting any local product, invariably resorts to the practice of decrying that local production. The anti- Australia spirit suits the book of the foreign trusts. I think that we ought to be a little more loyal to Australia’s productions. I have used Australian preserved milk, and- have found it very good. The honorable member for North Sydney urged that if this duty were agreed to, a local trust could be formed. I agree with him that in connexion with every industry that we may build up, and more particularly in relation to such an industry as this, combines may be created. But I would remind honorable members that the formation of trusts in connexion with all these industries must sound the death knell of private enterprise. The Labour Party ha%’e been asked again and again how far they are prepared to go in the direction of nationalization, and, in reply, I would say that those who wish to see an industry nationalized as quickly as possible, could’ not do better than form a combine in connexion with it. In such circumstances, we shall have no hesitation in asking the electors to assist us in making an industry a national co-operative undertaking for the benefit of the people. That being so, we do not fear the establishment of trusts’. The leader of the Opposition made a pathetic appeal to the Committee in regard to infants’ foods urging that uniformity in feeding is absolutely essential to the good health of infants. God help the children who have to be reared on condensed milk, since it is a wholesale. mixture. In Nestle’s milk, we may have possibly a combination of the milk of thousands of cows as well as of sheep and of goats.
– The honorable member does not know what he is talking about.
– One of myfamily was reared on Nestle’s milk.
– Thenthatspeaks well for the vigour of the child. Some children can thrive on anything short of poison, and in support of that assertion I have only to remind the Committee of the position of the children of the London slums. The honorable member for Hunter, who has been slaughtering Australian, industries this morning, and appears to find no difficulty in abusing them, has said that I do not know what I am talking about.
-The honorable member does not.
– If the honorable member knew as much as I do about Australian industries, he would not speak as he does concerning them. If he were a little more loyal to Australia he would fight for local enterprises. There is no uniformity in condensed milk. Every one knows that it comes from a mixture of the milk of many cows, and I hope that the Committee will not listen to the appeal made by the leader of the Opposition.. It has been said that Nestle’s intend to commence operations in Australia. I certainly would not be one to shut out a foreign firm that desired to commence operations here. As soon as a firm from abroad sets up business in Australia, it becomes an Australian enterprise, and has my good wishes. Asa matter of fact, we are imposing this Tariff in order to encourage local competition ; but I think that a fair compromise as between the Government proposal, and the desire of some honorable members, would be to impose a duty of 2d. per lb. on foreign imports, and of1½d. per lb. on imports from Great Britain. I therefore move -
That after the figure “2d.,” paragraph A (1), the words “ and on and after 2nd November, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., 2d., (United Kingdom) perlb.,1½d.” be inserted.
– I am quite in accord with the proposition submitted by thehonorable member for New England. We ought to be particularly careful about increasing the cost of tinned foods of any kind, because they are the main source of supply for miners and other people in the back country, who already have to pay an enhanced price owing to the cost of transport. We, who are more favorably situated, can buy fresh milk, and always prefer it to condensed. It cannot be pleaded that in this industry we have to compete with cheap labour in Europe, seeing that the average cost of keeping a cow in Australia is about £2 per annum, whereas the average cost in countries, with which we enter into competition, is£5, and. at times reaches £12 per head. It will be seen, therefore, that milk can be produced more . cheaply in Australia than in any other part of the world, except, perhaps, Argentina. The honorable member for West Sydney suggested a duty of1½d. per lb. all round, and I asked him what such a duty would amount to on whole milk. Jt is only fair, if wedesire to give protection to this rural industry that we should know to what extent the milk producer will benefit by the protection. One gallon of whole milk will produce 3 lbs. of concentrated milk forthe purpose of making condensed milk; and if we add 40 per cent, of sugar we have, when the process . is completed, say, 4 lbs. of condensed milk to one gallon of whole milk. Therefore, a duty of1½d. per lb. is equal to about 6d. per gallon ; and 6d. per gallon, I may say, is considered a very good price for- milk in many parts of Australia. I speak with some interest in this matter, seeing that there are four condensed milk factories in the Moreton constituency. I was sorry to hear some remarks as tothe inferiority of the Australian commodity, particularly in view of the fact that those engaged in the industry in the Moreton district cannot supply the demand. If an order were given to-day for a. case of condensed milk at the Cressbrook or Standard factories, it could not be fulfilled, because orders are booked up for some considerable time, and I think that a similar state of affairs prevails in the whole of the factories of the Commonwealth. Some time ago it was found impossible to place the product of the Shoalhaven factory in the market.
– Excellent milk was produced at that factory, but sometimes it was bad, and its reputation was spoilt.
– The Bacchus Marsh Company took up the factory ; and since then there has been no trouble whatever. We can produce as good condensed milk in Australia as in any part of the world ; and I am surprised to hear that some of our confectionery manufacturers prefer Nestle’s milk. It has been urged by some who are interested in increasing this duty, that, for condensed milk a special kind of milk and a special kind of cow are required ; but that is all “ tommy-rot.” There is no branch of the dairying industry in. which tainted milk can be used to better advantage; and when I say “ tainted “ I do not mean impure milk. Those engaged in the industry know that sometimes the pastures taint the milk, but all the taint is removed by evaporation and pasteurization, and the milk can be turned into the condensed article without any fear of deleterious results. So far as the farmers are concerned, they are quite satisfied with a duty of id”. per lb.
– Some of them may be.
– Considering that there are four condensed milk factories in my division, I may claim that the industry is fairly well represented there. There are only twelve factories in the whole of the Commonwealth ; and, therefore, the Moreton district contains a very fair proportion,
– What is the output of these factories?
– The. output is as much as the factories can secure within a workable radius.
– The factories in the Moreton district are a third of the whole, but have they a third of the output?
– I do not suppose that they have.
– Then they must be smaller factories, as compared- with the others.
– I do not know that they are so very small, seeing that they cost about ‘ £I 50;000. However, the dairying industry is in its infancy in Queensland, and yet the manufacturers have asked for a duty of only id. per lb. Bearing in mind, however, that the price of tin plate is rising, and that duties on other commodities are being imposed, I think it is only fair on my part, as representing Moreton, to ask for a duty of 1½d.
– I know that honorable members are anxious to go to a division, but there are some facts connected with this industry which ought to be laid before the Committee, especially in view of the statements made by the honorable member for Hunter with regard to the quality of the Australian commodity. I desire to read two or three extracts from the minutes of evidence taken by a Departmental Committee appointed by the Board of Agriculture of Great Britain, to inquire and report regarding regulations for the sale of milk and cream. This Committee sat in 1 90 1, and was presided over by Lord Wenlock. The first witness examined was Dr. Alfred Hill, Medical Officer of Health for Birmingham, and the following is from his evidence -
So far .is you know, condensed milk is not much used in Birmingham ? - No ; it is not much used.
It is said to be very largely used by the working class in most large cities? - It varies very much in quality, but it is generally poor.
I think you stated condensed milk was generally made- from skimmed milk? - It is most frequently made from skimmed milk; it is deficient in fat.
– Does the honorable member quote these extracts with approval ?
– I am quoting .from the sworn evidence before a Committee appointed by the British Board of Agriculture, and I ask honorable members to accept that evidence for what it is worth. Another witness examined was Sir Charles A. Cameron, CB., M.D., as follows -
Do you think any standard should be fixed with regard to the composition of that? - I have examined ‘some specimens of condensed milk containing, very little more fat than is in uncondensed imilk. I certainly think that the quantity of fat which should be eliminated from milk before it is condensed ought to be determined. I think some samples of condensed milk that I have examined are monstrous ; it is very difficult to get convictions, though.
Have you examined any samples of condensed milk from abroad, or have all the condensed milks you have examined been manufactured in Ireland ? - Some we obtained from other sources-they were hot all Limerick and Cork condensed ‘milks ; some were foreign. I have not very recently examined any.
I desire honorable members to listen to the following -
In your experience, which would you say was the worst? - I think the foreign was - that made in Switzerland.
Another witness examined was Mr. Alfred Henry Allen, Public Analyst for the City of Sheffield, as follows -
Can you give any information with respect to condensed milk? - . . . There is one of the best-known condensed milks, the makers of which say on the labels that for the purpose of feeding children it should be diluted with from twelve to fourteen parts of water. Now, seeing that it never was concentrated more than three, down to one - not twelve or fourteen down to one - it means that the children who are served with that milk diluted to that extent, in accordance, with the directions of the manufacturers, are starved.
I think the honorable member for Hunter will agree with the witness. Sir George Brown, C.B., was examined as follows -
Therefore you do not think it advisable to touch cream at all ? - No. I think it is better to leave cream alone. It is a term that has absolutely no definite meaning; it is like “condensed milk,” which may be anything that you get into a tin.
The witness was asked to give an example, and the reply he gave was -
In some specimens I have met with I should judge from the appearance and the taste that it must have something like 75 per cent. of sugar with it.
I ask the honorable member for Hunter whether it is advisable that children should have food containing such a percentage of sugar ? -
It was very likely skimmed milk? - It was very like skimmed milk, with a very large quantity of treacle added.
I may say that Sir Charles Cameron, from whose evidence I have quoted, is one of the highest authorities on foods on the face of the globe at the present time. Mr. N. Story- Maskelyne, F.R.S., was examined as follows -
You represent, I understand, the Condensed Milk Defence Association ? - Yes.
Would you kindly tell the Committee something about that Association? - That Association was started with a view of enlightening the public as to the exact value of machine-skimmed condensed milk. The members of the Condensed Milk Association are practically all the manufacturers of machine-skimmed condensed milk. Some of us manufacture whole cream condensed milk, but the bulk of it is machine-skimmed milk. (The Chairman). - In Europe? - Yes.
That would be Holland, Germany, and Ireland ? - Yes.
Those three countries? - Yes. Italy manufactures a small quantity of machine-skimmed condensed milk, but it is practically insignificant.
Honorable members have challenged the statement that there is machine-skimmed condensed milk in use, but the evidence which I have read shows that in Great Britain there is an association for the defence of manufacturers of machine-skimmed condensed milk. Is it a fair thing to put such a production on the markets of the world, especially for use by infants ? Honorable members know that cream separators extract from the milk every vestige of the butter fat, so that milk skimmed by them is absolutely valueless as a food.
– Is there such milk on the Australian market to-day ?
– I dare say that there is.
– Of what brands?
– The honorable member knows the brands that are on this market I am not here to destroy or libel any industry; my object is to protect Australian industries. As they have been attacked-; I am showing the sort of competition to which they are subjected. I should welcome the opening of a Nestle’s factory here, because Parliament can control all the manufacturing done in Australia. I understand that the company is losing its import trade, supplying now only 50 per cent., whereas formerly it supplied 75 per cent. ; but I do not understand honorable members who desire that manufacturing shall be done at the other end of the world rather than in Australia. If they have so much at heart the interests of the importers that they would like them to capture the Australian trade, why do they not go to Switzerland and France, and take up their residence there? We are pleased to see manufacturers establish themselves here, and welcome their competition, because it is beneficial to the consumers; whose interests I am as desirous to serve as is any other honorable member.
– The Nestle’s Company is going to establish factories here, even if the rate of duty is continued at1d.
– I have no information on the subject, but after listening carefully to the discussion, I have come to the conclusion that this company has only secured an option.
– I am informed that they have bought land.
– I am glad to hear that. If they have merely secured an option, it means that they are waiting to see how the cat will jump ; that they wish to know how the duty will be fixed before investing any considerable sum of money in Australia. I decline to accept the statement that they have, definitely decided to come here, even if the duty is made id.
– They expressly said so in a letter received by me yesterday or the day before.
– I should like stronger evidence than that. At any rate, if they are thinking about establishing themselves here under a duty of id., they will be sure to do so if we give them a duty of 2d.
– I have risen to repel the slanderous accusations of the honorable member for Laanecoorie.
– What I read was sworn evidence
– I refer not to that, but to the statement that honorable members are “ barracking “ for the foreign manufacturers of condensed milk, and declaiming against the local manufacturers.
– What did the honorable member for Hunter say about Australian condensed milk?
– He said what was said by the honorable member for Mernda, that the people of Australia prefer to pay a higher price for imported condensed milk.
– The honorable member for Hunter said that the Australian condensed milk would not keep after it was opened.
– In my opinion, the condensed milk now being, manufactured in Australia is better than that which is imported. Last week I bought a tin of each for the purposes of comparison, and found the imported milk thicker than the Australian milk, and possessing a cloudiness and strong flavour which is .absent from the latter.
– I have tasted Australian condensed milk which comes as near to fresh milk as any of which I have had experience.
– Condensed milk is made in my electorate which, when put into tea, one can hardly distinguish from fresh milk.
– Then Australians can make something good?
– Of course they can. Although honorable members constantly jibe at us, we do more for the actual practical support of Australian industries than is done by them. The honorable member is wearing imported clothing.
– I have not bought imported clothing for five years.
– The honorable member for Parramatta is wearing imported clothing.
-When the staunch protectionists in the Labour corner wished to make a presentation to the retiring leader of the party, the other night, they selected an imported article, and when I went to supper this morning, after having helped the Government to do business until long past midnight, the first thing that was poked under my nose was a bottle of imported pickles. If one goes where protectionists habitually resort, one finds that they use chiefly imported articles. As I have said, the Australian condensed milk seems to me better than the imported. The latter may keep a little longer, but the thickening of which I have spoken is, to my mind, a disadvantage, and a sign of deterioration. Still, an industry which is native to the soil, which has got over its initial difficulties, and is now producing a good article, ought to be able to stand, even if protected by the duty which is proposed by the honorable member for. Grey. I shall support a duty of i£d. on the general Tariff, and id. on the Tariff affecting the United Kingdom.
– Early in the debate I intimated that I intended to stand by the Government proposals, but I understand that, while I was out of the chamber, an arrangement was made by my colleague, under which the duties would be slightlyreduced. I am prepared to abide by that arrangement, and, therefore, if the amendment be withdrawn, I shall be willing to move to reduce the rate to 2d. and 1½d. in regard to the commodities mentioned in paragraphs a and b.
.- In view of the statements which have been made during the debate, I do not think that the Committee will regard the proposition as a generous one, or enthusiastically welcome it. The rate proposed in the first Tariff was 1½d., but Parliament reduced it to id., because that was something above the average rates of the States. It was stated at the time that a duty of 1½d. would be equivalent to 35 or 40 per cent, ad valorem on the imported value of condensed milk, so that, assuming that values are about the same now, the rate nowsuggested is something like 50 per cent, ad valorem. Prior to Federation the Victorian and Queensland rates were 2d.-; the South Australian rate,’ id. ; the Tasmanian rate, 20 per cent; and the Western Australian rate, 15 per cent. ; while there was no duty in New South Wales. The average of these rates was less than id. Under the circumstances, I think we might, well make the rates i£d. and id. I was influenced in the decision to which’ I came on the Kingston proposal, and will be influenced in this instance, not by pressure brought from outside, but by’ the facts I have stated. On this occasion the - pressure brought to bear upon me has come rather from the local manufacturers than from importers. All the State Tariffs, with the exception of that of New South Wales, used to combine the principles of revenue and protection. I believe that a duty of i£d. per lb. upon condensed milk is equivalent to a protection of 35 or 40 per cent. Without urging that the locally produced article is not so good as the imported, I am sure that honorable members will recognise that the more worldwide the competition to which our manufactures are subjected in- respect of their quality, the better will be the guarantee to the consumer of their excellence.
– I fail to understand why the Treasurer has departed from the recommendation of the Tariff Commission in regard to condensed milk. Both sections of that body were unanimous in recommending the imposition of a duty of id. per lb. upon this article, which was the old rate. As one who has travelled in the back portions of Queensland and Western Australia, I think that such an impost is quite sufficient. In the locality which I shall be visiting next January I shall be very lucky if I can purchase a tin of Nestle’s milk for less than 3s. The persons who use condensed milk largely in Australia are the working miners and the residents of the interior. I ask honorable members where there are better pastures than those to be found in Australia? What, are the pastures in Switzerland and Denmark - from which’ Nestle’s. milk comes - as compared with our own? The dairy stock in those countries has to be housed for six or seven months in the year, whereas our stock is rarely housed. Indeed our dairy cows are rarely fed except when they are about to be milked. With all these conditions in our favour I say that if we cannot manufacture condensed milk cheaper than can the countries which I have indicated, we ought to be able to do so, especially in view of the natural protection which the industry enjoys. I favour the proposal of the honorable member for Grey to levy a duty of 1½d. per lb. upon condensed milk of foreign origin, and of id. per lb. upon the product of Great Britain. If that is not a sufficient measure of protection to extend to the industry it ought to be. In this connexion, we must recollect that the more we are subjected to competition the more likely are we to improve our own productions. It is competition which will enable us to manufacture condensed milk of better quality than that of the imported article. I have tried most of the brands of Australian preserved milk, and I admit that they are very excellent. But some will not keep as well as does the imported milk. I have purchased cases of the locally produced article, the contents of which have been blown. Either it had not been concentrated sufficiently, or the defect was due to some secret in the process of manufacture which we have not yet mastered. That happened to me only last June. The milk arrived in the condition which I described from the merchant in Perth. We have to view this matter from various standpoints. We have to recollect that as yet we are not a self-contained people. But even if we were we should naturally desire to have everything of the best. Surely we ought not to tax this article to any greater extent, seeing that it already enjoys a natural protection of 50 per cent. The more I look into the question the more I see that there is no justification for the proposed increase. It is not the residents of the large centres who use concentrated milk, but the working miner and the man in the bush. Away back in Queensland - in the Maranoa district - the sheep-owners and cattle-raisers’ use nothing but concentrated milk all the year round. In Western Australia, too, one can see loads of concentrated milk being carted to the interior for the miners by means of waggons, donkeys, mules, and camels. Personally, I should like to see both concentrated milk and butter manufactured in the country where the raw materials of which they are composed are produced. If the Treasurer, will consent to make the duty 1½d. per lb. against the outside world, and id. per lb. against the products of Great Britain, I shall support him.
– The honorable member for Grampians has informed us that some cases of Australian condensed milk which he purchased became fly-blown.
-?- I did not say that it was fly-blown. I said that it was blown, which is quite a different matter.
– I have seen bad imported tin fish, and I have also drunk Australian wine which ‘ nearly poisoned me. But because of these things, I am not prepared to say that all imported tinned fish is bad, -or that all Australian wine is bad. In the same way, I hold that all Australian condensed milk is not of the same quality as that to which the honorable member referred. I wish to point out to the honorable member for Swan that whilst the Anglo-Swiss Company were supplying “Melbourne with condensed milk at from 27s. to 29s. 6d. per case, its price in Fremantle was 31s. 3d. per case. This difference in price was due to the fact that there was competition in Melbourne, whereas in Fremantle there was none. If we have local competition, the imported article will be sold here for less than it would be otherwise.’ Of course, I am aware that a number of our manufacturers have declared that they do not wish to see the old rate of duty increased. But many of them have since expressed their sorrow for having made that statement. The principal reason why they did not desire an increase of the duty was that they recognised that the result of its operation would be to subject them to more competition. All the talk about conserving the interests of the residents of the back-blocks is so much moonshine. I advocate the local production of all commodities that can be manufactured in Australia. Prices will be kept at a normal level by local competition. I have only to say in conclusion that an increase in local production has tended, and always will tend, to decrease prices.
.- It is difficult to listen in silence to the base and scurrilous innuendoes which .are constantly being made with regard to the position that I have taken up on this question. It has been asserted by more than one honorable member that I am decrying Australian industries and productions. Nothing is further from my thoughts. I venture to say that not one of those who have attacked me have made greater sacrifices on behalf of their country than I have done, and that no meaner device ‘could be resorted to in order to injure a man politically than” isthat of deliberately misinterpreting his statements. I simply said this morning that it is a peculiar fact - and if it be a fact nothing will induce me to change my, opinion with regard to it - that Nestlé’s milk, after the tin has been opened, keeps better than does any other brand. Men who have used_ it in Western Australia j as well as in other places, have so informed me. The reason for this I’ cannot tell.
– It is more concentrated.
– I do not know whether that is so or not. It may be because the cows from which the milk is obtained are groomed, stalled, and’ hand-fed during the winter months, or it may be due to climatic conditions. Some preserved milk made in New Zealand is said to be very good, and to keep better than does milk made in warmer climates. If that be so, surely it cannot be said that in mentioningthe fact I am decrying an Australian industry. Here is the evidence of a witness who was examined before the Tariff Commission -
I would particularly point out that concentrated milk cannot be depended on. to keep for any length of time; and therefore in places distant from a railway people have to depend wholly upon preserved or condensed milk-
Many honorable members are confusing condensed and preserved milk with concentrated milk. The two are entirely different. Concentrated milk is not intended to keep, but a tin of condensed milk will keep for weeks after being opened. The witness to whom I have referred was further examined as follows -
Is there any likelihood of the preserved milk being produced largely in Australia? - There have been many attempts in the past; but so far they have not met with great success. In fact, I believe that three or four years ago they were meeting with greater success than ‘at the present day.
By Mr. Clarke. - Do you find that preserved milk sometimes goes bad ? - Nestle’s milk very rarely, indeed.
In the case of the concentrated, it is fit for use straight away, is it not ; there is no preparation required after opening the tin? - Concentrated will take a degree of water. It is easily prepared.
It is all very well to say that an infant should be reared on one cow’s milk. I know of a man whose inf ant was supplied with milk from a cow that subsequently died from tubercle, and soon after the child died from the same complaint. In a herd of cattle there may be one or two cranky cows, and is it not much better that a child should be fed on a mixture of twenty cows’ milk than on the milk of a cranky one? The honorable member for New England said that even goats’ milk might sometimes be used in a preparation of condensed milk. As a matter of fact such a thing as tubercle in goats’ milk has never been known. I have no desire to detain the Committee, but I felt it necessary to vindicate theposition I have taken up.
– In view of the statement made, by the honorable member for Hunter, I think that I ought to say a word or two on behalf of the Cressbrook MilkFactory. The honorable member has said that condensed milk cannot be made anywhere outside of Great Britain.
– I have said nothing of the sort.
– I do not wish to misrepresent the honorable member, but I think it worth mentioning that the Cressbrook milk, so far as its keeping qualities are concerned, is second to none.
– Except the Hawkesbury Company’s milk.
– I have used Cressbrook milk in the far western districts of Queensland, andat a time when the temperature has been from 115 to 120 degrees in the shade, we have had that milk in a liquid state, whereas the Anglo-Swiss condensed milk dried up into blocks that resembled cheese. I do not hold a brief for the Cressbrook Milk Factory.
– Who owns it?
– It was owned by Mr. McConnell, and it carries on operations near Ipswich.
– It is now owned by Nestles.
– That is news to me. Mr. McConnell’s milk was largely used in Western Queensland, and was far superior to the Anglo-Swiss brand. Six or seven years ago, if one entered a store in Western Queensland, he was hardly likely to see a tin of Anglo-Swiss condensed milk on the shelves ; Cressbrook’s milk had the market.
Question - That after the figures “ 2¼d.,” paragraph a, the words, “ and on and after 2nd November, 1907 (General Tariff) per lb.,1½d.,” be inserted (Mr. Poynton’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.
Majority … … 12
Question so resolved in the negative.
– I move-
– I have already moved that the duty on imports from foreign Countries be reduced to 2d., and that on imports from Great Britain be reduced to 1½d.
– I announced that the Government proposed to adopt that proposal. I move -
That after the figure “ 2d.,” paragraph A (1), the words “ and on and after 2nd November, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., 2d., (United Kingdom), per lb.,1½d.,” be inserted.
.- I hope that this amendment has not been moved in ignorance of the fact that this obnoxious firm of Nestles has an enormous factory in Great Britain, where they produce about 1,500,000 cases a year. Does the Treasurer remember that fact?
Amendment agreed to.
Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -
That after the figure “ad.,” paragraph a. the words “ and on and after 1st November, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., zd., (United Kingdom), per lb., lid.”, bc inserted.
– I should like to know why unsweetened milk bears a duty of only 1¼d. per lb. Dried or powdered milk is not sweetened milk.
– Dried or powdered milk is concentrated, and is, therefore, placed in the same category as sweetened milk.
– So far as I know there is no difference in strength between unsweetened and dried or powdered milk.
– I am informed that there is a difference.
.- Powdered milk is concentrated to 12J per cent., or about one-eighth of the whole product, whereas sweetened milk is concentrated to about one-third or one-fourth of the whole. There is considerably more milk contents in a pound of powdered milk than in a pound of unsweetened milk.
Amendment agreed to.
Item, as amended, agreed to.
Mr. MAUGER laid upon the table the following paper -
Lands Acquisition Act - Regulation - Forms for use under Act - Statutory Rules 1907, No. ‘no.
House adjourned at 2-6 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 November 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1907/19071101_reps_3_41/>.