House of Representatives
11 December 1907

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at11 a.m., and read prayers. .

page 7294

QUESTION

EXCISE TARIFF (AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY) ACT

Mr FISHER:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND

– I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether he has noticed in this morning’s Age a comment by Mr. Justice Higgins, regarding the action of the Government in connexion with the Excise Tariff (Agricultural Machinery) Act? When dealing with an application to the. Court, His Honour is reported to have said yesterday -

If the Commonwealth Government were so interested in these applications it could have come forward in previous applications before me, and not allowed trades unions and other parties interested to bear the whole expense of bringing evidence before me to enable me to fix the standards of wages.

I desire to draw the. attention of the Prime Minister to that statement of the Judge regarding the want of action by the Commonwealth Government up to date, and to ask if. he can communicate to the House and the country its policy regarding matters as they now stand ?

Mr DEAKIN:
Minister for External Affairs · BALLAARAT, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– The honorable member will recollect that the comment made by the learned Judge - which I, of course, do not criticise in any way - was made in dealing with an application from the Government, while giving reasons why, in his opinion, it could not be complied with. The endeavour of the Government was to secure, as far as possible, a uniform standard, in view of the fact that the decision of the previous Judge of the Arbitration Court had established one standard of wages in South Australia, which, in some respects, differed from his own decision. The learned Judge’s comment on our application was that the Government had not been represented on the previous application, with which he had dealt. That is perfectly true, but the Government was not represented at the application on which his predecessor fixed the rate of wages for South Australia, and there was no suggestion at the time that it required to be represented. Of course, the question which my honorable and learned colleague had then to consider was whether, in view of the judgment by the first President of the Arbitration Court, anything had been discovered showing that it was necessary for the Government to intervene. There seemed to be nothing of that kind, nothing in that first judgment. But a new state of affairs was created by the judgment of Mr. Justice Higgins, which, in the opinion of my honorable and. learned colleague, made it necessary for the Government .to intervene. I assume that the learned Judge did not consider it within his province, or at all events, within his duty, to comment upon the changed state of affairs following upon his own judgment.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Must it not always be that different Judges will take different opinions ?

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member can ask a question later on.

Mr DEAKIN:

– If Mr. Speaker will permit me, I will say, in reply to the inquiry, that the obvious difficulty suggested is one of the chief of those which it is the hope of the Government to meet by fresh proposals. We also realize that so long as the proceedings of Law Courts are conducted in the formal protracted and expensive manner which is required for most of their purposes, their proceedings when they come to deal with matters industrial, some of them relatively small, but all requiring to be treated by the same ponderous machinery, may create a serious situation. Consequently, the proposals of the Government, which probably .will be laid upon the table before we rise to-day - my honorable and learned colleague’ has just informed me that the final revise is expected within half-an-hour or an hour - will show that it is in order to meet that difficulty 6y other substantive and substituted proposals that the Government is foreshadowing legislation in the near future.

Mr Fisher:

– In the meantime, does the honorable gentleman intend to proceed with the Excise Procedure Bill?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I have already indicated that the Government think that Bill ought to be dealt with by the House before the Christmas adjournment. Of course, we recognise that legal objections may be taken, but we think that they should offer no obstacle, inasmuch as the House cannot finally determine legal questions, especially when there is a conflict of professional opinion.

Mr FRAZER:
KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– Arising out of the decision of Mr. Justice Higgins, I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question regarding the following statement made by Mr. McArthur to the Court -

It was desired by the Commonwealth Government that the rates of wages should be uniform throughout the Commonwealth.

T wish to know if it is the intention of the Government to establish uniform conditions throughout the Commonwealth, irrespective of the place of manufacture?

Mr DEAKIN:

– The instructions to counsel authorized him to ask the Judge to secure uniformity in the rates of wages so far as was practicable, having regard, of course, to differences in the place in which the manufacture occurred, or to any other circumstances. Of course, every one desires uniformity as far as possible, and that is what counsel was instructed to ask for. I have no doubt that the newspapers take special care in reporting the utterances of a Judge, but: when they are summarizing or condensing the arguments of counsel necessarily take much more liberty.

Mr GLYNN:
ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I rise to ask the Prime Minister a further question on the subject. I find it rather difficult to understand how a difference of opinion between Mr. Justice O’Connor and ‘ Mr. Justice Higgins as to the rate of wages creates a ground of justifiable intervention by the Government, which did not exist when the application was made in Adelaide. I beg to ask the honorable gentleman whether he proposes to take the latest deci- . sion in each case, as the standard of uniformity, irrespective of the fact that it may be lower or perhaps higher than “one previously prescribed?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I am in a difficulty even greater than that of my honorable and learned friend in perceiving what the first statement he made has to do with the question with which he concluded. However, that is immaterial. All I have to say is that, as he is aware, under similar circumstances a later judgment would be reckoned of somewhat more value, even in the same Court, and by the same Judge, than a previous one. Inasmuch as it is not the decision of a higher Court, nor the decision of a numerically stronger Court, the judgment stands.

Mr GLYNN:

– I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether it is not a fact that the Excise Tariff Act 1906, so far from laying down any rule as to uniformity, provides different methods of ascertaining what are fair and reasonable rates, which may lead to diversity ; and that the President of the Court of Arbitration is not bound by the decision of any other Judge sitting as President? That being so, how did the Government expect to be afforded an opportunity to obtain any rule of uniformity that would be obligatory ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– In the momentary absence of my colleague, the AttorneyGeneral, I think I am correct in stating that the object of the application to the Court was to obtain the Judge’s decision on that and several other matters which enter into cases of this kind. Even an adverse decision may often be a help,, in view of the possibility of our making future application in connexion with similar questions.

Mr McWILLIAMS:
FRANKLIN, TASMANIA

– Will the Prime Minister state whether it is intended to apply Mr. Justice Higgins’ award to all country blacksmiths, and so . to place them in the same position as that occupied by large manufacturers of agricultural implements ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– The award applies only to blacksmiths engaged in making excisable goods, and not to the trade generally.

Mr McWILLIAMS:

– In Tasmania, at all events, practically every country blacksmith is making excisable parts. I wish to know whether those who are making parts that are dutiable under the Act will be brought under its operation?

Mr DEAKIN:

– Those who are making excisable goods must come under the Excise conditions, but under the proposals to be submitted the least possible interference will accrue.

Mr SAMPSON:
WIMMERA, VICTORIA

– I should like to direct the attention of the Prime ‘Minister to the fact that the feeling amongst the manufacturers is that in signing the guarantee bond, demanded by the Government, they might be signing away their legal rights in respect of anv resistance to a subsequent claim for Excise by the Government. If that be so, I should like to ask the honorable gentleman to say what relief the bond demanded from the manufacturers would give them in the meantime.

Mr DEAKIN:

– So far I am not aware of anything in the bond which deprives manufacturers’ of any legal rights they are entitled to retain in view of the legis lation which has been passed. What those? legal rights are will very shortly be determined by the Courts.

Mr PALMER:
ECHUCA, VICTORIA

– I desire to ask thePrime Minister whether it is seriously theintention of the Government to seek to enforce the payment of Excise duty upon, harvesters made since the1st January last, in view of the fact that the Government” failed to determine what was a reasonableand fair -rate of wages?

Mr Watson:

– Let them pay what Mr. Justice Higgins has decided- are fair and reasonable wages.

Mr DEAKIN:

– The Government were not called upon to determine what were fair and reasonable rates of wages under the terms of the Act in that case. They certainly will enforce the payment of Excise from the1st January, as far as it is possible to do so.

Mr Palmer:

– Then they are going to do a great injustice.

Mr HUTCHISON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I also desire to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs a question without notice. I observe intoday’s newspapers that it is stated that the Minister is going to take vigorous action at the end of the week in connexion with the harvester Excise. I should like toknow why the Minister did not let the House know that he intended to take such action, and why he has not taken the vigorous steps indicated before Parliamentis about to adjourn?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Minister for Trade and Customs · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– No delaywhatever has occurred. We are simplywaiting for the necessary legal formalities to be observed. Instructions have been given to go ahead as quickly as possible, and we shall proceed, as rapidly as thenecessary legal formalities which have to be observed will enable us to do.

page 7296

QUESTION

TELEPHONE ADMINISTRATION

Mr LIVINGSTON:
BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I beg to ask thePostmasterGeneral if he will take into consideration the advisability, with a view tosecuring further efficiency,” of putting all the telephones of the Commonwealth underone head?

Mr MAUGER:
Postmaster-General · MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– Many changes are being considered, and that amongst others.

page 7296

QUESTION

POST OFFICE, GLENFERRIE

Mr KNOX:
KOOYONG, VICTORIA

– I beg to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairswhat steps are being taken to start thebuilding of a new post-office at Glenferrie, which, I may say, is greatly needed?

Mr MAUGER:
Protectionist

– With regard to many of these undertakings we have to depend upon the Public Works Department of the State. They have had this matter in hand for some time, and have promised that the plans and specifications will be completed, and tenders called for, about the beginning of January.

page 7297

QUESTION

PROPOSED TRAINING CAMP AT HEIDELBERG

Mr PAGE:
MARANOA, QUEENSLAND

– I wish to ask the Minister of Defence a question, without notice. I desire to know whether he has received a reply to a question put by me yesterday regarding the training of citizen soldiers?

Mr EWING:
Minister for Defence · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– I take it for granted that the honorable- member refers to the question which,- he asked with reference to Victorian troops going into camp on foundation Day. I have made inquiries, and I find that the statements made with regard to the Commandant were not quite correct. The Commandant was sympathetic, but it was a. matter of money. He had no power to grant what was desired. lt being a matter of money, I brought it under the attention of the Treasurer, and he, seeing that what was desired was a national step in the right direction, and that the amount involved was a small one - only about £50 - immediately said that the money would be forthcoming.

page 7297

QUESTION

PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO STATE GOVERNMENTS

Mr SALMON:
LAANECOORIE, VICTORIA

– In view of the fact that services performed by State officials for the Commonwealth are paid for by. the Commonwealth, I desire’ to ask the Treasurer, without notice, whether he will take into early consideration the possibility of securing payment in cases where the Commonwealth performs services for the States ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– I have received information once or twice that such services as the honorable member refers to are performed. I am not quite sure whether some portion of the work done for the States by the Commonwealth is paid for. But the matter is under consideration. We have been trying to work harmoniously with the States in every possible way, and I: hope shortly, to make an equitable arrangement by which each party, State or Commonwealth, will be able to perform for each other such services as are required.

page 7297

QUESTION

STRIPPER HARVESTERS

Mr THOMAS BROWN:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I desire to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs a question without notice. In view of the statements contained in this morning’s newspapers, to the effect that the remainder of the Tariff is to be put through in one sitting, I should like to know when he will be in a position to inform the House” with regard to matters relating to stripper harvesters, namely, the number of imports, the numberof exports, and the number of harvester strippers made during the current year? I should also like to know whether that information will be made available before th.e item to which it relates is dealt with?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– I shall be very glad to give the honorable member as much of the information that he asks for as we have in the Department. I will at once send across to get it, so that the honorable member may have it when the item to which it relates comes up for consideration.

page 7297

QUESTION

EXCISE TARIFF (SPIRITS) ACT

Mr BATCHELOR:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I desire to aska question of the Minister of Trade and Customs without notice. I wish to know whether, from an answer given by him to a question of mine last week, it was not understood that the formalities in connexion with the Spirits Excise arrangements would be completed this week, and that he would be able to make a statement to the House on Monday? Are we to understand that the Minister meant Monday next?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– No ; I meant Monday or Tuesday’ of the present week. I have a memorandum here which shows the steps which have been taken. I may as well read it -

Manufacturers were, by instructions to collector on 19th November, 1907, afforded an opportunity of entering into a bond or undertaking to conform with any decision of Parliament in regard to payment of wages or payment of Excise, provided that -

They paid the standard rate of wages on and from 8th November, 1907.

They furnished full particulars ofall excisable goods on hand on 31st December, 1906, and those since manufactured.

If they complied with these conditions, the collection of Excise would for the present be suspended.

The bond or undertaking was required to be furnished’ within fourteen days of registered notice calling for same, and particulars of due dates are furnished herewith.

It is proposed in regard to those cases where the bond of undertaking is not furnished -

To at once call upon manufacutrers to apply within seven days for licence and furnish security under the Excise Act 1901.

Where application is not made, to proceed forthwith against manufacturers for penalties.

Appended is a statement showing the number of manufacturers to whom notices were issued, the number who have furnished a bond or undertaking, and the dates on which in each case the undertakings are returnable. In several States they are due now. In all cases they will be due by Monday next.

Mr Batchelor:

– The Minister said that he would be able to make a statement on Monday last.

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– These notices have had to be posted to the various manufacturers concerned. I have all the dates here. Legal proceedings will be taken against those who are not disposed to carry out the regulations which have been made, and instructions have been given, to the Crown Solicitor to proceed against them. That is all that the Government could do. The delay has not been caused by any fault of ours. Not one day has been lost. Notices have been issued from day to day. But it was impossible to date the fourteen days - the period allowed to the manufacturers - from the day the notices were sent out. They had to be sent to many distant places. The time allowed will, in all cases, have expired on Monday, and then legal proceedings will be taken forthwith.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I wish to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether the result of accidental delays, on the part of officials, will not be that the Government will be unable to take any action until after the House rises for the Christmas adiournment, and whether he thinks in such circumstances the House is being fairly treated?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– I can assure the honorable member that even had no delay occurred in the issue of bonds legal proceedings could not have been initiated at an earlier date. As a matter of fact, as a reference to the schedule will show, the delay occurred in only one State. Action will be at once taken. The issue of writs must necessarily occupy some time, and no delay that could have been obviated has occurred.

page 7298

QUESTION

KEROSENE DUTIES

Mr PAGE:

– I desire to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs a question, without notice. Has his attention been drawn to a sub-leader in the Melbourne Herald of yesterday, wherein it is stated that kerosene oil has paid no duty since the Introduction of the new Tariff - that the only duty paid in Victoria has been some£7 or on account of ships’ stores - although the consumers have had to pay increased prices for their kerosene? Does the Minister intend to- do anything in the direction of insuring that the money paid by consumers, and of which they have been robbed, shall be refunded to them?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– I noticed the paragraph in question.

Mr Page:

– It was a sub-leader, not a paragraph.

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

-It does not matter whether it was a sub-leader or not. When statements are made in a newspaper, such as the one to which the honorable member refers, we -are bound to take notice of them. I have asked for information as to what duty has been paid, so that I may be able to supply it to honorable members. It is, of course, impossible to prevent the Standard Oil Company from raising their price if they like.

Mr Page:

– They have been blaming the Tariff for the increase of price.

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– Well, the Opposition have been blaming the Tariff for everything. They blame the Tariff if it does not rain !

Mr THOMAS:
BARRIER, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister, without notice, whether, seeing that the duty has been taken off kerosene, the Government will refund duty paid on that article to those who have paid it? It seems to me that this would be just as fair as the other proposal made.

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– I take it that the honorable member wishes to enforce a principle, and suggest remedies, but he must be aware that it is not possible to attempt, to accept such a proposition.

Mr PAGE:

– Following up the question that I have just put to the Minister of Trade and Customs, I should like to ask the Attorney-General whether there is any means of making these men disgorge the money of which they have robbed the people?

Mr GROOM:
Attorney-General · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · Protectionist

– It is not usual for the Attorney-General to give legal opinions, especially on the spur of the moment, but I may say at once that I know of no procedure to accomplish the object mentioned bv the honorable member.

Mr SALMON:

– I should like to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether it would not be possible to collect duty on stocks of kerosene- in tins held when the Tariff was introduced?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– That is ;i matter for the House to determine. I hav* not the power to do what the honorable member suggests; if I had, I should make those who increased their prices to the extent of the duty pay the duty

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– ls not the Minister of Trade and Customs aware that the imposition of a duty on kerosene in tins increased the value of stocks in hand when the Tariff was introduced, and does he not think that if holders had continued to-sell at the old rates others would have taken advantage ‘of the enhanced value?

Mr Page:

– Surely the honorable member does not believe in the people being robbed?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I should not be in order in discussing that question. Will the Minister say whether it is not a fact that the imposition of a duty on tinned kerosene made stocks on the market more valuable, since no other supplies could be introduced in tins without payment of duty?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– Unfortunately, this case is different from others, because there is no competition. I understand that the honorable member for. Maranoa and others complain that when the Tariff was introduced those who already had in stock large quantities of Kerosene in tins immediately raised the price, although thev were not called upon to pay any duty. We are asked whether we cp”not take steps to cause a refund of the increased amount so paid. I wish we could. If there were such a means we should avail ourselves of it.

Mr TUDOR:
YARRA, VICTORIA

– Will the Minister of Trade and Customs ascertain whether the Colonial Oil Company, which I understand is a branch of the Standard Oil Trust, has refunded, or promised to refund, to merchants who purchased kerosene from them, the additional price which thev charged on the imposition of the duty, and, if so, whether those merchants have pro mised to hand over to the Department the amounts so refunded?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– 1 am afraid that it is difficult to obtain the information which the honorable member seeks, but I have asked for all the information that can be secured.

Mr SALMON:

– In view of the fact that, as the result of the extra price charged for kerosene in tins, an enormous sum of money has been diverted from the people, will the Prime Minister suggest to importers and distributors the desirableness of their handing over to the charitable institutions of the Commonwealth a sum representing the increased prices which they have obtained?

Mr DEAKIN:

– The honorable member himself has probably called attention to his desire in as effective a way as possible. I should be glad if the penalty for non-compliance with his very excellent suggestion were of the kind once described in comic opera - as “something humorous; something with boiling oil.”

page 7299

QUESTION

COMMONWEALTH OFFICES IN LONDON

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Can the Prime Minister state whether arrangements have yet been completed for leasing from the London County Council a site for the proposed Commonwealth buildings in London ?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– 0?y the last mail I received reports of a pathetic speech by the Chairman of the London County Council, in which he complained that the offers of the Commonwealth, so far, have not come up to expectations, but that he does,, not want to” break off negotiations whilst, there is a chance of securing so desirable a lessee. It may be owing to that policy that we have not yet received a fina! answer to our proposal. .

page 7299

QUESTION

CHRISTMAS RECESS

Mr JOHNSON:
LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Is the Prime Minister yet in a position to state definitely on what, day the House will rise for the Christmas adjournment ?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– I can tell the honorable member on what day the House will meet again.

Mr Johnson:

– I wish to obtain definite information so that Ave may make our arrangements.

Mr DEAKIN:

– The honorable member can form as good an opinion as any one. .1 hope. that we shall rise this .week; the matter is in our own hands. So long as we dispose of the business, the sooner we adjourn the better.

Mr FRAZER:

– I desire to ask the Prime Minister, without notice, whether he is yet in a position to make a statement as to when the House is likely to reassemble next year, in the event of the Tariff being disposed of during the present week ? ‘

Mr DEAKIN:

– March 4th is the probable date already indicated.

page 7300

QUESTION

NEW PROTECTION

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– Is it the intention of the Prime Minister to make, before Christmas, a statement with regard to the new protection?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– I hope that a memorandum on the subject will be laid on the table to-day.

page 7300

PARLIAMENT HOUSE: EXHIBITS

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– In this huge building there is only one small room to which honorable members can take their friends if they wish to sit down for a few minutes. In view of the fact that this room is at present occupied to so great an extent by large pianos that the typist who was accommodated in the room has had to be moved into the hall) I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is not possible to have the pianos moved into the hall, and the typist again accommodated in the room required by honorable members.

Mr SPEAKER:

– I see no opportunity to make any change during the very few days remaining before the Christmas adjournment.

page 7300

POST AND TELEGRAPHS : CORRESPONDENCE

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– I wish to ask the Postmaster-General whether he will make inquiries in Sydney and Melbourne as to whether many letters forwarded to his Department by myself and by perhaps other honorable members have not been allowed to remain unanswered, and whether if he finds this to be the case, he will see that the correspondence is attended to before the end of the year.

Mr MAUGER:
Protectionist

– I confess I do not understand the honorable member’s question.

Mr Henry Willis:

– Correspondence with the Department has not been attended to.

Mr MAUGER:

– I cannot admit that, but I will make inquiries. I am quite sure that the whole of the correspondence has been dealt with.

page 7300

QUESTION

RABBIT PEST: DR. DANYSZ’S EXPERIMENTS

Mr THOMAS BROWN:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I wish to ask the Treasurer a question, without notice, in reference to the experiments carried out by , Dr. Danysz for the extermination of rabbits. I wish to know whether any application has been made by the promoters of these experiments to continue them on the mainland, whether the State Government is favorable or unfavorable to the adoption of that course, and whether the Commonwealth Government has decided on any further action with respect to the matter?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member, I may say that I have noticed from reports in the press that requests are being made to the State Government of New South Wales to allow these experiments to be continued on the mainland. I wrote a private letter on the subject to one qf the State Ministers, and I asked the Prime Minister to write to the head of the State Government asking him not to agree to anything of the kind, and to carry out the arrangement made in the first instance by Dr. Danysz not to attempt experiments on the mainland without the concurrence of the Federal Government. That letter was despatched a day or two ago to the head of the Government of New South Wales, and I am sure that Mr. Wade will give every consideration to such a request from the Prime Minister.

page 7300

QUESTION

REFUND OF DUTIES

Mr JOHNSON:

asked the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -

Will importers be given a refund of duties paid on identifiable goods in warehouse still remaining in their original packages, the Tariff on which has been disapproved by the Committee, and irrespective of whether such’ duties have been paid under protest or not?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

The duty is fixed bv law, and unless expressly, provided, no refunds can be given. Any alteration made in the schedule by express wording dates only from the date of such alteration.

page 7301

QUESTION

TARIFF

In Committee of Ways and Means (Consideration resumed from 10th December, vide page 7294) :

Division XV., Musical Instruments.

Item 378 (Musical Instruments, n.e.i., Musical Boxes, &c.) ; item 379 (Organs, pipe); item 380 (Metal pipes for pipe organs), agreed to.

Item 381. Pianos, viz. : -

  1. Grand and Semi-grand, each, or ad val., whichever rate” returns the higher duty (General Tariff), £16 10s., 40 per cent.; (United Kingdom),£15, 30 per cent.
  2. Upright, each, or “ad val., whichever rale returns the higher duty (General Tariff), 10s., 40 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 30 per cent.
  3. N.E.I., ad val (General . Tariff), 40 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 30 per cent.
  4. Parts thereof, n.e.i., ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.
Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I wish to say shortly in submitting this item that, as a protectionist, in common with the other members of the Ministry, I prefer to protect the manufacturers of pianos in Australia rather than to encourage the large importation of these instruments which takes place from other countries in the world. According to a statement supplied to me, the value of these instruments imported in 1906 was: - From the United Kingdom , £24,856 ; Canada, £2,265; France, £180 ; Germany, £205,080; and from the. Unfted States, £9,246; or a total value of £241,357. I hold that it is very much better in the interests of our country that that money, or a large portion of it, should be spent in Australia than that it should be sent in the way it was to the countries named. I have some price lists here giving the prices of pianos, f.o.b. at the port of export. I am not sufficientlv acquainted with the business to describe the pianos catalogued in each case, but I find these values given in one catalogue of imports - , £14 7s. 6d., £14 17s. 6d., £15 7s., £17 us., £17 19s.,, ; £18 8s., . £19, and £21 9s. According to another catalogue, these values, f.o.b. at the port of export, are given for another list of pianos- £13 6s., . £14 5s., two more at £13 6s.. three at £15 4s., others at £172s., £2018s. , £181s., £6 13s.- that is an organ - £7 12s., and so on. In another catalogue the prices are £15 2s. 6d., £17 is., £21 19s., £1711s., , £18 5s. 6d., and , £20 14s. 6d. . In still another catalogue the price for a piano is £9 17s. 6d., f.o.b. packing 2s. 6d. extra.

Mr Poynton:

– What are the names of those instruments ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Honorable members can see the catalogue. The name of the last one is the Aldwych.

Mr Wilks:

– That is a hurdy-gurdy.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It is nothing of the kind. I hope the honorable member will not try to make fun of the matter. These pianos are imported to Sydney and Brisbane by the following firms-

Pietro Filippo Marich, chief proprietor and managing director of Paling and Company ; F. Aengenheyster and Company ; Max Wurcker ; The Berlin Piano Company; Elvy and Company ; Weidemann and Company ; and Hess and Company.

The principal importers in Melbourne are -

Kronheimer and Company -

Mr Tudor:

– The tobacco-trust people?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes-

Allan and Company ; Hugo Wertheim, Nathan Guckenheimer and Hermann Bodenheimer, trading as Hugo Wertheim; M. Brasch and Company ; Pianola Company of New York and Berlin ; Pfaff Pinschoff and Company ; and Levy Brothers and Company.

In Adelaide the principal importers are Wilhelm Kuhnel, and Marshall and Sons. That is the list of the main importers of the pianos to which I have referred.

Mr Frazer:

– Who compiled it ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It is in type, and, I think, every honorable member has had a copy. I have not the slightest idea as to who compiled it.

Mr Page:

– They are not the only importers of pianos ‘in the Commonwealth. Why -is not the honorable member fair? Why does he not quote the whole of the names ? What about Allan and Company ? Are they Germans ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I shall not permit the honorable member to bully me. I am perfectly fair. I distinctly mentioned Allan and Company. I object absolutely to Australia being placed under the heel of these importers. If I knew the names of any others I should be glad to give them.

Mr Page:

– What is wrong with Allan and Company ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I did not saythat there was anything wrong with them. Mr. Allan is one of my greatest personal friends.

Mr Page:

– The honorable member is not showing much friendship.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I have to deal with, matters from the stand-point of the interests of Australia, and not of individuals. My only desire is to place the particulars, so far as I have them, before the Committee. Our first consideration should be what is best for our own country.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Does the honorable member think that dear pianos are good for our country ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I think we should give consideration to an Australian industry which, at the present moment, employs 450 hands, and distributes weekly £1,200, and yearly over £60,000.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Did not ihey do that under the old duty ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I could not say. We should show consideration to those who are spending their money, and giving employment to our own people in the manufacture of pianos.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– What duty is the Treasurer going to stick to ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I hope the honorable member will stick to the duty which I propose.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The Treasurer does not mean to do that.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do, if I can possibly get it. In a good many cases I have had to accept lower duties where I could not get what I proposed.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must again appeal to honorable members to cease the conversations that are going on.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The Government whip came here to disturb our corner.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Indi is one of the worst offenders. I hope that the continuous conversations will cease, as it is impossible for me to hear what the Treasurer is saying.

Mr Frazer:

– The Treasurer exploded just now.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– When I am attacked I will hit back. The honorable member for Maranoa imputed unfairness to me.

Mr Frazer:

– Does not the Minister think that he might take the trouble of ascertaining whether the list of importers which he read is an authentic compilation ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

-I presume that it is; it has been circulated.

Mr Frazer:

– There is no signatureto it, and no indication as to where it came from.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If the honorable member thinks it is wrong, it is within his province to show it. But, so far as I know, it is correct. There may be other importers of whom I do not know.

Mr Frazer:

– I think the question should be decided on its merits, irrespective of the names of the importers.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If we are to have imported goods I like them to be the goods of our own race and people, but I like still more to see manufactures carried on in Australia. -I have no desire to raise any heat in this matter, but simply to give these detailed statements for the information of honorable members. It is my duty to submit the duties as proposed in the Tariff, and I. am doing so, as I . have throughout, in the shortest possible time.” Personalis-, I have no interest in this matter, excepting in so far as I desire to see as much employment as possible provided within the Commonwealth, and some encouragement given to those who have invested their capital in this industry, so that there may be an opportunity to utilize, among other products some of the beautiful woods of Australia.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– How much Australian wood does Beale use?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I cannot say.

Mr Johnson:

– None whatever.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I think the honorable member is absolutely wrong. But in piano-making, our timber, fine as it is, cannot be used until sufficient time has been allowed for it to season. I have suggested to the Prime Minister and my colleagues the desirability of obtaining, in every State, a large quantity of our best woods, and having them properly seasoned under Government supervision before they are used.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– A man likeBeale could season the woods for himself if he desired to use them.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– And I dare say he does so. Honorable members seem to think that I am making these proposals in the interests of one individual. It is true, that I should like to encourage Mr. Beale, in recognition of his enterprise, and the good work he is doing; and, further, I should like to see Messrs. Allan and Co. manufacturing their pianos here instead of importing them.

Mr Wilson:

– Does the Treasurer know that the old firm of Allan and Co. used to manufacture pianos here?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not know; probably I have not been acquainted with thefirm so long as has the honorable member. All I can say is that it is a good firm, and that the head of it is one of my personal friends just as Mr. Beale is. It will he seen, therefore, that I have no personal feeling one way or the other; all I desire in the interests of Australia is to give as much encouragement as possible to this industry.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- We are out for business thismorning, with a desire to get throughthe Tariff as quickly as possible. I am not here to make any appeals for or against . either local manufacturers or importers : but I desire, in as few words as possible, to place the position before the Treasurer and the Committee. Time after time we have decided against fixed duties, and I hope we shall strike out the fixed duty in the present instance.

Sir William Lyne:

– I think that the fixed duty will very likely go.

Mr WILKS:

– That is one thing gained - one big obstacle got over.

Sir William Lyne:

– At the present stage, however, I should like to hear some discussion before I move in that direction.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Why not save discussion by striking out the fixed duty now ?

Sir William Lyne:

– If I thought it would shorten the discussion, I should do so.

Mr WILKS:

– Personally, I am against fixed duties, but I have no desire to debate the question, beyond saying that the same arguments which apply to other i tems apply to pianos. I suppose that every honorable member has had supplied to him about enough ammunition, in the shape of information, to last him over a debate for six months ; but I hope that that information will not be read out time after time on either one side or the other. If there is a single item which has been well looked after by both importers, agents, and manufacturers, it is that of pianos. I confess that I am now occupied merely as a range-finder, with an effort’ to have an ad valorem duty only. I frankly admit that Mr. Beale’s factory is in my electorate; and it is a factory of which we mav be proud. We have been told that in this factory there are employed 400 operatives ; and I may here say that I have not been approached by a single worker asking me to assist in the imposition of a higher duty, or indeed, any duty ; in fact, not a single artisan in ray electorate has approached me on behalf of any industry. This shows that, mine is an electorate of robust industries, and that my constituents know their representative well. On the other hand, old friends and school-mates of mine, who are my supporters, and are in the importing line of business, have approached me both by letter and telegram. But these representations have no weight with me - I act on my own responsibility. The manufacturer himself has also approached me ; but I have never stated, outside this House, the conclusion at which I have arrived in regard to this duty, because, in my opinion, (hat decision ought to be arrived at within thisChamber. I have not been asked by a single member how I proposed to vote, and I think- it will be admitted that I have never bothered honor-, able members as to how they are going to vote. My own judgment is that pianos will bear neither a 40 per cent, duty nor a 20 per cent. duty, but will bear duties of 30 per cent, and 25 per cent. That will represent an increase of onlv 5per cent, upon the rate levied under” the old Tariff in the case of imports from the United Kingdom.

Mr Johnson:

– It will mean a10 per cent, increase. The A section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of onlv 30 per cent.

Mr WILKS:

– It does not matter what they recommended. So far an increase in the old rates of duty has been sanctioned in respect of almost every item . in this Tariff. Last night, I found free-trade members moving for the imposition of a duty of 30 per cent, upon vehicles.

Mr Johnson:

– Because they could not get anything less.

Mr WILKS:

– I am satisfied that on the present occasion the Committee will not vote for any, proposal in excess of 30 per cent. I therefore intend to move -

That after the words “40 per cent.,” paragraph A, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val, (General Tariff), 30 per cent,,” be inserted.

My proposal means an increase of10per cent, in the old rate of duty in respect to the manufactures of Germany. If itbe carried, I shall, move to insert “25 per cent.” in the second column of the schedule so that the old duty as against the Mother Country will be increased by only5 per cent. Are we going to fight over a paltry increase of 5 per cent. ?

Mr Bowden:

– Yes ; for days, if necessary.

Mr WILKS:

– My idea is that what we cannot manufacture in the Commonwealth, we should get from Great Britain. I am a preferential trader. I want to give to the Mother Country a preference of 5 per cent, in respect of this item. As the Treasurer has already pointed out, of , £250,000 worth of pianos imported into the Commonwealth last year over £200,000 worth were of German production.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– What about the users?

Mr WILKS:

– I shall deal with that aspect of the matter presently. So far as grand and semi-grand pianos are concerned, an increase of10 per cent, under the General Tariff, and of 5 per cent, under the Tariff for Great Britain, would be a small matter. On a piano costing £200 or £300 an additional 5 per cent.’ is scarcely worth considering. ‘ After leading the evidence given before the Tariff Commission,I think that both the importers of pianos and the Australian manufacturer have “a good thing on.” I would rather be a semi-grand in Beale’s factory than a grand in this Parliament. I do not suggest that Mr. Beale is a philanthropist.

Mr Fuller:

– He poses as one.

Mr WILKS:

-I have not been returned to Parliament to whitewash Mr. Beale, or anybody else.

Mr Fuller:

– The honorable member said that he did not suggest that Mr. Beale was a philanthropist. When he puts the matter in that way he must expect to receive a reply.

Mr WILKS:

– If the honorable member is so small minded as to view the matter from that stand-point, he is at liberty to do so. Nobody can contend that the industry of piano-making is not a healthy one. I do not suggest for a moment that it is languishing. But in view of the fact that other industries have received such a large measure of protection, surely the Committee will not refuse to extend an additional 5 per. cent, protection to this New South Wales industry !

Mr Watson:

Mr. Beale pays good wages, too.

Mr WILKS:

– Exactly. If anybody can show me that his employes are paid poor wages, T shall not vote for an increase of dutv.

Mr Watson:

– Let the honorable member make his proposal30 per cent, as against the foreigner.

Mr WILKS:

– I should like to see a duty of 35 per cent, imposed upon grand pianos, but 25 per cent, represents my highwater mark as against British productions. Having perused all the evidence, and the statements which have been made in connexion with this matter, I have come to the conclusion that both the importers of pianos and the local manufacturer have a good thing on, and that the users get very little out of either. I admit, however, that piano-making is a good, clean industry, and that the employes of the local manufacturer are well treated. I should not know one of them if I met him in the street, and none of them has approached me, while, so far as the proprietor of the business which has been referred to is concerned, I have stated publicly what I have said to him privately. But as the woollen and other industries are to be protected by duties of 30 per cent, and 45 per cent., it is not too much to give the local manufacturer of pianos a,n increase of 5 per cent.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Does the honorable member think that that will saveSir. Beale ?

Mr Watson:

– We desire to have other factories established besides his.

Mr WILKS:

– We are fighting, not for Mr. Beale, but for the piano industry in Australia. I am very glad that Mr. Beale’s factory is situated in my electorate; but if there is anything in the statements which have been made about his success, an increase of the duty is likely to bring, about the starting of other factories elsewhere.

Mr PAGE:
Maranoa

.- To paraphrase the words of Bret Harte -

For ways that are dark and tricks that are vain,

The member for Dalley’s peculiar.

Mr Wilks:

– I am not the only one who is peculiar.

Mr PAGE:

– The honorable member knows when to come in out of the wet, or when to put up the umbrella.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Ditto.

Mr PAGE:

– I plead guilty to the soft impeachment. But I do not put up the umbrella because of the existence of some industry in my electorate. i have voted for protective duties solely because I thought that they would benefit the workers as well as the manufacturers. I have had no regard to my personal interests, and have given no consideration to the effect of my votes upon the support I can look for from my constituents. The honorable member for Dalley five years ago spoke very differently in regard to the piano duty, although Mr. Beale’s piano factory was then established in his electorate. Although he is the same Billy Wilks, his tone to-day is quite different from that which he employed on the previous occasion.

Mr Wilks:

– I am not the only one. The honorable member has turned a page or two since then.

Mr PAGE:

– I shall be ready to take my gruel when the honorable member gives it to me, as I know he will take his on this occasion. The honorable member for Parramatta once said that it is a pity that the Hansard record is not burned, because honorable members’ speeches rise up like ghosts, at inconvenient times, to affright them. Let me quote what the honorable member for Dalley said on . the 12th March, 1902, speaking on the subject of pianos. His remarks are given on page 10890-1 of Volume VIII. of the Hansard -

I would further point out that the piano industry, which has been established by Mr. Beale in Sydney, and in which higher wages are paid than those obtaining in Germany, America, and’ Great Britain, has been built up without any State assistance. …. t contend that the only effect of this duty will be to give an additional bonus to an existing’ industry at the expense of those who purchase pianos for the purpose of earning a livelihood. ……

Personally, I favour the imposition of a 15 per cent, rate upon these instruments. In making such an offer I believe that, as a free-trader, I am stultifying myself, but that was the duty which prevailed in South Australia.

Although in 1902 the honorable member for Dalley regarded 15 per cent, as a high protective duty, he now asks for a duty of 35 on cent., notwithstanding that we have it on the authority of an honorable member that the balance-sheets of the last two or three years show that enormous profits are being made by the local manufacturer, and that his business is increasing by leaps and bounds. Is the honorable member for Dalley going to give this gentleman another 20 per cent, bonus?

Mr Watkins:

– The honorable member for Corangamite would not dare to publish outside the House the balance-sheet to which he has referred.

Mr Wilson:

– I am willing to lay it on the table.

Mr Watson:

– It may be libellous, and those whom it concerns will have no redress unless it is published without privilege. It should be authenticated in some way, if it is to be laid on the table.

Mr PAGE:

– If it is laid on the table, the Minister or the honorable member for South Sydney can ask the gentleman who is interested in the matter whether it is correct.

Mr Storrer:

– What have we to do with a man’s private business?

Mr PAGE:

– The honorable member for Dalley continued -

I make ‘ a further appeal to the Treasurer, namely, that in fixing the ad valorem duty he will make it as close to 15 per cent, as possible, seeing that there is only one firm engaged in manufacturing pianos in Australia, and thai it will be years before another firm can be in a position to compete.

In 1902 the honorable member thought that 15 percent, was a high protective duty which would induce other manufacturers to start, but in 1907 he thinks that an additional duty of 20 per cent, is not enough. That is free-trade with a vengeance. He goes on to say” -

Beale and Company’ have been in business for eleven years, and we admire their enterprise and energy ; but their business has been conducted in free-trade .New South Wales in preference to protective Victoria, and with a duty of 15 pex cent, they ought to do very well in the enlarged market presented by Federation.

How can the honorable member reconcile his position in 1902, when he said that a 15 per cent, duty would give ample protection to the piano industry and enable other manufactories of pianos to be started, with the position that he takes up to-day ?

Mr Wilks:

– 1 shall give the honorable member a full and complete answer.

Mr PAGE:

– I shall be very pleased indeed to get the answer. At the termination of that speech the honorable member said that in view of the enlarged market a duty of 15, per cent, was ample, if not more than ample, protection for the industry.’ I desire now to make a few remarks on what the Treasurer has said with regard to this question. I do not think that the document which he read to the Committee was a fair one. In order to create sympathy with the Australian industry as against the foreigner, he led us to suppose that all the importers of pianos bore foreign names.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have sent to the Department to obtain a list of the names of all the importers of pianos.

Mr PAGE:

– That is fair, andI am very pleased that the honorable gentleman has taken that step. I have received a letter from B. B. Whitehouse and Company, importers of pianos and organs, Brisbane. I know that it is a reliable firm, and the letter reveals where the Australian piano industry comes in. The Treasurer made a great parade of Beale’s pianos being made out of Australian timber, iron, and everything else. But let honorable members listen to what B. B. Whitehouse and Company have to say -

We. have just received direct and reliable information from Berlin that all the actions in the Beale pianos are- made by F. lange, of Berlin, who has a standing order from Beale and Company to supply 100 actions per month. Also, that the entire keyboard is made by the United Keyboard Manufacturing Company of Berlin, who also have a standing order to supply100 keyboards complete and intact per month.

An Australian industry carried on in Germany !

We are sending this information in the hope that it will reach you before the item “pianos” is reached, and that it may be of some service to you.

I hold in my hands a circular, of which, no doubt, every honorable member has received a copy, as it is addressed .to tne members of the House of Representatives. If its contents be true, then a more diabolical and scandalous thing has never taken place under an Australian Government than is disclosed therein. In my opinion a Select Committee should be appointed to find out the truth or otherwise of a particular statement whichhas been issued broadcast.

To the Members of the House ofRepresentatives.

Gentlemen,

A circular letter has been distributed by Beale and Company Limited to the members of the House of Representatives, which contains such gross misstatements concerning our firm that in common fairness we ask you to read this reply.

Beale and Company’s le’.ter commences - “A letter has been sent to members of the Commonwealth Parliament by a piano importing firm, which letter we reprint below, with answers to the statements made therein.”

Soon after the Tariff was introduced our Mr. George Allan met Sir William Lyne and spoke to him about the proposed duties on pianos, stating that they meant the absolute ruin of our trade. Sir William Lyne asked Mr. Allan to make to him any representations as to the unfairness of the duty, and promised consideration. An appointment was afterwards given by Sir William Lyne, and Mr. Allan waited upon him, and at his request left with him some private memoranda that he (Mr. Allan) had taken for his information in speaking. No. copy was given to any member of Parliament or to any other person whatsoever.

I ask the Treasurer to listen particularly to what follows.

Sir William Lyne:

– The man who sent that statement is a scoundrel, because it is not true.

Mr PAGE:

– Let the honorable gentleman wait until I have finished reading the circular.

Sir William Lyne:

– I received nothing from Mr. Allan.

Mr PAGE:

– This circular comes from the gentleman who, the Treasurer said, was a personal friend.

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not believe that Mr. George Allan sent that.

Mr PAGE:

– Are all the honorable gentleman’s friends scoundrels ?

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not believe that Mr. George Allan sent that.

Mr PAGE:

– But the circular is signed bv Allan and Company Proprietary Limited. It is all right, and the honorable gentleman can get it confirmed if he likes.

Sir William Lyne:

– All right; let us hear the rest.

Mr PAGE:

– It continues -

By some mysterious means these private papers have evidently come into the hands of Beale and Company.

That is where I think the scandalous conduct occurred. If papers are intrusted to a Minister in strict confidence, and for his use in administering his Department, and he gives them to an opponent in the trade, I think it is one of the most scandalous acts of which any man, let alone the Minister of a Department, can be guilty.

Sir William Lyne:

– It is an invention, and an absolute lie.

Mr PAGE:

– I accept the honorable gentleman’s statement.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am astounded that. Allan and Co. should make such a statement.

Mr PAGE:

– That is right

Sir William Lyne:

– It is a deliberate lie.

Mr PAGE:

– Well, Mr. Chairman, there is the statement, and I think that, in the interests of the Government and fair play, it should, have been made public, and the Treasurer should have been given a. chance to have it remedied or otherwise.

Mr Wilks:

– He ought to take action against that firm, anyhow.

Mr PAGE:

– I cannot do any more. I accept his denial.

Sir William Lyne:

– The statement is untrue.

Mr PAGE:

– I ask any honorable member if he thinks that it. is a fair thing for any Minister to do? If the Treasurer says that the statement is absolutely untrue, I am satisfied that Mr. Allan has not a case.

Mr Wilks:

– The Treasurer ought to prosecute him.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am not quite sure that I will not take action.

Mr Wilks:

– Hear, hear. I think that the honorable member is compelled to do so.

Mr Liddell:

– To save his face he will have to take action.

Mr PAGE:

– That is the position in regard to that matter. When I was speaking on the item of wool-scouring machines the honorable member for Dalley told me that a workman in the western districts .of Queensland and New South Wales did not cart a wool-scouring machine about in his pocket, nor have one in his home merely for the fun of the thing. I say the same thing with regard to pianos. My constituents do not carry them about in their swags when “ pushing the knot” or “ waltzing Matilda.” The only instruments they have are mouth organs or accordions, which give them all the music they want and are not ‘.heavy to carry. But -honorable members should think of the people who do want to buy pianos as well as of those who manufacture them. Suppose there are 500 men employed ‘in this industry. Are” we going to tax the balance of the 4,000,000 people of this country to keep 500 men employed? But that is the doctrine which we have heard from the honorable member for Dalley. It is not the doctrine which we have been accustomed to hear from him. I cannot for the life of me understand on what principle he can agree to jump from duties of 15 to 35 per cent., when we know that the lower rate is more than ample for the industry.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I am somewhat surprised to learn about the circular which has been read bv the honorable member for Maranoa. This is the first I have seen or heard of it.

Mr Page:

– Every honorable member got a copy.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– As a rule, 1 have not looked at the circulars I have re ceived ; I have had so. many of them. 1 do not remember having received a document of any kind from. Mr. Allan. If I had received anything from him, as a friend of his, I should have regarded it as secret, and should certainly not have handed it over to Mr. Beale. Mr. Beale can answer the question as to whether I ever handed him any document. I have had very little conversation with him on the subject at all, and I do not believe that I have ever handed him anything.

Mr Wilks:

– Is it not a fact that the Treasurer is a strong personal friend of Mr. Beale?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I am not an intimate friend of his, though I should not like to say that I am not a friend. I want the honorable member for Maranoa to lay on the table the document to which he refers, because I think.it is one of the ‘most iniquitous things I have ever heard of. I am much mistaken in my estimate of Mr. George Allan if he was a party to issuing if.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– It may be a “faked “ thing, like the petition which we had before us some time ago.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I have heard something about a “ faked “ balance-sheet, too. I know nothing whatever about Mr. Beale’s affairs, but I shall certainly take further steps to find out how the impudent circular referred to was concocted.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.- With’ regard to the circular which has been made a subject of personal explanation by the Treasurer, I have to say that every honorable member received a copy of it. I suppose the Treasurer, like every one else, received a copy.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not seen it before.

Mr JOHNSON:

–It has been in the hands of honorable members for a long time, so that if the statements contained in it are incorrect, there has been ample time to refute them. It is remarkable that they were not brought under the notice of the Treasurer by some one.

Sir William Lyne:

– I never heard of the circular before.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I understood the honorable gentleman to say that probably by this afternoon some corroboration will be forthcoming as to his statements regarding the accuracy of the assertions in the circular.

Mr Storrer:

– Does not the honorable member accept the Treasurer’s statement?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Yes ; so far as he is personally concerned, but the firm that is responsible for it is one of very high standing.

Sir William Lyne:

– If I chose to divulge private conversations with people on the other side they would be pretty startling.

Mr Page:

– I hope the Treasurer will do nothing of the sort.

Sir William Lyne:

– But I am not going to do it.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I will not pursue the matter. I intend to propose a reduction in duty on pianos below that proposed by the honorable member for Dalley. At the conclusion of my speech, I shall move to reduce the duties to 25 and 20 per cent. As to the argument of the honorable member for Dalley that because the Committee has increased duties in connexion with other industries, we ought not to refuse to increase the duties on pianos, I can only say that if he has no stronger argument to bring forward than that, he has a very weak case. Are we to understand that Mr. Beale’s industry is in such a parlous condition that unless he receives increased protection he will have to close up? It is a fair question to ask why Mr. Beale did not appear before the Tariff Commission, and ask for increased duties? The fact that he did not do so is a sufficient justification for refusing to increase them. Was he afraid of the facts which would be disclosed as the Tesult of cross-examination ? He did not even give the protectionist section of the Commission a chance of advocating higher duties, presumably because he was unwilling to disclose the profitable nature of his business, as it would have been disclosed in cross-examination.

Mr Chanter:

– That is pure assumption.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I have not put it forward as anything but an assumption, but it is a reasonable assumption. A Tariff Commission was specially appointed to investigate such matters. An opportunity was afforded to manufacturers of airing their grievances, and showing why duties should be increased. It was an impartiallyconstituted Commission, composed equally of protectionists and free-traders for the purpose of sifting the facts relating to all industries that were alleged to be suffering as a result of insufficient protection. The Commission was appointed with Mr. Beale’s full knowledge. He knew that it was sitting, and inviting manufac turers to give evidence. He was well aware that half the members of the Commission were more than sympathetically disposed to those manufacturers who had a grievance. He knew that the other section of the Commission were quite prepared to listen to reasonable complaints with a view of remedying them. Yet Mr. Beale did not attempt to appear and ask for increased duties. But after the Commission has ceased sitting, he comes to Parliament, and asks for an increase.

Mr Chanter:

– Why did the Commission recommend raising the duty?

Mr JOHNSON:

– The protectionist section of the. Commission recommended that the duty on pianos be £15, or 30 per cent.

Mr Chanter:

– They must have had good grounds to go upon.

Mr JOHNSON:

– They made recommendations for increases in several instances where no increases were asked for. Time after time they did that. They made recommendations for increases without any evidence at all, and even when the evidence was dead against them, as has been shown from quotations by myself and other honorable members. In any case, the recommendation of the protectionist section was £15, or 30 per cent., whilst the Government propose that the duty shall be as high as 40 per cent. An idea seams to have got abroad that one or two of us have obtained possession of copies of the balance-sheets of Beale “and Company for the last couple of years ; that, we have done so is quite true. Now the statements that the industry is in a very bad way are not borne out by those balance-sheets. A statement has been generally circulated amongst honorable members to the effect that if this firm does not get an increase of duty it will have to close down. I do not know whether that statement will be persevered with now.

Mr Chanter:

– How did the honorable member obtain possession of copies of the balance-sheets ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Never mind; I got them. Let the honorable member be satisfied with that.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Would the honorable . member tell us who supplied them ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– No.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Then they are of. no value.

Mr JOHNSON:

– They are authenticated copies of the actual balance-sheets vouched for by one whose reputation is of the highest. Let honorable members contradict the statements whichI shall make upon the basis of these balancesheets if they are wrong. But I will undertake to say that they are not wrong. Singularly enough, although Mr. Beale is asking for these increased duties, he has not produced his balance-sheet for this year, but is apparently holding it back until the Tariff on pianos has been dealt with. One would think that if the industry was in such a condition as to require heavier protection, amongst all the documents and circulars with which he has supplied honorable members, he would have furnished them with an up-to-date statement of his affairs. The first thing he should have done was. to show his last balance-sheet, to prove how necessary it was that he should have increased protection. But has he done so? No! Instead of doing that he has endeavoured to hide his balance-sheets. This it . a suspicious circumstance, which justifies us in the belief that large as his profits have been for the previous two years in all probability they have considerably increased during the past year. Indeed, I have private information that the increase is a most substantial one.

Mr Chanter:

– Why is the honorable member afraid to name his authority?

Mr JOHNSON:

– There is no question of being afraid; it is simply a matter of confidence. Here is one of the balancesheets.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Made in Germany, I suppose.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Like Beale’s pianos.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must ask honorable members to cease these constant interjections. It is almost impossible for the honorable member for Lang to be heard.

Mr Chanter:

– Let him give us his authority .

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Did not the honorable member obtain his copy from a German ambassador?

Mr JOHNSON:

– No ; I got it from a citizen of this Commonwealth.

Mr Hughes:

– Is it not a fact that under the Companies’ Act balance-sheets have to be published every year?

Mr JOHNSON:

– I believe so. Honorable members can look at the balance-sheets for themselves. They need not take my word nor the word of any other honorable member. They can please themselves as to whether they believe the statements contained in these documents. But they bear the names of well-known auditors as vouching for their correctness.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Will the honorable member vouch for the accuracy of the one that he has there?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Would the honorable member vouch for the accuracy of every balance-sheet published? I am not speaking here as an auditor.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– The honorable member is trying to bolster up a case by means of an alleged balance-sheet without even vouching for its accuracy.

Mr Webster:

– If the honorable member’s balance-sheets are like his other statements they are not worth much.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Much or little they, at any rate, are always worth more than those of the honorable member for Gwydir, who is nearly always offensive and inaccurate. Has the honorable member for Gwydir seen these balance-sheets?

Mr Webster:

– No.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Then what is the use of making such a statement? Unless hecan show that these documents are not correct it is useless for him to say a word about them. I got them from reliable sources.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Made in Germany.

Mr JOHNSON:

– No; but the honorable member looks as if he had been made in Germany. The honorable member for Maranoa has just proved that the” piano parts, all of which the Treasurer said were made in Australia, are mostly made- in Germany, and that the local maker has; a standing contract with a German manufacturer.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Absolutely incorrect-

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is easy to make such a statement, but difficult to prove it. We know that most of the parts are not manufactured here, with the exception of a few minor parts which Mr. Beale haslately been manufacturing for himself; they must be imported.

Mr Watkins:

– Do not the Germans do the same?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Certainly ; but the- Treasurer said that all. the parts were made here, and yet we have a statement showing that, as usual, he is not supplied with correct information. A few days ago- I put to the Minister of Trade and Customs a question relating to the importation of pianos, and he admitted that an error had been made, the number of pianos imported’ into New South Wales having been exaggerated, although their aggregate invoice value was correctly stated. A peculiar feature of the incident is that the corrected figures were voluntarily communicated by the Department to Mr. Beale, but were not furnished to the gentleman who had brought the facts under the notice of the Comptroller-General.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– The information was sent to that gentleman, and not to Mr. Beale.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The gentleman said that although he made repeated requests . for the information, he could not obtain it. but that it was sent voluntarily to Mr. Beale.

Mr.Austin Chapman. - Such a statement is absolutely untrue.

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member ought to give the name of the man to whom he refers.

Mr JOHNSON:

– He brought the facts under the attention of the ComptrollerGeneral.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– What is his name?

Mr JOHNSON:

– The Minister knows his name ; there is no need to introduce any names unnecessarily into this debate. I wish now to draw attention to a disgraceful circular or hand-bill which has been placed in the lockers of honorable members.

Mr Chanter:

– It is an extract from a reli able paper.

Mr JOHNSON:
LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It is certainly an extract from a newspaper; the question of reliability is another matter.

Mr Chanter:

– It is a truthful paper.

Mr Wilson:

– Will the honorable member say in this House that the statement is truthful ?

Mr Chanter:

– I say that if it appeared in the newspaper in question it is truthful.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The truthfulness of that paper, I am afraid, must very frequently be open to challenge. This article is a scurrilous libel if it is intended to reflect on Opposition members of this House, and, coming from such a source, we ought to expect that. The circular is an extract from the Bulletin of 7th December, 1907, and is headed, “ How Hoggenheimer gets in his Fine Work.” It reads -

In the Gentian city of Leipzig there is published a piano-makers’ trade newspaper, Zeitschrift fur Instrumentenbau. In its issue of October nth, 1907, it was announced that the Association of German Piano Makers was to hold a meeting on October 19th to discuss the increase in the Australian duties on pianos. The council of the association was to be instructed to demand that the Imperial Government should take energetic steps through the Consul-General to get the duly reduced. lt was mentioned that Australia had only one piano manufactory, and it was stated, on the authority of Australian papers, that the pianos it turned out were rubbish. Foreign musicians who have given the pianos excellent testimonials -

The manufacturer secured testimonials, it will be observed, not from Australian, but from foreign musicians - were attacked in their private and public characters, and charged with having sold testimonials. The Australian legislators who were likely to support the increased duties were declared to be shareholders and corrupt. Following this, there was held in Melbourne a meeting of piano importers, the chief business of which was the raising of a fighting fund to contest the new duties.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The next sentence contains an insinuation that is practically tantamount to a charge of bribery and corruption against honorable members -

Was there any connexion between that meeting in Melbourne and the other one in Leipzig of October19th, and is German money being subscribed for a lobby campaign against Australian industry ?

That is a disgraceful insinuation, which every honorable member should resent.

Mr Watson:

– The lobbyist is here.

Mr JOHNSON:

– No honorable member has accused Mr. Beale’s numerous friends in this House of being influenced by any prospect of financial advancement in their desire to secure an increased duty on pianos, although he and his lobbyists have practically lived in the House for days, if not weeks, past.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Will the honorable member deny that the importers have not paid a lobbyist here?

Mr JOHNSON:

– As I am not in their confidence, I cannot say; but no one has suggested that there has been any attempt at bribery and corruption on the part of the local manufacturer.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15p.m.

Mr JOHNSON:

-Before the adjourn; ment for lunch I was referring to an extract from the Bulletin, which has been circulated amongst honorable members, and which, practically, charges honorable members who are advocating lower duties with being in the pay of a German syndicate that has subscribed funds for the purpose of lobbying against an Australian industry. I was pointing out that this kind of thing should be resented by honorable members, no matter to which party they belong. I do not care to mention names in these Tariff discussions, but in this case I am compelled to do so, because this business is generally known as Mr. Beale’s industry; and I say that the most active and also the most unfair lobbying has been going on for the purpose of inducing honorable members, not to decrease, but to increase, the duty imposed on pianos in the interests df this local, manufacturer. Yet no one on this side, so far as I am aware, has yet suggested that there has been anything in the nature of an attempt to bribe honorable members who favour high duties.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

Mr. Beale has not had any paid lobbyists here, as the importers have had.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I do not know whether he has or not, but he has lobbyists in addition to being here lobbying all the time himself. I suppose that all lobbyists are receiving a salary for their services. The insinuation, . which practically amounts to a charge, contained in the extract from the Bulletin, is not that the agents of foreign manufacturers or importers are being paid for lobbying, but that a fund has been established to insure the success of lobbying against the Australian industry. I quote these words from the Bulletin article -

Was there any connexion between that meeting in Melbourne and the other one in Leipzig of 19th October, and is German money being subscribed for a lobby campaign against Australian industry?

Obviously that is directed against certain members of the Committee, and 1 say that any suspicion of influence of that kind being brought to bear upon members of the Committee is much more . likely to lie against those who are advocating high duties than against those who are calling for their reduction. But no one has suggested anything of that kind from this side, and it is most unfair that any such suggestions should be made against honorable members who, in the performance of their duties, and in carrying out their pledges to their constituents and honestlytrying to carry . reductions in the proposed duties, are consistently carrying out their free-trade principles.

Mr Crouch:

– The honorable member will admit that lobbying can take place without dishonesty, and I see no inference to the contrary to be drawn from the article quoted.

Mr JOHNSON:

– There is an inference of dishonesty to be drawn from the article published by the Bulletin, and it has been circulated amongst honorable members in order to influence their votes in favour of increasing the duties on pianos by means of a cunningly-worded base insinuation. That is my objection. This Bulletin extract has been circulated in the interests of a certain Australian firm, which is a large advertiser in its columns, in order to influence votes, and T say that that is a’ most improper proceeding. If I were a protectionist and ever so much inclined to increase duties, the receipt of a circular of this kind, distributed in the interests of the ‘person to be advantaged by the increase of duties, would be quite sufficient to induce me to refuse to give him the increased protection he desired.” I resent the circulation of the Bulletin extract as an attempt to unduly influence the members of the Committee. Speaking with reference to the piano which Mr. Beale has on exhibition in this building, the Treasurer went into raptures this morning about this Australian industry, and claimed that all the parts of the instrument were made in Australia. But what do we find? On examination of the instrument the fact is disclosed that practically the whole of it has been imported. Almost the whole of the material and the manufactured mechanism of the piano in question- has been imported.

Mr Salmon:

– Then what are the men in Beale’s factory engaged in doing?

Mr JOHNSON:

– They are engaged merely in assembling together German, French, and Spanish parts of pianos. The honorable member for Maranoa has just reminded me that he read a. statement this morning showing that Mr. Beale had a contract with a German firm to supply him with the foundational materials of these pianos.

Mr Watson:

– All the contract referred to was the key-board.

Mr Page:

– And other parts as well - the actions.

Mr Watson:

– They are admittedly imported.

Mr JOHNSON:

– It should be remembered that the piano which is on exhibition in this building is not the ordinary piano sold to the public, but one which was specially manufactured for exhibition, and yet the action of the instrument is French.

Mr Watson:

– That is admitted.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The action is the work of a French manufacturer named Schwaudel.

Mr Watson:

– British piano manufacturers also import French actions.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Yes, but the Treasurer this morning was eloquent in explaining to the Committee that this was an Australian instrument, and that all the materials in it were Australian.

Sir Willi am Lyne:

– I did not say so.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The Committee certainly so understood the honorable gentleman.’ He was going into raptures about this Australian industry, and yet we find that this piano might fairly be described as an imported instrument. Even the veneer on it was imported. There is not a particle of Australian wood in it, or at any rate, it is safe to say that there is not sufficient Australian wood in one of these pianos to boil a billy.

Mr Tudor:

– Does the honorablemem- ber say that there is no Australian wood in the piano exhibited?

Mr JOHNSON:

– There is not enough to boil a billy. Here is this great product of Australian manufacture, and when we come to examine it we find that it is composed of parts imported from Germany, France, and Spain.

Mr Watson:

– It contains nothing imported from Germany or Spain.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The honorable mem- ner evidently knows nothing about the matter. This is the great industry we are being asked to preserve - pianos made from imported foreign material. The industry itself was built up with German money. £20,000 of German money was used to start the industry.

Mr Salmon:

– There is something wrong there, because pounds are not used in Germany.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Their equivalent in German money to the extent of £20,000 was put into this industry at the start, and the greater part of it was lost. Our friend, Mr. Beale - and I do not blame him for his enterprise - wa’s.cute enough to buy the original shares at 5s. each. I am credibly informed that he secured shares in the business worth about. £20,000 for £5,000, and that is how the business came into his hands. He was an importer himself. I have letters of his here addressed to Mir. Naumann, who was primarily interested in the business, in which Mr. Beale makes certain proposi tions for making a special department for the sale of German lines’; the same German lines of pianos which to-day he denounces.

Mr Watson:

– How long ago was that?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Before Mr. Beale entered upon the manufacture of pianos.

Mr Watson:

– That is a good many years ago.

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is some years ago, but honorable members should not forget that I am now referring to a great patriot who complains to-day of the wages conditions prevailing in Germany. Yet he was eager to sell German instruments himself. This is what he says in a letter to Mr. Naumann -

However, should you be willing to accept my present proposal - and the reference is to a business proposal referred to earlier in the letter-

Mr Crouch:

– What is the date of that letter ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Perhaps the honorable member willpermit me to. finish the quotation before he interrupts. I will not answer his question until I have finished the quotation. I have already admitted that it was before Mr. Beale bought all the . shares in this business, at one- fourth of their value, and began the manufacture of pianos. Although we now find him denouncing German labour conditions, he was then quite willing to sell German goods. I dare say that if he found it more profitable he would not hesitate as a commercial man to do so to-day. I do not blame him for his action as a commercialman, but I do obiect to his posing as a great philanthropist and patriot when he is merely following his commercial instinct in the endeavour to ret as much profit as he can. I should not blame him if he admitted honestly that that it what he is doing - that he is “out for loot,” as the honorable member for Dalley would describe it; that he is “on the make,” and trying to obtain as large a return as possible from his business as a commercial concern. But when he seeks to pose as a. grent Australian patriot and philanthropist, anxious to encourage Australian industry purely on patriotic ground and as a matter of sentiment and not purely of business, we have a right to examine the motive springs of his. action. I have here ‘ a complete translation of a letter which he wrote to Mr. Naumann, and 1 make this quotation from it -

However, should you be willing to accept my present proposal, i should, if possible, make arrangements to build up a department in which 1 would sell cash against delivery, and in which i would mostly sell new German goods.

So that this great Australian patriot and philanthropist wished to make special business arrangements with this German, Mr. Naumann, by which he would be able to sell German goods for cash. This is the great Australian patriot who now denounces German sweating conditions, and all that kind of thing. Let him be a man, and deal with this House on a. commercial basis. Let him say, .”1 am here to make money in the best way 1 can. If you are willing to let me dip my hands into the public Treasury, to increase .my already large profits, I am eager and anxious that you should do so.” But do not let him come to ‘this House, and say that he wishes us to impose these high duties because he is a patriot, who desires to encourage Australian industries, when the very piano which he has on exhibition here is composed almost entirely of foreign materials. I have no use for this “kind of patriot, though some of my protectionist friends approve his action.

Mr Crouch:

– What is the date of the letter from which the honorable member quoted ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is dated 1.898, and, as I have already stated, it was written before Mr. Beale entered upon the alleged manufacture of these goods. It shows that he was quite willing, if he found it a better business proposition, to make a special department of the importation of German pianos.

Mr Crouch:

– Hear, hear.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Then where is his Australian patriotism when he was equally willing to sell German as to sell Australian pianos ?

Mr FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– Where is the patriotism of any importer ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– The point “ is that he poses as an Australian manufacturer, not an importer of foreign manufactures. Other importers do not pose as patriots, but as commercial men in business to make money. They do not ask this House to give them special facilities to dip their bands into the public Treasury because they are Australian patriots. All that they ask is that they shall be left alone, and permitted to carry on their business. But this gentleman comes along, and says, “I am a great Australian patriot; therefore let me clip my -hands into the public Treasury, and fleece the consumers of these goods to the tune of 40 per cent., and whatever else I can get in addition as profit out of the duty; not to get me out of any difficulty, but to help me to build the great mansion, the foundations of which 1 have already reared.” This is the man who we are invited to believe is carrying on a languishing industry suffering from the operation on arn already high Tariff ; the man who was afraid to go before the Tariff Commission to ask for increased duties, because he was unable to submit to the cross-examination which he knew must follow. This is the great Australian patriot who puts on exhibition in this building as an Australian piano an instrument nine-tenths of which is of foreign manufacture.

Mr FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– That is not true.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I do not know whether the honorable member is reflecting upon my statement. Perhaps he does not know mahogany or walnut when he sees those woods. I know something about woods, and I say that if the honorable member examines the plano in question he will find that it does not contain as much Australian wood as would be required to boil a decent sized billy. Let any honorable member who knows anything about woods examine the piano, and say whether my statement cannot be borne out. With .regard to the claim that an increased duty is necessary because this is a languishing industry, I am authorized to state that there is a gentleman in the city who, if Mr. Beale thinks he is going to lose money should he not be given the increased protection far which he is asking, is willing to purchase the whole of his business, and all his assets, and to give him £1 for every one of the shares which he obtained for 5s. each. He will do that without any increase of the duty. He- undertakes to establish a factory in Melbourne within the next twelve months, and is willing to put up a bond of .£5,000 that he will do it. What has Mr. Beale to say to that? Here is a chance for him to dispose profitably of his business if he thinks he is going ‘to lose. He will get £1 each for every one pf those shares for which he paid only 5s.

Mr Hughes:

– What is the name of the man who makes the offer ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– I have no objection to stating it. It is Mr. Wertheim. All that he stipulates is that the essential parts of the instruments which are not manufactured here should be admitted free.

Mr Crouch:

– It is the best give-away I ever heard in my life.

Mr JOHNSON:

– That is a very inane remark. It is a fair business proposition. Will Mr. Beale accept the challenge? If any honorable member, engaged in a business, thought he was going to lose on it because he did not receive sufficient” protection, andhad a bona fide cash offer of that kind made to him to purchase the business from him, and give him three times as much as it cost him for his shares, would he not jump at it ? Here is a chance for Mr. Beale if he really believes he is going to lose money.

Mr Spence:

– How much commission will the honorable member get on the sale?

Mr JOHNSON:

– I do not know either of the parties. I think I met Mr. Beale somewhere a long time ago, but I have not met any of the gentlemen who are concerned in the other industry. I have never met Mr. Wertheim. and would not know him if I saw him. Whenever messages have been brought to me that some one wanted to see me, I have always asked the messenger if it was about the Tariff, and have absolutely refused to see anybody unless he was a personal friend, or a constituent, because’ I want to keepmy mind free from undue influence in considering the duties.

Mr Crouch:

– Is not the honorable member in daily consultation with Mr. Max Hirsch?

Mr JOHNSON:

– That is not true, though I meet him occasionally, and do not see any reason to avoid him. He happens to be a personal friend of mine. He is not a piano or other importer or manufacturer, so far as I am aware, so what has that to do with it ?

Mr Hughes:

– Did Mr. Wertheim put that offer in writing?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Yes, it is in writing. I think the honorable member for Kooyong has the original document.

Mr Hughes:

– Will Mr. Wertheim get it sealed ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– The honorable member can ask those questions of the honorable member for Kooyong, to whom I have to apologize for referring to the matter. I had intended to let the honorable member deal with it himself. It was really drawn out of me bv the nature of the interjections. With regard to the copy of

Mr. Beale’s balance sheet, I have ascertained, by further personal inquiries during the luncheon hour, that it is absolutely authentic.

Mr.Watson. - Where did the honorable member get it from?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Although I am not at liberty, at present, to disclose the name of the person from whom I received it-

Mr Watson:

– How does the honorable member know that it is authentic?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Will the honorable member allow me to make my statement first? The balance-sheet is signed, or purports to be signed, by Messrs. F. MacDonnell and A. Forster, as auditors, by Octavious C. Beale, managing director, and Thomas Davidson, secretary. Here I am going to issue a challenge. If Mr. Beale will declare that this balance-sheet is a forgery, and that the signatures of the auditors, himself, and his secretary are forgeries, and give a guarantee that he will prosecute the man who supplied me with the information, I will give that man’s name. This balancesheet was obtained from somebody connected with Mr. Beale’s own business. If’ the names of the auditors are forgeries, those gentlemen will be able to take the necessary action.

Mr Hughes:

– Are those the original signatures?

Mr JOHNSON:

– No, this is a typed, copy of the balance-sheet. I think even the honorable member for . South Sydney will admit that that is a fair challenge.

Mr Watson:

– I do not think it is fairto circulate privately a copy of a balancesheet of that kind. It should be printed and supplied publicly.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I believe there is a law which compels all regis tered companies to publish their balance-sheets.

Mr Watson:

– The honorable member should be aware that that class of balancesheet is not compelled by the company law of New South Wales to be exhibited.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I do not know whether this balance-sheet has been published or not, but I am assured, on the word of honour of the gentleman from whom I received . the information, that it is an absolute copy of the actual balance-sheet itself. He has empowered me to say that if Mr. Beale is prepared to declare that it is a forgery, and that the signatures areforgeries, I can disclose his name.

The CHAIRMAN:

– It would be much better if the honorable member would deal directly with the item rather than with the business of Mr. Beale, or anybody else. I have no desire to curtail the honorable member’s remarks in any way, but if there is to be a discussion on the actual business transactions of firms, it may be endless.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The argument put forward for raising the duty is that the profits on the manufacture are so small that the persons engaged in it are constrained to come to this House and ask for monetary assistance in the shape of an increased duty. Therefore, the question of whether they are making a profit or loss, as shown by their balance-sheet, is most important, and must have a direct influence on honorable member’s votes.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I do not wish to curtail the honorable member’s remarks in any way, but he was going rather into the personal side of Mr. Beale’s business, or that of some other manufacturer. It will be far better forhim to deal with the matter directly.

Mr Crouch:

– Did the honorable member get that balance-sheet from his personal friend ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– The honorable member can find out those little things for himself.

Sir William Lyne:

– Did the honorable member get balance-sheets from the importers ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– There was no necessity. The importers are not asking for the privilege of a monopoly. This man is asking for a monetary benefit at the expense of the taxpayers ; the importers are not. When a man asks for monetary gain to himself in his business at the expense of the community, it is his duty to show reasons for his claim.

Mr Wilks:

– Why did not the honorable member demand a balance-sheet in the case of every other industry that we have been discussing?

Mr JOHNSON:

– I have said often enough that we should see them. But they are always careful ly burned. I do not propose to go into all the particulars of the balance-sheet, but I will lay it on the table of the House, and honorable members can studv it for themselves. I propose to make a few comments on it.

Mr Hughes:

– Is the honorable member going to put it in Hansard?

Mr JOHNSON:

– Yes.

Mr Hughes:

– Then the honorable member had better read it.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If it will be printed in Hansard without my reading it out, I should like to save the time of the Committee.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– It ought not to go intoHansard withoutbeing read.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Then I had better read it. It is as follows -

Beale &co. Ltd.

Balance-sheet for year ending 30th June, 1905.

Liabilities : Authorized capital, 60,000 shares at £1 each fully paid, £60,000; less 3,285 shares unissued, £3,285 - £56,715. Time payment adjusting values account, being 33 per cent, on £85,884 8s. 6d. - - , £28,628 3s. ad. Plant Depreciation Account,10 per cent, on £4,629 is. 11d. - £462 18s. 2d. ; Debenture Loans, Bank of New South Wales, £16,750; W. R. Hall, £16,250 ; interest calculated to date, £4201s.1d. - £33,4201s.1d ; Bank of New South Wales account (unpresented chegues), £404 Ss.9d; bills payable, £629 7s.10d.; sundry creditors, £2,907 14s. gd. ; Bank of New South Wales land purchase account, £556 3s. - £37,91715s.5d. profit and loss balance, £2,605 13s. 7d. ; total liabilities, £126,329 10s. 4d.

The assets consist of -

Customers’ debit balances, piano, £83,8457s. 7d. ; machine, £2,039 7s.11d.-

Mr Storrer:

– I rise to a point of order. Is it in order,, when we are discussing the duty on pianos, the manufacture of which is an Australian industry, to enter into the details of any person’s business, when that business is not a public one ?

The CHAIRMAN:

– I understand the honorable member for Lang is taking up the position that this industry is doing well, and that therefore there is no necessity for an increase of duty. He is trying to show reasons why he has come to that conclusion. If the honorable member’ were to go beyond the actual question involved in the item he would be. going too far.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I will not read all the details, but will give the totals. The other assets consist of merchandise and factory stocks, and materials on hand ; cash on hand, and at branches; factory, landed property, and buildings ; machinery, plant, and tools ; horses, vehicles, &c. ; offices and shops, furniture and fittings ; patents and trade marks account; and sundry debtors; making the total assets £126,329 10s. 4d. The profit and loss account, which is of more importance, contains, on the one side, items for general expenses, wholesale expenses, discount, interest and exchange, advertising, stationery, bad debts (travellers’ deficiencies, machine, piano, and sundry debtors), auditors’ fees, subscriptions, legal expenses, fire insurance, piano fire insurance, and a profit and loss balance of £2,605 13s. 7d., making a total of £36,413 6s. 2d. On the other side of the profit and loss account, appear - “ balance from last year, £3,105 13s. 6d. ; forfeited premiums, £3,001 8s. 8d.” It is a strange commentary on the quality of these pianos that there should be so many forfeited premiums. It does not look as if people particularly appreciated the instruments. In 1904-5, the gross profits on the sale of pianos, over cost of manufacture, as shown under “ Merchandise Account - Piano,” was £29,549 6s. 6d.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I think the honorable member is going quite beyond the question, and that the totals would be quite sufficient to support his argument.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I have just about finished with this part of the subject. To the £29,549 6s. 6d. must be added “forfeited premiums,” amounting to £3,001 8s. 8d., being deposits and payments by time payment purchasers who did notcomplete purchase. This shows the total gross profit to be £32,550 15s. 2d. The net profit shown, after deducting expenditure for sale of pianos, is £2,605 13s. 7d.

Mr Spence:

– That is very small.

Mr JOHNSON:

– But itis unduly reduced by the sum written off for possible bad debts under the “ Time Payment Adjusting Values Account.” This sum was £28,628, while the total amount outstanding was £85,884 9s. 6d., showing one-third written off. The 1905-6 accounts show £3,909 so written off; and, therefore, there must be added to the net profit, the sum of £2,500, and also £3,000, which, I am assured, is the salary of Mr. Beale, who is virtually the proprietor, owning practically all the shares. This brings the net profits for 1904-5 up to £8,105 13s. 7d.

Mr Spence:

– Are these figures from the balance-sheet, or do they represent the honorable member’s comments on the balance-sheet ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– They are comments on the balance-sheet. In 1905-6, the gross profit amounted to £43,4211s.11d., and the forfeited premiums to £2,734 14s. 4d., showing the total of £46,15516s. 3d. This is an increase over the preceding year of £13,6051s.1d., or nearly 50 per cent. The net profit is shown as , £7,323, and to this must Be added excessive deduction for possible bad debts, say, . £3,000, and also Mr. Beale’s salary, £3,000, showing a total net profit of £13,323, an increase over the preceding year of £5,208, or 67 per cent. I could go further into the figures, but those I have quoted are sufficient to show a large increase of profits in two years - from £8,000 odd to £13,000 odd.

Mr Crouch:

– The balance-sheet does not show profits of more than 2¼ per cent.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If the Honorable member picks out the items, he will see that what I say is correct. In 1904-5, on a nominal capital of £56,715, the profits equalled 14½ per cent., and on Mr. Beale’s shares, which were originally purchased at 5s., a profit of 58 per cent. The figures make it clear that Mr. Beale received enormous profits out of this industry in the two years I have mentioned ; and there is every reason to believe that he has done even better in the year1906-7. The fact that Mr. Beale has not presented his balancesheet for this year, or submitted his books to examination, isprima facie evidence that he is doing remarkably well.

Mr Crouch:

Mr. Beale is not making 3 per cent, profit.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I have already pointed out that there is a gentleman in town who is willing to purchase his business, give Mr. Beale £1 for every share which originally cost 5s., take over all the assets, and, without any increase in the duty, give a bond to the Government to start a piano manufactory within twelve months. The effect of the duties on both pianos and parts, as proposed by the Government, will be to establish Mr. Beale in an absolute monopoly ; and I take it that even the most ardent protectionists are anxious to see other factories started. During the last two or three years Mr. Beale has commenced the manufacture of certain parts, though not all, used in the construction of his pianos; and unless parts be made free there will be no possible chance of any one successfully competing with him. I think I have adduced sufficient facts to show that there is no necessity for any increase in the duties ; and I invite the consideration of honorable members for a. section of the community, who, unfortunately, are too frequently forgotten when Tariff questions are before us. namely, the purchasers. We have had petitions presented to us, signed by 6,000 music teachers, against the imposition of the duties on pianos, which, to them, are a means of subsistence. Even when prices are low, it is a struggle with many teachers to obtain instruments; and’ if we unduly inflate values, we shall inflict great disability on a deserving class. In passing, I may point out that the manager of Mr. Beale’s factory is a. German : so that not only are the parts of the instruments of foreign manufacture, but the management of the business is in the hands of a foreigner, al-> though M.r. Beale complains so much about the competition of German and other manufacturers abroad. I should like to see a piano in every poor man’s home; and, tearing in mind the music teachers, I think that pianos ought, like sewing machines, to be made free, as being a means of livelihood. I recognise, however, that there is no possible chance of the instruments being made free, -and, therefore, f move -

That after the words “40 per cent ,,: paragraph a. i’-ie words “and on and after 121I1 December, 1007, ad val. (General Tariff), 25 ner cent.,” be inserted.

If this amendment is carried, I shall move to make the duty against the United Kingdom 20 per cent.

Mr WATSON:
South Sydney

.- It is rather unfortunate, in considering a question of some national importance, that the names of individuals should be introduced. To my mind, it is of no importance whether it is Mr. Beale, Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith, or any other person who engages in this industry. But, as Mr. Beale’s name has been mentioned, it is, perhaps, proper to say a word or two, which appeal to me a.s representing the other side of the ledger from that presented by the honorable member for Lang. In the first place, that honorable member told us that Mr. Beale is posing as a patriot, and claiming special consideration on that ground ; but I have not heard Mr. Beale make any such claim in connexion with his business. What he has claimed is that he has established a new industry, so far as Australia is concerned ; and I think that he is entitled to every -consideration in that regard. Mr. Beale was, as the honorable member for Lang said, at one time an importer of pianos, and, when he carried on that business solely, we cannot blame him for seeking to get the best terms possible from foreign’ manufacturers. But Mr. Beale thought there was an opening for a local manufacture of pianos, and engaged in the industry. I have no reason politically to speak one word for Mr: Beale. I understand that attempts have been made to influence some honorable members on the ground that he holds certain political opinions - that some members of the party to which I’ belong have been approached with statements of what Mr Beale had said at different times about that party, and so on. In my view, that has nothing whatever to do with the treatment to be accorded to this industry. I clare say if we looked into the matter, we should find that importers hold opinions just as strong as those of Mr. Beale about the Labour Party.

Mr Mahon:

– Importers are not asking Parliament for a. subsidy as Mr. Beale is doing.

Mr WATSON:

– The importers ask that Australia may be sacrificed in order that they may exact their pound of flesh from the consumer. We all know that when the importers get the consumer under their thumb thev are careful to exact the last ounce that can be got out of him. In justice to M.r. Beale, it ought to te said - whatever his political opinions may te, and I do not know what opinions he now holds in reference to the Labour Party - that during the whole period his factory has teen in existence, he has paid the highest wages in the furniture trade. The secretary of the Cabinet Makers’ Union informed me some years ago that there was no man employing cabinet makers in Sydney who paid wages approaching those then paid by Mr. Beale. Although the arbitration award recently given in connexion with the furniture trade prescribes certain .rates of wages Mr. Beale had been, and still is, paying wages in excess of those rates. I say that he is entitled to credit in that he has always paid good wages to the operatives in the industry in which he is engaged. I know that he has always observed the eight hours system - indeed, his is the only piano factory in the world which is conducted under that system. When the recent’ arbitration award prescribed a lower rate of wages than he had been paying, he might, had he been of a grasping disposition, easily have attempted to reduce the wages paid by him to that level. But he has not done so. It has teen said that Mr. Beale exposes himself to criticism so far as his balance-sheet is concerned, because he is asking for monetary assistance at the expense of the taxpayers.

Mr Wilks:

– Does the honorable member think that 14½ per cent, represents an inordinate profit?

Mr WATSON:

– I do not. I shall, however, refer to that aspect of the question presently. If protectionists admit that the imposition of an increased duty means granting monetary assistance to Mr. Beale at the expense of the taxpayers, then the whole fabric of protection must fall, and we have no . right to support it. But I deny at once that any such assistance is involved in the . proposal to impose higher duties, and I deny it especially in view of the fact that a scheme has already been put forward for the initiation of what is known as the new protection - a scheme which is intended to protect both the wage-earner and the consumer, and which, I believe, will achieve something in the direction of preventing the consumer from being mulcted in increased prices as the result of the operation of higher duties. Those who hold that the imposition of an increased rate upon pianos will penalize the taxpayers for Mr. Beale’s benefit ought not to vote for any such duty, and they certainly ought not to support the new protection,because it is evident that they do not believe that it willprove efficacious. I. submit that if the new protection proposals achieve their object by protecting the consumer and the wage-earner alike, Mr. Beale - in the event of increased duties being levied - will secure a larger market than he has previously enjoyed, his managerial expenses will be proportionately reduced, and he mav thus enjoy an increased profit. But the selling price of his pianos will have to remain what it has been.

Mr Poynton:

– Is that so?

Mr WATSON:

– I think so.

Mr Thomas:

– If it be so, I think that fact will influence a good many votes.

Mr WATSON:

– I take it that it is absolutely so.

Mr Atkinson:

– What guarantee has the honorable member that it will be so?

Mr WATSON:

– I admit that I cannot guarantee it.

Mr Bowden:

– It is like Mr. McDougall’s guarantee’ in regard to the price of strawboard.

Mr WATSON:

– That was an instance in which a man did take advantage of an increase of the duty to increase his price to the consumer, and I showed my resentment of his action by pairing against the proposed increase of the duty. But in the present instance we have an assurance that the price of these pianos will not be increased by the manufacturer, and wealso know that we intend to subject all industries to a rigid scrutiny in respect of the prices charged to the consumer, amongst other things. If the price of Mr. Beale’s pianos be increased an immediatereduction of the duty would be recommended, and personally I should vote forit.

Mr Poynton:

– Can it be done?

Mr WATSON:

– As a matter of fact, it is being done in (Canada at the present time. If two or three manufacturersare engaged in an industry, and only oneis charging the consumer an unduly high price, it follows that the competition of his rivals will reduce prices to their normal level. I admit that where there is onlyone manufacturer engaged in an industry we are in an exceedingly awkward position. But how are we to increase thenumber of manufacturers? Shall we accomplish it by lowering the proposed duty?’ I say, “Let us impose a duty which will make it unprofitable to bring cheap pianos. into Australia, and then more manufactories will spring up, and we shall thusbring about a degree of competition which will maintain prices at a reasonable level.”

Mr Wilson:

– The honorable member is now advocating prohibition.

Mr WATSON:

– The honorable member’s assumption-, like many of his assumptions, is based upon an insecure foundation. We have been told by the honorablemember for Lang that an offer was made by Mr. Wertheim to buy Mr. Beale out, and to give him- 20s. for every £1 share that he held in his company, butI did not hear any mention made of a guarantee that the industry would be carried on as it has been, or that the existing rates of wages would continue to be paid. According to the honorable member. Mr. Wertheim is so convinced of the enormous; profits to be made in the industry that litis prepared to give Mr. Beale 20s. for every £1 that has been invested in it. What does that argue? If such grea.t profits are to be made out of the local: manufacture of pianos, why has not Mr. Wertheim already started in opposition toMr. Beale? Why have not any of the German manufacturers established branch factories in Australia?

Mr Hughes:

-Because importing pays better.

Mr WATSON:

– It is because they can make higher profits by importing pianos made in the factories of Germany, where the operatives work long hours, than they could obtain by undertaking their manufacture in the Commonwealth,and observing Australian conditions as to hours of labour and rates of wages. If they could be assured of these immense profits undoubtedly thev would start operations in opposition to Mr. Beale. The golden mine which the latter is said to be working would not be permitted to remain unexploited very long if it really existed. It is because it does not exist - because the industry has been struggling - that capitalists light shy of it.

Mr Wilson:

– Does the honorable member call an industry which is returning14½per cent. a struggling one?

Mr WATSON:

– I wish that the honorable member in his own business would be satisfied with the rate of profit disclosed in Mr. Beale’s balance-sheet.

Mr Wilson:

– We have very often to accept a great deal less.

Mr WATSON:

– Very frequently the honorable member is able to get a great deal more. In my view we shall be acting wisely if we increase the old duty upon pianos, in order to insure the establishment of more than one piano factorv in Australia. Last year there we’re imported into the Commonwealth pianos to the value of £250,000, of which £35,000 worth came from Great Britain, and nearly £200,000 worth from Germany.

Mr Glynn:

– But there were about a dozen classes of pianos imported, and that is a very important point to consider.

Mr WATSON:

– Even making allowance for . that fact, it cannot be denied that pianos are mainly imported from Germany.

Mr Poynton:

– Some of them were good pianos.

Mr WATSON:

– Undoubtedly. But a large proportion of them were not. Upon the table of the House is a catalogue showing that the wholesale price, of a certain piano in England was £9 odd. Now, nobody will contend that a decent instrument can be manufactured for that price, even with the aid of cheap labour. The average value of the German pianos imported last year was £19 odd.

Mr Fuller:

– That is not so.

Mr WATSON:

– I prefer to accept the Customs returns, rather than the honorable member’s statement.

Mr Mahon:

– I have a return which shows that the average value of the German pianos imported was £23.

Mr WATSON:

– I can assure the honorable member that I have a later return.

Mr Mahon:

– Then the honorable member must have obtained it within the last five minutes.

Mr WATSON:

– I did.

Mr Fuller:

– Will the honorable mem ber allow the Treasurer to make a statement upon that particular point?

Mr WATSON:

– By all means. I repeat that the average value of the German pianos imported into the Commonwealth is about £19.

Mr Fuller:

– I do not think the Treasurer will indorse that statement.

Mr WATSON:

– The original statement of the Customs Department, which it was thought was incorrect, has since been proved to be approximately accurate.

Mr Glynn:

– The price quoted by the honorable member is the price of the pianos in Germany .

Mr WATSON:

– Yes. But a lot of the pianos imported are of the better class, and consequently the average price of the cheaper instruments would be considerably lower than I have indicated.

Sir William Lyne:

– Is the honorable member referring to all pianos imported, or merely to the German pianos?

Mr WATSON:

– To the German.

Sir William Lyne:

– The average value is a little higher than that stated by the honorable member.

Mr WATSON:

– I must admit that there has been some confusion in the Customs Department in regard to this matter, as the result of which it is rather difficult to disentangle the truth.

Mr Fuller:

– The Customs authorities are now satisfied that the average price of the pianos imported into Victoria is a little over £23.

Mr WATSON:

– I was speak ing of the importation into the Commonwealth. We all know that the pianos imported from Great Britain are, on the average, of a higher class than those which are imported from Germany.

Mr Glynn:

– What about the local cost ofproduction ?

Mr WATSON:

– We all know that the difference between the cost of production and the selling price is very considerable. That is the result of the system which obtains. The same remark applies equally to sewing machines, harvesters, typewriters, and in a lesser degree to bicycles. An arbitrary price is. fixed for these articles, and that price is determined in a large measure by the cost incurred in canvassing for sales, and by the cost of distribution.

Mr Glynn:

– That applies equally to the locally-manufactured pianos.

Mr WATSON:

– Quite so. With regard to the imported pianos, while they may be invoiced at £35 each, they may be sold for £70 each, or, under the timepayment system - which has something to commend it, although it involves a huge increase of price - for even more. If we are to have the development of Australian industries which we all desire, we must impose a higher duty upon pianos, as well as on other imported articles. With regard to the production of balance-sheets, 1 ask those who have cheerfully voted for duties of 35 per cent., why they did not require the production of balance-sheets in connexion with the local industries which those duties were designed to protect.

Mr Mahon:

– Two wrongs do not make a right.

Mr Wilks:

– A balance-sheet should be demanded in every instance.

Mr WATSON:

– There should be some degree of consistency. There was as much reason - no more and no less - for the production of balance-sheets in connexion with those industries as there is for the production of balance-sheets in connexion with the piano industry. We know on the authority of the unions concerned that Mr. Beale pays the highest wages in Australia, but we had not that guarantee in regard to a. number of other industries to which we have teen reasonably liberal. The agent charged with the putting of the importers’ case before Parliament has collected an enormous amount of material - including a speech delivered by me five years ago, in which I said that I would be content with a duty of 20 per cent, on pianos as a compromise - and he has also produced two balancesheets.

Mr Wilson:

– The honorable member does not mean that he has produced fictitious balance-sheets ?

Mr WATSON:

– No. I speak of their production merely as an example of his industry. It is hardly fair, however, that the documents have not been generally distributed.

Mr King O’Malley:

– A - A man’s business secrets have been stolen.

Mr WATSON:

– One naturally does not like the idea of obtaining information of this sort surreptitiously.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Then the honorable member had no sympathy with the effort made in Court the other day to get the balance-sheet of Mr. H. V. McKay.

Mr WATSON:

– I did not see that the production of that balance-sheet was pertinent to the question whether fair and reasonable wages were being paid. Mr. Beale’s balance-sheet, if it were necessary to make it public, should have been supplied to every honorable member. But those of us who were suspected of sympathizing, even remotely, with the establishing of the piano-making industry in Australia more firmly have not been given an opportunity to analyze these balance-sheets. I have been able to glance over them only cursorily. They are balance-sheets for the years ending 30th June, 1905, and 30th June, 1906, and do not seem to disclose abnormal profits. No doubt the Committee is sufficiently conversant with business methods to draw a distinction between money so invested that it will continue to return a fixed interest for an indefinite or prolonged time, in regard to which 3 per cent. , 4 per cent., or 5 per cent, will be accepted, and money sunk in a business whose earnings will be subject to the fluctuations of the market, and may be reduced by competition. One naturally expects a larger return from a business investment than from an investment in Government debentures. It has become an unwritten law amongst business-men that an enterprise which will not return’ something like 10 per cent, after making proper provision for depreciation and replacement of plant is not worth touching. If Messrs. Wertheim and Company were induced by a higher duty to make pianos and sewing machines in Australia, they would be a serious competitor to Mr. Beale, whose business, laboriously built up in many years, might disappear in one or two. These balancesheets, which have been produced by the other side-

Mr Mahon:

– Does the honorable member question their authenticity?

Mr WATSON:

– No; but it cannot be thought that their figures were prepared to produce a favorable impression sofar as Mr. Beale is concerned.

Mr Henry Willis:

– If the honorable member doubts the genuineness of the balance-sheets, he should not quote from them.

Mr WATSON:

– I do not express any opinion on that subject. For the purposes of my argument, I am assuming that the figures are correct. The authorized capital of the concern is £60,000.

Mr Wilson:

– The shares were purchased at 5s. each.

Mr WATSON:

– The balance-sheet speaks of the shares as each fully paid. It is marvellous how these pseudofreetraders alter their arguments to meet particular cases. When the last Tariff was under consideration, we were told that we had no right to consider the amount of capital written off by the Ballarat Woollen Mills Company ; that we must consider only the new capital, and the dividends paid’ on it. But now it is alleged that, because Mr. Beale was able to purchase for less than their nominal value some shares which had been fully paid up, the money for which had gone into the business, we should regard the capital as reduced accordingly. Yet the money represented by the nominal value of those shares has gone into the business.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Iam afraid that the honorable member is entering upon an analysis of the balance-sheets, which I prevented the honorable member for Lang from doing. If I allow the honorable member to make this analysis, I cannot prevent others from following him.

Mr WATSON:

– The honorable member for Bass took exception to the action of the honorable member for tang in reading the details of the balance-sheets, and you ruled that the latter was trying to show that the industry does not need the assistance of an extra duty, inasmuch as it now pays a sufficient return. I propose to deal with the balance-sheet only so far as may be necessary to establish the position that the industry requires further assistance.

Mr Glynn:

Mr. Justice Higgins, in his decision in the harvester case, said that the scale of wages which he would fix would have no relation to the profits made. Therefore, this inquiry is not relative to the question of duty.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I do not desire to curtail the remarks of the honorable member for South Svdney, but if he makes a minute analysis of these balance-sheets, the debate may resolve itself into a discussion of the business of Mr. Beale, which is not the question before the Chair.

Mr WATSON:

– I desire only to reply to the statements of the honorable member for Lang. The capital invested in this business is £56,715, being made up of 60,000 fully-paid shares, less 3,285 not issued.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Lang quoted one or two items without dealing with the balance-sheet in detail. Directly he commenced to deal, with it in detail I stopped him.

Mr WATSON:

– I do not intend to go into detail. There are two factors which determine whether a business concern is profitable - the capital and the net return - and with these I wish to deal. I shall not discuss any of the many other issues raised by the balance-sheet. I do not know if I have the original balance-sheets. Those I have were given to me as copies.

Mr Johnson:

– They are vouched for as copies of the original balance-sheets.

Mr WATSON:

– The total capital of the business seems to be just over £90,000, in- cluding debentures.

Mr Hughes:

– Assuming that Mr. Beale got the shares at 5s., instead of at £1, he would make a profit of 5 per cent.

Mr WATSON:

– That doe’s not enter into the matter.

Mr Webster:

– I rise to a point of order, sir. I do not wish to limit the honorable member in his analysis of the balancesheet, but I desire to know whether it is in order for the Committee to take into its consideration any paper which is not original or authenticated.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I have no control over the reading of a paper by an honorable member, so long as it is relevant to the item now under consideration. Beyond that, it is purely a question of taste with honor able members as to what documents they shall, or shall not, read.

Mr WATSON:

– The amount of profit shown for the year ending 30th June, 1905, was only £2,600.

Mr Mahon:

– What was the gross profit?

Mr WATSON:

– The gross profit of a business is what is made before the expenses are deducted, and the suggestion of the honorable member apparently is that it is not fair for Mr. Beale to deduct his expenses.

Mr Mahon:

– Not at all. He loaded up the expenses by crediting himself with a high salary.

Mr WATSON:

– As statements had been made here on that point, I went out of the chamber and asked . Mr. Beale about them. Whatever his faults may be in other directions, I have always found him to be a truthful man. He said that it was not true that he was receiving a salary of £3,000.

Mr Johnson:

-Is it not stated on the balance-sheet as his salary?

Mr WATSON:

– I have two copies of the balance-sheet, but I can see no reference to the amount of his salary.

Mr Johnson:

– Perhaps it may not be given there; I thought it was.

Mr WATSON:

Mr. Beale expressed his regret that personal matters had been imported into the discussion. He informed me that up to last year he had drawn a salary of £.1,000, and that this year He was drawing a salary of £1,500, and not £3,000. It is a small salary for a man who is conducting such an enormous business.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I do not think that the honorable member ought to have mentioned that.

Mr WATSON:

– I agree with the honorable member that such matters ought not to have been introduced. But I submit that when £3,000 had been mentioned as Mr. Beale’s salary, I was entitled to put forward his own statement. I wish to make a point in regard to the year ending 30th June. 1906. The honorable member for Lang has said that the profit - not counting Mr. Beale’s alleged salary of £3,000 - was £13,000. I do not know exactly how he made up that sum.

Mr Johnson:

– I gave the items.

Mr WATSON:

– The profit shown in the balance-sheet is £11,232, and if £3,000 be added to that it would come to £14,232.

Mr Johnson:

– There were some other mutters written off.

Mr WATSON:

– The sum of £11,232 is made up of two main items. The total profit made in the year was £7,323, but to that sum has been added, so far as I tan understand the position, the amount of bad debts, on time-payment accounts of previous years, which had been recovered within the year.

Mr Mahon:

– One-third of the whole.

Mr WATSON:

– They anticipated a recovery of what had previously been written off as bad debts to the extent of £3,000. Some honorable members would have that amount counted in the ordinary profit for the year 1906.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– It must have been reserved out of the profits.

Mr WATSON:

– I admit that it is a proper thing to bring the sum into the profit account, but not in relation to that particular year. Suppose that in his business the honorable member anticipated two years ago that he would have a certain amount of bad debts, and wrote them off, and that, this year the moneys had come unexpectedly to hand, he would not be justified in including them in the profit for the year. He would have to show the recovery of the bad debts as a special item.

Mr Mahon:

– When he prepared his income tax return, he would have to show them.

Mr WATSON:

– It is an abnormal recovery which would not be credited by the honorable member to the current year. It must be shown, of course, for the purpose of income tax, and to ascertain where he was in regard to his capital account, but it should not be credited to the profits of the year to which it was accidentally attached. Therefore we may arrive at this position: that the profit of Mr. Beale’s business for the year 1906 was £7,323. I do not think that any one who has a knowledge of business will say that that is too great a profit for a year, or in general relation to business, that if is even a good profit.

Mr Wilson:

– It is a handsome profit.

Mr WATSON:

– If the honorable member were able to get that rental for his land, it would be a good profit, but he knows that there is a wide difference between the return from a land investment and the return from a business. The land will not vanish, and is not likely to depreciate in value very much. But a business which to-day may be showing a handsome profit may. disappear entirely next day.

Mr Bowden:

– What does the honorable member say to the Metropolitan Gas Company making 15 per cent?

Mr WATSON:

– The gas company is making . a.n abnormal profit, because it charges an abnormal price. It demands twice the rate levied in Birmingham or Manchester. I recognise that honorable members who object to this duty from the free-trade stand-point are fully justified. They want to insure free imports and le’t every industry take its chance. I do not quarrel with that attitude, although I do not agree with it. But it seems to me that protectionists have no possible justification for drawing any line of demarcation between the piano industry and any other.

Mr Mahon:

– A few years ago the honorable member said “ a duty of 20 per cent, represents very liberal treatment to this industry.”

Mr WATSON:

– The honorable member, I see, has got hold of a speech which the importers have been careful to cull out of Hansard.

Mr Mahon:

– No; I myself took it out of Hansard.

Mr WATSON:

– I saw a typewritten copy of the report which has been circulated.

Mr Mahon:

– I have not seen it.

Mr WATSON:

– An honorable member was good enough to hand the document to me.

Mr Mahon:

– Here is the Hansard report of the speech.

Mr WATSON:

– I know the speech by heart. I have read it in a typewritten document, and I do not wish to get away from it in the slightest degree. What I said in 1902 was that the industry had been started without protection, and that 20 per cent., as against no duty, was as much as could be expected for it. . The Tariff of 1901-2 was an experiment. We wanted to see how industries would get On with, for the most part, reasonable duties, and if the honorable member for Coolgardie will take the trouble to look up the general speech I made on the question, he will find that I said that, so far as my vote was concerned, I would not sanction high duties In an experimental Tariff, because we wanted to see how things under the new conditions, which no one understood, were likely to work, and I followed that out. Since then we have had an experience extending over five years, and we know that the imports of German pianos have been a constantly increasing quantity.

Mr Mahon:

– That is not correct.

Mr WATSON:

– It is correct.

Mr Mahon:

– No; because, according to the Customs figures, in 1905 the number of German pianos decreased.

Mr WATSON:

– In 1901, when there was free-trade in pianos over a great part, if not the whole, of Australia, there was a sudden jump in the importations. Anticipating a protectionist Tariff, they rushed in their importations for that year.

Mr Mahon:

– At that time there was a. protectionist duty in several States.

Mr WATSON:

– The imports of German piano9 increased in value from £157,000 in 1902 to £196,000 in 1906.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– How much duty did they pay?

Mr WATSON:

– I have not got that return, but that does not affect the question.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Yes, it does. Last vear they paid £47,000 in duty.

Mr WATSON:

– What has that to do with the point?

Mr Mcwilliams:

– It is a good slice to Pay.

Mr WATSON:

– I do not see how that bears on the question which we are now considering. My statement was that the number, or, rather, the value, of German pianos imported into Australia was increasing. In view of that experience, and. our experience of the piano which Mr. Beale has turned out, and which no one will say is not a good average instrument, there is every reason for those who so desire to change their opinion as to the rate of duty which is necessary to protect the industry. I have come to the conclusion, after five years’ experience, that there is a need for an increased duty, and I trust that it will be voted.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

.-I am very sorry that there has been so much heat imported into this discussion. I agree with the honorable member for South Sydney that it should be confined to the individual merits of the instruments with which we are dealing under this item. Honorable members have not yet realized, I think, that this is a question of the encouragement of one of the greatest of the arts, and that there is a considerable difference between a boot-jack and a piano.

Mr Watkins:

– Does the honorable member mean that the Colonial instrument is a boot- jack?

Mr WILSON:

– No; nor do I intend at any time to reflect on the Colonial instrument. The point is that some persons prefer the Australian piano. In my opinion it is a very good instrument, and I do not wish to say anything against it. On the other hand, there are some artists who prefer an American piano or an English piano or a German piano. All those tastes have to be met. Some artists will sing to and play an Australian pianowith great pleasure to themselves, butother artists sav that it is impossible to do justice to themselves with anything but a German piano. That is what we have to consider in dealing with this question. How are the public to be best suited ?

Mr Spence:

– Could we not make a German piano in Australia?

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member is such an excellent hand at organizing that he might possibly do even that. We have to give the public a fair and square deal. We have to treat Mr. Beale, the Australian manufacturer, fairly. We also have to treat the public fairly. But quite apart from Mr. Beale and the importers of pianos, it is our duty to consider the interests of a large number of people throughout Australia who are making their living by giving instruction in music, and the still larger number who to their own great enjoyment love to listen to music in their own homes. Of those whose interests we have to bear in mind the greater number by far are those who enjoy music at home. It would be a great advantage to the whole of the people of Australia and particularly to our young folks if there were a piano in every house and instruction in music for every child in Australia. Quite apart from the advantage of the instruction itself, it would be an introduction to the gentler arts and a valuable discipline in time and method.

Mr Watkins:

– Would they not be made much happier if they knew that their pianos were made by Australian hands?

Mr WILSON:

– I think that the majority of people would not care where they got their piano from so long as they had an instrument which gave them pleasure.

Mr Chanter:

– People are more patriotic than the honorable member gives them credit for being.

Mr WILSON:

– I have no objection to people using Australian pianos if they suit their taste. But to a person who has the soul of music within him there is as much difference between pianos as there is between a Cremona violin and a violin made in Paris.

Mr Spence:

– How many people are there in Australia who “ have the soul of music within them?”

Mr WILSON:

– A great many, I am proud to say. There are Australians whose musical taste has been developed in this country, and who, when they have gone abroad, have electrified the musical world by their talents. It is very likely that if we were to ask these Australians what instruments they prefer some would mention’ one piano and some another, and each would say that the piano which he favoured was the instrument best adapted for displaying his talents. When we are asked to grant an increased duty in favour of art industry we have to look into the details and see whether the demand is justified. If our Australian manufacturer were in a bad way, if his output were declining, if his profits were diminishing, I should say that we were bound to impose an increased duty But we find on inquiry that the facts are not so. I give our Australian manufacturer every credit for his enterprise and . ability. I am delighted to know that he pays in his eight hours factory the best wages in the world.

Mr Watkins:

– The honorable member should know that it is the only eight-hours piano factory in the world.

Mr WILSON:

– I am delighted to know that his men are working under such fair conditions, whilst he is making such excellent profits for himself.

Mr Hughes:

– What profit is he making ?

Mr WILSON:

– According to the balancesheet from which quotations have been made by the honorable member for South Sydney, if it be read properly, Mr. Beale’s capital is £56,715.

Mr Hughes:

– What about the loan account ?

Mr WILSON:

– The interest paid on; the loan account is in a separate item.’ That wipes out the loan account.

Mr Chanter:

– Oh, does it ! What about redemption? The honorable member is like Micawber - “ thank God, that’s paid ! “

Mr WILSON:

– The redemption will be found accounted for in the capital account, where the shares, for which 5s. each was paid, are put down at face value. There is any amount of redemption in that; aswell as in plant, merchandise, factory stocks, material in hand, factory, landed property and buildings, machinery, and tools, horses and vehicles, and all the other items included in the balance-sheet.

Mr Hughes:

– Where is depreciation for factories and buildings provided for?

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member will find that set out.

Mr Hughes:

– I cannot find it. Where is it? .

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member has a copy of the balance-sheet before him, and he can show the defects in my argument if he is able.

Mr Hughes:

– I am still a little deaf, I know; but I am far from being blind, and it is not here.

Mr WILSON:

– This balance-sheet is signed by the managing director and secretary of the company, and it is a properly audited document. It can be sworn to as being a true copy.

Mr Storrer:

– Who made the copy?

Mr WILSON:

– I cannot inform the honorable member.

Mr Storrer:

– It must have been obtained by fraud.

Mr WILSON:

– Oh, no. On the 1906 balance-sheet the profit shown on the original capital is £11,232 os. 5d.

Mr Hughes:

– How much is that per cent. ?

Mr WILSON:

– That is about 19 per cent.

Mr Hughes:

– What about the previous year ?

Mr WILSON:

– In the previous year a smaller profit was made.

Mr Hughes:

– How much smaller in the previous year?

Mr WILSON:

– There is shown on the profit and loss balance-sheet a profit of £2,605; but honorable members must take into consideration the reserve account, £28,628.

Mr Crouch:

– That is not profit.

Mr Glynn:

– The matter is scarcely worth the time which is being devoted to it.

Mr WILSON:

– The only point that I wish to make is that the balance-sheet shows that a reasonable profit has been made under existing conditions.

Mr Hughes:

– £2,600 is not a reasonable profit.

Mr WILSON:

– There is more than that. The honorable member has not taken into consideration the reserve account, which was set aside in the previous vear. During the present year the balance-sheet of the company, if it could be obtained, would probably show a much larger profit. Now I am not objecting to this profit. I am delighted to see that it has been -made, and that the factory has been doing so well. I wish it every success in the future. I hope that the business will go on increasing.

Mr Hughes:

– If the honorable member takes both years, he will find that the profit only comes to 10 per cent.

Mr WILSON:

– That is a very good profit.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Batchelor:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I cannot allow any new matter to be introduced respecting the balance-sheet.

Mr WILSON:

– I had no intention of entering into further details. I have answered the honorable member for West Sydney. The only point which I wish to make about the balance-sheets is that they show that this manufacturer is making a reasonableprofit at the present moment under conditions which are a credit to him and to Australia.

Mr Watkins:

– That is why he is being attacked, I suppose.

Mr WILSON:

– I am not attacking him in any way. I have no interest in Mr. Beale, apart from a desire to see him prosper. I have no interest in the. importers apart from a wish to see them prosper. I have a great interest in the people in wishing to see them prosperous and happy ; and it is because I think that it is not to their advantage to increase the duty that I am opposed to it. I also wish to show that this Australian manufacturer is increasing his business. In 1903 Mr. Beale advertised in the Adelaide Advertiser, “ We sell 800 pianos a year in Australia.” On the1st June, 1906, Mr. Carl Johann Vader gave evidence before the Tariff Commission.

Mr Chanter:

– Yet the honorable member for Lang denied that evidence was given before the Commission in behalf of this industry.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– He said “ by Mr. Beale.”

Mr Chanter:

– No; by Mr. Beale’s company.

Mr WILSON:

– It is a matter of no moment to me what was said by any honorable member. I am here to state the facts as far as I can ascertain them. I shall quote from the evidence of Mr. Vader. Questions 96389-96391 -

How many pianos are you turning out? - Last year we turned out 1,500.

Is that your largest output ? - We are now increasing it.

Has it been increasing every year since 1900? - Yes.

At the present time, owing to the increased output, it follows that the cost of manufacturing these pianos must be much less than in the years prior to 1903. I am delighted to know that our Australian manufacturer, working under favorable conditions, is increasing his output constantly.

Mr Chanter:

– And has decreased the price.

Mr WILSON:

– I hope he has. It is to his credit if he has done so. I am not troubling about the price. I am simply showing that Mr. Beale has had a protection which has been ample.

Mr Chanter:

– Does not the honorable member admit’ that the consumer has benefited from the decrease in price?

Mr WILSON:

– I have no objection to urge to the way in which the consumer has been treated by Mr. Beale. I have no desire to go into his profits, or into the difference between manufacturing cost and cost to the public. That is a matter between him and the public. He gives the public a fair deal, and the- public have a perfect right to buy their instruments from him. Under the previous Tariff, we gave a protection of 20 per cent, to Mr. Beale. Under that protection he has been able to increase his business, to pay and treat his employes well, and to make for himself a reasonable profit. Under these circumstances, I say that we should be doing an injustice to the music-loving public of Australia if we increased the duty beyond that charged under the old Tariff.

Mr Sampson:

– If the industry has been such a success, would it not be advisable to increase the duty and conduce to the establishment of a few more such factories ?

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member raises a fresh point. It has been shown that the Australian manufacturer has done well under the old duty. What he has done has been creditable to him as an Australian manufacturer. Why, if he can do so well under these conditions, should not other manufacturers be able to do the same? Shall we secure more competition by the imposition of higher duties ? In what way will the public be benefited by them? The honorable member for Riverina said that Mr. Beale had reduced the price of his pianos. If that be so, he is giving the public a fair deal. The people, however, desire to be free to select either an Australian or a foreign-made piano. If they are content to buy an inferior instrument that is a matter of no concern to us ; but if they do purchase a foreign-made piano they must pay more for it. We shall not be dealing fairly with the great army of music teachers and music lovers in Australia unless we reduce the duties to such a level that whilst protecting the local manufacturer they will not prevent the public from obtaining a good imported instrument at a fair price. The circulars that have been issued in reference to these duties display a good deal of enterprise on the part of both sides. I most strongly condemn the reprint from the Bulletin which was read this morning, by the honorable member for Lang, and which I regard as a gross breach of the privileges of the House. It practically suggests that honorable members who maintain that the duties on pianos should be kept at a reasonable level, and that we should have only a. slight increase on the rates under the old Tariff, are subsidized by German pianoforte makers.

Mr Chanter:

– No one believes that.

Mr WILSON:

– As soon as the circular was mentioned this morning the honorable member was inclined to say that it was true.

Mr Chanter:

– I had already read it.

Mr WILSON:

– After it had been read I challenged the honorable member to assert in the House that it was true.

Mr Chanter:

– I said that the authority was truthful.

Mr WILSON:

– The authority was altogether wrong. Any one who asserts that there has been an effort to bribe honorable members to do other than their duty is guilty of a gross breach of the privileges of the House.

Mr Chanter:

– No one believes that portion of the statement in the circular.

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member should not have shown a disposition to sympathize with the statements contained in the circular before thev had been read to the Committee. Another circular issued by the Australian manufacturer casts a reflection upon an importer. As the Treasurer in very strong language this morning repudiated it, I felt justified in sending for Mr. George Allan, the importer in question, with the object of ascertaining what he had to say in regard to the matter. I made a rough note of his statement and he signed it. My memorandum reads as follows -

Mr. .George Allan states that he saw Sir William Lyne in the House by appointment, and had in his hand some typewritten memoranda of argument that he might or might not use * iti* talking to him.

Mr. Allan went on to explain that the Treasurer, who received him very favorably, said - “You might leave me these memos.;” and without any thought he did so. A few weeks afterwards out came Mr. Beale’s circular stating that a firm of piano importers had senta circular to every member containing the contents of these notes.

Mr Johnson:

– That is a nice breach of faith.

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member must not anticipate what I have to put before the Committee. These private notes had been given to the Treasurer and to no one else. The statement continues -

Mr. Allan sent no circular to anybody, and is unable to explain how this information got into the hands of Mr. Beale. He makes no charge against Sir William Lyne personally -

The word “personally” was inserted at Mr. Allan’s request - but wishes to know by what leakage Mr. Beale got hold of these private notes.

Mr Chanter:

– Were they handed to the Treasurer as confidential notes?

Mr WILSON:

– They were at the time.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– The Treasurer has absolutely denied the statement.

Mr Wilks:

-Then he ought to prosecute Mr. Allan for criminal libel.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– He will probably do so. Will the honorable member for Corangamite lay on the table the statement that he has just read?

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member need not worry ; I have always been willing and able to substantiate any statement I have made in the House, and as soon as I have read the notes in question they will become the property of the House. I repeat that Mr. Allan makes no charge against the Treasurer personally, but wishes to know how the gist of his private notes passed into the possession of Mr. Beale to be used against him in this fight.

Mr Sampson:

– That must be a charge against the Treasurer as a responsible Minister.

Mr WILSON:

– Some one else may have secured the notes or obtained details of them, and have passed them on to the other side without thinking that he was doing any harm. The notes may have left the hands of the Treasurer. I only hope that the matter may be satisfactorily cleared up. Honorable members should consider this question from all points of view.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– And without any regard to individuals.

Mr WILSON:

– Most certainly; we have simply to determine whether or not the Australian manufacturer was sufficiently protected under the old Tariff. I think I have shown that he has been doing very well, and, that being so, we are not justi fied in granting him, at the present time, any material increase on the old duties.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The issue of the circular to which the honorable member for Corangamite has referred caused me great astonishment. Whether it was sent to me or not I cannot say, nor had I heard that such, a circular was in existence until the matter was mentioned. I had no recollection of having received any private communication from Mr. George Allan; but I at once sent to the Department to ascertain whether there were any official papers relating to the matter. As the result’ of my inquiries I find that on the 13th September Mr. George Allan left in my hands - confidentially, I presume - the document to which he refers. I produce the document, which, honorable members will notice, has been officially registered in the Department. I had forgotten its existence.

Mr Mahon:

– How did Mr. Beale obtain possession of the notes?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I have not made any statement to him in regard to the document. I also find that’ another document, containing . a great deal of the same information, was sent by Mr. George Allan, presumably to the ComptrollerGeneral. Here are the official documents. That which I received at once passed from my hands into the Department, and was registered. I cannot say where Mr. Beale obtained any information regarding this matter, but I believe that he knows as much about the business as most people in the trade, and could make calculations as to the business done by Mr. Allan or any one else. So far as I am aware, I have never received any private documents from Mr. Allan. If I had done so, I certainly would not have communicated their contents to Mr. Beale or any one else.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Hear, hear; but does not that make the incident the more mysterious?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I know nothing about it. So far as the Department is concerned, I will undertake to say that Mr. Beale never saw these documents. I have so much confidence in the officers of the Department that I will undertake to say further that they never gave Mr. Beale any of the information which thev contain ; and I do not suppose Mr. Beale ever went to the Department to ask for it.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– He Quotes practically the same words in his circular.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I suppose the information could be obtained from other sources. Some of it is contained in another document which I have here in the form of a communication to the ComptrollerGeneral, and the whole of the documents are public.

Mr Fisher:

– They are all records?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes.

Mr Fisher:

– The honorable gentleman does not mean to say that the departmental officials make records public?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– No, they did not publish them. The official stamp of the Department is on these documents.

Mr Fisher:

– If there were fifty of them thev would all be private.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes, but they are all documents in the Department.

Mr Mahon:

– The question still remains : How did Mr. Beale get hold of these documents?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I -do not think he did get hold of them.

Mr Mahon:

– The information they contain is published in his circular.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not know whether it is or not. I never read Mr. Beale’s. circular either; but it must be remembered that he knows a good deal about the business, and possesses information as to prices, and so on.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But he quotes from the document referred to.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– He could not quote the exact words.

Mr Sampson:

– Are there not other sources from which the information might be derived?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– All I can say is, and I trust honorable members believe me, that in the most straightforward manner I placed these documents in charge of the Comptroller-General. I had forgotten about them, and I could only imagine that if I had received any such documents they would be found in the Department of Trade and -Customs. I at once asked the Comptroller-General to send down to the office to find what documents were there. I have just received the documents which I hold in my hand, and thev include amongst others the one to which Mr. Allan referred. I am very al ad that Mr. Allan has said that he does not accuse me personally.

Mr Atkinson:

– No one does.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Because I felt very much hurt bv what was said. Mr. Allan has been a friend of mine for a considerable time, and, if I may be permitted to say so, he is perhaps a more intimatefriend of mine than is Mr. Beale. I should be very sorry indeed that he or any oneelse should think that I would betray a confidence. None of these documents wereplaced in my hands as confidential. I have explained exactly how the matterstands and what I did ; and I never saw these documents after they were received; until the present time.

Mr Wilks:

– The charge is transferredfrom the honorable gentleman’s shoulders, to the Department.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I say that I. am quite satisfied that the Department never ga.ve any information, and I expect to find that Mr. Beale never asked for it,, although I know nothing of that. All I’ wished to do was to” set the matter straight so far as I am concerned, and to express: my astonishment that such a thing. should’ be used.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– The individuals concerned in this, business seem to occupy a great deal of the attention of Parliament.

Mr Bamford:

– Far too much.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– It seems to methat they are quite beside the question. That they are dealing in pianos is merely an incident, whilst it is our business tolegislate for the good of the country, sothat commerce can be conducted satisfactorily. That Mr. Beale’s business should” be seriously discussed in this Chamber seems to me to be reducing the status of this Parliament to that, of a debating society. The balance-sheet which has been referred to here only goes to show that under the duty of 20 per cent. Mr. Beale was able to make his business pay. The fact that he made a large sum of money out of his business gives une very great satisfaction, because I hope that all men who embark in a business in Australia will” be able to make it pay. But honorable members have only to look at the establishment that is in existence in Sydney toknow_ that the business pays. No manwill increase the size of his business premises and engage more employes unless the business he does warrants him in doing so. We have only to consult the circulars sent out by Mr. Beale in the ordinary course of business to know that his output has” wonderfully increased, and on that account, from my point of view, he is deserving of some consideration. I am prepared to give him all the consideration he deserves. The instrument which lie has- exhibited here must be regarded as a very fine piece of furniture. Whether it is also a fine musical instrument, which satisfies the taste of the public, is a matter with which Mr. Beale is concerned. If the public do not wish to have one of Mr. Beale’s instruments, they will not buy it. He charges a very high price for his instruments, about 100 per cent, on cost price, and evidently the public cannot get anything cheaper, or they would not buy them. He gives terms to purchasers, and very long terms, and that proves that his profits must be large. If he made a big profit last year he was fortunate, but lie might make a big loss next year. That is all I have to say, so far as Mr. Beale is concerned ; but I have something to say about the interests of the general public, who should be considered in all these matters. If an industry can continue to exist without increased protective duties, what more have we to consider? After a long discussion some years ago we decided that 20 per cent, was a sufficient duty to impose, and at that time we had under consideration the duties imposed in the several States and in New Zealand. A duty of -20 per cent, was levied on pianos in New Zealand. We also had under notice the fact that in Canada the duty was 30 per cent. ; that Western Australia had’ fixed duties of £5 and £15; Tasmania a duty of 20 per cent. ; South Australia, 15 per cent. ; Queensland, fixed duties of j£6 and £12 ; and Victoria, fixed duties of £5 and £15. In New South Wales, where this industry was established, there was no duty, and the industry was paying its way under conditions of free-trade against the world in pianos. The industry had increased its output in competition with the world.

Mr Poynton:

– Since then it has had the markets of Australia free.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– Since then it has also had the advantage of protection to the extent of 20 per cent.

Mr Glynn:

– New South Wales is the only place apparently where a factory could be started.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– Apparently the only place where the industry could live was where it could be carried on under conditions of untrammelled commerce and might import free of duty all required to carry it on. It is used as an argument against the Australian instrument that a great many imported parts are used in its manufacture. That is to me a recommendation.

It shows that Mr. Beale is a man abreast of the times, and as a shrewd business man does not hesitate to import what he requires to make his pianos acceptable to the public. He deserves consideration for his endeavour to give people the best he can command. The more parts he imports from abroad the more assistance I shall be prepared to give him. I am prepared to allow him to import these parts duty free. That is a fair proposition to make to him. As he succeeded so well in the past I am unwilling to upset his business, and I am prepared to give him, as regards parts, just what he had in New South Wales and let him compete with the world. If his industry cannot live with the advantage of the free importation of all the parts he requires for the manufacture of his instruments let it do the other thing, and let him go into some other business.

Mr Bamford:

– What advantage would it be to him to let him have the parts he requires free of duty ?

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– He would have free access to all the parts used in the manufacture of pianos in the Old Country.

Mr Bamford:

– It would only put him on a level in that respect, with outsiders.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– It would put him on a level with the best English and German makers who use French parts, and if he is given in addition a duty of 20 per cent, on the finished article, which I think he is likely to get, that should serve him excellently. I do not think there is a great deal to debate in this question. All we have heard so far has been a discussion of the business affairs of private individuals. I have noticed that a very large number of people go into the piano business, and when we find persons falling over each other in their’ effort to’ get a share in a particular business we maybe satisfied that there is a lot of money in it. As a free-trader I should like to have commerce as untrammelled as possible. If we give Mr. Beale the advantage of the free importation of the parts he requires - and I mention his name in this connexion because he represents the industry in Australia - and an increased duty is imposed, I should say that foreign firms would be induced to establish themselves in Australia so as to continue to reap the profits derived from the trade which by their enterprise they have carried on in almost every part of the Commonwealth. However, the matter is one which is of real interest to the public, because that a person should have to pay £50 for a piano which could be bought in Leipzig for £20 is a scandal. We should do what we can to reduce the price charged for pianos so that our people may be able to get a good instrument into their houses. I am told that pianos are imported here for £6, and I suppose Mr. Beale could also make cheap pianos. It seems to me that to impose the high fixed duties which the Government propose upon these instruments would injure the trade in Australia and would force our people to use an inferior instrument. There is a piano exhibited in this building which cost in Europe less than £30, and the price paid for it here is just under £60. It is clear that the business of the importation of pianos is- thriving in Australia.

Mr Wilks:

– The importers have nothing to complain of.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– No, I should sav they are doing very well.

Mr Wilks:

– Yet they say that an increase of 5 per cent, in the duty would ruin them.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– It would not. They are waxing rich throughout the Commonwealth. The name of Mr. Paling is very well known in this business, and if is known that he was a publicbenefactor, and died a rich man. No one candoubt that there is money in the business.

Mr Bamford:

– There is more money in the selling than in the making of pianos.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– My concern is to give our people the best pianos at the lowest possible price, and in’ that I suppose that the honorable member forAngas and I stand alone. I close by saying that if the Australian industry for the manufacture of pianos is a good one it should continue to exist; and that if it is not it ought to be stamped out.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

– I do not think very much complaint can be. urged against the Department in connexion with the documents that have been referred to. unless they were handed to the Minister under a pledge of secrecy.

Sir William Lyne:

– There is not a word on these documents to show that they were to be considered confidential.

Mr GLYNN:

– I do not assume that for a moment. Unless they were actually received under a pledge of secrecy, when it would become a matter of personal honour not to disclose their contents, I think there would not be much to complain of if. the

Department did disclose to a man like Mr. Beale, conversant with the piano business, the contents of documents upon which the Minister’s judgment was to be formed. In my opinion, it would’ be deplorable if Ministers were to take, without any qualification, private suggestions from those interested in a particular trade.

Sir William Lyne:

– I can tell the honorable member that I have another document here, strongly advocating the side’ of these individuals.

Mr GLYNN:

– I hope it is not the custom of the Department to accept, without a check of any kind, memoranda from those interested in any business, in connexion with which it is proposed to impose a duty. A good check would be to allow others who may be competing to see the materials on which a certain suggestion may have been made to the Minister. I felt that some time ago, when I introduced what I regarded as a deputation to the Minister. I left the room when I found that I could not agree with their request. I found that it was not reported afterwards, so that I suppose the interview was really one of those private ones which are in the long run somewhat dangerous. I am afraid, from the heat and force that have been thrown into this debate, that if some of the dead poets were to revisit us, they would find it necessary to, recast some of their observations regarding music. When I listened to the verbal encounter of two of our heavy-weights on the other side, I doubted if Shakespeare was right in saying that music could’ -

  1. . . make tigers tame,

And huge leviathans to dance on sands, or, from the lack of mellowness in the de bate, whether Milton might not reconsider his opinion that Orpheus’ tones -

Drew iron tears down Pluto’s cheek,

And made Hell grant what love did seek.

The debate has been, to some extent, marked by those relieving discords that occur in musical themes, although it has certainly not been remarkable for a too great , extension of harmony or melody, or perhaps too great aptness in the matter of point and counterpoint. We have had some figures from the Treasurer as to the total wages paid in an Australian factory, to the enterprise and skill of whose manager I must bear, from what I have read, my humble testimony of admiration. We welcome the enterprise, so long as the ways are not too devious, of any one engaged in an Australian industry, and if he makes it a success, even ff the balance-sheet shows a profit of 15 or 20 per cent., so long as that is not abnormal, there is nothing to complain of, nor does it affect the question of the duty which we should impose, because, if Mr. Beale had the good or bad luck - good from the point of view of the public, although, perhaps, bad from his own - to have many local competitors, I dare say the profits might not be quite so high, although the incidence of the duty upon the general public, or loss to the Treasury, would be just the same. We have to consider what the public have to pay for the alleged benefits conferred on the community by an increase of duty. The Treasurer said that the wages paid were £60,000 per annum. Assuming a consumption of pianos of about 11,000 or 12,000 - which, on the figures given before the Tariff Commission is not far wrong - and taking the duty as about £5 on the ordinary piano, multiplying the two, you get £60,000 a year as the duty proposed by the Minister, which amounts exactly to the total wages paid at present bv Mr. Beale. I do not say that Mr. Beale gets that sum - but £60,000 a year is a. very big outlay at the expense of those who use pianos - nor that Mr. Beale requires the protection it implies, because, according to the evidence, he is flourishing, and his business has increased through his enterprise, ability, and push, by 50 per cent, since 1900. But we are giving away £60,000 per annum for, shall we say, the operatives who are engaged in Mr. Beale’s works, and whose case has been put to-day by the honorable member for Dalley. Mr. Beale’s output in 1904, according to the Tariff Commission, was 1,500 pianos, and at £5 apiece the total amount that Mr. Beale could get on his present output, out of the £60,000 would be £7,500. I dp hot know how much of that will so to his operatives. They may get a shilling or two more a week. It would only mean a few shillings a week extra to the men if the whole of it was divided amongst them, and I suppose that Mr. Beale will not give them the whole of it. We know that the men do not get such treatment. That could only be brought about by a very effective form of the socalled new protection, which we have not found yet. But supposing that the men were offered the whole of the £7,500 a year, surely they would not be so unpatriotic, as to tate it when it meant an additional price tor pianos, which are the little enjoyments of their own class, and which help to alleviate the hardships of their daily life. Surely they are not going to ask for that addition to their wages at an expense to the public, not of £7,000 only, but of £60,000 a year? That is the lesson that 1 have drawn from the figures given by the Treasurer. We have heard a good deal about encouraging local production. I do not want to say anything about the quality of the local piano. Some may say that its tone is not altogether as resonant as that of some other instruments. I have heard that said, and the same remark may be made about some of the American pianos. But pianos, wherever made, have, though in a less marked degree, that peculiarity which is common to most musical instruments - the timbre depending to a large extent upon proper seasoning, and upon the perfect balance of the parts, so that there is no irregularity or want of consonance in the wave lengths of the strings, and in the particular kinds of woods that are dovetailed one into the other to make up the instrument. To say that that highest skill, . which does not come by the sudden application of mathematics to money, but from that indefinable genius which is the result perhaps of prolonged evolution through generations, can be induced by the mere imposition of a 10 or 15 per cent, higher rate of duty, is arrant nonsense. If a mere duty can give the requisite quality in all cases, how is it that there are six or seven different leading classes of pianos in Germany? One performer will not play at a concert on the piano of a particular maker. He prefers perhaps a piano with a greater breadth of tone, ring, and penetrating power, but that piano might be utterly unsuited to another performer, especially if, instead of being one of those acrobatic persons who fill large halls - more pugilists than real artists - he happens to be an artist in the old sense of the word, as it was applied to Liszt’s playing. The piano which he would select would be one of softer tone, that would fill perhaps a moderate-sized drawing room. We all have different ears, or perhaps we would not so often shut them to the speeches of honorable members who sit on opposite sides to us. If we try to encourage or confine our choice to purely local production, a long time will elapse before we attain, through varieties of kind, that development of tone, and peculiarity of shading, which have so much to do with the psychological enjoyment of music, and that have been attained in some of the older portions of the world through the wide field of competition and experience. That is One of the reasons why, whilst desirous of encouraging local skill, and not attempting in any way to impugn the quality of our local product, I am still somewhat of an eclectic in this matter, and desire, as representative of the citizens who may have an interest in buying pianos, to free myself from prejudice, and to be unaffected by any attempt of the Treasurer to impose a duty that will rather limit than extend the power of the public to purchase the pianos that they fancy. There is no doubt that music has a good deal to do with the civilities of life. You can abuse music, and part of the reason for the waning of our enjoyment ot it in after-years is over-familiarity with certain tunes.’, I do not advocate such a wide diffusion of music that every house shall ring with the playing of pianos and the scraping of fiddles, because temperance in eis. as in other matters, preserves the power of enjoyment, and when there is too great a dwelling on particular melodies the appetite mav, in the words of the poet, “ Sicken and so die.” But without a judicious admixture of the enjoyment which ordinary minds can get from music, with the harsh conditions of modern life - of which the man with only two or three pounds a week gets his full share - we shall never reach that level of comparative comfort and general culture - using the >ord in its proper sense - that we all, whether Socialists or not, aim at here. In the interests, therefore, of the 12,000 purchasers of pianos per annum - and I suppose they will be represented by an increasing number each year - I appeal to the Committee not to impose a duty that is beyond. I might say, the necessities - although there is no necessity for an increase disclosed by the evidence given before the Tariff Commission - and that certainly might mean a greater difficulty on the part of men with moderate incomes in buying one of the few solaces of their daily lives. The Treasurer has given us various prices at which pianos can be imported, running from about £9 up to. £20. On the corrected estimate of the Customs Department, the average cost, for clearance before duty, pf pianos imported from Germany is £23 odd. That is a good export price for a piano, and I believe that the local piano does not cost more than that to produce. I have seen estimates of the cost of local production, running from £16 t0 j£23- I have also seen deductions from the figures said to be given by Mr. Beale himself, which indicate - I do not say prove - that his cost of production locally is not greater than the average cost at which pianos can be imported. If that is so, there is absolutely nothing pregnant in the figures quoted by the Treasurer. There is at present a duty of 2b per cent, on pianos, which, with a cost of production of £20, is supplemented by a natural protection of about 50 per cent, ad valorem. The lowest cost of importation from Germany that I have seen is about £9, so that, adding that to the incidence of the present duty, there is a pretty effectual protection even with a 20 per cent. rate. In those circumstances, it is uncalled for - in fact, it is a most inexpedient, if not foolish, policy - to ask the Committee, without rhyme or reason, even from the protectionist point of view, and with many counter reasons from the point of view of the revenue and of the general consumer, to put about 50 per cent, more on to a rate of duty which, up to the present, has been marked by increased enterprise and success on the part of the local industry.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

.- In regard to the leakage of information from the Customs to Mr Beale, the extraordinary suggestion has been made that he had obtained it bv a sort of divination. The honorable member for Wimmera, for instance, suggested that Mr. Beale might have obtained possession of the information in some such way. I intervene at this moment only to show that the words quoted in Mr. Beale’s circular are identical in every respect with the memoranda handed to the Treasurer by Mr. Allan in September last, and Mr. Beale’s circular reached honorable members about the middle of last month, or a little earlier. Mr. Allan’s memoranda consist of four paragraphs. I will read the two documents paragraph by paragraph, alternately, so that their absolute identity may be perceptible to everybody. Mr. Allan’s first paragraph is as follows -

It must be understood that the manufacture of pianos presents exceptional difficulties. It is not an ordinary matter of labour and material ; but an industry and an art combined. In a piano of musical quality there is an artistic result which is only obtained alter years or generations of experiment.

Now, I shall read the paragraph quoted in Mr. Beale’s circular -

It must be understood that the manufacture of pianos presents exceptional difficulties. lt is not an ordinary matter of labour and material, but an industry and an art combined. In a piano of musical quality, there is an artistic result which is only attained after years or generations of experiment.

Sir William Lyne:

– All I was concerned about was whether the memorandum had been obtained from the Department.

Mr MAHON:

– I do not believe that any honorable member for one moment entertains the idea that the letter was obtained from the Treasurer , but there is a little mystery which I hope the Treasurer will be able to investigate later on. The second paragraph in Mr. Allan’s memorandum is as follows -

Even if the importation of pianos is practically prohibited, it is an industry that even those with expert knowledge would be chary of attempting in Australia, owing to the very great uncertainty as to whether the product would be a success.

That is the first sentence of the paragraph ; and now I shall read the first sentence in the corresponding paragraph of Mr. Beale’s quotation -

Even if the . importation of pianos is practically prohibited, it is an industry which even those with expert knowledge would be chary of attempting in Australia, owing to the very great uncertainty as to whether the product would be a success.

Then Mr. Allan proceeds -

The ordinary difficulties of manufacture are enhanced in Australia, owing to the absence of suitable materials, and the want of skilled experts, who would have to be imported at very high salaries, as there is no school or training for such workmen in Australasia.

Now, Mr. Beale -

The ordinary difficulties of manufacture are enhanced in Australia, owing to the absence of suitable materials, and the want of skilled experts, who would have to be imported at very high salaries, as there is no school or training for such workmen in Australasia.

I hope that the honorable member for Wimmera is convinced that this is no accidental resemblance.

Mr MAHON:

– The honorable member does not comprehend my point. The circular of Mr. Allan is the product of Mr. Allan’s own brain. How does Mr. Beale’s circular come to be identical, word for word, with a confidential circular sent to the Department?

Sir William Lyne:

– I made it official at once, and it bears the official stamp.

Mr MAHON:

– As I said before, I do not think that the Treasurer knew anything about this matter.

Mr Webster:

– Who did, then?

Mr MAHON:

– I am not in a position to say. The point raised by the honorable member for Wimmera that the information was received, or hit on, in some accidental way-

Mr Sampson:

– That is not my point. My point is that it might have been possible to get the information outside the Department. I do not say that the information was obtained outside the Department ; but there may have been pressed copies of the communication.

Mr MAHON:

– It is in answer to the honorable member for Wimmera that I am reading these circulars, in order to show that they are identical, word for word.

Mr Watson:

– The document may have been obtained outside the Department surreptitiously.

Mr Sampson:

– It may have been stolen from Mr. Allan.

Sir William Lyne:

– The document was in Mr. Allan’s own place, and his men may have had access to it.

Mr MAHON:

– The presumption which contradicts the supposition of the honorable member for Wimmera, is that Mr. Beale states in . the opening of his circular -

A letter has been sent to members of the Commonwealth Parliament by a piano- importing firm, which letter we reprint (in red) herein, with answers to the statements made.

If this information were obtained surreptitiously from Mr. Allan’s office I apprehend that the person who took it would also be able to inform those to whom hegave it that it was not issued tq members of the Commonwealth Parliament, but was a confidential document sent to the Minister.

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not consider it a confidential document.

Mr MAHON:

– I call it a confidential document, because it is difficult to know what other term to apply. At any rate, it was a document not intended for public perusal. Here is Mr. Allan’s third paragraph

Beale’s pianos are, so far, most unsatisfactory, and if we are forced into manufacturing it is quite a gamble whether we should succeed any better. No musicians will use them, although he commands a good sale amongst those who buy a piano only as a piece of furniture. Such reputation as they have is built on advertising alone.

And here is Mr. Beale’s third paragraph -

Beale’s pianos are, so far, most unsatisfactory, and if we are forced into manufacturing it is quite a gamble whether we should succeed any better. No musicians will use them, although he commands a good sale amongst those who buy a piano only as a piece of furniture. Such reputation as they have is built on advertising alone.

Now we come to Mr. Allan’s last paragraph

If we did succeed, others would have to follow or go out of the business ; and it would mean that in a few years the thing would be so overdone that there would be nothing in it for any of us.

And this is Mr. Beale’s last paragraph -

If we did succeed others would have to follow, or go out of the business, and it would mean that in a few years the thing would be so overdone that there would be nothing in it for any of us.

A comparison of these paragraphs at once disposes of the contention put forward, that the contents of this document were in some extraordinary manner accidentally conveyed to Mr. Beale, and points to the conclusion that it was obtained by methods discreditable to all concerned.

Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera

– The honorable member for Coolgardie has endeavoured to fasten on me a statement which did not come from me. I did not make any accusation, such as that inferred by the honorable member.; all I did, whena charge had been directed against the Treasurer, was to ask whether it was not possible for the information to have . been obtained from other sources besides the Department. I take it that copies are kept of letters sent to the Department, and some copy of this document may have found its wav into other hands. It may have been possible for Mr. Beale to receive this information from . some outside source, though I do not say whether he did or did not. If a document of this kind has been surreptitiously obtained from the Department, some one requires to be severely reprimanded.I repeat that all I suggested was the possibility of the information having been obtained outside the Department; 1 did not say definitely that it had been so obtained.

Mr KNOX:
Kooyong

.- Every honorable member has, 1 am sure, made up his mind how he is going to vote, and it is undesirable to discuss the question at any great length. However, there are one or’ two points to which no special reference has been made, and to which I should like to call attention. As to the document, to which the honorable member for Coolgardie has called attention, there is nothing to show that, in some way, the information leaked out of Mr. Allan’s office. Mr. Allan himself handed me the only other copy which he had typed at the time, and which I have shown to the Treasurer, who, I am very glad to find, has been able to discover the original document in the Department. Mr. George Allan very distinctly desires that no personal reflection should be’made on the Treasurer, who, he believes, acted in good faith in the matter. One fact to which I wish particularly to refer is that there have been several petitions presented to us. Although I know that customarily petitions are placed where they are never seen again, those to which I refer are very important, representing, so far as Victoria is concerned, 2,648 teachers of music. It is estimated that throughout the Common-, wealth there are over 5,000 people thus employed, and they deserve some consideration, inasmuch as pianos compose their tools of trade, and, as such, should not be made too costly. But there is another aspect of the question to which I desire to draw attention. There has been a series of examinations conducted under the authority of the Trinity College of Music, London, and the Royal Academy of Music ; and the candidates presented number thousands. While we have to pay some regard to the piano-making industry, we must not forget those vast numbers of users, whether they use the piano as a means of livelihood or merely as a means of pleasure. This is an aspect which has to be considered, quite irrespective of the merits of the manufactures of the particular firms which have been mentioned. Personally, I think it most unfortunate that there should have been so much reference to one firm ; because, in my opinion, the question ought to be considered solelv from its utilitarian and commercial point of view. Mr. Beale deserves every credit for the enterprise and ability he has shown in inaugurating this industry, which he did not enter from any philanthropic motives, but with the purely commercial object of making it profitable. It has been shown by the balance-sheet submitted this afternoon, that Mr. Beale has made a financial success of his enterprise^ It has not been made clear as to how that balance-sheet was secured, because it is only recently that the law was passed by which public companies are called upon to produce their statements of accounts. However, the balance-sheet has been made -public, and has not been successfully challenged. It is to be regretted that Mr. Beale’s balance-sheet for the present year, which might have been placed upon record, has not yet been filed. In the absence of any contention that the balance-sheet is incorrect, we are entitled to conclude that the industry cannot be regarded as astruggling one.

Mr Watkins:

– Would the honorable member be satisfied with the same rate of profit from the Broken Hill mines?

Mr KNOX:

– Unfortunately, I have to be satisfied with a return of 3 per cent. I think that the duty proposed by the honorable member for Dalley may be regarded as the highest which this Committee is likely to accept. Of course very much will depend upon the attitude which the Government take up in regard to the duty to be levied upon the various parts of pianos which cannot be manufactured in the Commonwealth, or which cannot be manufactured here satisfactorily. Inasmuch as reference has already been made to the matter, I propose to read the following letter which I have received from Mr. Hugo Wertheim -

Dear Sir,

I am willing to enter into a bond for £5,000 to establish a large piano factory at Melbourne during the next twelve months, provided that the following piano parts be exempt from duty : - Actions, complete or in parts, strings, felts, and felting, hammers, ivories and keys thereto, handles and hinges for pianos; sounding boards in the rough, veneers for pianos in the rough. All these parts have hitherto been free under the Tariff of 1902, and it is of the utmost importance that they remain free. No new maker would otherwise have the slightest chance of successfully competing against the oldestablished factory of Beale and Company Limited. The reasons are given in my memo, attached hereto. This is such an essential and vital condition that even a higher duty on pianos -would offer no inducement to start a piano factory unless the parts mentioned are put on the free list. Mr. Beale has gained his experience during the last fourteen years, an experience which any manufacturer now starting has to gain. During all these years he imported these parts free, and only during the last two or three years has he started making a few of them. To a new maker, this would be Impossible, for some years also. T am quite satisfied with the late duty of 20 per cent, (would, of course, not object if it were in creased to 25 per cent, on foreign pianos), provided the foregoing request be granted.

The gentleman who has made this offer is financially very substantial. He is well known in commercial circles, and therefore his offer may be regarded as a business one which the Treasurer may well take into consideration. He undertakes, if the parts that he has enumerated are admitted free, to start a large piano factory here. We should thus be assured of a healthy competition in the industry. I have also received from a gentleman in this city the following letter -

I should like to point out that the freight and charges on the British piano cost so much’ more than the German, that it practically puts the British piano out of the market in Australia and Tasmania. The general trade who stock only German pianos have recently inspected and approved of, also ordered, pianos made by my people in London. But without the prospect of a preferential Tariff, the step would not have been taken. The New Zealand Tariff of 20 per cent. British and 30 per cent, foreign works well, and my business and the British EmU trade generally in that country is satisfactory, but without a similar preference in this country and Tasmania, I might as well give up my work here. I feel sure you will give this important matter the attention it deserves.

From official figures I gather that the average invoiced price of pianos imported into Australia during 1905 was £19 13s. 7d., though the factory cost of these instruments found in an ordinary dealer’s showrooms would be much higher. A fair average would be from £18 to, say, £50. Taking as an illustration a piano which cost £20 at the factory, the effect of the Government proposals would be to charge duty upon £25 6s., which amount is made up as follows : - Invoiced price of piano £20. cost of packing case -£2 5s., charges to f.o.b. London or Hamburg 15s., and 10 per cent, added by Customs £2 6s. A duty of 40 per cent, upon the aggregate of. these sums would amount to £10 2s. sd. Upon a piano costing £35 at the factory, duty would be levied on the following, charges : Invoiced price of piano £35, cost of packing case £.2 5s., charges to f.o.b. London or Hamburg 15s., 10 per cent, added by Customs £3 16s., or a total of £41 16s. The duty of 40 per cent, in this instance would represent £16 14s. 5d. Upon a piano costing £50 at the factory, duty would be levied upon the following’ charges : Invoiced price of piano £50, cost of packing case £2 5s., charges to f.o.b. London or Hamburg 11s., ro per cent, added by Customs £5 6s., or a total of £58 6s. The proposed duty of 40 per cent, upon this amount would represent £23 6s. 6d. In addition to these charges there has to be added the import charges from factory to Melbourne, consisting of packing case, expenses to f.o.b., sea freight, wharfage, cartage, unpacking and polishing at Melbourne, insurance, buying commission and exchange on draft. These charges amount to an average of from £8 to £10 upon each piano. Under these circumstances, it is clear that the duty upon a piano which is invoiced at £20 would be j£io 2s. sd., and the landing charges £8. Iri other words, it would cost £18 2s. 5d. to land the instrument in Melbourne without any profit to the importer being added. This is equivalent to a tax of 90 per cent. Similarly, upon a piano invoiced at £35 the duty would be £16 14s. sd., and the landing charges, say, £9, or a total of £25 14s. 5d., which is equivalent to 74 per cent. Upon a piano invoiced at £50 the duty would be £23 6s. 6d., and the landing charges, say, £10, or a total of £33 6s. 6d., which is equal to 66 per cent. Such duties would mean ruin to the importing houses. ‘ They would shut out all the high-class instruments, including large grands, which are’ generally used for concerts, such as the Bechstein, Lipp, Steinway, Erard, &c. The figures which I have quoted .will suffice to show that the industry of piano-making already enjoys a large natural protection, and the proposed duties would fall very heavily upon music teachers and musical students throughout the Commonwealth. These are points to which reference has not previously been made, and, therefore, 1 think that I am justified in asking the Committee to consider them.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- During the course of this debate a statement has been made which reflects seriously upon the administration of our Customs Department. A charge of having divulged official information was levelled against the Treasurer, but the leakage has now been sheeted home to the Department of Trade and Customs. I ask honorable members whether they are prepared to let the matter rest where it is. Certainly, I am not content to do so. The Treasurer is to be complimented upon having regarded the information given to him as official, and upon having forwarded it to the proper quarter. An inquiry ought now to be instituted to ascertain why the Customs Department has not regarded that information as sacred.

The Minister of Trade and Customs ought certainly to pursue the matter further, with> a view to discover who is at fault. Personally, I intend to as’k him a question in regard to it at the earliest possible opportunity. The honorable member for Kooyong, with others, has been ringing thechanges upon Mr. Beale’s balance-sheet. It is certainly strange that practically at the end of the Tariff discussion we should” have a balance-sheet presented to us by an interested industry. But even that side of the question is” not complete, because wehave not yet seen the balance-sheets, of importers. I appeal to the Committee to say whether such a largeincrease of the duty as that proposed bv the Government should, be granted. The honorable member for Maranoa paid agreat deal of attention to a poor unfortunate called the honorable member for Dalley. It is not often that any one says anything on behalf . of the honorable member for Dalley, but I am going to defend him on this occasion. As a rule he can lookafter himself. The honorable member for Maranoa said that five years ago the honorable member for Dalley declared that, as a free-trader, he would stultify himself if he voted for a higher duty on pianos than 15 per cent. It is quite’ correct that thehonorable member for Dalley said that. In 1902 he was pledged to his constituentsto vote for free-trade, and he adhered to his pledges throughout the big Tariff struggle, whether the industries affected were or were not those of his own electorate. But after that experience, and theexperience of subsequent Parliaments, he, fourteen months ago, stated on the floor of this chamber that in future he would knowwhen to put up the umbrella. He had discovered that so-called free-traders wererabid when industries in their own constituencies were not affected, but became protectionists of the deepest dye when such industries were threatened. Accordingly, hesaid that when next he went before hiselectors he would put the case clearly before them. He had discovered that theVictorian representatives took care to look after Victorian interests, and he was determined that New South Wales industriesshould not suffer by any votes which he might give. “ He did not change his attitude without consulting his electors. Thepolicy .which he has adopted has been imitated by a large number of so-called free-traders, which is the most sincere form. of flattery which they could have shown. Some honorable members have changed their fiscal opinions within five minutes. The honorable member for Maranoa has made very wonderful changes since 1902. He has stated that he is willing to vote protection where the industry concerned will give employment. Piano-making is an industry which gives a good deal of employment, but, for some reason, he baulks when asked to protect it, although rumour says that a fortnight ago he was a top-duty man, so far as pianos are concerned.

Mr Page:

– According to the honorable member, some members have changed their opinions within five minutes.

Mr Bamford:

– The honorable member for Dalley has not made a thorough change yet.

Mr WILKS:

– The honorable member for Dalley must be given time. He has one eye on the squire and one on the fire, to use the words of an old song. If pianomaking were a Victorian industry, the moderate protectionists on the Opposition corner benches would have spoken of it as a wonderful industry, employing expert workmen to the number of over 400 hands, and therefore requiring protection. It seems to have made a good deal of difference to them that the industry is a’ New South Wales one. However, they have declared that they are federalists, and I wish to give them an opportunity to show that they are. But although I am proud of the industry, I refuse to be the phonograph of the man at the head of it, as I refuse to be the phonograph of the importers or their agents. I have received many telegrams from those connected with this business, urging me not to vote for more than a certain duty. But, while I respect my correspondents, I shall act on my own responsibility. So far as Mr. Beale is concerned, I say good luck to him. I am glad that he has- charge of such an industry, that the factory is in my electorate, and, better still, that the employes, who are highly skilled, are getting good wages. I am not concerned . about the profits he makes. If we ask for a balance-sheet in one case, we should ask for one in every case. If we did that it might be said that we are going in forprofit sharing, and the Labour Party might say, “ Let us nationalize all these profitable industries.” The Committee has voted duties of 35 per cent, and 30 per cent, for the protection of the furniture trade. The moderate protectionists had nothing to say about the profits of furniture-making. Regarding pianos merely as furniture - the making of them requires much greater skill and care than the making of furniture - the rates I have proposed are lower than the rates on furniture. We also imposed a thumping duty on children’s boots, the making of which employs only a few persons. The Minister will, I believe, not insist upon fixed duties for pianos.

Sir William Lyne:

– I said so this morning.

Mr WILKS:

– These duties were an atrocity.

Sir William Lyne:

– The atrocity was the recommendation of the A section of the Tariff Commission.

Sir John Quick:

– What atrocity is there in levying a duty of £5 on a £20 piano?

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not say that there is any. I merely repeated a word used by the honorable member for Dalley.

Mr WILKS:

– The fixed duty on highclass pianos is £16 10s. ‘The honorable member for Kooyong has complained that under the proposed duties grand pianos will be shut out of the market. That will not affect the public severely. Not more than 2,000 grand pianos are in daily use in my electorate, and there the people are not too well off. The honorable member would put grand pianos on the same basis as the blue used by washerwomen. He wishes to make if appear that if they are shut out of the market the poor will suffer. A grand piano costs from £200 to £250.

Mr Mcdougall:

– Are not those who can afford to buy such pianos legitimate subjects for taxation?

Mr Page:

– These pianos may be the means of livelihood to some.

Mr WILKS:

– I cannot believe that the average teacher of music uses a grand piano costing over £200. Reference has been made to the new protection. The leader of the Opposition, an ardent freetrader, is committed to the new protection, and so is the honorable member for Dalley, whose opposition to the old protection has been largely based on the ground that the manufacturers have got the advantage of it, while the employés have been sweated and the public victimized. If this industry receives protection, it must come under legislation requiring the manufacturer to share with his employes, and with the purchasers of pianos. I am willing to make a trial of the new protection. If, with the possibility of bringing it into force I were not to persist in fighting the German manufacturers,. I should be unquestionably a foreign trader. We have committed ourselves to the policy of preference. We have acknowledged that British enterprise has suffered severely from the competition of Germany. We fear the. Germans because of their skill and their commercial acumen, which enable them to undersell British productions in many of the markets of the world. Therefore, we wish to give British manufacturers a preference. In 1906 we imported 1,500 pianos from Great Britain, and 10,300 from Germany, so that there is room for preference here. If they have been sending only 1,500 out of 12,000 instruments, while Germany has been sending 10,000 odd, there is room for at least a preference of 5 PeT cent, to the. Motherland as against Germany. By my amendment I ask for an increase of 5 per cent, on the old duty of 20 per cent. It is a most reasonable request. I am not dealing now with the manufacturing industry, but with the importers. By wire and statement they say, “If a duty of 25 per cent, is levied, the business will be ruined.” From the invoiced prices of. pianos landed here, and from the values which they have obtained in the open market, we know that they, have a bigger margin to work on than the 5 per cent. So far as British goods are concerned, I am only asking the Committee to reduce the importers’ margin by 5 per cent. As they have the arrangement of business they can get over that difficulty to a great extent. Their possibility of rearrangement and better management has not yet been exhausted, and an increased duty of 5 per cent, as against British imports is not an insurmountable difficulty to them. So far as Germany is concerned, I only ask for a preference of 5 per cent, to British imports, and an increase of 10 per cent, on the original duty. When we were dealing with the Tariff in 1902, we were contesting a policy for Australia. We were armed with a mandate from the public to frame the Tariff according to our ideas. Free-traders and protectionists took count of tlie duties imposed on pianos in the various States prior to Federation, and as the result of a long discussion, we came to a compromise of 20 per cent. Since then the politics of Australia have changed remarkably. The last battle in the electorates was not fought on the fiscal question - at any rate in New South Wales. The struggle in that State was between Socialism and anti-Socialism, and the question of fiscalism was not presented to the people. Preferential trade was a new idea to which honorable members ‘on this side have subscribed equally as warmly as have honorable members on the other side. I do not believe that more than five members of the House were opposed to the principle. I ask them whether, if Germany is the great competitor that they recognise, an increase of 10 per cent, on the original duty of 20. per cent, is a very great thing after all. When we find the woollen and other industries specialized in Victoria, it is indeed singular to find that a New South Wales industry should be picked out for different treatment. All I ask is that the industry should receive, riot such a high protection as was given to Victorian industries, but a slight advance on the old duty. I refuse to act as a phonograph for Mr. Beale. I suppose that he has a very good thing in his business, but I am certain that the importers have a better thing in their business. I have read very carefully their letters, and they have not lacked power to put forward the best side of their case. Both importers and manufacturers are pretty good hands at journalistic work ; they excel in the capacity to captivate, the readers of their letters. I am pleased that in this debate we have had so few charges and counter charges as regards the’ importers and Mr. Beale. I am surprised that such keen business men as the importers and their agents, and the manufacturing firm, have allowed their troubles to be dragged in here and ventilated. I am astounded that they have not arranged their differences outside and come to a compromise. But I am not fighting for the manufacturing firm. Just as I find honorable members fighting for the interests of their electorates, so I am fighting for the extension’ of this industry in my electorate, and I hope that there will be room for competition under this higher duty. The honorable member for Kooyong has said that a person named Wertheim is bursting with anxiety to purchase the business from Mr. Beale. Well, there are 3,000 shares still unallotted. I hope that he will rush them. I do not know anything about that company’s business, or profess to know anything about the importers, but I do know a little ‘ about human nature. If this business was such a rattling good thing as has been stated, I do not believe that there would be 3,000 shares standing unallotted very long. If it was a very good thing, then persons would be ‘killed in the crush to secure the shares.

Mr Archer:

– Have they been issued for allotment?

Mr WILKS:

– I do not know.

Mr Archer:

– Perhaps they do not want the shares taken up.

Mr WILKS:

– I do not know anything about that ; but, if Mr. Wertheim, of Melbourne, is prepared to take over the business, and is, as has been stated, such a good patriot, he does not need an increased duty. I am surprised that he has not started in the industry long ago. I have discovered that when an importer, especially in Victoria, gets beyond the point of making a certain profit, he devotes himself to manufacturing. I find that in Melbourne, men have been engaged in both importing and manufacturing. They are not out for an airing, but to make money. I believe that the public have obtained a. very good insight into the immense profits which are made out of the piano business. If the importer finds that he is “ going under,” he will take good care to divert his attention to manufacturing, just as he has done in the woollen, hat, and other industries,, and thousands of distributors will be required. Some honorable members have Said, “ If you carry an increase of 5 per cent., as against Great Britain, and 10 per cent., as against Germany, you will throw thousands of persons out of employment.” Let us examine that argument. The only persons who, so far as I can see, would be interfered with, are those who canvass for business and collect the instalments on the time-payment system. In any case, those persons would be employed in exactly the same way, and probably additional employment would be given. I have been in public life for many years, but I have never yet gone to a factory in my electorate to talk politics to the employe’s. In Victoria, most honorable members, particularly in a campaign, so to large engineering and business establishments, and address the hands.

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member is getting into the fashion of speaking too long.

Mr WILKS:

– I do not want to speak too long ; but, according to the honorable member for Maranoa, I spoke too briefly this morning. I admit that the matter does not need to be laboured, but I wish to get this additional duty. In an elec tion campaign, I never go near the factories or workshops. If I address the employes at all, I address them as a part of the general- public. I speak to them as citizens and electors, but not as employes of a particular firm. I know that mv opponents have always visited the workshops and made special addresses to the workmen.

Mr Palmer:

– What has that to do with the question before the Committee?

Mr WILKS:

– I am now dealing with the question from the political stand-point. In the case of smaller industries honorable members have risen here and read letters which they have received from individual electors, urging that a certain duty should be imposed on an article. I have heard them declare that they have visited certain establishments and seen how flourishing they were. I have heard them admit that they visited the Melbourne factories, and that, as the result of their visit, they could advise the Committee to impose a higher duty. I have done nothing of that sort. When they have been aiding, rightly or wrongly, very many of the manufacturing industries, I do not see why the pianomaking industry should stand out of the scramble. My reason for taking up that attitude is that it is distinctly a New South Wales industry, and, furthermore, it is carried on in my electorate. I would be recreant to my position if I neglected to put forward some claim on its behalf. The employes are well paid, and I want to see the industry enlarged. To those who say that the imposition of a duty will shut out the imported article, I reply, “ Then it is not for Mr. Beale, but for others.” I certainly urge the Treasurer to support duties of 30 and 25 per cent., because, in my judgment, he will not get more protection. That cannot ruin the importer, and it will give encouragement to the existing manufacturer and, I hope, to others to go into the industry.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- I do not intend to occupy much time, because I recognise that the last speaker has spoken twice, and at considerable length.

Mr Wilks:

– Very shortly this morning.

Mr POYNTON:

– I wish to congratulate the- honorable member on his zeal. It is an old saying that the convert is most zealous.

Mr Wilks:

– Yes, as we discovered when the honorable member left our party to join the Labour- Party.

Mr POYNTON:

– I regret that the debate could not be carried on without introducing the question of nationality. There has been a continuous reference to “ German this” and “German that.” I come from a State which contains a large number of German settlers, and I venture to say that every- one who has been there will admit ‘that they are as good as any settlers we have. From the remarks of some honorable members, one would think that the whole of this business of importing pianos was a German one, but, as a matter of fact we have received petition after petition from all the States. Honorable menrbers will, perhaps, find the names of two or three persons of German nationality attached to the petition for a reduction of the duties. I do not believe in decrying another man’s goods. If I employed men as agents, and heard that they were decrying the goods of my opponent, I would get rid of them at once. There has been too much of that sort of thing going, on here to-day. There has been far too much appealing to prejudice. The Government have submitted a common-sense business proposition, which represents practically a duty of 50 per cent, on the import value of the pianos. I think it was unfair on the part of the Treasurer to quote the very low-valued pianos, and to state that they were coming from Germany, in face of the fact that the Customs returns show that the average price of the pianos imported into this State was £23 odd, and in the case of New South Wales over £22.

Mr Mathews:

– What was . the minimum ?

Mr POYNTON:

– If one wanted to go into the matter, one could quote an arrangement made, perhaps, at a very low rate. I have it ori the best authority that the cost of manufacturing certain pianos, as recorded in the books of the very firm which has been discussed so much, runs from £16 upwards. But the question is : Is it a fair thing to impose such a high duty as is proposed? I am more concerned about the users than about other persons. It is immaterial to me whether it is Mr. Beale or the importers who petition the House.

Mr Mcdougall:

– How is it that the importers can sell their pianos to the State of Victoria at £36 apiece and to the outside public at £72 ?

Mr POYNTON:

– I do not know anything about that. I believe that very nearlv one-half of the expenses stated in Mr. Beale’s balance-sheet each year cover agents’ expenses in selling the pianos. But when an importer’ delivers directly to a Government he has no expenses to defray other than the home cost and the importing expenses. I am not going to complain about whether the locally-made pianos are good or not. That is all a matter of taste. Every man has has own idea’ of what an instrument is. Some people will say that a bagpipe makes beautiful music, but I am not very fond of it. What we ought to do is to give a fair and reasonable amount of protection, recognising that protection is the policy of the country, without putting one firm in a position to secure a monopoly. Probably we could not do better than make some of the intricate parts of pianos free, thus giving a chance to other persons to start in the same business. It would be an intolerable thing if any other person commencing to manufacture pianos had to buy his parts from his opponent.

Mr Watson:

– Could he not make them himself ?

Mr POYNTON:

Mr. Beale has for ten years had the advantage of importing parts free. They are largely made in France and Germany, and even English piano-makers import them. I wish to make it possible for other people to start in this business, and then we shall have that rivalry without which protective duties are so dangerous. Prices will come down as the result of competition. I do not intend to say anything in regard to Mr. Beale’s balancesheets and circulars. The matters relating to them have, I think, been fairly well cleared up, and the sooner we come to a vote the better it will be.

Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie

.- The question at issue is of sufficient importance to the people of Australia to warrant us in eliciting all the opinions that are available from all sides of the Chamber. I do not know that many votes will be altered as a consequence of views that may be expressed, but the expression of them will lead the general public to understand the reasons that have actuated us in fixing these duties, and. will possibly afford an insight into what may be expected in the future. I think that the Treasurer in introducing this matter set a very bad standard for the debate. The question ought to be settled entirely apart from the names of importers. In commenting upon the circular for the contents of which he was, according to his own statementj in no way responsible, the honorable gentleman in my opinion set a very undesirable example. I have listened carefully to the arguments and facts that have been contributed to the debate, and before proceeding further I can pay this tribute to Mr. Beale - that in all respects he is conducting his factory in accordance with Australian conditions which do him credit and which are advantageous to those whom he employs.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– He does not want to be brought under Excise conditions.

Mr FRAZER:

– I am not concerned in what he wants in that respect. Unless Excise conditions are imposed in connexion with these duties I can assure the Government that a considerable time will elapse before they pass this House. I may as well be pretty emphatic on that point. The piano manufacturing industry was established in New South Wales under freetrade. The statistics as to its development afford useful information to honorable members in making up their minds. It appears to me that, established under free-trade conditions, and developed under a protective duty of 20 per cent, under the 1902 Tariff, the industry has made magnificent strides. Mr. Beale has established himself in every State’ in Australia, and- the pianos that he manufactures are four times as many as they were before 1902. His pianos have met with a large amount of public approval, as is indicated by the demand for them. Under the old duty; Mr. Beale has done remarkably well. As to the recommendation of the Tariff Commission, it appears to me that when any manufacturer went before that Commission and asked for an increased duty, the Chairman was always prepared to recommend it. He has recommended increases in 99 per cent, of cases where they have been asked for. In this case, although a request has been made for an increased duty,, there does not appear to be any strong justification for it when we consider the facts of the case. But, unfortunately, in a considerable number of other cases increases have been granted where there was not even the same justification for them as there was in this instance. In consideration of that fact, and recognising the general policy that has been adopted by this Committee in favour of increasing duties, I am prepared to vote for an increase of 5 per cent, in the duty against the country which exports nearly all the pianos to Australia at the present time. In the event of this increase being granted, I believe that not only will- the piano-manufacturing industry continue to flourish, but that it will be demonstrated to the music-loving people of Australia that Mr. Beale’s firm is producing a piano that is capable of giving satisfaction to those who use it. We must not, however, overlook the fact that nearly all the music firms of Australia and a large number of music teachers have been almost unanimous in their condemnation of the increase of the duty. I presume that those people are the best judges of a case of this description.

Mr Hutchison:

– Oh, no.

Mr FRAZER:

– We may reasonably assume that people who spend their livesin using pianos know something about the tone of an instrument and its durability.

Mr Hutchison:

– They do not know anything about the tone of pianos that have not yet been made.

Mr FRAZER:

– In deciding as to the future, .we have to be guided by past experience, and the insight which we derivefrom it. In view of the fact that these protests have been ‘made, and on the facts produced. I am not inclined* to vote for a larger increase than 5 per cent, against the principal country from which pianos are imported into Australia. There is no reason to believe that the Australian industry will be prejudiced even if we leave the duty as it stands, but, as increases have been granted upon other items, I shall be prepared to vote for a duty of 25 per cent, on the general Tariff and 20 per cent, against the United Kingdom. I might elaborate other points, but it appears to. me that there is no chance of affecting votes by prolonging the debate, and I think that the best interests of the country will be sewed by concluding the discussion as soon as possible.

Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh

– I” am glad that at last the honorable member for Kalgoorlie is willing to concede an extra 5 per cent, duty upon an* item. But he has furnished the best argument for granting a larger increase than 5 per cent., because he tells us that even under a duty of 20 per cent, only one firm of piano manufacturers has been established in Australia.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Beale’s factory was established under free-trade.

Mr HUTCHISON:

– The fact thatonly one factory has been established in Australia proves to me that the industry is not sufficiently .protected. There is an enormous demand for pianos, and a. splendid profit is made out of the trade. I am quite satisfied that if we impose a substantial duty we shall conduce to the establishment of other factories. If any industry should be highly protected, it is that which involves a large expenditure, and consumes a vast quantity of material that can be provided in Australia.

Mr Hedges:

– What Australian material is used in this industry?

Mr HUTCHISON:

– Iron and wood.

Mr Hedges:

– Where can we obtain in Australia suitable wood for the manufacture of pianos?

Mr HUTCHISON:

– Queensland produces a variety of timbers suitable for such a purpose.

Mr Mathews:

– The piano on view in the north lobby is made partly of Queensland timber.

Mr HUTCHISON:

– And a still greater variety may be secured.

Mr Hedges:

– What about the veneers?

Mr HUTCHISON:

– Given a substantial duty, we shall have them made here; and we shall have, instead of one struggling . pianoforte factory, many flourishing ones. If the tone of Mr. Beale’s pianos is not up to the standard, other local firms will quickly produce a superior in: strument. What can be done elsewhere can be done in Australia. I have not heard any one complain of the tone of the Beale pianos. As a matter of fact, one musician will say that he would not have a certain, make of imported piano in his house, whilst another will tell you that it is the best on the market. I have a Lipp piano which I purchased before Mr. Beale commenced operations, and it is one of the finest toned instruments that I have ever heard. I have also an English piano, which has an excellent tone.

Mr Tudor:

– What about the bagpipes?

Mr HUTCHISON:

– I am quite willing that a duty should be imposed on them, for I am certain that they too can be made here. The honorable member for Kalgoorlie has clearly shown that an increased duty should be imposed, and I hope that we shall impose duties that will lead to the most effective establishment of the industry.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

.- Although it is said that pianos are manufactured in Australia, (he veneers, as well as the wire, and many parts of the action used in their construction, are imported. If the public are satisfied to continue to contribute to the establishment of the industry, we may be able, in the course of a century or so, to make complete pianos in the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, the freights are in favour of the local manufacturer. The duty collected on these instruments in 1906 amounted to £47,421. If the duty be increased to 40 per cent., as proposed by the Government, the annual revenue from this source will amount, on the same basis, to £94,842, whilst a duty of 30 per cent, would yield a revenue of £70,931. This would give us an average yield of about £82,000 from a duty of 35 per cent. That would be far too much to take out of . the pockets of the people. lt would provide a pension of about £3 per week for 600 men in the trade. It seems to me that it would pay the Commonwealth, instead of fostering the industry by imposing the duty proposed by the Government, to pension off all the hands in the local factory. The proposal that we should contribute so largely towards the establishment of the industry is little short of disgraceful. Even the old duty of 20 per cent, yielded a revenue that would provide a pension of over £3 per week for 300 persons. In other words, those who purchase imported pianos - and we have to remember that these instruments are often bought with the hard-earned savings of the people - contribute to the revenue a sum equal to the wages paid to those engaged ‘ in the industry. I do not advocate the free admission of pianos, but I think that it has been clearly shown that the old duty is ample. We have been told that the local manufactory is conducted on splendid lines, that good wages are paid, and reasonable hours observed. If that state of affairs has prevailed under a duty of 20 per cent., why should we increase the duty? I am prepared to vote for duties of 25 , per cent, and 20 per cent., and since the industry is now prospering I do not think that we should go beyond those rates. The fact that the public are paving by wav of duty on pianos a sum sufficient to provide a pension of over £3 per week for 300 persons in. the industry clearly shows that we are paying too much for sentiment. We have not assisted other industries to the same extent, and I hope that the Committee will reiect the Treasurer’s proposals.

Mr FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

.- It is unnecessary for me to discuss this Question at any length, for the honorable member for South Sydney has ably stated the position from the point of view of Australia. I deprecate the attack which has been made upon the Australian manufacturer.

Mr Mathews:

– That is nothing new.

Mr FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– It is,- to say the least, remarkable that there should have been brought forward during this discussion an unsworn balance-sheet of a most doubtful character as to the profits made by ‘Mr. Beale. This is the first occasion on which such tactics have been resorted to during the consideration- of the Tariff. I have paid careful attention to the arguments of the advocates of the foreign manufacturer, and have glanced over the circulars and papers which they have supplied to me; but I knew nothing of the balance-sheet in question until it was referred to in Committee this morning. I and others who have been fighting for Australian industries from the outset were denied an opportunity to examine that balance-sheet. That is not fair play. The importers should have either supplied the same information; to every honorable member or refrained from distributing any, They ought not to have selected a few honorable members to whom to give special information.

Mr Mahon:

– The honorable member had an opportunity to see the balance-sheet.

Mr FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– Not until it was brought before the Committee this morning; I did not receive a copy of it. When I was seeking information I was told that even if a little more protection were granted it would be utterly impossible to establish the industry in Australia ; but I find that others have received an assurance that the imposition of increased duties will give rise to plenty of local opposition to Mr. Beale. I feel Called upon to vote for the highest duty, with0 a view to the establishment of the industry on a firm foundation. “ An honorable member who is opposed to the efforts being- made to establish the industry in Australia said he had nothing to say against the quality of Mr. Beale’s pianos, and I shall not say a word against the imported instrument. I know that many excellent pianos are being imported, but as a protectionist I am confident that the imposition of increased duties will cause foreign manufacturers to commence operations in Australia. Mr. Beale has not captured the whole market, and there is room for more pianoforte manufacturers in the Commonwealth. .Even if Australian woods are not at present largely used in the local manufacture of pianos, it will be found that we have many timbers which if well dried will be suitable for the purpose. Maryborough pine, as well as Queensland black bean - which is used as a substitute for walnut - red bean and cedar are now being used, and I am proud to know that Lithgow iron is likewise being employed in their manufacture. I would urge my comrades of the Labour Party to remember that this is one of the best industries in Australia. It is at present a New South Wales industry, and I dare say that if these duties be passed Mr. Wertheim will establish a factory in Victoria. I do not wish it to be thought that I am pleading the cause of this industry as a territorial protectionist. I fight for everything that is Australian, and I hope that we shall not lose sight of the fact that splendid wages are paid and reasonable hours are worked in the local factory.

Mr J H CATTS:
Cook

.- I have determined to support the imposition of duties of 25 per cent, and 20 per cent, or an increase of 5. per cent, on the old duty. The arguments advanced in support of increased duties have been based on the contention that we have a huge importation of pianos from Germany. If I found that the products of the cheap labour of other countries were being imported so largely as to render it impossible for the local manufacturer to pay reasonable wages and that the industry was languishing. I should consider that a fair case had been made out for additional protection. But when I find that the local manufacturer is doing exceedingly well, and is paying higher wages than are provided for in the award of the Arbitration Court-

Mr Watson:

– The honorable member appears to think that that should be sufficient to condemn him at once in the eyes of a labour man.

Mr J H CATTS:

– At all events, it shows that this industry is flourishing. In a catalogue which has been handed to me, and which was circulated by this manufacturer. I find the statement made- “We are preparing to add two more storeys to this huge building. . . . We are now building much larger premises in another part of the factory.”

Mr Watson:

– That was published since the present Tariff was imposed.

Mr J H CATTS:

– I do not think that the manufacturer would make the definite statement that he intended to make these huge additions to his factory before the Tariff was settled. He would not make such improvements on spec.

Mr Watson:

– He might depend upon a conscientious vote from honorable members returned as protectionists.

Mr J H CATTS:

– If the honorable gentleman refers to me, I am here to do what I believe to be right. When I go before my constituents, it will be I, and not the honorable member for South Sydney, who will have to answer for my actions. I hope that every vote that I have recorded on the Tariff will give my constituents as much satisfaction as the one which I intend to record on pianos. I do not take the same view of the manufacture of pianos and other musical instruments as I do of the manufacture of boots. There is an artist’s art put into the production of the tone of a piano. Honorable members would not contend . that our people should not have the advantage of the musical compositions of great composers like Mendelssohn and Haydn.

Mr Tudor:

– Could they not be played on an Australian piano?

Mr J H CATTS:

– Our rising musical artists are sent to Germany and other countries abroad, to complete their musical studies, because it is admitted that in the older countries of the world the musical art has been brought to a higher state of perfection than in Australia. It is because I believe that there is an artist’s art in the production of pianos that I say that if our people desire to have a piano with a tone which comes from Germany, we should not prohibit them from, having it.

Mr Bamford:

– The honorable member should vote for pianos being admitted free.

Mr J H CATTS:

– That does not follow. I am prepared to give sufficient protection to enable the local manufacturer to pay decent wages to his employes, and derive a fair profit from the industry, but when I have done that, I say that, seeing that the production of the tone of a piano is the work of an artist, I’ have no right, by my vote, to prevent the people of Australia from being able to avail themselves of the best that artists can produce in the musical instrument line. The question has been debated at sufficient length,, and I suppose all the evidence that could be submitted on behalf of the importers, as well as of the local manufacturer has been placed before the Committee. I have read all that has been published in connexion with these duties, and have listened to every argument that has been submitted. Ithink I have given more attention to this item than to any other in the Tariff. I have looked in every corner for information, because I desired to give a conscientious vote upon this item. I believe that an increase of 5 per cent, in the duty under the General Tariff will make up to the local manufacturer for some slight increases in the duties imposed in connexion with other items affecting his industry, will also be to some extent a bar against the importation of German pianos ; will make the duty sufficiently high to enable the local manufacturer to continue his operations profitably, and at the same time give his employes the benefit of fair labour conditions.

Question - That after the words “ 40 per cent.,” paragraph a, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad. val. (General Tariff) 25 per cent.,” be inserted (Mr. Johnson’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 28

NOES: 29

Majority … … 1

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Mr. Wilks) agreed to -

That after the words “40 per cent.,” paragraph a, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent.,” be inserted.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- I propose now to move - that the duty on imports from the United Kingdom should be 25 per cent.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

.- I have a’ prior amendment to move. I think that there should be a 10 per cent, preference given to imports from Great Britain, and I therefore move -

That after the words “ 30 per cent.,” paragraph a, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.,” be inserted.

Mr Deakin:

– We offered honorable members to agree to duties of 35 per cent, and 25 per cent., and they would not accept that preference.

Question put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 28

NOES: 29

Majority … … 1

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Mr. Wilks) agreed to -

That after the words “ 30 per cent.,” paragraph a, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 23 per cent.,” be inserted.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The Committee must understand that it is not for me to decide what duties can be collected under the paragraph as amended. That is a question for the Department. I have put the amendments in the form in which’ they have been submitted.

Sitting suspended from 6.38 to 8 -p.m.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I should like to know how paragraph a now stands as regards the fixed duties, and if there is any chance of their being operative for purposes of collection?

The CHAIRMAN:

– It is not for me to interpret them. I might give an opinion, but that would not make it right or wrong. The item, so far as we have dealt with it, reads -

Pianos, viz. : -

Grand and Semi-grand (General Tariff), each £f> 10s.. or ad val. 40 per cent., whichever rate returns the higher duty; and, on and after 12th December, tq07, ad val., 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), each £15, or ad val. 30 per cent., whichever^ rate returns the higher duty ; and, on and after 12th December, ‘1907, ad val. 25 per cent.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

.- There is no doubt that the paragraph as amended is a little ambiguous. That occurred to me at the time when the question was put ; but if the suggestion I made last night had been followed, grammatically, there could have been no mistake. That was to put in after the word “ duty “ the words “up to to-day,” and then add “ and on and after,” &c, the rates agreed upon. No doubt the paragraph is ambiguous as it stands, as it is not clear whether the new ad valorem duties refer only to the previously proposed 40 per cent, and 30 per cent., or to both the fixed duties and those ad valorem rates. We can clear the matter up in the Tariff Bill, which will be introduced in a few days. That Bill will have to be passed by this House before the Tariff can be sent to the Senate, because we cannot send resolutions up, but must send a Bill. The ambiguity could be easily explained now by a footnote, and, of course, in the meantime the Treasurer would act on the sense of the Committee, which is to collect only the ad valorem duties.

The CHAIRMAN:

– On former occasions, where a composite duty was proposed, and the Committee made an amendment, the course adopted was to add to the item words which in this case would read as follows : - “ and on and after12th December, 1907, a, grand and semi-grand, ad valorem (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.”

Mr THOMAS BROWN:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I think the Treasurer is convinced that the sense of the Committee is against the specific duties.

Sir William Lyne:

– There is no doubt about that. I promised to strike them out.

Mr THOMAS BROWN:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– The only question now is, whether the language used in the amendment proposed bv the honorable member for Dalley achieves that object’. Before we leave the . paragraph, the Minister should make it clear that the specific duties only operate up till to-day, and that after to-dav the ad. valorem rates agreed upon by the Committee prevail. The matter should not be left in uncertaintv, to be cleared up later on in a Bill.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume- Treasureri [8.6]. - I directed attention to the wording of the item as amended, because I had some doubt as to its effect. I was going to move to strike out the fixed duties, but the Committee carried the amendment in the form submitted by the honorable member for Dalley. In order to make the matter absolutely clear, ‘ the Chairman might indicate in some . way, by a footnote or asterisk, what the Committee meant, or allow the Committee to go back in order to strike out the fixed rates. Whichever course the Chairman thinks advisable, I shall be glad to adopt.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I understand that the Committee was desirous of amending the paragraph in the form previously adopted in similar cases ; but, that, owing to the amendment having been put in the way in which it now stands, there is some doubt as to its effect. If it is the pleasure of the Committee that I should make the necessary alteration to give effect to the will of the Committee, I will see that that is done.

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I desire to strike out the fixed duties in paragraph b. Perhaps the amendment can be put in the way suggested by the Chairman. I also wish to propose duties of 30 per cent, and 25 per cent. I move -

That after the word “ duty,” paragraph b, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, b., Upright, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.,” be inserted.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

– I am sorry that the Treasurer could not see his way to propose a lower/ scale of duties for this class of piano. It is not the expensive class that we have just dealt with. That is evidenced by the fact that the Government originally proposed the much lower specific duty of £5 10s., as against a specific duty of £16 10s. on grands and semi-grands.

Mr Storrer:

– The same ad valorem rates were proposed.

Mr GLYNN:

– But the specific duties would have been the operative ones, because the Customs Act obliges the Minister as far as possible to levy the higher duty.

Mr Storrer:

– Why have another debate about it?

Mr GLYNN:

– I rose merely to suggest that, inasmuch as these are the pianos that will be bought by people of moderate incomes, and as we were only beaten -by one vote in our effort to obtain duties of 25 per cent, and 20 per cent, on the last paragraph, it would be more gracious and agreeable to the hallowed time upon which we are just entering if the Treasurer would agree to those rates in this paragraph.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I am terminating the specific duties in this paragraph, and the ad valorem rates will have the same effect upon the one class of piano as upon the other, because the duties will be levied according to value. I hope, therefore, that the honorable ‘ member will not press his request, because it would be very invidious to make a distinction, and there is no doubt that if I were to reduce the ad valorem rates upon these very. cheap pianos it would make them still more liable to be imported. I am proposing the same proportion as was agreed to in the last paragraph. I take it that the decision of the Committee on paragraph a was meant to apply to the whole of this item, and therefore I am moving the duties down to that level.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

.- Before the Treasurer goes further, he ought to inform the Committee what he proposes to do regarding the outside cases of pianos.

Sir William Lyne:

– I could not deal with that matter now.

Mr MAHON:

– The Treasurer could give some indication now of what he intends to propose, because according to my information the duty upon the outside cases means an addition of practically 5 per cent, to the duties upon pianos.

Mr Watkins:

– It is the same in this case as in that of every other article.

Mr MAHON:

– Not to the same extent, but whether it is worse or better I shall ask the Minister to express his intention now. I shall not be bullied or put off by anybody here. A good deal of claptrap is being talked about people who vote against these duties wishing to strike at Australian industries. I have as much regard for Australian industries as have those who talk in that way - perhaps a little more. There is a good deal of lip service in this chamber, as in other places. I do not think that it is the people who parade their loyalty at all times that are the most loyal. In the same way, those who talk loudest about safeguarding and standing up for Australian industries are perhaps not the people who on all occasions do the most for those industries. I am going to stand here until the Treasurer is prepared to announce what he intends to do about the duty on the outside cases. If he thinks he is going to get this item through without our having some understanding about that matter, he is making a mistake. If the cases are to be taxed, it will mean that instead of agreeing to a duty of 30 per cent, we shall really be sanctioning a duty of 35 per cent. I wish to be courteous to the Treasurer, as I “have been throughout the Tariff, but I think that I am making a fair and reasonable request. He ought to tell us his intention now, because if the duty on the cases is not removed, it will mean a considerable addition to the cost price of importations. In order that the Treasurer may have an opportunity of making an announcement, I will resume my seat.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

.- The question of outside packages is dealt with in item 444, by which outside packages on fixed duty goods are free, whilst those on ad valorem goods are dutiable. The general rule in the case of ad valorem goods is that the basis of valuation shall be the whole of the consignment, that is, the contents as well as the package. But I suggest to the honorable member that the most convenient course would be to deal with this matter when we are on the item of packages generally, and when their treatment may be made uniform.

Mr Mahon:

– The Committee might be influenced in regard to this item by the way in which packages are’ dealt with.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– I apprehend that the Minister will stand by the arrangement that outside packages in the case of ad valorem goods shall remain dutiable.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I think the Treasurer might answer the question which has been put to him by the honorable member for Coolgardie. We had a discussion on the question of outside packages when bottles and other glassware were being considered, and a statement from the Treasurer now would expedite business.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume- Treasurer [8.17]. - It is scarcely fair to ask me to answer a question of this kind before we reach item 444. Hitherto the practice has been to admit free the outside packages of goods subject, to fixed duties, but to charge on packages containing ad valorem goods; and there seems to be a good deal of reason for adopting that method. If I were asked the question at the presentmoment, I should be inclined to stand by the proposal as it is ; and, in any case, the ad valorem’ duty on the outside package of a piano will not be a heavy charge.

Mr Mahon:

– It means an additional 5 per cent.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– My feeling is to deal with this matter as proposed in item 444. A specific duty is sufficient to cover the whole, but that is not so in the case of an ad valorem duty.

Mr Mahon:

– It will mean a 35 per cent, duty instead of a 30 per cent, duty on pianos.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not think so, but I shall make inquiries before we reach item 444 ; and, if sufficient reason be shown, I may be induced to make an alteration.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I think that the honorable member for .Coolgardie very opportunely raises the question before this item is disposed of. As already pointed out, if the outside packages are taxed, it will mean an increase in the duty by 5 per cent. ; and, moreover, to tax packages in the case of pianos will be a new departure.

Mr Watson:

– The taxation has applied all through this Tariff.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am speaking of the old Tariff wherein packages in which goods are ordinarily imported were, when containing such goods, free. There was a special exemption inserted for the purpose, and there ought to be a similar exemption in the present Tariff, because it seems the height of absurdity to impose a duty on packages.

Mr Watson:

– Why differentiate between pianos and other goods?

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Because there was a differentiation in the old Tariff.

Mr Watson:

– I do not think that that exemption applied to pianos only.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I do not object to the exemption being applied to other goods ; on the other hand, I think it ought to be applied. I understood that, when we obliterated this duty in reference to the cubic contents of packages containing glassware and so forth, it was intended to free all outside packages.

Mr Watson:

– I do not . think so.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– We did not expect, when the Minister proposed-

Mr Chanter:

– Is the honorable member in order in discussing item 444 now?

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Parramatta is quite in order in referring to that item in relation to the question before us.

Mr Chanter:

– Referring 1 It is a debate 1

Mr Watson:

– I wish to know whether the honorable member for Parramatta is justified in more than incidentally referring to item 444?

The CHAIRMAN:

– I understand that the honorable member is not entering into a discussion of item 444, but only referring to it as related to the covering packages ot pianos.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I put myself in order by moving -

That the amendment be amended by inserting after the word “Upright” the words “except outside packages in which pianos are ordinarily imported, when containing such goods.”

Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I should like to point out the difficulty there is in the amendment which has been moved. It seems to me that the only logical and consistent way to deal with this question is under item 444. One of the difficulties of dealing with it now is that, if the proposed amendment be carried, it will necessarily mean that in the case of paragraph a, which we have already passed, the outside packages must be taxed. That will not only have the effect of singling out paragraph b for special treatment, but will practically mean that two different rates must be charged right throughout the Tariff. We shall expedite business by allowing the whole discussion to take place on item 444; and the fact that the Committee has strongly indicated the opinion that packages should be free, whether the goods be subject to ad valorem or fixed duties, will be a strong argument against the imposition of such duties.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am quite aware of the anomaly that may be created ; but my idea is, if the amendment be carried, to regard it as a test vote, instructing the Government to make a similar amendment in regard to other items.

Mr Chanter:

– A double debate !

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The debate can be stopped in two minutes if the Minister will make a statement as to what his intention is.

Mr Salmon:

– The Minister has made a statement.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Minister has said that he does not know what he is going to do.

Mr Salmon:

– He has said that he will stand by item 444.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Honorable members will be prepared, I take it, to vote on these pianos the same duties that they voted on the other kind of pianos, if it is understood that packages are free; otherwise some of us will make an endeavour to reduce the duty by so much.

Sir William Lyne:

– Then, as the honorable member for Flinders has pointed out, the duty on the two classes of pianos will be unequal.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– That inequality may easily be corrected afterwards.

Sir William Lyne:

– I will not recommit for that sort of thing !

Mr.JOSEPH COOK. - If outside packages are to be made dutiable, it will mean that the duties on pianos will not be 30 per cent, and 25 per cent., but 35 per cent, and 30 per cent.

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not think that the duties will be anything like that.

Mr.JOSEPH COOK.- Can the Treasurer tell me what is the cost of an outside package for a piano?

Sir William Lyne:

– I am going to find that out before we reach item 444.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I think it is £210s. or £3.

Mr Storrer:

– It is 25s. ; I have paid for them often.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Other people havepaid for them, and they say the cost is £210s.

Mr Storrer:

– That is the cost when they wish to “ get over “ the Customs.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The honorable member is barking up the wrong tree, because, since packages were free, there could be no motive in placing a false value on them.

Mr Storrer:

– The more duty there was to pav on the case, the less duty there was to pay on the piano.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Not at all; they are both taxed. However, I am now simply asking the Minister to indicate what his attitude is.

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not think I am called upon to do so now. I have told the honorable member that I shall make further inquiries, and be prepared to say what the Government will do when we reach item 444.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But it will be too late then, after these duties have been voted.

Sir William Lyne:

– Whatever we do on item 444, will, apply generally .

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But if a duty be placed on the packages, it will increase the duties which have already been voted on pianos.

Sir William Lyne:

– And so it will be with everything else.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But I take it that when we vote a duty of 30 per cent, we do not desire to see a duty of 35 per cent. collected. I have just been informed that the costof packages for pianos varies from 27s. to 50s., plus 10 per cent. ; and I think we ought to know definitely what duties we are voting.

Mr WATSON:
South Sydney

.- When there is an ad valorem duty, I do not see how honorable members can object to including the cost of the package. . The theory underlying ad valorem duties, I understand, is that the value of the goods landed on the wharf in Australia must be the basis of calculation. The value of goods in Timbuctoo or elsewhere, before they are cased and got ready for export, is not the value when they arrive in Australia. Although the principle is that the value of the goods landed in Australia is the value for the purposes of the duty, the Department, for convenience sake, accepts foreign invoices, and imposes an allround charge for freight and so forth. That plan in some cases works harshly, though in other cases the importers are let off too lightly. When people talk of a duty of 35 per cent, or 20 per cent, they invariably have in their mind the value of the goods when they come into Australia; and, as the goods cannot be brought here without packages, it stands to reason that the value of the packages must be included for the purposes of the Tariff. Only the other day I was talking to a merchant in Sydney in regard to the system of admitting packages containing goods free. He said that while he was disinclined to pay a duty upon packages, the system of levying duty upon them was distinctly in favour of honest trade. He said that there was a disposition on the part of small manufacturers in other portions of the “world to inflate the charge for cases, and to reduce the cost of the goods which they contained. I do not say that a large proportion of outside manufacturers do that, but this merchant assured me that some of them do it. He expressed the opinion that from the stand-point of fair trade, it was better to charge a duty upon the packages.

But I do not see why we should differentiate between the packages in which pianos are encased and other packages. We have already decided that a specific duty shall be levied upon bottles which are imported full of spirit. The reason why an ad’ valorem duty was not applied to packages under the old Tariff was that their contents bore a specific duty. In regard to bottles, a difficulty was experienced, because nearly all of them are imported full of spirit. But, in respect of any item which bears an ad valorem rate, no difficulty need be experienced. The interjection . of the honorable member for Bass, - who as an importer has a good knowledge of business - to the effect that if we allow any packages to be admitted free, we shall open the door to the possibility of the Customs authorities being deceived, and of the fair trader ‘being subjected to unfair competition, has considerable weight with me.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I should like to know how that result could be brought about?

Mr WATSON:

– I thought that I had already explained. It is merely a question of the manufacturer placing a fictitious value on the cases because they would be exempt from duty, and of undervaluing the goods in them, which would be subject to duty.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Who could do that ?

Mr WATSON:

– It is the easiest thing in the world. Let us suppose that a manufacturer in another part of the world charged £100 for a certain line of goods, and that the cost of encasing them amounted t0 £5 By representing the cost of the casing at £20, the importer would be re quired to pay duty upon only £80 worth of goods.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– What the honorable member suggests could not be done in respect of piano cases.

Mr WATSON:

– I venture to say that it could.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It could if the Cus-toms officials were numbskulls.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The idea is an absurd one.

Mr WATSON:

– I prefer to accept the statement of men of experience in the importing line, who say that to their knowledge it has been done, to that of the honorable member. The difficulty in regard to piano cases is that persons in other parts of the world place a certain value upon them, and we have no means of checking it. We practically have to accept their statement in the invoice. If honorable members care to run that risk, and to subject the honest trader to a disadvantage, they are entitled to do so. But, in my opinion, it is wise to charge duty upon the cases as well as upon the pianos, even if. bv so doing, we have to accept a lower duty upon the instruments themselves than we should otherwise have to accept. Personally, I should prefer to accept a lower duty upon goods by about 2J per cent., than to exempt packages in respect, of any form of merchandise. The total sum of money paid to the manufacturer should be the basis of the duty charged.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

.- I should like to add to the testimony which has been given by the honorable member for South Sydney, the evidence of a Customs officer before the Tariff Commission. J sincerely hope that the Government will strenuously resist the amendment of the honorable member for Parramatta, and that it will wipe out the exemption in respect of outside packages in the case of all ad valorem goods. That exemption has, undoubtedly, been used by unscrupulous persons for the purpose of defrauding the revenue. I do not suggest that particular importers have been guilty of cheating the revenue by inflating the values of cases, but I am satisfied that some of them have done so.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Because some of them have done so, the honorable member would punish the lot?

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Section 154 of the Customs Act provides -

When any duty is imposed according to value : -

The value shall be taken to be the fair market value of the goods in the principal markets of the country whence the same were exported, in the usual and ordinary commercial acceptation of the term, and free on board at the port of export in such country, and a further addition of 10 per cent, on such marketable value.

The Customs officer to whom I allude said -

There has been trouble in regard to tanks and baskets in which goods are enclosed, which tanks and baskets have a real market value on importation; but the greatest reason for drawing attention to this exemption is that a dishonest importer will value his cases unduly high in order to reduce correspondingly the goods contained therein, so that he may pay less duty than the honest dealer. This is a common practice, especially in regard to American goods, and the difficulty is that there is no proper way of checking the value of the cases.

Mr Mahon:

– Who is the witness whom the honorable member is quoting?

Sir JOHN QUICK:

Mr. Smart, . the Collector of Customs in Victoria, and Chief Surveyor of Customs - a very reliable officer, who was appointed to give evidence on behalf of the Customs Department. I confess that his testimony was an eyeopener to me. I strongly urge- the Commitee not to make the exemption proposed.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

.- I would point out that the statement quoted by the honorable member for Bendigo in regard to the ‘admission of outside packages is merely a confession of incompetency on the part of the officers of the Customs Department.

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member is wrong there.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– They . can value the goods within the case, but cannot value the case itself !

Mr MAHON:

– Are we to believe that the Customs officers are incapable of valuing piano cases?

Sir William Lyne:

– But piano cases should not be treated differently from other cases.

Mr MAHON:

– Then why did the Treasurer agree to admit tanks free?

Sir William Lyne:

– Tanks do not come within the same category.

Mr MAHON:

– Are they not used as the outside packages for Cadbury’s cocoa? The two cases are absolutely parallel. The honorable member for South Sydney has quoted the evidence of an . anonymous witness in regard to this question. But when another honorable member quotes a piece of evidence, he usually wants, not merely the man’s name, but his biography, to be supplied. Yet he calmly quotes an anonymous individual, who has evidently cheated the Customs authorities himself, and who, being a thief, imagines that everybody else is a thief.

Mr Watson:

– That is a violent way of putting the matter.

Mr MAHON:

– It is not more violent than the honorable member himself put it when he applied the term “swindlers” to other people. The idea that a Customs officer is unable to assess the value of a piano case is positively absurd. Could he not measure the timber which it contains, and could not any carpenter tell him how long it would take to put the case together ? When a piano has been removed from the case in which it has been imported the case is valueless to the importer.

Mr Storrer:

– No.

Mr MAHON:

– It is valueless to everybody except Beale, who buys it for about 7s., shaves the name of the foreign piano manufacturer from it, and puts on his own in lieu thereof.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– There is nothing wrong in doing that.

Mr MAHON:

– The importer, who has to pay up to £2 10s. and £3 each for these cases, is obliged to sell them for 5s. or 6s. each to men who retail them to Beale for about 7s. If tanks and casks containing dutiable goods are to be admitted free, I see no justification for refusing to admit piano cases free. Let us know exactly what we are doing. I say that, under the guise of supporting a duty of 30 per cent, we are really being asked to vote for a duty of 35 per cent.

Sir William Lyne:

– No.

Mr MAHON:

– The Treasurer is entitled to his opinion, but I hope that he will allow me to express mine, with which a good many honorable members obviously agree. I have no wish to enter into con troversv with him. If he desires that a duty of 35 per cent, shall be imposed, let him say so straight out, and give the Committee an opportunity to vote on the proposal. He has no right to propose a 35 per cent, duty under the guise of a 30 per cent. duty.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I think that this is a matter which should be discussed in connexion with . item 444, and I shall not detain the Committee long in regard to it. But I have a few remarks to make in reply to the honorable member for Bendigo. He, reading from evidence, stated that there is difficulty in determining the accuracy of valuations of pianos if the outside cases are not’ made dutiable,, that the valuations of the cases will be increased and the valuations of the contents reduced. Does any honorable member consider that it is more difficult for the Customs authorities to value a piano cum case than to value it ex case?

Mr Webster:

– It is stated on oaththat there is a difficulty.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– We have to use our common-sense in these matters. A Customs officer who says that there is great difficulty in estimating the value of cases savs what is absolutely ridiculous.

Mr Mauger:

– It has been stated that difficulty arises because enhanced values are placed on. the cases.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Nothing is so simple to value as a case, because of its nature, and because of the checks obtainable from the entries of other, importers.

Sir John Quick:

– It is difficult to obtain the value in the country of origin.

Sir William Lyne:

– We have had the greatest difficulty in ascertaining the true value of a great many things. I sent to our representative in America to obtain a valuation there. We could not get it through the Government. They would not give it to us.

Mr Wilson:

– The Treasurer is now referring to harvesters, on which he raised the valuation by 50 per cent.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Yes. He cannot persuade me that there is any great difficulty in checking valuations of cases. The Customs ought to, and do, know the approximate value by measurement in almost every exporting country of the cases which are sent here.

Mr Webster:

– They say that they do not.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– If the honorable member attempted to pass an entry at an under-valuation, he would discover that they do know. They say that they can determine the value of all sorts of complicated imports, and it is absurd to assert that they cannot assess the value of cases much more easily. We have already decided that such outside packages as iron tanks and casks shall be admitted free, and we should not treat wooden piano cases differently.

Mr Salmon:

– It was argued that iron tanks and casks are needed for certain special purposes.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That was not the whole argument.

Mr Salmon:

– It was the potent argument.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– It may have been with the honorable member, but many other arguments were used by myself andothers. Iron tanks and casks are the most expensive outside packages’ that are used, and they having been made free, cases should be similarly dealt with.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Item 444 does not deal with, all outside packages, but only with outside packages n.e.i. We have already dealt with somekinds of outside packages.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Only where they were specifically named in the Tariff.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– That is so. Piano cases are the simplest of outside cases. I cannot conceive of anything more simple.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– Nor could any one else.

Mr Salmon:

– An argument the honorable member might employ is that farmers use piano cases for chaff boxes.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– They make very good chaff boxes. The honorable member for South Sydney went into a specious argument to show that, by manipulating the valuation of cases, importers might reduce the duties on pianos. He assumed that the Customs authorities do not possess the rudimentary knowledge of the man in the street, who would know at once what the value of a piano case was.

Mr Storrer:

– When I said that piano cases are worth 25s. each the honorable member replied that they are worth 50s. each.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Piano cases range in value from 27s. 6d. to 50s. each, so that there is no margin for defrauding the Customs to any extent. The Department makes elaborate provision for checking the valuations of imports of every description, and yet we are told that its officers cannot value piano cases. Could there be a more absurd proposition ? Piano cases were- free under the old Tariff, and we should make them free under this.

Sir William Lyne:

– If the honorable member persists in his proposal. I shall not be bound to move a reduction in the duties on parts.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Minister can please himself in that matter. T shall not be threatened by him. It would not hurt me if he doubled the duty on parts. Apparently, from a spirit of pique and revenge he would increase the taxation of the people. It is time that thev knew this. It is time that thev knew the motives from which duties are imposed.

Mr Wilson:

– The Treasurer dare not go back upon his promise in regard to parts.

Sir William Lyne:

– I shall be relieved from my promise if the action which is threatened is taken.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I was going to withdraw my amendment, but, under the circumstances, I shall not.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

.- In my opinion, this matter should be. contested on item 444. I fail to understand by what authority the duty on outside packages is levied. The validity of the collection of the duty may be challenged by certain merchants, not because it is being levied under resolution, but because section 154 of the Customs Act provides for the levying of duties upon goods, which are defined as separate from packages. There is nothing in the Tariff which says “ that packages shall be subject to duty; there is only the declaration that outside packages in which goods other than those dutiable ad valorem are ordinarily imported shall be admitted free. That declaration does not impose a duty on other packages, it being an incontrovertible rule of law that the subject is not to be taxed except by express words. If it is doubtful under which of two headings an article shall be taxed, it is, according to the Customs Act, dutiable at the higher rate.

Sir John Quick:

– Cases would be taxable as manufactured wood.

Mr GLYNN:

– If they were taxed as wood, the tax would be a ridiculous one, because it would vary in accordance with the value of the contents of the package. There can be no difficulty about valuing outside packages. Mr. Smart says that difficulty as to false values has arisen because the Courts have held that the term f.o.b. in the Customs Act includes the value of the package. But what is to prevent us from saying that in future the value of the package shall not be taken into account?

Sir John Quick:

– We should have to amend the Customs Act.

Mr GLYNN:

– We could insert in either this measure or another the declaration that f.o.b. value does not include the value of the package. Not one package in twenty is saleable here at anything like its cost.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- I understand that the value of piano cases is about £2 10s. each. Adding the 10 per cent, which the Customs always add, the value is brought up to £2 15s., on which 30 per cent, would come to 16s. 6d.

Sir William Lyne:

– Discuss the question on item 444. It is not fair to bring it up now.

Mr WILKS:

– It may be too late to bring it up on item 444. A duty of 1 6s. 6d. on a piano case cannot be advocated in the interests of local makers. Pianos must be imported in cases, and it will not be argued that cases can be made here and sent to Germany. Therefore, the duty must be regarded merely as an attempt to increase the protection granted to the local manufacturer of pianos.- It might as well have been said that the proposal to take the dutv off casks was an attack on coopers. In my electorate there are very large cooperages, but I did not advocate then that a duty should be placed on casks in order to help the coopers. Now that the duty on pianos has been settled, there will be a rush to take them out of bond, and the cases, which, under normal conditions, can be bought for a few shillings, will be thrown at the Treasurer in about a week. I see no reason to vote for a duty of 30 per cent, on £2 10s., the cost of the case, just as if it were a piano. From a protectionist stand-point, I see no justification for the tax. It is only a roundabout way of increasing the duty on the piano. My high-water mark of protection for pianos was 30 and 25 per cent., according to the country of origin, and I am not going to be seduced into voting for higher protection to piano manufacturers by means of a duty on cases.

Mr STORRER:
Bass

.- When we dealt with other items nothing was said about the dutv on the cases.

Mr Wilson:

– Yes, I brought up the matter on a much earlier item.

Mr STORRER:

– In my opinion, the proper course is to deal with this question on item 444. I do not think it is a correct charge to make on the cases. I know that it has been abused, and, although persons who have made that statement have been accused of being thieves, I may tell the Committee that when I commenced business as a young man offers of that description were made to me, but they saw that I was not a man of that kind. I ‘knew it was wrong, and, therefore, I did not do what they wished. Yet, because I know that it is done, an honorable member has said that a man who makes a statement of that kind has been a thief, or he would not know that it is done.

Mr Mahon:

– I was referring to the informant of the honorable member for South Svdney.

Mr STORRER:

– The honorable member was not aware that I had told that honorable gentleman ; he did not know the name of the informant, but if he thinks that I am a thief, I shall not take any notice of it.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

.- I understood the honorable member for South Sydney to say that it was a Sydney merchant who gave him that information. I certainly never understood that it came from the honorable member for Bass, and I think that even now he must be making a mistake. But if he thinks that I have said anything that is calculated, even by inference, to give offence to him, I unreservedly withdraw it, and apologize to him.

Mr Storrer:

– I take no notice of it.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

.- The honorable member for Bass has said that no’ attempt has been . made to deal with this question on other items. I may tell him that on an early item I raised the question, and proposed that where the contents of the case should exceed the value of the case, it should be free, and that applies particularly to piano pases. The Treasurer should give an indication to the Committee that he is prepared to consider this proposal favorably when we get to item 444. I have no particular desire to deal with it now.

Mr Chanter:

– Let us wait until we get to that item.

Mr WILSON:

– If we adopt that suggestion, we may find ourselves in a peculiar position. I believe that there is a majority of honorable members against the imposition of a duty on cases.

Sir William Lyne:

– If there isI will be quite prepared to submit to the decision of the Committee. I am not quite sure what course I will take with regard to item 444.

Mr WILSON:

– If the honorable member for Parramatta persists with his amendment, and we take a vote, some honorable members, thinking that it ought to be dealt with in connexion with item 444, may vote against it now, and when we came to that item piano cases would still be made dutiable. That would be an unfortunate position in which to find ourselves.

Mr Deakin:

– It would be a very proper thing after this waste of time.

Mr WILSON:

– I think that the honorable gentleman is not right in making that remark.

Mr Deakin:

– I think that this is an unpardonable waste of time.

Mr WILSON:

– I entirely disagree with the Prime Minister. This is a matter of very considerable moment, and if he were engaged in the piano trade he would hold a. different view.

Mr Mahon:

– He is here very little.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Let him hold his tongue.

Mr Deakin:

– I protest against this unpardonable waste of time.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The time has come for the Prime Minister to behave himself with decency in the Chamber.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must ask honorable members to cease this continuous cross- firing.

Mr WILSON:

– With all respect, I think that the Prime Minister is talking nonsense, because this is a matter of very great importance to those who are connected with the piano trade.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– But there is an item on which- it can be dealt with.

Mr WILSON:

– We have an indication from the Treasurer that at the present moment his feeling is that he will tax . these cases.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– The Committee will, decide when item 444 is reached.

Mr WILSON:

– Does not the honorable member see that this charge affects the duty on a piano to the extent of from 5 to 7½ per cent. ?

Mr Wise:

– Let us settle the matter by a vote.

Mr WILSON:

– I want to have a fair thing done for the piano importers and also the purchasers. It affects them all. When we are proposing to put duties of 30 and 25 per cent, on upright pianos, whv should the Treasurer try by a side-wind to increase the duties to the extent of from 5 to 7½ per cent.? The honorable member for Coolgardie was justified in drawing his attention to this important matter. And the honorable member for* Parramatta was justified in moving his amendment. The Treasurer would have facilitated business if he had given the Committee a fairly clear indication as to what he intended to do I think that the whole question should be dealt with on item 444. At the same time, we want the Treasurer to indicate how the cases are to be dealt with before we record our votes on this item of pianos. He rhust see that if he would only give an answer to our inquiries the business would be proceeded with, and a vote taken asquickly aspossible. I have no wish to delay business for a moment.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I ask leave towithdraw my amendment.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

– I desire to say a few words before the amendment of the honorable member for Parramatta is withdrawn. I am not going to sit here silently under the taunt that we have been wasting time in discussing this matter. The honorable gentleman who made that interjection is in this chamber so little that he is not in a position to say when the Committee is or is not wasting time. I remind the Committee that a whole dav was practically wasted over the item of printing ink, when, if the Government had understood what they ought to have comprehended,, a small amendment would have solved the whole difficulty. Instead of occupying an hour on the item, as we have over this matter, nearly a whole sitting was wasted. I reiterate that we have no right to impose this high duty by a side-wind. If it is intended to charge 35 per cent., let us have a . proposition to that effect; but if the duty is to be 30 per cent., let it be that rate and no more. The Treasurer knows quite well that, under the ad valorem system, the unfortunate importer pays duty as if the case were part of the piano. He knows further that piano cases are sold in this market at 4s. or 5s. each, although they cost the importer on an average £2 5s. In these circumstances, I think that the proposed chargeis hardly fair, and that the Treasurer might have given the Committee a more reassuring declaration as to his intention in regard to this item.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Prime Minister has declared this to be a wicked waste of time. My amendment would not have been moved but for the interruption of the honorable member for Riverina, who, when this matter was’ being referred to, took a point of order to try to prevent even a mention of it. It was then that I said, “ I will put myself in order, sir, by moving an amendment, which I hand to you.”

Mr Frazer:

– I think that the matter ought to be decided now.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– No: I intend to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Mr Wise:

– The honorable member is afraid to take a vote now.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Here is an honorable member going on in this way, and the Prime Minister declaring it to be a wicked waste of time. What does he want ?

Mr Wise:

– To take a vote.

Mr Chanter:

– The honorable member recognises clearly enough that the vote would be against him.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– If the honorable member wastes more . time we shall get all the blame. Some honorable members on this side have urged that this question should be dealt with on item 444. I remind them that that is the last item in the Tariff, and that honorable members are already going away.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– It will be rushed then, and that is why it is suggested.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– If it is not rushed, the extreme probability is that there will be a number of honorable members away without pairs when the vote is taken. However, to save time, I ask leave to withdraw . the amendment .

Amendment of the amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

.- This question ought to be tested now, because, in my opinion, it is a deliberate attempt to increase the duty on pianos which has been passed.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order ! Do I understand that the honorable member intends to submit an amendment?

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I do, sir. This proposal was apparently concocted during the dinner adjournment. We sat for five minutes longer than we ought to have done, and sat illegally, I am told. If the statement made by the deputy leader of the Opposition is correct, we must automatically suspend the sitting at half-past 6 o’clock.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order ! The honorable member is casting a reflection on the Chair, which he has ne right to do. There is no time definitely fixed for the suspension of the sitting to take place. If I so desired I could remain in the chair until 7 o’clock. It is merely a mutual understanding that we suspend the sitting at 6.30 o’clock. Whatever was done after that hour was quite in order.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I am very glad indeed to have that explanation from you, sir. An attempt is being made by a sidewind to increase the duties imposed on pianos by levying duty on the cases, and I think the matter should be tested now. Therefore I move -

That the amendment be amended by inserting after the word “Upright” the words “ except outside packages in which pianos are ordinarily imported when containing such goods.”

Mr ARCHER:
Capricornia

.- This is undoubtedly an important matter, and I wish to remind honorable members that, in the past, the Government, and especially the Treasurer, have repeatedly expressed a willingness to give way when it has been clear that they could not secure what they wanted, but afterwards, at a late hour, when there has been a very sparse attendance of honorable members, and there has been a chance of forcing a thing through, they have changed their tactics. I had some experience of that treatment in connexion with the item relating to ink. I have no hesitation in saying, from my knowledge of the Treasurer, ‘ that if this matter is left over, at some later sitting, the Opposition will be squeezed out, and the honorable gentleman will . get his own way. We shall find that we cannot get pairs ; we were refused pairs to-day, I understand.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– What is that?

Mr ARCHER:

– I understand that some honorable members on this side were refused.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– The honorable member should speak about what he knows.

Mr ARCHER:

– I may be wrong.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– The honorable member is wrong in this case.

Mr ARCHER:

– Then I withdraw that remark entirely. But we have had over and over again the experience which -I have described. I can quite understand why the Treasurer is refusing to give any indication of his intended action. No doubt, he hopes to get his own way at a late sitting. We have had experience of treatment of that kind, as I know to my cost in relation to the ink business. I sincerely hope that the opinion of the Committee will be registered when there is a full attendance.

Question- That the words proposed to be inserted (Mr. Tilley Brown’s amendment of Sir William Lyne’s amendment) be so inserted - put. The Committee divided..

AYES: 29

NOES: 27

Majority … ..; 2

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment of the amendment agreed to.

Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie

.- I understand, Mr. Chairman, that you are now about to submit the question that the amendment, as amended, be agreed to. Do I understand that the apparent oversight which occurred in reference to the previous item has been avoided in this case, and that the fixed duties have been struck out?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes. The fixed will cease to be operative after to-day.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “ 30 per cent.,” paragraph c, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, N.E.I., ad val. (General Tariff). 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per. cent.,” be inserted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– With reference to paragraph d, Parts thereof n.e.i., I was induced to make a promise under a wrong impression.

Mr Johnson:

– Is the Treasurer going to sneak out of it?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

-I regret that I did make it; but, having made it-

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Many a man has made a promise under a misapprehension, and has kept his word afterwards.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not want to hear anything from the honorable member. He is a disgrace to the House.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I rise to order. I understand that the Treasurer has just said that I am a disgrace to the House.

Sir William Lyne:

– Did the honorable member hear me say so?

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I am told that the honorable member made that observation. If he makes such remarks sotto voce, he ought to be ashamed of himself.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I did not hear the Treasurer make the remark.

Mr Johnson:

– I did.

The CHAIRMAN:

– If the Treasurer did, I am sure that he will withdraw it. At the same time, I would remind the Committee that it is not right for an honorable member in asking that a remark be withdrawn to use words that are equally offensive. I ask the honorable member for Indi to withdraw the observation he has just made.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I am quite willing to do so, and expect you, Mr. Chairman, to Call upon the Treasurer to withdraw the remark of which I complain.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The honorable member does not know what I said, but I withdraw anything that I did say. When interrupted, I was expressing regret that I had been induced to make a certain promise. Had I known what was going to happen, the position would have been different ; but, having made the promise, I intend to adhere to it. I move -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, Parts thereof under Departmental by-laws, ad val. (General Tariff), 20 -per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 15 ner cent.,” be added to paragraph d.

I wish, by inserting the words “ under departmental by-laws,” to give the Department power to prevent pianos being imported in sections at the lower duty, but, at the same time, to allow parts, as such, to be imported at this rate. I may add that I propose to make the next item free.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Does any sane man believe that pianos could come in as “ parts “?

Sir William Lyne:

– I have made inquiries, and find that this amendment is necessary. Without it, such a thing as the honorable member suggests could happen.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Is that all the departmental regulation will do?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

-The honorable member, surely, knows that it is not.

Sir William Lyne:

– It is, absolutely. I have had a conversation with the ComptrollerGeneral in reference to the matter.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Under the amendment, will not the importation of the smallest parts be subject to the departmental by-laws?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– No; because this does not apply to them.

Mr.JOSEPH COOK.- The departmental by-laws will relate to every nut, rivet, and screw in a piano.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– No; they are dealt with in the next item.

Mr Johnson:

– Does the next item include keyboards?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Yes.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- This is avery wise provision to insert, and is similar to that which we have inserted in regard to the importation of vehicles. The Treasurer fears that in the absence of departmental by-laws, pianos might be introduced in sections under this paragraph, and quickly put together, just as parts of vehicles have been imported and assembled.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– I do not think that the insertion of the words “ under departmental bylaws “ will accomplish the object which the Treasurer has in view. A person might import separate parts in several different shipments, and in that way, bring in, at the lower duty, a complete piano. To avoid that being done, it will be necessary to keep a record of the importations of different firms.

Sir William Lyne:

– I questioned the Comptroller-General on that very point, and he said that what the honorable member fears could be prevented.

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 382. Musical instruments, parts of, and accessories : -

Actions in separate parts ; Strings ; Felts and Felting; Hammers and Ivories; Handles and Hinges for Pianos; Violin, Mutes, and Chin Rests; Holders for attaching to Band or Orchestral instruments, ad val. (General Tariff), 10 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

– I should like the Treasurer to agree to the insertion of the words “ complete or” after the word “ Actions,” so that the line would read “ Actions complete or in separate parts.”

Sir William Lyne:

– That would never do. It would enable a large part of a piano to be brought in free.

Mr POYNTON:

– I am not suggesting an alteration in what has hitherto been the practice. Under the Tariff of 1902, this was allowed.

Sir William Lyne:

– If a man could in this way bring in the frames and the actions, he would have the greater part of a complete piano. I am advised that it would not be wise to accede to the honorable member’s proposal.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

.- I would point out to the Minister that the comma appearing after the word “ violin “ should be struck out.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the comma following the word “Violin “ be left out.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- Would the Treasurer object to the insertion of the words “and kevs thereto” after the word “Ivories”?

Sir William Lyne:

– I have made inquiries, and am informed that this is a proposal to which the Department does not think I should accede. As a matterof fact, keys are made here.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.- I propose to move -

That after the word “ instruments,” the words “ Pianola andAEolian Records,” be inserted.

I think that these records should come in free.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

.- I think that it would be better, to insert the words “ records for mechanical piano players.” There are dozens of mechanical piano players, and I fail to see whv we should specially, advertise any one of them. The records for all these instruments should come in free.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

.- The honorable member for Fremantle, as usual, is right. The difficulty can be got over by using the words of item 378, where these things are all enumerated. What is required is that records for “ pianolas and other attachments or articles for rendering music by mechanical process ‘ ‘ should be admitted free. I am glad that mutes are being admitted free.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.- I accept the suggestion of the honorable member for Angas, and move -

That after the word “ instruments,” line 7, the words “ Pianola, .AEolian, and similar Records for rendering music by mechanical process,” be inserted.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- If the Treasurer desires to encourage the manufacture of musical instruments in the Commonwealth, he should also provide that veneers in the rough should be admitted free. I understand that there is only one veneering machine in Australia. I do not think it is right that people engaged in this industry should have to go to a rival manufacturer to get the veneers they require.

Sir William Lyne:

– They could get a machine and cut them for themselves.

Mr POYNTON:

– The gentleman who has imported the veneering machine has had the advantage of free veneers and parts in building up his industry. I may sav that I have very little hope that the Treasurer will agree to the proposal I make.

Sir William Lyne:

– We have already dealt with veneers under the timber duties.

Amendment agreed to

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “ 10 per cent.” the words “ and 011 and after 12th December, 1907 (General Tariff), free,” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 383. Military Band and Orchestral Musical’ Instruments : -

Bassoons; Baritones; Bombardons; Bugles; Clarionettes ; Cornets ; Cornophones ; Cor. Anglais (Wood) ; Cymbals ; Cor. Tenor (Brass) ; Contra Bassoon (Brass) ; Doblpphones ; Drums ; Double Basses ; Euphoniums; Flutes; Fifes; Harps; Horns, viz., Flugel, French, Koenig Tenor, and’ Vocal Ballad; Musette; Oboes or Hautbois ; Piccoloes ; Saxophones; Tenor Trombones; Trumpets; Tubas; Triangles; Violins . and Violoncellos; Bagpipes, free.

Sir William Lyne:

– “I propose to add to this item “ flageolettes not being toys.”

Mr WEBSTER:
Gwydir

– I have a prior amendment. I wish to move that the last word in this itembe left out. Bagpipes should not, in my opinion, be admitted free. I know of no greater injury which the Treasurer has’ done during the consideration of this Tariff than that which he does in proposing to admit these instruments free. I am prepared to move that the word “Bagpipes” be left out.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I ask the honorable member not to move to exclude bagpipes from this item: There is no music I enjoy so much as the music of the bagpipes, and for the sake of my feelings I hope the honorable member will not persist in his amendment.

Mr WEBSTER:
Gwydir

.-Out of deference to the musical idiosyncracies of the Treasurer, I am prepared to allow the honorable gentleman to enjoy music which I cannot enjoy, and I shall not move the amendment.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “ Bagpipes,”’ line 14, the words “ Flageolettes not being toys,” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Division XVI. - Miscellaneous.

Item 384. Bags, Baskets, Boxes, Cases, or Trunks, with or without fittings, viz. : -

  1. Fancy; hand; jewel and trinket; spoiting ; travelling ; picnic ; toilet ; dressing ; glove ; handkerchief ; collar ; and work; satchels; reticules; valises; and companions, ad val. (General Tarifl), 35 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.
  2. Fancy Boxes, containing free goods or goods subject to a specific rate, ad val. (General Tariff), 35 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.
  3. Fancy Boxes, containing goods subject to duty ad valorem to be dutiable at the same rate as the goods.
Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Might I suggest to the Treasurer that this item should be made dutiable at the same rate as item 334. Those engaged in the trade make the suggestion because it is not desirable to make a difference of 5 per cent, in the duties imposed upon practically similar articles contained in these two items.

Amendments (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the word “ and,” line 3, paragraph a, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof a semicolon.

That after the words “ 35 per cent.,” paragraph a, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent.,” be inserted.

That after the words “ 35 per cent.” paragraphb, the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent.,” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 385 (Baskets, Workmen’s) agreed to.

Item 386. Articles n.e.i. for advertising purposes, including all articles otherwise specifically enumerated as free, ad val. 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907 - Articles which bear advertisements and which would not otherwise be dutiable at a higher rate of duty under any other heading, including all other articles which would be otherwise free if without advertisements thereon, ad val. 25 per cent.,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 387. Curled Hair and Curled Fibre, ad val., 25 per cent.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– There is an increase of duty on curled fibre. Can the Minister say why ?

Sir William Lyne:

– The Tariff Commission recommended the duty on curled hair, and the Department has brought in curled fibre at the same rate.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The Tariff Commission did not recommend a duty on curled fibre.

Sir William Lyne:

– Let it go. There is nothing in it.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– There is a’ big trade in curled hair, which is used by upholsterers. The increased duty will be a tax upon the requirements of the people. No reason has been given for it.

Item agreed to.

Item 388. Filters of all kinds and materials, ad val., 15 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ of all kinds and materials “ be left out, and the letters “ n.e.i.” inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 389. Boats, Launches, and Yachts imported in any vessel, or which have been put out of any vessel off the coast of Australia, and are subsequently brought into Australia, including all fittings, ad val., 20 per cent.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– This is an item on which a preference of 5 per cent might well be given. These articles are made in Great Britain.

Sir William Lyne:

– I will agree to that.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Then, I move -

That the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added.

Mr TUDOR:
Yarra

.- It is not wise to reduce the duty on this item. It would have been better to extend the wording to include other vessels which are brought out here. Dredges which could have been made locally, have been imported to Victoria.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am going to propose something about dredges.

Mr TUDOR:

– Certain public bodies in Victoria have been importing dredges fox some time past. The Geelong Harbor Trust had a very unhappy experience in the case of two secondhand dredges which they bought at Natal. Unfortunately for those on board, those vessels never reached here. I hope the Treasurer will be able to include dredges in this item, so as to give work for some of our workmen. I hope the honorable member for Dalley will object, on behalf of the ship-builders in his electorate, to the dumping of secondhand boats here.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

– The Treasurer, as a protectionist, should be very careful not to give protection to the outside world instead of to his own country. The principal launches imported are motor launches, the building of which is a great speciality in New South Wales. They are made by a firm whose main business is in my electorate, but this work is done by them in the electorates of the honorable members for Parramatta and North Sydney. Although the Treasurer has accepted the suggestion of the honorable member for North Svdney for a preferential rate, I would rather see the duty remain at 20 per cent, all round.

Sir William Lyne:

– The Tariff Commission recommended 20 per cent. , and I think we shall have to stick to that.

Mr WILKS:

– Twenty per cent, means an increase of only 5 per cent, on the duty in the old Tariff. Engine-fittings, which have to be imported for these vessels, are dutiable now at a certain rate, and why should we allow the finished article in the shape of the vessel itself to come in at a lower duty? Even a duty of 20 per cent, is low.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– No case has been made out in favour of this duty. Launches take up a great deal of room on shipboard, the charge for freight is by measurement, and that makes imported launches very expensive. It is to the advantage of Australian builders of launches to have samples occasionally of the best work of the kind from America, where the industry is very advanced. I hope the duty will not be made prohibitive. As the freight is so high, we are not likely to be inundated with imported launches.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Under the old 15 per cent, duty, only £1,446 worth of launches were imported last year. During that period, I know that hundreds have been constructed in Australia, a very large number in my electorate. The figures show that there is no danger to the local buildersof undue competition from abroad, and in those circumstances the Treasurer could safely take the course to which he assented just now.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did assent for the moment, but,, on consideration, I think I will withdraw that assent.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– What I ask for will be, at any rate, some preference to Great Britain on an item where a preference should be offered. If the Treasurer sees reason to depart from what he said, I am not desirous of holding him to his impetuous statement, but there is no fear of the concession injuring the Australian industrv. This is a special line, which Great Britain can produce, and it looks curious that we should, not give her a preference.

Mr Mathews:

– We can give her a preference by agreeing to rates of 30 and 25 per cent, respectively.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I do not care about that sort of preference. If the Treasurer objects to it, I will not press my amendment to a division.

Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports

– Will the Treasurer make any proposal on this item to stop the importation of dredges by public bodies? If any one ought to support local industries, the members of public bodies should do so. In Victoria, where the settled policy of the people is protection, a number of men who take public positions on bodies like the Harbor Trust and the Metropolitan Board of Works import all they can when they get the opportunity, especially dredges, which could well come under this item.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I should like very much to deal with dredges, but I am afraid the debate which would result would be too long. Another important reason why we should hesitate before taking a step of that kind is that the duty would affect public bodies, and raise the question of taxing their importations. I do not think the imposition of a duty of that kind would be very popular with the States. We should not allow that consideration, of course, to be paramount, but I should hesitate before making at this stage a proposal which would give rise to a long debate, even if we could get it through at all.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– In order to save debate, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Item agreed to.

Item 390 (Oars and skulls) ; item 391 (Carpet sweepers, &c.) ; item 392 (Brushes); and item 393 (Coke), agreed to.

Item 394. Manures, free.

Mr CHANTER:
Riverina

– I understand .that the Treasurer intends to propose to impose <a duty on manures.

Mr Wilks:

– Manures are not an Australian production.

Mr CHANTER:

– I can assure the honorable member that the production of manures is an Australian industry, in which £1,000,000 has been invested in plant in New South Wales alone, and in which, in the same State, £100,000 a year is paid in wages. Those who have invested their capital are penalized to the extent that they have to pay duty on the bags they use, whereas Japanese manures, bags included, Are admitted free.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I shall read the sworn evidence on this subject.

Mr CHANTER:

– I am speaking on the authority of the gentleman at the head of the firm in New South Wales to which I have referred. Further, I have myself seen at Yarraville, Victoria, an establishment in which a large number of men find employment. Sulphur is the basis of this artificial manure, and has to be imported from Japan.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– A good deal is imported from Sicily.

Mr CHANTER:

-The information given to me in reference to this industry I have verified, as far as possible, by my own observation. Those interested in the enterprise have to compete with manufacturers abroad, who employ low-paid coloured labour, and send the product here in foreign ships manned by coloured seamen.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Any duty will fall upon the Australian farmers.

Mr CHANTER:

– In reply, I may point out that the Australian farmers, for whose interests I have the greatest, regard, were at one time called upon to pay £6 and upwards a ton for their artificial manures, but now, in consequence of the competition caused by local production, they are supplied at £4 5s. and £4 10s. per ton.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The price has been reduced all over the world.

Mr CHANTER:

– The honorable member must not tell me that, because I have been engaged in farming, and speak with some knowledge. In consequence of the internal competition, Australian farmers are now getting an article equal, if not superior, in quality to imported manures, at a reduced price.

Mr Mathews:

– Much of the imported manure has been proved defective.

Mr CHANTER:

– I know from the farmers to which firm they give preference, but I am now merely treating the question in a general way. The Treasurer might well ask the Committee, and the Committee might well agree, to impose duties of, say, 15 per cent, and 10 per cent., in order to give the Australian manufacturers some little advantage over their Japanese competitor. It is true that very little of this manure is from Great- Britain, but still a preference might be given in the Tariff. The Australian manufacturer has to pay Australian rates of wages and observe Australian conditions, and it would only be an act of justice to afford the protection I have suggested.

Mr WILKS:
Dalley

.- These manures were free under the old Tariff, both sections of the Tariff Commission recommended that they should be free, and they appear as free in the Tariff now under discussion. The phosphates, which are the main component, come from Ocean Island, off the north-east coast of Australia, where there is estimated to be something like 12,000,000 tons in natural formation. These phosphates are brought to Australia, and here treated with sulphuric acid, which , is produced from imported sulphur.

Mr Mathews:

– Some sulphur is obtained from Tasmania.

Mr WILKS:

– Quite so. Many of theworkmen, to whom the honorable member for Riverina refers, are employed in turning these phosphates into superphosphates ; and it would be protection run mad to impose a. duty on an article every ton. of which means additional wealth to the whole of the continent. Surely the Treasurer will not abandon the proposal he has made in this

Tariff. Any one can see the farce of suggesting’ a preference to the United Kingdom, which imports manures from other parts pf the world ; and if a man were inclined to be a protectionist, such an extreme proposal as that suggested by the honorable member for Riverina would cause him to t axe eli ELI m

Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh

– I join with the honorable member for Riverina in asking the Treasurer to put a duty on manures. If I thought that the farmers would be penalized in any way I should not advocate a duty, but the experience in South Australia is quite to the opposite effect. In that State some years ago the whole of the manures used were imported, and the importers, having the field to themselves, charged £l per ton. This price was so excessive that the Labour Party urged the State Government to do as had previously been done in the case of wire netting - which,- by the way, was being imported at £5 or £6 below the price charged to the farmers - and import a shipment of manures. The importers at once came to the Government and said, “ If you will not import manures, we will agree to reduce our prices to £5 7s “ ; and from this it will be seen that they had not only been leaving themselves a large margin of profit, but had actually been robbing the farmers. The imported manures were so badly adulterated that, again, Parliament had to step in; and I assisted to pass a Bill in the State Parliament in order to secure the purity of the article. Then it was discovered that there are plenty of phosphates in Australia. Tn addition to the plant mentioned by the honorable member for Riverina, there is one at Port Adelaide; but I am assured that the New South Wales plant, alone is capable, with the local phosphates, of supplying all the manures required in Australia. The price has been reduced to £4 5s. per ton, and that reduction is due entirely to the operation of the local mills. I feel certain that if we destroy the competition caused by the Australian industry we shall revert to’ the old conditions. I have no doubt that in some of the States, where there is no preventive legislation, the farmers are suffering from adulteration just as the South Australian farmers suffered. The Treasurer, I think, will admit that it would be only fair to impose a small duty for the encouragement of an industry “capable of supplying the requirements of Australia -at a fair price.

Honorable members who oppose such a duty do so . simply because they have not gone into the matter, and do not know the facts of the case.

Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports

– No one can contend .that these manures cannot be locally produced in sufficient quantities, seeing that there are manufacturers sufficiently numerous to turn out more manures than are required in Australia. In 1902 the price was £4. 15s., and now it is £ 5s. ; and this is due to the fact that the industry has been started in Australia. The honorable member for Indi, and the honorable member for Grampians, both being Victorian members, know how,- some few years ago, the imported manures were proved to have dropped below the previous standard. Seeing that we can produce a good article, and that our manufacturers have to pay a duty upon their bags-

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The error of levying a duty upon their bags was pointed out when the item was under consideration.

Mr MATHEWS:

– But I may tell the honorable member that I believe in extending protection to the bag-makers as well as to the manufacturers of manure. I trust that the Treasurer will agree to the imposition of a duty of 15 per cent, or 10 per cent, upon this commodity.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– I am very much surprised to find some representatives of the poorer States of the Commonwealth advocating a proposal to make manures more expensive. In South Australia the use of concentrating manures has revolutionized the farming industry. I speak of that State specially because it is a lean State notwithstanding that it. covers such a vast area. If millions of tons of manures were accessible to the farmers of South Australia at a cheap rate, it would become one of our greatest States. I have been told that since the farmers there have . been using concentrated manures they have been enabled to make land remunerative which previously would not pay. for ploughing. The effect of imposing a duty upon this item must inevitably be to make manures more expensive. In my opinion they are already expensive enough, seeing that the best kinds range in value up to £6 and £7 a ton. We know that in .the past the sale of manures was characterized by a great deal of fraud. But there is fraud in every department of trade.

Mr Poynton:

– Some of the local vendors of manures were the biggest sinners.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– In the more enlightened States, however, legislation has been enacted under which the purchaser of any manure may have a sample of it analyzed, and if’ it is not up to standard the vendor may be punished. To a large extent this legislation has checked the evil which was previously rampant. I need scarcely point out that within thirty miles of Sydney there is to be found land which is not worth 5s. per acre, but which bv the use of manures can be made worth £10 per acre. I shall vote against the proposal to levy a duty upon this commodity, because I know that it would have tobe paid by the farmer.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- I am astonished that a proposition has been submitted to increase the price of manures.

Mr Chanter:

– No such proposal has been put forward.

Mr POYNTON:

– That is what ii means. The imposition of a duty upon manures is advocated only by the representatives of metropolitan constituencies. It is quite true - as has been pointed out by the honorable member for Robertson -that in South Australia we had to enact legislation to prevent the adulteration of manures. But who were the worst offenders in that connexion? Undoubtedly they were someof the local vendors, who were actually digging up soil upon the adiacent isrands and selling it as manure. The use of manures has brought under cultivation hundreds of thousands’ of acres whichwere previously regarded as worthless.

Mr Glynn:

– In some cases it has increased the value of land threefold.

Mr POYNTON:

– Yes. I maintain that under this Tariff the farmer is already called upon to pay more than his fair share of taxation. I am astonished that the honorable member for Riverina, who is a farmers’ representative, should endeavour to penalize that class more than it has already teen penalized. What benefit will the farmer derive from this Tariff? He has to compete in the markets of the world, and he cannot work eight hour’s a day.

Mr Mathews:

– The poor farmer again !

Mr POYNTON:

– It is all very well for the honorable member to exclaim,” The poor farmer again ! “ but I could trundle a wheelbarrow over his constituency. Before a duty is imposed upon manures, I shall have to be removed from the chamber.

Mr Chanter:

– What does the honorable member mean by that statement?

Mr POYNTON:

– I mean that this proposal will never be carried whilst I am able to stand upon my feet in opposition to it. Who has recommended, the imposition of a duty upon manures? . Have not both sections of the Tariff Commission recommended that this commodity should be placed upon the free list?. If the honorable member for Melbourne Ports had to submit to half the disabilities to which the’ farmers upon poor lands are subjected, he would not advocate a proposal of this sort. I represent a State which contains a larger area of poor land-

Mr Mathews:

– And poor farmers.

Mr POYNTON:

– I do not know that poverty is a crime. It may be in Port Melbourne.

Mr Chanter:

– Is the honorable member referring to the farmers who grow half a bushel of wheat to the acre?

Mr POYNTON:

– My. statement upon a previous occasion - as will be seen by reference to Hansard - was that during a period of ten years, certain farmers in South Australia had not averaged one bushel of wheat per acre. I further’ stated that that wheat had been sold for as low a price as1s. 4d. per bushel, and I know that my assertion is true. Realizing the climatic conditions with which agriculturists have to contend in the arid portions of South Australia, the uncertainty of the seasons, and the fact that they are faced with the vermin pest, I should be re-, creant to my trust as their representative if I did not oppose the proposal under consideration as long as I had breath in my body.

Mr Mathews:

– Two can play at that game, and I think I shall be able to lastthe honorable member out.

Mr POYNTON:

– We shall see. The only reason advanced in favour of a duty being levied upon manures, is the fact that an impost has been placed upon bags.

Mr Chanter:

– The honorable member assisted to allow of the importation of Japanese bags free.

Mr POYNTON:

– The cry of the cheap labour of Japan is raised upon every occasion that protectionists desire to levy an import duty. They forget that our farmers have to compete with that cheap labour in the markets of the world. The wheat-growers’ market is London, and he has already been sufficiently penalized under this Tariff. There is no free machinery for the farmer. While the man who has a factory is able to obtain his machinery free in many cases, the farmer gets nothing free. If the Treasurer supports this proposition, he will hear more about the matter.

Mr LIVINGSTON:
Barker

:- I should like the Treasurer to tell the Committee whether he intends to move to make the duties on superphosphates 15 and 10 per cent. . If he does, I shall have something to say on the subject. If, on the other hand, he allows manures to remain on the free list, as I hope he will, there need be no more discussion.

Mr Crouch:

– Would , the honorable member agree to a duty of 5 per cent?

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– I would not agree to any duty.

Mr CARR:
Macquarie

.- There is a misunderstanding as to what has been suggested, the desire of the honorable member for Riverina being to impose a duty, not on manures generally, but on superphosphates, which are largely worked up in the Commonwealth into a commercial commodity. This duty is asked for because the bags containing the imported superphosphates are imported free of duty, whereas the persons who prepare superphosphates locally have to pay a duty on the bags which they use.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I pointed that out when we were discussing the duty on bags.

Mr CARR:

– In my . opinion, the end can ‘best be met by imposing a duty oh superphosphates. Superphosphate manures are produced more cheaply in Japan than here.

Mr Wilson:

– We have the cheapest sulphuric acid and rock phosphates in the world.

Mr CARR:

– Yes; but labour is much cheaper in Japan. That, although a misfortune to the Japanese people themselves, gives an advantage to the commercial enterprises of the country. I should like to know whether the Minister is prepared to move in this matter. The amount invested in the industry in the Commonwealth is about £1,000,000, while the wages paid, to the men employed in it come to £104,000 a year.

Mr Chanter:

– The men employed number 800.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– What authority has the honorable member for Macquarie for his statements?

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Where is there £1,000,000 invested in this industry?

Mr Mathews:

– There are two large establishments in my electorate.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– There is not £1,000,000 invested in them.

Mr CARR:

– I have not received valuations from certificated valuers;I speak from information received from proprietors and employes.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The Tariff Commission published sworn evidence by manufacturers which was available to the honorable member.

Mr CARR:

– All the information obtainable in regard to the industry may not have been gathered by the Tariff Commission. It is only when adversity besets industries, as when it besets individuals, that an outcry is raised. Had it not been for the duty on bags we should not have heard the protest which is now being made on behalf of the local manufacturers of superphosphate manures.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– They can, and do, use bags which have been imported free of duty.

Mr CARR:

– That is a reflection on the’ administration of the Customs Department. The -honorable member for Grey has said that the proposed duty will increase the price of manures to the farmers. That is the stock argument of those who are opposed to duties, the legislators who advance it being afraid to move forward. Their policy is one of stagnation and stultification. They fear the consequences of any move forward. We, who advocate the imposition of duties, recognise that there is a certain amount of danger attending it’; but the Government have to-night placed before us the outline of a scheme for protecting the workers and preventing the consumers from being victimized. They are in sympathy with efforts to prevent the incidence of protective duties becoming unduly burdensome. I admit that these duties will not create a paradise of cheapness. But cheapness is not everything. If we could get for nothing everything that we want, we should become effete, and decay. A nation that makes its own goods has a manhood of better type than one which makes no such effort. I urge the Minister to do something in this matter.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

.- In the district which I represent, the value of the land has, in many places, been increased threefold by the use of superphosphates. I speak without prejudice in this matter, and only as I am guided by my sense of what ought to be done. There are many large phosphate deposits in South Australia, and, in fact, in my district, and whereever there is an indication of the presence of superphosphate there are persons ready to enter into agreements withthe farmers for the right of mining for it. If I were to study my interests as a member, I might favour a duty on superphosphates, because a good many persons in my district are making these into manure, and the price paid for the raw material depends, not only on its quality, but also upon the price obtained for the manure made from it. Some persons have asked me to support a duty, but I do not feel disposed to do so, especially in view of the splendid results which have followed the use of superphosphates in South Australia. There is practically an unlimited demand for superphosphate manures.

Mr Carr:

– And an unlimited supply here.

Mr GLYNN:

– I think that if the importations were stopped, the local production would not meet the demand, so that there is not much fear of injuring those who manufacture superphosphates into manure, if we continue to allow superphosphates to be imported free of duty. I hope that the Government will not add to the burdens of the farmer by imposing a duty on superphosphates.

Sir William Lyne:

– A South Australian representative has shown that what was done in that State reduced the price of superphosphates.

Mr GLYNN:

– He said so ; but twentyeight years ago the price of superphosphates was between £4 and £5 a ton, the price of manures ranging from £4 to £15 a ton, according to quality ; and Peruvian guano selling at £14 10s. a ton. The fluctuations in the price of superphosphates has not been caused by anything that has occurred in South Australia within the last three or four years.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– A witness before the Tariff Commission said that the prices were about the same thirty vears ago.

Mr GLYNN:

– Yes. A duty on this item may shut out manures which may be more useful to farmers than some of those manufactured locally. Rich deposits of natural manures, like the Peruvian guano deposits, may be discovered.

Mr Chanter:

– I suggested a duty on superphosphates, not on manures.

Mr GLYNN:

– I thought that the suggestion was to impose a duty on all manures.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not moved any amendment. Why do not honorable members vote for the item as it stands?

Mr GLYNN:

– The Treasurer would do better if he told us what he proposed to do, instead of sitting like a sphinx. He has been asked several times what the Government policy is.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– It is on the paper.

Mr GLYNN:

– If the Treasurer declares that he intends that manures shall be free, he will stop the debate. We are told by the Government Whip that the Government policy is on the paper.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I should like to hear the Treasurer express an opinion on the suggestion of the honorable member for Riverina.

Mr Livingston:

– The Government Whip says that manures are to be free.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– And honorable members will find that he is right.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I ask the Treasurer to tell the Committee whether he intends to adhere to the item of manures as it stands?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– He does not say so now.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– Do I understand the Treasurer to say that he intends to adhere to the item as printed?

Sir William Lyne:

– No ; the question before the Chair at the present time is item 394 - “ Manures, free.” If I make any proposal in regard to superphosphates it will be submitted as a separate item.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I hope that the honorable gentleman will not propose a duty on superphosphates, because the farmer does not get much benefit from the prohibitive protection which has been passed.

Sir William Lyne:

– That is a matter of opinion.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I do not think that the farmer should be taxed any more than he is, and I certainly hope the honorable gentleman does not propose to tax his raw material. He must be aware of the value of superphosphate manures to the farmer. He must know that all over Australia tens of thousands of acres, which at one time were considered almost worthless, are now made profitable to the farmer simply by the use of those manures. He has been taught how, by scientific farming, fallowing, and manuring, he can produce payable crops, thus finding employment for men and adding to the wealth of the country.

Mr Salmon:

– The proposal is to make manures free.

Sir William Lyne:

– I want to take a vote on this item.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– If all manures are going to be free, we will support the honorable gentleman, but if any manures are to be taxed I shall be quite prepared to speak for an hour or so.

Sir William Lyne:

– I should like to hear the honorable member “ stonewalling “ for a while.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I will do that when it is necessary.

Mr BATCHELOR:
Boothby

.- I desire to ascertain whether the Treasurer intends to propose or support any alteration in this line. If he will say that he. does not intend to support a proposition to impose a dutv on manures, I will resume my seat, because I know that with the help of the Government we can carry the item.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– No one else can propose a duty.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– If, however, the Treasurer intends to support an alteration of the duty on manures, I am prepared to speak at some length.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Give him a chance, and then we will see whathe intends to do.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I will resume my seat with the greatest pleasure if the Treasurer wants to get up.

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not want to get up.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I appeal to- the honorable gentleman to acquaint the Committee with the policy of the Government on this matter.

Mr Salmon:

– They propose that manures shall be free.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– If that is the intention I am satisfied.

Mr Salmon:

– If every honorable member who represents a farming constituency wants to get up and say that he does not wish manure to be free, we are prepared to listen to him.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I should be quite prepared to go to a division if I knew what attitude the Government took. If they do not intend to submit a proposition

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not done or said anything. I have submitted the item to the Committee, and I do not know why the honorable member should suppose that I intend to do anything else.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I accept that statement as an intimation that the honorable gentleman does not intend to support any alteration of the item.

Mr KNOX:
Kooyong

.- It is necessary that I should address the Committee, because it is dealing with a subject in which I am considerably interested, and. I prefer not to vote. I, as an individual, am opposed to any effort to impose a duty on superphosphate manures. I have been requested to state that if the Japanese material continues to be imported, as is proposed, the large works which have been started by the companies in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide may be closed.

Mr Chanter:

– And 800 men will be thrown out of employment.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Rubbish.

Mr KNOX:

– I am in a. position to speak with knowledge and authority. I look at this matter purelv from a commercial stand-point. At the present time, fully 1,000 men are employed at the various Works. The Mount Lyell Company are engaged in erecting large works in Adelaide, and have erected in Yarraville large works, which have cost nearly £90,000. It must be understood by the Committee that those works must cease operations if there is a large importation of this material at greatly reduced prices.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– That is not likely to occur.

Mr KNOX:

– I do not know that.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– But I do.

Mr Salmon:

– The Mount Lyell Company are selling their manure at 5s. per ton less than the value certified to by the Government Analyst.

Mr KNOX:

– That isall to the advantage of the farmers. In Victoria there is a very proper Act under which the value of the superphosphates is regulated, and the companies are now supplying to the farmers a manure superior to the imported article. I am vice-chairman of one company ; but the application to the Minister did not originate from that company, but from another direction. I am here to represent my constituents, and not any private interests, and of course it is not my intention to vote on a question in which 1 have so prominent a personal interest. But it seemed desirable that the Committee should understand that the companies have not the slightest intention of increasing the cost to the farmer in any way. Such an idea would not be entertained for a single moment. The companies are prepared to give a five years’ guarantee that no increase will be made.

Mr Henry Willis:

– Will they guarantee to reduce prices?

Mr KNOX:

– Why should they do that? I think there is some misapprehension as to the method of manufacture. The sulphuric acid is made from pyrites and sulphur, which can be easily obtained in Japan, and is being sent down to Australia in considerable quantities as well as the superphosphates. The original proposal of the Government was that these manures should be free; but representations have been made to the Treasurer that a labour question is involved, and he has very properly endeavoured to ascertain the feeling of the Committee. He has left himself in the hands of honorable members as to what course should be taken.

Mr PALMER:
Echuca

.- I understand that the position is that the Treasurer has been asked to agree to the imposition of a duty on chemical manures. He has not definitely agreed. He is very properly waiting to ascertain what the num-bers are. It is not often that I venture into the realm of prophecy, but I do venture to say that this question is of such great importance to the material welfare of the Commonwealth that any Government, which proposed to impose a duty which might lead to a considerable increase in the pi-ice of what is an absolute necessity to the producers would have a very short life. This is one of the matters which exemplify the great difficulty of arriving at anything like a scientific system of protection. Undoubtedly the men who are engaged in producing chemical manures would, under a strictly scientific protectionist Tariff, be entitled to their modicum of protection. There is no getting away from that argument. But we cannot shut our eyes to the obvious, and it is utterly unreasonable to propose that we should tax a material affecting the well-being of the country in the interests of a comparatively few. It would be absolute suicide to do so.

Sir William Lyne:

– I should , like to take. a vote on the item as soon as possible.

Mr PALMER:

– Is the Treasurer prepared to express an opinion about it ? The question has been raised several times as to whether the imposition of a duty decreases the price of an article. Because the prices of some commodities have been reduced it is argued that that is the result of protection, whereas the reduction of the prices of many articles has been simply due’ to the improvement of mechanical contrivances.

Mr CHANTER:
Riverina

.- I should like to reply to a few of the statements made by the honorable member for Grey and the honorable member for Barker.

Mr Archer:

– The honorable member’s speech will make it necessary for some one else to speak in reply.

Mr CHANTER:

– Very well; I understand that the honorable member is prepared to vote on this matter as on everything else in the direction of giving a preference to the foreigner against his own countrymen. If this item goes through in the manner proposed Australia will be in the disgraceful position of protecting the Japanese against her own manufactures.

Mr Livingston:

– The Government which the honorable member supports did it.

Mr CHANTER:

– I shall deal with the honorable member.

Mr Livingston:

– And I will deal with you, too !

Mr CHANTER:

– I am quite prepared to deal with the honorable member either inside or outside the chamber.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must ask the honorable member not to-be personal.

Mr CHANTER:

– The honorable member for Barker was personal to me, and I am sufficient of an Australian to hit back if a man hits me ; and I hit at once and straight from the shoulder. Let the honorable member make no mistake about that. The honorable members to whom I have referred have posed as the special friends of the farmer. I challenge both of them to show that they ever did more for the farmer or have enjoyed the farmer’s confidence for a longer period than I have. I have had that confidence because I have been a farmer myself. I have been the victim of a monopolistic ring which would crush out the last drop of blood in the shape of money from the producer.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– The manufacturers of chemical manures would soon form a ring if they got a duty.

Mr CHANTER:

– My suggestion to the Minister was not to impose a duty upon all manures, but upon superphosphates.

Mr Wilson:

– That is the most important of all.

Mr CHANTER:

– I am not personally interested in this matter, so that I can speak freely. Is it not important that we should keep in employment the 800 men engaged in the industry in three States ?

Mr Wilson:

– Have we not heard the same statement in connexion with every industry ?

Mr CHANTER:

– We have heard the statement of an interested party. Is it not natural to conclude that if we slam the door on the Australian manufacturer, and say to him, “ We shall compel you to pay duty on the package, but we shall open our’ arms to the Japanese, and allow him to send in his manures and his packages absolutely free- “

Mr Wilson:

– These bags are absolutely free.

Mr CHANTER:

– They are not.

Mr Wilson:

– They are.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must ask the honorable member for Corangamite to cease interjecting.

Mr Poynton:

– The honorable member for Riverina helped to impose the duty on bags.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Grey and others will recognise that if these interjections are allowed to continue order cannot possibly be preserved.

Mr Poynton:

– If the honorable member goes on in this way, we shall have to reply.

The CHAIRMAN:

– We are in Committee, and if the honorable member for Riverina makes a statement to which any honorable member objects, it can be replied to.

Mr Poynton:

– I shall certainly reply.

Mr CHANTER:

– This comes with a very ill-grace from the honorable member for Grey, who worked himself into a fury in his defence of the farmers. Surely I, as a . farmers’ representative, have a right to put my experience against his.

Mr Poynton:

– What I said must have gone home.

Mr CHANTER:

– Noi the honorable member is absolutely at sea” as to the requirements of the fanners. The one deduction that he always draws from the imposition of a duty is that the farmer will have to pay it.

Mr Poynton:

– My constituents are the best judge of that matter.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Grey’ must cease these interjections.

Mr Poynton:

– The honorable member for Riverina must confine himself to the truth.

The CHAIRMAN:

– If the honorable member will not obey my ruling, I shall have to take some other course.

Mr Poynton:

– I am not disobeying the Chair.

Mr CHANTER:

– I do not desire to create any ill-feeling.

Mr Poynton:

– Then keep to the truth.

Mr CHANTER:

– That is insulting.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Grey must withdraw the remark.

Mr Poynton:

– If the honorable member for Riverina says that I do not know what are the requirements of the farmers

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member must withdraw unreservedly.

Mr Poynton:

– I am not going to withdraw it.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Do I understand that the honorable member will not withdraw the remark?

Mr Poynton:

– When the honorable member for Riverina says that I do not know the requirements of the farmers, he is saying what is not true. When he withdraws that remark, I will withdraw mine.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Will’ the honorable member withdraw the remark?

Mr Poynton:

– I shall not. I am not going to be bounced by the honorable member for Riverina.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I again ask the honorable member for Grey to withdraw the remark.

Mr Poynton:

– Will you, Mr. Chairman, ask the honorable . member for Riverina to withdraw the statement that I do not know what are the requirements of the farmers?

The CHAIRMAN:

– I am not going to allow this to continue any further. I name Mr. Poynton for disobeying the ruling of the Chair.

Sir William Lyne:

– I hope that the honorable member for Grey will not persist in his refusal to withdraw.

Mr Poynton:

– Why does the honorable member for Riverina make a statement that is not true?

Sir William Lyne:

– According to the Standing Orders I am called upon to take a very disagreeable step. I hope that the honorable member will withdraw his remark, and so save me from moving as I must do that he be suspended from the service of the House. I shall be very reluctant to do so, and I ask the honorable member not to force me into such an unfortunate position.

Mr Poynton:

– In deference to the Chair, I withdraw it. I now ask you, Mr. Chairman, to call upon the honorable member for Riverina to withdraw the statement that I do not know what are the requirements of the farmers.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I am sure that if the honorable member for Riverina has made any statement to which the honorable member objects he will withdraw it.

Mr CHANTER:

– I am utterly at a loss to know what statement I have made to which the honorable member could take exception as being personal. If, in the heat of debate, I have” made a statement to which he objects I unreservedly withdraw it. No one regrets more than I do what has taken place. The honorable member for Grey, I am sure,, will admit that he seems always to throw out a challenge to other representatives of the farmers. I rose only for the purpose of doing what I conceived to be my duty. The honorable member for Grey seems to think that if a duty be imposed upon any article the farmer has to pay for it. I take an entirely different view. I have always held that, if by the imposition of a duty on any articles used by the farmer its local manufacture is stimulated and competition created the farmer is benefited. I have proved that the manufacture of superphosphates in Australia has resulted within the last five years in the farmer securing them at 35s. per ton less than he had to pay before. I feel, however, that if we allow things to remain as they are, the 800 men now engaged in the industry in Australia will be driven out of it. Over £1,000,000 has been invested in the industry in three of the States, and last year £100,000 was paid in wages. By penalizing the men employed in the industry we shall take money out of their pockets and put it in the pockets of the importers. The object of free-trade is to pi ace every one on even terms. It was proposed, not merely that -the Aus tralian manufacturer should compete openly with the foreign manufacturer, but that he should be under penalties in having to pay higher rates of wages, and work under disabilities which did not affect his foreign competitor. Honorable members opposite go further, and say that the article which he requires as a package for the product he manufactures must pay a duty, whilst they are prepared to allow the “manure and the package in which it is contained to be imported free from Japan. Honorable members cannot deny that the effect of Internal competition in this instance has had. the result of reducing the price of the article to the farmer from £6 to £4 5s. per ton.

Mr Batchelor:

– Why did not the honorable member help me to have manure bags imported free?

Mr CHANTER:

– I do not think I was present when that item was dealt with.

Mr Sinclair:

– Will not the imposition of a duty make bags cheap in Australia in the same way?

Mr CHANTER:

– Honorable members opposite are charging the Australian manufacturer a duty on the bags he requires, whilst they are prepared to let the Japanese manufacturer send his bags into the Commonwealth duty free. My only interest in this matter is to benefit the farmer by keeping local competitors in the field against’ the imports of the foreign article. I should be blind to his interests if I gave a vote which would have the effect of increasing the price of the article. When competition in the production of any article is removed, the price is increased to the consumer, and if it is maintained the price is kept at a fair level.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– Let us take a vote.

Mr CHANTER:

– The honorable member for Grampians and I take diametrically opposite views of this question. I am prepared to vote, as an Australian patriot, in favour of the protection of Australian industries.

Mr Hutchison:

– And as the farmers’ friend.

Mr CHANTER:

– And as the farmers’ friend. I have represented farmers for the last twenty-three years in the Parliament of New South Wales and the Commonwealth Parliament. In spite of the efforts of honorable members opposite, with thousands of pounds behind them ito prevent my return, the farmers have remained true to me. This is not merely a matter of theory with me. I was’ farming years ago before the establishment of the manufacturing industries, brought into being by the protective Tariff of Victoria,’ and for the implements I used I had to pay 100 per cent, more than the price for which they can now be obtained in the Commonwealth. I admit the value of manures and superphosphates, and wherever I go I recommend their use to the farmers. I need not mention names, but I am aware that time after time, by analysis, farmers have discovered’ that they have been imposed upon with rubbish in the shape of imported manures, and might just as well have put sand into the soil. Where the manufacture is carried out under local legislation and supervision, the farmer knows that he can get a pure article, which will increase his crop. He wishes that the Australian manufacturer of manure shall continue in existence, and if he were a member of this Committee he would’ be found assisting the Australian manufacturer to continue his competition against the foreign manufacturers of manures. If honorable members have made up their minds to protect the foreigner, the responsibility is theirs, and not mine. I have pointed out the position, but honorable members opposite, true to their policy, propose to penalize the Australian farmers and protect their “ brother Jap.”

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– *r he wishes to curtail the debate, I ask the Treasurer to state what his attitude is upon this item. I have no wish to detain the Committee, but I could show that some statements which have been made are not in accordance with the facts. The honorable member for Riverina nas stated that there is £1,000,000 fixed investment in this industry in Australia. From personal knowledge, and also from sworn evidence given . before the Tariff Commission. I am in a position to say that that statement is an exaggeration.

Mr Chanter:

– If the honorable member will not accept my statement, will he not accept the statement of the honorable member for Kooyong, who has asserted that there is more than £1,000,000 in this industry?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I will accept the statement of the honorable member for Kooyong that £90,000 is invested in his own works. We have the evidence, given before the Tariff Commission, of Mr. Elliott, of Elliott Brothers, of Sydney, one of the manufacturers of this article. He said the output was, roughly, as follows - “ Cuming, Smith and Company, Mel bourne, 30,000 tons ; Wischer, of Melbourne, 10,000 tons; Wallaroo Copper Smelting Company, of Wallaroo, South Australia, 10,000 tons; Explosives Company, of Braidwood, 4,000 tons ; Adelaide Chemical Company- Cuming, Smith and Company - of Adelaide, 10,000 tons; and Elliott Brothers, of Sydney, 10,000 tons;0 or a total of 74,000 tons.”” Mr. Cuming, of Messrs. Cuming, Smith and Company, the largest manufacturers in Australia at the time of the giving of evidence before the Commission, was asked -

What capital is invested by these four firms in plant?

And replied: - .

I cannot speak for the others, but we have about £100,000 invested in this way.

Then, in reply to the question -

Can you give us some idea of the extent of the industry in Australia? -

He said -

I suppose that the works and plants in Victoria would have a capacity to produce 60,00a tons per annum.

His firm produced, according to Mr. Elliott, half of that amount at that date. Their plant represents £100,000, and is one of the finest in Australia. Assuming that all the other plants cost another £100,000, that gives £200,000 for plant for - -Victoria. The production outside Victoria, according to the evidence of Mr. Elliott, was then about 15,000 tons.

Mr Batchelor:

– The output in South Australia alone was 20,000 tons.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I see there is some discrepancy between Messrs. Cuming, Smith’s figures and Mr. Elliott’s figures. »

Mr Batchelor:

– Cuming, Smith,- and Company include the Adelaide Chemical Works, of which’ they &re the proprietors.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Then that 10,000 tons has to come off. But, taking 30,000 tons as the production of the £100,000 -plant, and allowing, say,, twice as much as the value of the plant for the whole of the rest of the .production, that would give £300,000, and, adding £90,000 for the works of the Mount Lyell; Company, as stated by the honorable member for Kooyong, we get a total- of £390,000, or, say, £400,000. That is giving an outside estimate. Therefore the statement that £1,000,000 is invested in plant and buildings in this country is much beyond the mark.

Mr Hutchison:

– The duty would soon make it £1,000,000.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– We have heard a good deal about . imports, and about the destruction that Japan was causing in this industry. The honorable member for Corio asked me if there were imports from anywhere else but Japan. In 1906, according to the Commonwealth. Statistician, we imported of superphosphates £110,722 worth from the United Kingdom, £33,070 worth from Belgium, £3 worth from France, £13,739 worth from Germany, £12,116 worth from the Netherlands, £74 worth” from the United States of America, and £790 worth from Japan. That shows that our imports’ from other countries have been much larger than from Japan.

Mr Hutchison:

– We imported 484,279 cwt. of rock phosphates from Ocean Island.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That is the raw material.

Mr Hutchison:

– It can be obtained here.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– This duty does not give protection on that. If it is cheaper to bring it from Ocean Island, it will still be brought.

Mr Hutchison:

– It is not cheaper. We have it here.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– If the quality is equal, why do they bring phosphate rock from Ocean Island and Christmas Island?

Mr Hutchison:

– Because they want an outlet for’ their stuff. They will bring it in at any price, as they have cheaper labour.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That is a reason why no duty should be imposed. Phosphate rock is the raw material. Neither the Minister nor the honorable member for Riverina proposes a duty on it. The phosphate rock is taken from those islands not only by Australia but by Japan. It has to go up to Japan, and then to be brought back again after being manufactured. There is a tremendous natural protection in that alone, and the effect is shown by the small quantity of imports last year from Japan. It is also stated in the sworn evidence of one of the witnesses that thirty years ago he sold superphosphate at about the same rate - £4 5s. It is now a little more - I think about £4 7s. 6d. I do not wish to delay- the Committee, but the Government are forcing a discussion. I have a great deal more than this to say, but I should like to know from the Minister-

Sir William Lyne:

– I have asked for a vote on manures, and there is nothing but talk. I have not proposed anything with regard to superphosphates. Let the Committee pass the item “ manures,” and I will say what I am going to do.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Then we will debate it out, even if we stay here till Saturday night.

Sir William Lyne:

– When I propose it, it will be time to debate it.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– These things are sprung upon the Committee without notice at the last moment.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not sprung any proposal on the Committee.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Will the Treasurer let me say what he did? The honorable member for Riverina suggested that the Treasurer should propose a duty, and the honorable gentleman said, across the table, that he was in favour of a duty if it could be carried.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did nothing of the kind; I did not say a word.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

-The Treasurer must excuse me; but he did do so.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not communicated to any one what I am going to do.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The Treasurer stated that he favoured a duty.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not been on my feet.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Quite so ; but the honorable gentleman spoke across the table to myself.

Sir William Lyne:

– Nonsense !

Mr Frazer:

– If the honorable member for North Sydney will sit down and permit a vote to be taken, we shall see who favours a duty.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– But if I sit down in order that a vote may be taken, honorable members opposite, will debate the question. As to the bags, the duty can only apply to a special sort, the great bulk of the manures being put up in ordinary bags which come in free. I pointed out at the time that it was not fair to single out manure bags for duty. However, the position is so manifest that the trouble. can easilybe remedied in another place.

Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports

– I hope the Committee will vote against this item being free.

Mr Batchelor:

– I hope the Committee will not do so.

Mr MATHEWS:

– I am sorry to hear that interjection from an honorable member who professes to be a protectionist. Like the honorable member for Grey, I am speaking for those I represent, and in my electorate, there are two very large manure factories, together with two or three smaller ones. In spite of the fact that the local industry has brought down prices, we have honorable members who are wedded to free-trade refusing to give a chance of employment, and doing what they can to stop the development of manufactures in Australia. If the farmers’ representatives could see as far as the ends of their noses-, they would realize that if the local industry be crushed, the importers will at once raise prices. Here we have an industry that has not been fostered, at any rate, by the Commonwealth Parliament. We have been told by the honorable member for North Sydney that there is not £1,000,000 invested in the industry, and he has supported his statement with extracts from the evidence taken before the Tariff Commission. The honorable member forgets, however, that that evidence only related to the actual factories, and that, apart from the factories themselves, there is subsidiary employment, such as is afforded in bringing the material from Tasmania and other places. I should say that in reality there is more than £1,000,000 invested in the industry taken as a whole. I am determined to see that the honorable member for Grey, in his blindness, does not damn and starve 500 or 600 men with their families in my electorate; and I appeal to protectionists to support me. Of course, I do not expect support from honorable members who were returned in other States as protectionists, but who, when an opportunity is presented to foster industries in a way that would do the farmers no. harm, trot out all sorts of evidence they know is not correct. Never yet has an attempt been made to impose a duty on a manufactured commodity, but honorable members have voted against it because it did not in any way benefit their own electorates. I am not surprised at free-traders voting against such duties; but when we have the honorable member for Boothby, who calls himself a protec tionist, but who never casts a protectionist vote except for the benefit of his own electorate

Mr Wilson:

– This is disgraceful!

Mr MATHEWS:

– The honorable member for Corangamite is another who pretended at the last election to be a protectionist, but who has never cast a protectionist vote in this chamber. I urge protectionists to vote against this item being left free, in order that it may be put under some other heading as dutiable.

Mr BATCHELOR:
Boothby

– After the wild attack made upon me by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports, may I say that I do not think that in my electorate there is a single manufacturer of any dutiable articles? When the honorable member accuses me of voting for protectionist duties only when my own electorate is interested, he is very much “ at sea.” May I say that some ten years ago I assisted considerably for two or three years in developing the manure industry in Australia.I took action in the direction of securing the payment of a bounty for the discovery of phosphatic rock. No reason has been assigned for the imposition of a duty upon manures. No request has been made by those interested in the industry, and the fact that they did not take the trouble to appear before the Tariff Commission is pretty conclusive evidence that it is not in need of any adventitious aid. The fact is that for some years after the introduction of mineral manures into Australia the entire trade was in the hands of the foreigner. But with the establishment of the local industry, Australian manures have superseded imported manures.

Mr Hutchison:

– The importations from Japan are increasing.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– Last year, out of a total importation of manures valued at nearly £400,000, only £790 worth came from Japan.

Mr Mathews:

– But the importation from Japan has increased enormously during the present year.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– The honorable member is afflicted with a Japanese scare. He has already attacked protectionist members of the Committee because they are not smitten with the same disease.

Mr Mathews:

– The honorable member is not a protectionist.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– The honorable member is more than a protectionist.

Sir William Lyne:

– Oh, stop it.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I will not submit to personal attacks without replying to them. When I am charged with being influenced only by a regard for my own constituency, I do not intend to remain silent. The Treasurer could have stopped this discussion an hour ago-

Sir William Lyne:

– That is not a fact, and the honorable member has no right to make the statement. If the debate had not been continued by honorable members upon one side of the chamber, it would have been continued by honorable members upon the other side.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– The Treasurer knows very well that had he definitely stated that the Government would not support this proposal, some speeches which have been delivered would not have been made.

Mr Wilson:

– The Treasurer put up the honorable member for Riverina to move an amendment.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did nothing of the kind.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– It seems to me that when an honorable member proposes the imposition of a duty upon an article which appears in the free list, it is the business of the Treasurer to explain to the Committee the attitude of the Government towards it. Certainly such a course of action would tend to curtail debate. I see no reason why a duty should be levied upon manures. The local article is superseding the foreign article-

Mr Mathews:

– That is not correct in respect of the present year.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– The consumption of the local article is increasing.

Mr Fuller:

– The sworn evidence given before the Tariff Commission is to the effect that it can be sold at a lower price than the imported article.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– One of the difficulties surrounding the present position is that the local manufacturers have to pay a duty upon their bags. When I pleaded that jute, manure; and gypsum bags were not made in Australia, and therefore ought to be admitted free what was the position taken up by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports ? Was he a supporter of this industry? Certainly not. He voted for the duty. I have no desire to labour this question. If the Government had chosen to give an early “ lead “ in this matter I am satisfied that the debate would have been very much curtailed. Even now, if the Treasurer will declare that they do not intend to support the proposal of the honorable member for Riverina, there will be no need to prolong discussion.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– For two hours or more we have listened to a debate which has been encouraged by the Treasurer.

Sir William Lyne:

– That is not correct.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Treasurer deliberately told the Committee that he wanted honorable members to express an opinion upon this proposal before he made up his mind in regard to his attitude towards it.

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member is making a mis-statement.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am making a statement which I heard fall from the Treasurer’s own lips. If ever there was a wicked waste of time this debate is one.

Sir William Lyne:

– Whilst the honorable member is speaking.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am about to make a few remarks upon the proposal to levy a duty upon manures.

Sir William Lyne:

– Oh, let the item go.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Treasurer himself has encouraged this debate. More than an hour ago he said that he wanted to ascertain the mind of the Committee upon this proposal.

Sir William Lyne:

– What I said across the table was that I wanted to hear what the honorable member for Kooyong was about to say.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I will sit down at once ifthe Minister will say what he proposes to do. Does he intend to tax manures? If so, I shall have a few remarks to make on the subject.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am not going to do anything.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Why could not the Minister say that two hours ago?

Mr LIVINGSTON:
Barker

.- I asked the Treasurer, an hour and a half ago, if he intended to impose a duty on superphosphates. That is a matter of vital importance to South Australia, whose output of wheat is trebled since superphosphates came into use. The honorable member for Riverina, whose own district is suffering so much this year, should be glad that we are having a good season. He said that the honorable member for Grey did not know what the farmers want, but no man in Australia knows more about the needs of the farming community than does the honorable member for Grey.

Mr Hutchison:

– Did he explain what brought down the price of manures?

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– He had not the chance. The honorable member for Riverina accused me of interjecting and annoying him.

Mr Mathews:

– So the honorable member did.

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– I did not. I have never done anything to annoy any one since I have been a member. The honorable member for Riverina told me that I could have it out outside; but I do not settle my disputes in that way.

Mr Mathews:

– The honorable member challenged the honorable member for Riverina.

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– No. The other day the Treasurer sprung a surprise on us in regard to the duty on sheep dips, and to-night he was going to spring a similar suprise with regard to a duty on manures.

Sir William Lyne:

– Nothing of the kind.

Mr LIVINGSTON:

– Had the Treasurer treated the Committee fairly, we would have helped him. He has allowed two hours to be occupied over a matter which he could have settled in five minutes.

Mr CARR:
Macquarie

.I presume that if the Committee decided that manures generally should not be free the Government would be compelled to impose a duty on them. That I do not want. But the Minister will ‘not tell us what he proposes to do with regard to superphosphates .

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member knows perfectly well that I do not intend to do anything.

Mr CARR:

– I did not know that. Had the Minister said so earlier, the discussion might not have lasted so long. Those of us who desire a duty on superphosphates would be foolish to vote against manures being made free, unless we had the assurance of the Minister that he would propose a duty on superphosphates only. I cannot understand his attitude.

Item agreed to.

Item 395 amended to read as follows, and agreed to -

Rope, Cordage, and Twines, n.e.i., including cordage with metal core : macrame twines ; fleece thread; brushmaker’s and mattress twine; roping, seaming, and shop twines; and halters, and other articles, n.e.i., manufactured from cord or twine, ad val., 25 per cent.

Item 396. Fishing Nets and netting therefor, ad val., 20 per cent.

Mr JOHN THOMSON:
COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– As fishing nets are tools of trade to a very deserving and poorly paid class, I propose to ask the Committee to insert after the word “ therefor “ the words ‘ fishing hooks and floats for fishing nets “ with a view to subsequently moving that all these articles be made free.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The honorable member need not discuss the matter, as we are prepared to make them free.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

.- Before the honorable member submits an amendment for that purpose, I want the Committee to insert after the word “fishing” the words “ and rabbit.”

Mr Mathews:

– Why does the honorable member spring this amendment on the Committee ?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I have not sprung the amendment on the Committee, because I have already spoken to the Minister on the subject.

Mr Mathews:

– The honorable member has sprung it on the Committee. We are not allowed to do that sort of thing.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– It is understood that fishing nets are to be made free. There is a recent Australian patent for the destruction of rabbits. It is said to be a very good and effective patent. I do not know whether it will prove so or not.

Mr Mathews:

– Why does the honorable member want to remove the duty?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I cannot say everything at once. I can only utter one word at a time. Fishing nets are not made in Australia, because the demand is not sufficient to justify the cost of erecting the large machines which are essential to their manufacture. It is intended to substitute fishing net for the galvanized wirenetting which is now used to form the races to rabbit-traps. There is a patent for using fishing net for that purpose. If fishing net is made free, and it was known that it was intended to be used for rabbit trapping, the Customs officers might say that, inasmuch as it was not to be used for fishing it was dutiable.

Mr Mathews:

– I would not give away a pointto the Opposition. They will not give away one point to us.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I do not know what is the matter with the honorable member, who, instead of being his usual genial self, is very grumpy. This netting is a tool of trade to the rabbit trapper, and if it is made free to him, he can increase his income considerably. I move -

That the words “and rabbit” be inserted after the word “ Fishing.”

Sir William Lyne:

– I accept the amendment.

Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports

– I never like to be petulant. When protectionists endeavour to save an industry from being wiped out, ‘honorable members on the other side get up and say that our amendment has been sprung on the Committee, and all sorts of insinuations are thrown out. My advice to the Treasurer is to beware of every suggestion which comes from the other side. When they want to alter or lower a duty, everything is supposed to be right and proper, but when we want to make an alteration, we are accused of underground engineering. We on this side, ought to give the members of the Opposition a dose of their own medicine. Whenever we endeavour to make an alteration which would be beneficial to those carrying on manufactures, we are opposed by members of the Opposition, and our actions are misconstrued. I hope that, until the Tariff is disposed of, the Treasurer will not accept any amendment from that source.

Mr STORRER:
Bass

.I hope that the Treasurer will accept this amendment which, I may mention, has not been sprung upon the Committee, because I received a communication on the subject two or three weeks ago. I think it is quite right that the article should be made free, and I intend to support the proposal.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. John Thomson) agreed to -

That after the word “ therefor,” the words “Fish hooks; Floats for fishing nets,” be inserted.

Amendment (by Mr. Crouch) agreed to-

That after the word “ nets,” the words “ and lines,” be inserted.

Amendment (by Mr. John Thomson) agreed to -

That the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent.; (United Kingdom), free,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item. 397. Yarns -

  1. Jute, Hemp, and Flax, ad val., 10 per cent.
  2. Wool, n.e.i., ad val. (General Tariff), 10 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 5 per cent.
  3. N.E.I., including Hose Yarn (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.
Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I move -

That after paragraphb, the following new paragraph be inserted : - (bb) Cottonyarn, ad val.(General Tariff), 15 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 10 per cent.”

I have had samples sent to me showing that there is an industry of an important character for the manufacture of cotton yarn in Queensland. I was very much surprised to find to what an extent it is being manufactured. That is why I propose to give the industry some amount of protection, without which it cannot be successfully carried on.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– As we are dealing with yarns, I may as well point out that we have been “yarning” since morning. I suggest that it is about time that we should adjourn. We could very well dispose of the remaining items in the Tariff to-morrow.

Sir John Quick:

– I think it would be well to have from the Treasurer an announcement as to his intentions. If he intends that we shall sit on, I am prepared to help him.

Sir William Lyne:

– I propose to go right through the Tariff.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– What does the Treasurer mean by “ right through?”

Sir William Lyne:

– I do not think that we can deal with harvesters to-night, but we can dispose of all the other items.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– We have now been sitting for fourteen hours, and honorable members opposite support the Treasurer in his intention that we shall continue sitting until the Tariff is disposed of. The welfare of the country does not seem to be a consideration that appeals to them. It is at all events a secondary consideration with them. The remainder of our work upon the Tariff might just as well be done to-morrow.

Sir William Lyne:

– We have a great deal to do to-morrow.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Would it not be a fair thing for the Treasurer to take the Committee into his confidence?

Sir William Lyne:

– I may have to consider to-morrowwhether it is necessary to recommit a few items.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– That means that we are to get through the Tariff to-night and begin again upon it to-morrow.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.Can the Treasurer state whether or not cotton yarn is being spun in Queensland?

Mr Sinclair:

– It is.

Mr POYNTON:

– I have been informed that it is not.

Mr Page:

– Any quantity of it is now beingspun in Queensland.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have seen it being spun there.

Mr POYNTON:

– A duty of 15 per cent. on cotton yarn must affect a number of industries, and before asking the Committee to impose it the Government should have satisfied themselves that cotton yarn is being spun in Australia. I feel some anxiety in this regard, because cotton yarn is one of the raw materials of the woollen mills of Victoria. During the debate on the woollen items evidence was adduced that the woollen mills, more particularly in this State, largely import cotton yarn. The imposition of this duty may therefore seriously affect the woollen industry. The honorable member for Fremantle mentioned that the value of our imports of cotton yarn amounted in one year to over £70,000. Nearly the whole of that importation was consumed in Victoria.

Mr Crouch:

– Is this sarcasm? The honorable member has no woollen mills in his electorate.

Mr POYNTON:

– I am speaking more particularly in the interests of the Castlemaine woollen mills. I wish to keep free one of the raw materials of the woollen industry.

Mr Storrer:

– Which the honorable member says is cotton.

Mr POYNTON:

– Yes. I am sure that the honorable member for Bass will sympathize with my object, because the Tasmanian woollen mills turn out a pure article. I should like to know how many hands are employed in spinning cotton in Queensland. The imposition of this duty may throw out of employment hundreds of men who are now engaged in the woollen industry. We cannot get away from the evidence that cotton is the principal raw material of some of the Victorian woollen mills.

Mr Webster:

– It is the foundation of the woollen fabric.

Mr POYNTON:

– It is; and I trust that the Treasurer will seriously consider this question.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– If the Minister will give no explanation of the item, we might as well take things leisurely. We have already decided that cotton piece goods shall be free.

Colonel Foxton. - Hence the necessity for the duty now proposed.

Sir William Lyne:

– If the duty had been retained on cotton piece goods, I should not have proposed this. item.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But does not the honorable gentleman think that some explanation is due from him? Without any explanation, the Treasurer submits new items, and the Committee can take them or leave them. If the Minister will explain the object and effect of the present proposal, I shall sit down at once.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I did not curtail my remarks in submitting this item out of any discourtesy to the honorable member or to the Committee. The manufacturers of this cotton yarn are getting improved machinery, and as we have removed the duty that was imposed under the old Tariff on cotton piece goods, they might as well close their mills if wedo not give them some assistance in the production of yarn. They had invested a good deal of money, and were manufacturing calico and other cotton piece goods of that kind, and the removal of the duty on cotton piece goods hit them very hard.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The removal of a 5 per cent. duty?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– So I am informed. They are devoting their attention now particularly to the development of the manufacture of these yarns, and I think it reasonable that they should be given some support. They have arranged for the planting of 200 or 300 acres of cotton from which to draw their supplies, and 1 believe some of the land has already been planted.

Mr Page:

– The whole of it has been planted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The object is to supply cotton to the mill for the production of these yarns, and honorable members will see that already an attempt is being made to bring about what we are most anxious to see, and that is the growth of cotton in Australia.I make this statement in deference to the request of the deputy leader of the Opposition, and if I did not say much in introducing the item it is because I feared that if I did so I might provoke a long debate. I hope that the reasons I have given for the introduction of the item are satisfactory to the honorable member.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I want to know what effect the imposition of this duty is likely to have upon the importation of cotton piece goods ?

Mr Sinclair:

– Cotton piece goods are free.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am aware of that. It is all very well to say that this proposed duty will lead to the cultivation of 200 or 300 acres in Queensland. But if, at the same time, it is going to affect the importation of£3,000,000 or £4,000,000 worth of cotton materials, it may be a very serious matter.

Sir William Lyne:

– It will not affect those materials at all.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [12.59 a.m.]. - I wish to assure the deputy leader of the Opposition that the proposed duty on cotton yarn cannot possibly affect the importation of cotton piece goods. As cotton piece goods are allowed in free, the Ipswich mill, which is the only mill of its kind in Australia, will have to be dismantled so far as the machinery for the production of cotton piece goods is concerned. These yarns, the manager of the mill has explained to me, are used, as the honorable member for Grey has said, in the production of goods which are alleged to be all wool.

Mr Tudor:

– All really high-class tweeds contain a percentage of cotton.

Colonel FOXTON.- That is so, perhaps, and if this cotton yarn is not produced here, it mustbe imported for the purpose. I fail to see why, when woollens have been so highly protected, the manufacturers of woollen goods should not be asked to pay a little extra for a small proportion of the raw material they require, which is the product of another industry indigenous to the country.

Mr. TUDOR (Yarra) [1.0 a.m.).Under paragraph d, yarns n.e.i., including hose yarn, are dutiable at 5 per cent. and free. If by that means hosiery manufacturers can get their cotton yarns in free, the difficulty will be got over. But if they have to pay 15 per cent. for any yarns they import, until the. Ipswich mill is ready to supply them, they will be in a worse position than the spinners of the yarn are in. The latter will get a protection of 15 per cent. and 10 per cent., while the manufacturers of hosiery- the made-up article - will get only 25 per cent. and 20 per cent., which will mean only a 10 per cent. margin, if they start on cotton hosiery.

Sir John Quick:

– Is there any prospect of that?

Mr TUDOR:

– I think there is. That aspect of the case might be taken into consideration.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– I think the Committee might support this proposal, which is a fair one, although the A section of the Tariff Commission recommended that the article should be free. The Government propose to give a bounty for the production of flax, jute, hemp, and kindred plants, and we might reasonably accept what, after all, is not a high duty. I have received a circular from a number of manufacturers who, I think, should have that measure of support.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I do not object to the duty. I only wish to see what its incidence will be in relation to the huge import of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 worth of cotton piece goods. If this yarn is merely to mix with wool in the woollen mills, then, as those mills have a high protective duty, they cannot well object to a small rate on the cotton yarn.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr TUDOR:
Yarra

.- I presume that the words “ hose yarn “ in paragraph d mean hosiery yarn. Is it intended that any hosiery yarn, no matter of what material, can be brought in at the low rates proposed for paragraph d?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes ; that is the object.

Mr Poynton:

– Is there any necessity for a 5 per cent. duty in this paragraph ? These yarns are made largely on the Continent.

Sir William Lyne:

– There is a system right through the Tariff of making certain items5 per cent. and free. I want to put them all on the same footing.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item . 398. Reaper and binder twine and yarn, per cwt., 5s.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Where is the urgency for finishing the Tariff to-night?

Sir William Lyne:

– We have a great deal to do to-morrow, irrespective of what we are doing now.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It is the height of absurdity to ask us to sit all night without giving any reason. Surely honorable members who are trying to assist the Government to close up the business are entitled to know what they are asked to do.

Sir William Lyne:

– I shall tell the honorable member, if I can, on the adjournment to-night, after I have consulted the Prime Minister, what we propose to do to-morrow.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Prime Minister will come in, take up the noticepaper, and say, “ We might try to get this through, and that through, and the other through,” and there we shall be. We are just aswise when he finishes as when he begins. Nothing could be more like a comedy than the proceedings of this Chamber recently.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

– Unless these resolutions are passed to-night, it will be impossible for the Tariff to be printed in time for the covering Bill to be got through on Friday. Personally, I want to get home after Friday.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– What are we kept up for tonight? We do not know why we should get through the Tariff to-night, or what the Government are going to do when the Tariff is finished.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– We propose to adjourn as soon as possible. The Bill covering the Tariff has to be brought in, and will probably be discussed. I do not know whether I shall be able to deal with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill, but I have had very pressing telegrams to-day asking me to try to have it dealt with before the House rises. I do not propose to take the harvester duties at present.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Is there to be a long debate on the harvester duties?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It would not be fair to take them to-night, considering that they have been postponed for a certain purpose, and that the Prime Minister will probably have to make a statement before they are dealt with to-morrow. That ought to be done to keep faith with the House.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– All I wanted to know was what business the Government were going to take. Are we to launch immediately to-morrow into a discussion of the new protection ?

Sir William Lyne:

– I cannot tell the honorable member. I am only leading the House in the absence of the Prime Minister.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Go ahead, we will help you to get the Tariff through.

Item agreed to.

Item 399. Sewing Silks and Twists; and Household, Shoemaking, and Bag-making Threads and Cottons, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, Sewing and Embroidery Silks and Twists ; Household Threads and Cottons ; Sewing Threads and Cottons n.e.i. for manufacturing purposes; and Saddlers’ Twine, Free,” be added.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Shoemakers’ thread is omitted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The officers inform me that shoemakers’ thread comes under “ sewing threads and cottons for manufacturing purposes.”

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 400. Unserviceable Cordage, for paper manufacture, pursuant to Departmental by-laws, Free.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.- I ask the Treasurer to insert the words “ and Rags” after the word “Cordage.” Any abuse could easily be stopped by means of the departmental by-laws.

Mr Salmon:

– We ought not on any account permit rags to be imported. It is as much as we can do now to keep out disease, without running further risks in this way.

Mr.CROUCH.- I move-

That after the word . “ Cordage “ the words “ and Rags “ be inserted.

Amendment negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 401. Metal Cordage, including Cordage of Metal, with core of other material, Free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “Cordage,” where it occurs for the first time, the comma be left out.

Item, as amended, agreed to,

Item 402. Copying Apparatus for duplicating typewriting and the like, ad val., 25 per cent.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– In this case, no duty is recommended by either section of the Tariff

Commission, there appearing under the heading of recommendations by both sections, merely the words, “According to Material.” I should like to know from the Chairman of the Tariff Commission what the words mean.

Sir John Quick:

– I suppose it means the material of which the apparatus is made - whether manufacture of metal or manufacture of wood.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– This duty will operate rather severely on a number of people, particularly on females, who have to work very hard in order to make a living by means of this apparatus. Some of the workers, I understand, have to provide their own materials ; and I do not think we ought to impose so high a duty.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I ought to explain that there was some difficulty about this item, and that it would have come under a higher duty had it not been separately dealt with here. However, I move -

Thatthe words ‘‘and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 20 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– What is the meaning of the words “ and the like.” They are very vague and indefinite.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The words mean articles associated with the apparatus.

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 403. Fumigators, Atomizers, Odorizers, Vaporizers, and the like, ad val. 20 per cent.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) agreed to -

That the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added. .

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item404. Cork Mats; Bungs, Rings Floats for fishing nets, and other manufactures of cork n.e.i., ad val., 15 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ Bungs, Rings, Floats for fishing nets,” be left out.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 405. Corks : -

  1. Small corks (up to 8-ounce bottles), per lb.,1s.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “bottles,” paragrapha, the words “ Bungs and Rings “ be inserted.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I move -

That after the figure “1s.,” paragrapha, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, free,” be inserted.

I submit this proposal with a view to subsequently making corks n.e.i. also free. The duty proposed cannot be regarded as a protective duty.

Sir William Lyne:

– I believe that cork cutting is done within the Commonwealth.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– There is a little. For certain purposes, cork’s have to be cut, and this provides a certain amount of employment. It did so prior to the introduction of this Tariff. But any industry created under this sixpenny duty would be unprofitable alike to the users of the cork and to the community. It is infinitely better that the corks should be cut in the country of origin. Even if a duty be levied upon this commodity, the bulk of the corks used in Australia will be imported. The proposal of the Government simply represents an endeavour to provide employment which, will have to be paid for by the consumers. At one time, there was a considerable duty upon corks operative in Victoria, and yet the amount of cutting done locally was exceedingly small. I quite agree that cork trees can be grown within the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, I have urged, in another Parliament, that attention should be given to the production of these trees. But I would point out that twenty-five or thirty years must elapse before their bark would be useful for cork making, and that in the interim - if we adopt the Government proposal - we should be levying a heavy tax upon the users of this article.

Mr Maloney:

– I believe that the cork tree will grow more quickly in Australia than it will in its native home.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That may be. I do not think that we ought to impose any duty upon this item.

Mr Poynton:

– The duty has been abolished in New Zealand.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I have a memorandum here to the effect that the Department is in favour of substituting a 35 per cent. duty upon paragraph a, which would be slightly lower than the specific duty proposed. If any great opposition is exhibited to this item, seeing that the cork cutting industry is being carried on here, I propose to take a vote upon it.

Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne

– If we cannot obtain the duties proposed by the Government, I should like to see slightly decreased rates levied. I would point out that soda-water corks are imported for1s. 6d. per gross, and that a gross would weigh about 1 lb. The corks for lemonade bottles cost from 8d. to 10d. per lb., whilst the corks for hop beer bottles cost from 6d. to 7d. per lb. Ginger beer bottle corks cost from 5d. to 6d. per lb. It will be seen, therefore, that the duties proposed are a little too high. If the Government cannot carry the proposals in the schedule, I suggest that they should accept a duty of 6d. per lb. upon small corks, and of 3d. per lb. upon corks n.e.i.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– The honorable member for Melbourne has quoted from a letter forwarded to him by the Aerated Waters Association of Victoria. They say that fewer than twenty persons are employed in the industry, and that they were employed when there was no duty ; whereas there are thousands connected with the manufacture of aerated water and kindred trades. I understand that the Minister desires to propose a. duty of 35 per cent., which he says is a little less than1s. per lb., which amounts to a duty of from 40 to 50 per cent. on soda-water corks, of from 60 to 70 per cent. on lemonade bottle corks, of from 70 to 90 per cent. on hop-beer bottle corks, and of from 60 to 80 per cent. on gingerbeer bottle corks. We do not produce corks in this country, and, according to experts, we could not in any case produce them within less than twenty to forty years. Although they have tried to produce corks commercially in America they have not succeeded. The corks supplied tothe world come from Spain and the south of France. Under these circumstances a duty on corks is absurd, and I shall vote for the amendment.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- In New Zealand for twenty years they had a duty of20 per cent. on corks. But in that time not one cork-cutting factory was established. Iask the Minister, if he wishes to avoid a long discussion, to abandon the proposed duty.

Mr. HENRY WILLIS (Robertson)

Castlemaine and elsewhere. I saw cork trees growing there twenty-five years ago, and though there were a large number of them, I have not yet heard of the cork industry being established in the State.

Mr McWilliams:

– Is the bark good ?

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– Yes. Trees were imported specially because of their bark, and in all probability are still doing well.

Mr Salmon:

– I have some very good trees growing on my own place.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– But the honorable member has not established the cork industry there. The Castlemaine plantation would not keep a firm going for twelve months in corks. Cork can be grown here, but not in commercial quantities. Therefore the proposed duty is unreasonable, and I hope that the Minister will not insist on it.

Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie

– I think that the Minister might well accede to the general wish of the Committee. The protectionist section of the Tariff Commission recommended that corks should be admitted free, and I believe that the Chairman of the Commission will vote to make them free.

Sir William Lyne:

– Then let us take a vote.

Mr FRAZER:

– When a vote is taken under circumstances like the present, the decision come to is often not that which would have been arrived at had honorable members paid attention to the speeches of those who have interested themselves in the subject.

Mr Salmon:

– Does the honorable member think that any one can be got to listen to a debate at this hour ?

Mr FRAZER:

– No. Honorable members cannot be blamed for refusing to do so. We have been sitting here now for more than fourteen hours. ‘ But. seeing that those who have considered this matter are practically almost unanimously of the opinion that corks should be admitted free, the Minister might well give way.

Mr Storrer:

– The only way to get at the opinion of the Committee is to take a vote.

Mr FRAZER:

– By taking a vote we shall obtain a decision of the Committee, possibly without opinions, and as that is all that can be expected now, I will sit down.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Dugald Thomson) agreed to -

That after the figure “ 6d.,” paragraphb, the words “ and on and after12th December, 1907, free,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 406. Explosives, viz. : -

  1. Cartridges n.e.i., ad val. (General

Tariff), 30 per. cent. ; (United Kingdom), 20 per cent. . . .

Sir William Lyne:

– I want the word “ filled “ to be inserted after the letters “ n.e.i.”

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.I move -

That after the word “ Explosives,” the words “other than explosives for mining purposes” be inserted.

Sir William Lyne:

– How can the Customs officers tell for what purpose the explosives are intended to. be used when they are imported? I intend to make black powder free.

Mr BOWDEN:

– The honorable gentleman is dealing with fuse and other articles in separate paragraphs.

Mr Thomas:

– Does the Minister intend to make dynamite free?

Sir William Lyne:

– No, sporting powder.

Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP; FLP from 1931

– I point out to the Treasurer that if an amendment is not moved to make mining powder free, it will be taxable under paragraph a.

Mr Watson:

– We cannot make cartridges free.

Sir William Lyne:

– No; but I want to add the word “filled” to paragraph a, and to deal with other cartridge cases afterwards.

Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP; FLP from 1931

– A large quantity of the miners’ powder is supplied in cartridges, and its use is prescribed by law.

Sir William Lyne:

– Paragraph a does not apply to mining powder.

Mr WATKINS:

– Miners’ powder is imported in cartridges.

Sir William Lyne:

– But this paragraph, when it is amended, will relate to “cartridges, n.e.i., filled.” I intend to make cartridge cases and powder free. I do not think that this paragraph applies to the miners’ cartridges.

Mr WATKINS:

– So long as it is made quite clear, I do not mind.

Mr Hedges:

– What the honorable member refers to is compressed powder.

Mr WATKINS:

– I refer to powder compressed into cartridges. I should like to know under what paragraph the Minister proposes to deal with the miners’ powder ?

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

– The Treasurer has announced his intention to make paragraph a read - “ Cartridges,n.e.i., filled.” It is unnecessary to insert the word “ filled,” because it would not be a cartridge unless if was filled, but merely a case.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Paragraph 1 deals with cartridge cases, and it is necessary to distinguish between the two items.

Mr HEDGES:

– In my opinion, paragraph a is all right as it is.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.I understand that all the paragraphs of this item apply to sporting powder and sporting cartridges.

Sir William Lyne:

– That is quite right.

Mr BOWDEN:

– I think that the miners’ explosives ought to be made free.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– That question can be raised on, paragraph l, which dealswith “Explosives, n.e.i.”, which are dutiable at 5 per cent. in the general Tariff, and admitted free when imported from the United Kingdom.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have just inquired of the officers, and I can assure the honorable member for Nepean that the introductory word “explosives” is all right as it stands.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the word “ filled “ be inserted after the letters “n.e.i.”

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.I still think that the word “cartridges” will include the miners’ cartridges, but if the Treasurer will assure me that the miners’ cartridges will be included in paragraph l, and not in this item, I shall be satisfied.

Sir William Lyne:

-I havejust been informed that they will be so included.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I desire to know whether the Minister intends to propose any alteration in the duties of 30 and 20 per cent. on “ Cartridges, n.e.i., filled.” The A section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of 20 per centin the general Tariff and 15 per cent. in the preferential Tariff. That is stiff enough.

Sir William Lyne:

– I will agree to duties of 30 per cent. and 25 per cent.

Mr WILSON:

– I move-

That after the words “ 30 per cent.,” paragraph A, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 20 per cent.,” be inserted ; and that after the words “20 per cent.,” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added.

Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie

– I should like to hear from the Treasurer some reason for his proposed departure from the recommendation of the A section of the Tariff Commission in regard to cartridges. The Commission evidently went fully into the question, because they have made a recommendation in regardto the preferential duty, which they have rarely done in regard to any other item in the Tariff. If the Treasurer has any reason why we should depart from that recommendation I should be glad to hear it. Otherwise I shall vote for duties of 20 per cent. and 1 5 per cent.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I was talking a few days ago to a cartridge manufacturer in Sydney. He told me that if duties of 20 per cent. and 15 per cent. were adopted as recommended by the A section of the Tariff Commission whilst the parts were made free he would be able to get along very well. We ought to have an explanation why the Commission’s recommendation has not been adhered to.

Mr THOMAS:
Barrier

.Under the Kingston Tariff it was originally proposed to make the duty on cartridges 20 per cent., but Parliament made them free. There was no preference idea in those days. Now, however, the Government profess to be anxious to grant a preference to the United Kingdom. I am quite prepared to vote with the Government in favour of a duty of 20 per cent. against the world in general with a preference to the United Kingdom. That ought to be sufficient.

Sir William Lyne:

– I will accept the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraphb. Fireworks, ad val. (General Tariff), 35 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Mr. Storrer) proposed -

That after the words “35 per cent.,” paragraphb, the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent.,” be inserted.

Mr THOMAS:
Barrier

.Does this item relate to the fireworks purchased by children?

Sir William Lyne:

– All kinds.

Mr THOMAS:

– If it applied only to children’s fireworks I should be prepared to vote for duties of 50 per cent. or 60 per cent.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Why?

Mr THOMAS:

– I should like to see their importation prohibited, and would even prohibit their manufacture in Australia.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– Honorable members should recollect that this item affects the magnificent pyrotechnical displays which are sometimes arranged for the delight of the public. I shall support the amendment of the honorable member for Bass.

Sir William Lyne:

– I will agree to that.

Amendment agreed to.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraphc. Fuse n.e.i., per coil of 24 feet or less and in proportion for any greaterquantity, per coil (General Tariff),1¼d. ; (United Kingdom),1d.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– This item constitutes another tax upon the mining community. I consider that safety fuse at all events should he free. It was free under the old Tariff. I have received a communication which indicates the position. There are only two factories in Victoria which make fuse, one at Footscray and the other at Bendigo ; and only about thirty-three people, mostly girls, are employed. The duty will mean taxation amounting to something like £8,000 per annum, and for the sake of an industry employing thirty hands the Government propose to subject the mining industry to still another disability. I move -

That after the figures “1¼d.” and “1d.,” paragraph c, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, free,” be inserted.

Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie

– This paragraph, although not of great importance, so far as the value of the industry to which it relates is concerned, is of serious consequence to those engaged in mining. There is probably no item in the Tariff to which we should give more careful consideration than one relating to fuse for underground mining. We all know of the perils of the mining industry, and, unhappily, are familiar with the fatalities associated with it. A restriction of the choice of fuses may possibly jeopardize the lives of many miners, and, for that reason, we should give special attention to this question. The evidence seems to indicate that fairly satisfactory fuse has been produced in Australia; but the imposition of this duty has enabled the local manufacturers to unduly penalize the mining industry. I would suggest to the Treasurer that he would save time by agreeing to reduce the duties to¾d. and½d. per coil.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I am agreeable to that.

Sir William Lyne:

– Very well.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Frazer) proposed -

That after the figure “, l¼d.,” paragraphc, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per coil (General Tariff),¾d.,” be inserted; and that after the figure “1d.” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, per coil (United Kingdom),½d.,” be inserted.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

– The Treasurer is not treating me fairly, as, notwithstanding the assistance I have given him in passing the Tariff, he has abandoned the Government proposal. The manufacture of fuse is a Victorian industry, and is carried on in my own electorate.

Sir William Lyne:

– I was not aware of that.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– If the Minister has given way to the request made by the honorable member for Kalgoorlie, he is not doing justice to the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission, whose recommendations I am here to sustain. I am sorry that I agreed to help the Government to carry on late to-night if, as the result of late sittings, duties are to be reduced, without fair consideration, by the consent of the Treasurer. Quite a number of honorable members are prepared to support the recommendation of the Commission and the duties originally proposed. I protest against the action of the Treasurer in giving way as he has done. The manufacture of fuse was exhaustively inquired into by the Commission, the protectionist section of which recommended a duty of 1d. per coil. The Government went one step further, and proposed duties of1¼d. and1d. The evidence before the Commission showed that the abolition of the Victorian duty placed the production of fuse in Australia in a very precarious position, and that but for the appointment of the Commission to inquire into the condi tion of threatened and strangled industries, the factories in Australia would have been closed.

Mr Bowden:

– How many are there?

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– There are two factories, one in Footscray and one in Bendigo.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– They employ thirty hands, consisting for the most part of women.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– I am surprised that a representative of Victoria should attack a Victorian industry. The Commission was positively assured that the local factories had been struggling and fighting a big trust, in the shape of Nobel and Company, which has thrown down the gauntlet, and has deliberately told the Australian manufacturers that it intends to have the whole of the Australian market or nothing. They have cut prices so low that the local factories have been unable to make the business pay.

Mr Frazer:

– How does the honorable member reconcile that statement with the fact that they have raised the price by1s. 6d. since the imposition of these duties?

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– When the old Victorian duty was abolished Messrs. Nobel and Company reduced prices to such an extent that the local factories had to sell below the cost of production. Their representatives candidly admitted that they desired a duty to enable them to carry on their business. They frankly said that if the importers raised their prices to the extent of the duty imposed they would also be forced to do so, but that otherwise they would be unable to do so. The inference is irresistible that the importing firms first raised their prices and that the local manufacturers did likewise. After all, if they did they merely brought up the price to the normal level at which the local manufacturers were able to make both ends meet, whilst the Victorian Tariff was in operation. I would remind honorable members in the Labour Party that the two factories in Victoria are carried on under the Wages Board system, and are subject to periodical inspection by factory inspectors. They provide excellent accommodation for their employes, and extend to them the very best treatment. It is stated that they recognise the eight hours’ system and pay good wages. The rates of wages paid here are much higher than those prevailing in England and on the Continent. We cannot expect the production of fuse any more than the production of any other commodity in Austral ia under Australian conditions to be as cheap as it is in England or on the Continent. If there has been a slight increase in the price - which I do not admit - it maybe justified by the fact that the local factories have to comply with the strict conditions imposed by the State industrial laws. For the safe conduct of mining operations, there can be no doubt that it is necessary that the best fuse should be used. I have in my hand a report from Mr. Hake, the Chief Inspector of Explosives in Victoria, which was furnished to me specially, in order that I might read it to the Committee when this item came up for discussion. Amongst other things, he says -

One important advantage of a local fuse factory is that the fuse is manufactured and issued direct to the mines in a fresh condition, long storage and exposure to extreme variations of temperature being avoided.

Mr Hedges:

– That is an argument in favour of the consumption in Victoria of fuse manufactured in this State.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– It is an argument in favour of its production in Victoria, where it can be transferred to other parts of the Commonwealth within a very short time after it has been manufactured, as against the importation of fuse manufactured abroad. Another argument used by Mr. Hake is that the production of fuse should be promoted as one of the elements and features of national defence, because, in all probability, on the outbreak of hostilities, fuse would be declared contraband of war, and oversea supplies would be liable to seizure. I use that as an argument to show that we should not allow these local fuse factories to be wiped out. The Tariff Commission had the assurance of the representative of the Bendigo factory, in which over £20,000 has been spent, that unless this duty were imposed in order to level up prices, the factory would have to be closed, and all the hands turned adrift.

Mr Wilson:

– We have heard that statement about every factory in Australia.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– I would remind the honorable member for Corangamite that this is a Victorian industry.

Mr Frazer:

– Otherwise we should not have this special pleading in support of it.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– I have fought for industries in Western Australia, in Queensland, and in the other States as well as for

Victorian industries, and I feel that I am justified in fighting for this industry, which is the only one specially identified with the Bendigo district. I shall think it very unfair if protectionist members of the Committee vote against this duty. As regards the price of fuse, I venture to say that if the local fuse factories were closed up, as I have every reason to believe they would be, as a result of the rejection of this duty, Nobel and Company, and. the continental fuse-makers, having a monopoly of the market, would charge the mining companies what they thought fit for their fuse, and the price, instead of being reduced, would go up. I say that since fuse has been manufactured in Australia the average price has gone down, and the mining community has ha9 the benefit of a better, as well as of a cheaper, fuse.

Mr Frazer:

– The price soon went up i.8d. a dozen after this Tariff was announced.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– It went up to a normal figure. Surely the honorable member does not desire that those employed in fuse factories in Australia should be sweated, or that the manufacturers should have to carry on the industry at a loss. They are carrying on at a loss at the present time.

Mr Watson:

– What increase upon the old duty does the honorable member propose? .

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Under the Victorian Tariff the duty was id. per coil. The Kingston Tariff when first introduced contained a proposal for the same duty. I think it would mean an increase of about 20 per cent. If this small duty is not agreed to for the protection “of an industry in which over £20,000 has been expended on one factory at Bendigo and over £10,000 on another at Footscray, the probability is that those factories will be closed up, and the mining companies must take the consequences. I appeal to protectionists in the Committee not to desert me on this item. I. can appeal to labour members especially to support an industry which pays the very best wages. On this subject I can quote from the report sent to me by Mr. Hake, who visited the Bendigo factory. He says -

I found on my first inspection that the factory was established on the right lines, and carefully conducted from the point of view of safety to the workpeople engaged in the factory. Improvements in the factory for the better safety of the workpeople have been gradually extended since 1890. Many of these, although not required under the Act, have been carried out by the proprietor on his own initiative and at his cost. In my opinion, the factory compares favorably with any fuse factory in the world both as regards precautions taken to prevent accidents and the general efficiency of the machinery.

Mr Frazer:

– And this was done under free-trade.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Not at all. This factory was established under the Victorian Tariff of id. per coil. Since its establishment Nobel and Company have appeared in the field in competition with the local factories, and they have proclaimed their deliberate design and intention to acquire a monopoly of the market for fuse in Australia. I warn the Committee, and mining members especially, that if this duty is reduced the disaster caused by the closing up of .the local factory will overtake “them, and they will regret the day they voted against the proposal I make.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I regret very much to hear the extravagant language used by the honorable member for Bendigo in regard to this matter. I must say that I was not aware of what he has said with respect .to Nobel and Company, nor was I aware that there was a fuse factory in his own constituency. I thought that the duty proposed was rather high. I find that, as the honorable member for Bendigo has said, the duty under the Victorian Tariff was id. per coil. of 24 feet. In Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia, fuse was free. In Tasmania there was a duty of 20 per cent, imposed, and in Western Australia the article was free.

Sir John Quick:

– There were no factories in the other States.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not wish to take from this industry a fair) measure of protection. I have had to decide the matter as best I could, and the honorable member for Bourke informed me that he thought a certain duty would be carried.

Sir John Quick:

– The honorable member did not consult me about it. Was that fair ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not know whether he did or not. He told me that a certain duty would be carried, and I did not wish to delay the Committee. I did not know the honorable member for Bendigo felt so keenly on the matter.

Sir John Quick:

– I do feel keenly in the matter, arid I have helped the Treasurer in many difficult situations.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The honorable gentleman never said a word about the matter to me.

Sir John Quick:

– I did not think the honorable gentleman was going to abandon the duty he proposed.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I had no information at all from the honorable member in regard to the matter. After looking at the duties imposed under the States Tariffs, I thought that the duty proposed was a high duty. It may be that present conditions are different from those whichexisted when the States Tariffs were in operation, but I do not think the honorable member for Bendigo has been quite fair in blaming me for agreeing to a proposal which seemed to me to be a reasonable one. I was informed some hours ago that there would be a fight over the duty on fuse.

Sir John Quick:

– Who told the honorable gentleman that?

Mr Bowden:

– I did.

Sir John Quick:

– Is the honorable member for Nepean the boss of the Committee ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I wish to tell the honorable member for Bendigo what happened, because I do not want him to feel that I deserted him in any way.

Sir John Quick:

– It looked like it.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The honorable member was not fair or just. I am not going to take that sort of statement from him. Whilst I thank him for helping the Government in the way that he has done, I will not submit quietly to attacks such as he made on me just now. I must have some discretion in the conduct of business.

Mr Thomas:

– Was the honorable member for Bendigo supporting you because he thought you were right, or merely because he thought he could get a concession for a Bendigo industry ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I will not cast that reflection on the honorable member, but he should know that the honorable member for Barrier, the honorable member for Coolgardie, the honorable member for Nepean, and one or two other honorable members, came to me about this matter, and that caused me to ascertain what the duties had been in the past.

Sir John Quick:

– Did any protectionist member ask the honorable member to abandon this proposal?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not know that he did ; but I have to use my own discretion, and sometimes I must act quickly. I felt that the honorable member for Bendigo was very unfair to me.

Sir John Quick:

– I think the honorable member was unfair to me.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If the honorable member had said a word to me about it, I should have known exactly what his views were.

Sir John Quick:

– I did not think it necessary to ask the Treasurer to support his own Tariff.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I have had several times to agree to reductions, but in this particular case, when I found out that Victoria was the only State that had a duty of1d. per coil, that one other State had a duty of 20 per cent., and that in the case of all the others the article was free, I began to think that this duty was high. I am quite prepared to test the feeling of the Committee on a division. I regret the honorable member for Bendigo has shown so much heat as to the action I took.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

. There are many sides to this question, and the honorable member for Bendigo has made a great mistake in stating the case as he has done. This duty strikes a heavy blow at the mining industry. During 1906 1,214,206 coils of fuse were imported into Australia. A duty of1d. per coil on that would have amounted to £5,000. The Tariff Commission actually recommended a duty on powder and tape, which are the principal raw materials from which fuse is made.

Sir John Quick:

– We recommended that for the protection of other industries.

Mr HEDGES:

– There is no consistency in that attitude. If the Commission had recommended free powder to make cheap fuse, there would have been some sense in it. But I fail to see how the Commission could recommend a duty on powder and then expect the mining industry to get cheap fuse. Fuse of the very best qualify is essential for mining. The chief mining of Australia is not carried on in Victoria, but in the other States. Why should we in other States be taxed so that a little fuse can be made in Victoria? The proposition which the Treasurer has accepted is sensible, and, in the best interests of Australian mining, although, perhaps, not altogether of Victoria, but we are here to legislate for Australia, and not for any particular State.

Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh

.- This is not a South Australian industry; but I am entirely in accord with the honorable member for Bendigo. I am surprised that the Minister has agreed to such a reduction. It is strange that honorable members calling themselves protectionists should be so anxious to destroy one of the best paid industries that we have. The honorable member for Fremantle said that the duty on the total imports last year would have meant , £5,000. The object of the Tariff is to allow people to escape the duty by purchasing the local article.

Mr Hedges:

– The local article has gone up by more than the duty proposed.

Mr HUTCHISON:

– The honorable member for Bendigo explained how that happened. The Nobel Company has only been doing what has been done in many other cases - dumping and undercutting, in order to destroy the local industry, to secure the whole field to itself, and then put the price up to a much higher figure. If any honorable member can show that it is dangerous to use the fuse made by these two Australian factories, it will be an argument for reducing the duty.

Mr Thomas:

– It is very good fuse.

Mr HUTCHISON:

– If we are able to make good fuse, as the honorable member says, the people of Australia ought to use that and no other. This is a well-paid industry. We have had too few of that kind, a large number paying good wages only under compulsion. I am prepared to give a fair measure of protection to every well-paid industry. The Minister said that he gave way because there were no duties in the States, except in Victoria, and Tasmania. That is no argument at all. The reason that there was no duty in any of the other States except those named was that an impost would have been a handicap to the miners in those States. Under the circumstances, it was thought better to leave fuse free, so as to bring it into competition with the fuse made in the Old Country. I am prepared to support the honorable member for Bendigo; and I hope every good protectionist will do the same. I have, without any protest, agreed to reductions that I thought altogether unjustifiable, in view of the evidence given before the Tariff Commission ; but this is a reduction to which I cannot consent. I hope the honorable member for Bendigo will adhere to the duties proposed in the Tariff.

Sir John Quick:

– Certainly; I shall divide the Committee on the question.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.- I think the attitude of the Treasurer towards the honorable member for Bendigo is very regrettable. The honorable member made a very proper request that this industry, being a Victorian industry, and in his constituency, should be considered.

Sir William Lyne:

– The honorable member did not make that request to me.

Mr CROUCH:

– But the Treasurer replied as though the honorable member for Bendigo had made some improper demand when he objected to the extinction of this industry. On the other hand, when the honorable member for Kalgoorlie made a request, the Treasurer, in order to save time and himself some trouble, at once agreed to reduce the duty ; and, in view of the fact that the honorable gentleman did this without knowing anything of the Victorian industry, he deserves some blame.

Sir William Lyne:

– I never expect anything but blame from the honorable member, rightly or wrongly !

Mr CROUCH:

– In this case, I think the Minister is rightly blamed. When we ask the reason for the Minister’s attitude, we find that he has ascertained that before Federation, Victoria was practically the only Colony in which there was protection in this connexion. It was because of that protection that Victoria was the only Colony in which there was a fuse factory ; and I am glad that the honorable member for Bendigo intends to divide the Committee on the question. We ought to remember that the wages paid in this industry in Victoria are double those paid in England ; and that in itself is sufficient justification for a duty. Any one who knows the methods of importers, and especially the Nobel Company, realize that, if the Victorian industry were extinguished, the mining industry, instead of gaining, would lose, because prices would be at once raised, with a view to wiping off the losses caused by the local competition. The miners of Ballarat, Bendigo, Blackwood, and other places are only too glad to have this Victorian factory in operation, because it means to them better and cheaper fuse. As a matter of fact, this Australian industry, by meansof its safer product, is a protection to the Australian miner; and it is most unfortunate that the Minister should agree so readily to a suggestion which may lead to its extinction. I trust that the honorable gentleman will be convinced by the arguments of the honorable member for Bendigo, and, at least, agree to duties of 1½d. and1d. Mr. FRAZER (Kalgoorlie) [2.36 a.m.]. - I am surprised at the debate which has followed the attempt of the Treasurer to do what is fair in reference to this item; also at the opinion which has been expressed that the extinction of the industry will follow a reduction of the duty. When this item was discussed on the passing of the last Tariff, Parliament distinctly refused to make this article dutiable; but the result has not been the wiping out of the industry.

Sir John Quick:

– The evidence given before the Commission was that the industry has had a precarious existence.

Mr FRAZER:

– Does the honorable member suggest that those who conduct this industry have turned philanthropists, and are carrying it on in the interests of the mining propositions of Australia ! We know that if they were not making a profit they would not continue the enterprise. The honorable member for Coriohas told us that this is one of the well-paid industries of the country.

Mr Crouch:

– What I said was that the wages paid are double those in England.

Mr FRAZER:

– I find from the Victorian Factories Inspector’s report that of the male employes, there is one at the magnificent wage of 5s. per week, three at 7s. per week-

Mr Crouch:

– Does the honorable member say that these employes are men?

Mr FRAZER:

– I did not speak of men, but of males. However, I can give the ages of the employes if the honorable member insists. There is a boy of thirteen, who ought to be at school, and he is paid’ 5s. a week. There are three lads of fourteen years of age, who are in receipt of 7s. per week, and nine, of fifteen years, who get 9s. 6d. per week.

Mr Hutchison:

– That is more than women are paid in some factories.

Mr FRAZER:

– If this isone of the well-paid industries of the Commonwealth, the Lord save us from the poorly-paid industries. In order to encourage the manufacture of fuse, it is proposed to levy a tax of £6,000 per annum upon the mining industry, which does , pay decent wages to men. I find that there are fifty-nine males employed in the fuse industry at an average wage of 38s. id. weekly. The wages of the females in the industry range from 9$. 6d. to 16s. 8d. Altogether, there are 171 hands engaged, at an average wage of £1 os. 8d. per week. I hold in my hand communications from the Secretary of the Miners’ Union of Western Australia, and from the Chamber of Mines there, to the effect that, taking advantage of the increased duty proposed, Messrs. Bickford and Smith, of Bendigo, immediately increased the price of the locallymanufactured fuse from 4s. 6d. to 6s. per dozen coils.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member’s remarks, I merely wish to say that I have been informed by several honorable members that the course which I have adopted on the present occasion has had the effect of preventing fuse from being placed upon the free list.

Mr COON:
Batman

.- I congratulate the honorable member for Kalgoorlie upon his excellent free-trade speech.

Mr Frazer:

– Congratulations from the honorable member, are not a recommendation.

Mr COON:

– The production of fuse is a Victorian industry. It was established here in 1871, when a 20 per cent, duty was operative. Before long, however, it was found necessary to substitute a specific duty of id. per coil. What did the foreign manufacturer do? He clumped his inferior fuse into this State to such an extent that the Government found it necessary to increase the duty to rid. per coil. I should like honorable members to recall the number of accidents which resulted from the use of imported fuse at the period of which I am speaking. When the industry was first established in Victoria, the price of fuse was is. pen coil, but it has since been reduced to 7d. per coil. A little while ago, tenders were called for the supply of fuse to the Broken Hill mines. What happened? Although the price of the imported article was 8s. 6d. per dozen coils, a firm at Footscray which tendered to supply the fuse at 6s. 4d. per dozen coils was beaten by an importing firm which desired to get hold of the market.

Mr Thomas:

– What was the name of the importing firm?

Mr COON:

– I do not know. In Ger.many the duty upon fuse is is. 4d. per dozen coils, and in the United States.it is 30 per cent. I regret that the Treasurer should have practically agreed to take off the duty proposed the moment he was approached by a free-trader in the person of the honorable member for Nepean. The honorable member for Kalgoorlie then moved a reduction of the duty by 100 petcent., and the Treasurer consented to accept his proposal without even putting up a fight. I do not intend to allow any Australian industry to -be wiped out if I can prevent it, and if the honorable member for Bendigo divides the Committee upon- this question I shall be found supporting him.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– I am sorry that so much heat has been imported into the consideration of this proposal. I regret that the Treasurer should have made the premature announcement which he did. I am sorry that he did not follow the usual course of allowing at least some discussion.

Mr Storrer:

– He knew that he could . not get more.

Mr SALMON:

– If he .had told us that I should not have complained. With regard to the item itself, I remember the discussion in the Victorian’ Assembly in 1895, when a duty was agreed to which allowed the manufacture of fuse to be successfully carried on in this State. Until fuse was manufactured here, mining was carried on in many districts at great risk, and thereare men who to-day bear the marks of wounds received from the use of faulty fuse. Those who have been associated with mining’ districts, as I have been from my birth, must have been struck with the immunity from disaster of recent times compared with the frequency of accidents in the old days. Nothing gives a greater shock to the community than a large mining accident. To-day is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the greatest mining calamity that we have had in Victoria - that which took place at the Australasian Mine, Creswick. I am firmly convinced, of my own knowledge, that what has been said as tothe probable effect of the reduction of the duty in closing the works, in which fuse is made locally is absolutely correct. As a corollary there will be an increase in the price of fuse. Those who pose as the friend of the miner, and wish to lessen the chances of accidents, will find that they have been sharpening a swore? against themselves, and placing the industry in the hands of that great monopoly, the Nobel Company. Honorable members seem disposed to give a certain amount of -encouragement to the mining industry, but in this instance they are grasping at the shadow and losing the substance. I would remind those who seem to have forgotten their protectionist principles that the way to keep down prices is to stimulate healthy competition. Without competition there must be monopolies, combinations and rings for the plundering of the consumer. Those who wish to assist the mining industry by giving a cheap fuse, and to maintain a subsidiary industry, will vote for a reasonable duty on this item. By doing so they will make the miners and timber getters of the country, who desire cheap fuse, independent of makers on the other side of the world who in the past have not been considerate of their wants.

Mr THOMAS:
Barrier

.It is only fair to say that the Treasurer agreed to duties of fd. and Jd. because he felt that, if he did not, the item would be -made free. I am anxious that the making of safety fuses should be carried on in Australia, but as the honorable members’ for Batman and Bendigo have told us something of the history of the industry here, I wish to add a little more. For the facts -which I am about to relate I am indebted to a speech made by the honorable member for Bendigo, when in the first Parliament he endeavoured to retain a duty on fuse which had been imposed by the Victorian Parliament. Under the Victorian duty a man named Perry commenced to make fuse at Bendigo, and he made a very good article. Messrs. Bickford, Smith and Company, the large English makers, offered to buy him out, but he would not sell because he was making a fair thing. Very little manual labour is employed in the making of fuses, most of the work being done by machinery.

Mr Frazer:

– With the help of girls.

Mr THOMAS:

– Yes. When Perry refused a second offer, Messrs. Bickford, “Smith and Company threatened that if he would not sell they would crush him out. They showed him that they had ten factories, and that they could afford to run one of them without making a profit in order to compel him to sell. I mention this case because we have heard of what the Nobel Company will do if the proposed duty is not imposed. The outcome was that Mr.

Perry had to sell his factory to Bickford, Smith and Company, a Cornish firm.

Sir John Quick:

– Do we not want English firms to establish factories in Australia ?

Mr THOMAS:

– I am not objecting to that, but merely stating that the Bendigo factory is practically a branch of that Cornish firm. It cares very little whether we impose a duty or not, because, in those countries where a duty is imposed, it establishes a factory and secures the profit. I admit that a certain amount of labour is employed in the production of the fuse, but the profit goes to the firm. It sends out no fuse unless it is of a first-class character. I am not anxious that the factories at Bendigo and Footscray should have to “ shut down,” and, therefore, I am prepared to support duties of fd. and d. per coil. We are told by the honorable member for Laanecoorie that if they did cease to exist, there would be no competition, because Nobel and Company enjoy a monopoly. Nobel and Company, and Bickford, Smith and Company are fighting one another, and that fight would not cease merely . because the Bendigo branch of the latter firm was closed. I am anxious to see the business carried on in Australia, especially by Perry and Company, who, I think, were treated badly by Bickford, Smith and Company. I have nothing to say against the Bendigo fuse, because, in my opinion, it is very good. If I thought that with duties of fd. and d. per coil the local factories would have to close, I should be prepared to give them a little more protection ; but I do not think it is necessary. I ask the honorable member for Bendigo to say how much manual labour goes to make a coil of fuse?

Sir John Quick:

– They pay £5,000 a year in wages.

Mr THOMAS:

– I believe that the labour cost is considerably less than Jd. per coil, and I consider that if we give the makers a protection of f d. and Jd. per coil, we shall give them ample protection, and put them in a position to produce good fuse and pay decent wages.

Mr SPENCE:
Darling

.- In my opinion, the Treasurer has offered a very fair compromise. He has given some consideration, though not a great deal, to the mining industry. Mr. Perry informed the Tariff Commission that ‘when all his machines were in full work, he had employed twenty-three hands; but that then he had only eleven. On the question of profits, he said that he was only selling at a slight profit, and that when it turned to a loss he would shut down. Fuse was then on the free list, and, therefore, the statement that he was working at a loss is not proved. He said he was selling at only a slight profit, but he made no reference to a loss.

Sir John Quick:

– I was referring to the Bendigo factory.

Mr SPENCE:

– At this factory, although there was not full work, they were able to sell at a profit, even without a duty on the imported article. In answer to question 99402, Mr. Timson said that he estimated the proportion of the cost of fuse represented by labour at not more than½d. per coil, or at about 10 per cent. of the value of the finished article. In his evidence, Mr. Perry said that the fuse was made by machinery as nearly perfect as could be, although the same kind of machines had been in use since 1870. He stated that there was so little labour employed, that½d. per coil was estimated to cover the labour cost. Mr. Burgess said that he was selling fuse “ at very near cost “ in the northern markets of Australia, and was not getting the profit there which he obtained in Victoria. That, he added, was due to the keenness of foreign competition ; the market had either to be met or lost. He could only compete in Western Australia by taking the price of the market there. Regarding the New Zealand trade, Mr. Perry said that he got a better price in that Colony than in Victoria. These quotations show that the statement that the manufacturers will close up, and especially if we place fuse on the free list, are not substantiated. I admit that the Victorian fuse has a very good name. Some of the imported fuse is not so good ; but, generally speaking, the fuse that is used in Australia is of good quality. The reason whyso many accidents do not occur in the use of fuse nowadays is not so much on account of an improvement in the article as because the supervision is better, and more responsibility is placed upon the men and the bosses. The compromise proposed is a very fair one. The protection proposed to be afforded to the makers will give them a larger market and more profit, whilst the mining industry will not be heavily burdened.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.Shall I be in order in moving that the item be postponed?

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member can move to that effect.

Mr CROUCH:

– Then I move-

That the item be postponed until after the consideration of item 152 (stripper harvesters).

I think we ought to have the Prime Minister present when we come to a vote on this important matter. Probably no honorable member knows more about the subject than the honorable member for Bendigo, and he realizes how important the industry is, but we should have the Prime Minister present to express the views of the Government concerning it, especially as he represents a mining constituency. In reply to the remarks of the honorable member for Kalgoorlie, I should like to say that the wages paid in the fuse industry are not so low as he sought to convey. The report of the Victorian Factories Inspector, for the year ended 31st December, 1906, shows that thirty-five men employed in the industry received an average of 53s.10d. per week.

Mr Frazer:

– I quoted those figures.

Mr CROUCH:

– I do not remember that the honorable member did, though I accept his statement. I have looked through the figures for eighty-three trades in Victoria, for which average wages are given, and I can find only four instances in which higher wages are paid on an average than 53s.10d. per week.

Mr Hedges:

– What does the honorable member know about fuse?

Mr CROUCH:

– The miners in my electorate use considerable quantities of it. I do not suppose that the honorable member for Fremantle has a miner in his constituency, and probably all that he knows about fuse has been learnt from seeing a little of it on the wharves at Fremantle.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

– I will not suffer the remarks of the honorable member for Corio to pass without challenge. I suppose I have bought and used more fuse than any other member of this House. I always buy the best quality of fuse, and have never had an accident. The statements that have been made about the inferior quality of imported fuse are so much silly twaddle. There is no danger in using fuse, except, perhaps, when it falls into the hands of a person as inexperienced as the honorable member for Corio. Otherwise it is quite harmless. A representative of

Bickford, Smith and Company stated before the Tariff Commission that unless they were allowed to charge more for their fuse the extra duty would be of no use to them.

Sir John Quick:

– Because they had been selling at a losing price.

Mr HEDGES:

– Was not Australia going ahead in mining before Bickford’s started to make fuse in Victoria? As a matter of fact, the price has been increased since the extra duty has been imposed. I hope the Committee will decide to give Australia fuse at a reasonable price to the advantage of one of the biggest industries that we have.

Question - That after the figures’“1¼d.,” paragraphc, the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per coil (General Tariff),¾d.” be inserted; and after the figure”1d.” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per coil (United Kingdom),½d.,” be inserted (Mr. Frazer’ s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 30

NOES: 19

Majority … … 11

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendments agreedto.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraph (d). Powder, sporting, per lb. (General Tariff), 4½d. ; (United Kingdom), 4d.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the figures “4½d.,” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent.,” be inserted ; and after the figure “ 4d.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December,1907 (United Kingdom), free,” be inserted.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraph E. Wads for cartridges, ad val. (General Tariff), 25 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “25 per cent.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent.,” be inserted; and that after the words “20 per cent.” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907 (United Kingdom), free,” be inserted.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraph f. Caps, Percussion, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Mr CHANTER:
Riverina

– I ask whether the Government do not propose on this item to accept the recommendation of the free-trade section of the Tariff Commission. They recommended a duty of 10 per cent. I think the Government should follow their recommendation, and that free-traders in the Committee should be true to their principles, and support that recommendation.

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraphg. Cartridges, Military, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the word “Military” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ for military purposes.”

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraphs h (Detonators) ;i (Cartridge Cases, empty, capped or uncapped) ;j (Fuse cotton). - agreed to.

Paragraphk. Fuses, Electrical, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the word “ Mining “ be inserted before the word “ fuses.”

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraph l (Explosives, n.e.i.) agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I move -

That the following new item be inserted to follow item 406 : - 406a. On and after 12th December, 1907 - Carbon Bisulphide, ad val. (General Tariff), 15 per cent.

This amendment has been recommended to me by the Department. The information I have is that almost the whole of the carbon bisulphide that is used in Australia is made here. I wish to have a protective duty on the’ article, in order that the whole of it may be made here.

Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera

– Before this item is passed, the Committee should be satisfied that carbon bisulphide can be manufactured in Australia.

Mr Salmon:

– It is commercially manufactured here, and has to compete under great disadvantages with the imported article.

Mr SAMPSON:

– This article is on the same footing as wire-netting, as it is used for the wholesale destruction of rabbits. It is a poison which is placed in the rabbit burrows, and is also used for dissolving phosphorus and other material used for the purpose of rabbit destruction. Unless it is shown that the article is being produced locally as cheaply as it can be imported, I shall vote against the item.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– If the honorable member for Wimmera had time to make inquiries, he would find that what I have said is absolutely correct. I know a person who uses a lot of this carbon bisulphide, and every bit of it that he buys is made in Australia.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– What is the value of the article?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I bought some when I was last in Tasmania; but I cannot just now remember what price was charged for it. Armstrong and Company, of Sydney, are agents in New South Wales for the supply of the article, and they also manufacture it. I think that it is manufactured in Melbourne as well.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– I asked the value in order to know what the duty would amount to.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I bought some of the article in Tasmania because the carbon bisulphide manufactured in that State was said to be very good. The Australian article is better than the imported article and can be carried and mixed without danger.

Mr Wilson:

– It must be strange bisulphide if it can be carried without danger.

Mr Sampson:

– It is an explosive.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I know as well: as honorable members opposite what it is, because I have used it over and over again. There is not very much of this article imported, and the local article is preferredby those who use it.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– The Minister has given no justification for the insertion of this new item.

Sir William Lyne:

– I would sooner that honorable members rejected it at once than that they should waste time over it.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– I wish to tell honorable members that this preparation is made in Australia in connexion with the industry for the manufacture of manures. I hope that professing protectionists will not say that it is too late to insert a new paragraph, but will consider the proposal on its merits.A very small duty is asked for, for the sake of an industry which is well worth considering.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– The Treasurer should not propose a new lineat this stage. Rabbits are worse this year in Victoria and New South Wales than I have seen them during the last fifteen years. Many farmers use bisulphide of carbon to kill them.

Mr BATCHELOR:
Boothby

– I would feel disposed in ordinary circumstances to vote for the Treasurer’s proposal, but I am afraid to agree to propositions trotted out at the last minute, lest we put ourselves in the same position as we did the other night in the case of muriate of ammonia. We put a duty on that, although it was previously free, and now there is trouble all over the Commonwealth.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have not heard as word about it.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– The Treasurer will hear it shortly. I have been inundated with letters. Muriate of ammonia is one of the principal ingredients in galvanizing, and the duty is a severe blow at the galvanized-iron industry.

Sir William Lyne:

– If they can convince me of that, I will see whetherI cannot repair the error in some way.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– That instance shows how difficult it is to make up one’s mind on proposals of this kind put forward without notice. I do not know whether bisulphide of carbon is made here or not. It was alleged that muriate of ammonia was made somewhere in Australia, but, so far as I can find, that is not so.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– The Minister is taking an unreasonable course. This chemical is used very largely for dissolving rubber. I cannot say definitely whether it is made here or not. In the days of my apprenticeship, it was all imported. It is highly explosive, and its fumes are very dangerous. It is used largely throughout the Commonwealth for the destruction of rabbits.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am not going to have a long debate about it.

Proposed new item negatived.

Item 407. Cameras and Magic or Optical Lanterns, including lenses and accessories; Lantern Slides ; Photographic Sensitized Films and Paper; Photographic Mounts; Photographic Backgrounds (mounted or unmounted) ; Photographs n.e.i.; Postcards (sensitized with or without letter press) ; Postcards (finished, with letter press) ; Powdered Magnesium ; Sulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Potash, ad val. (General Tariff), 35 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the words “ Cameras and Magic or Optical Lanterns, including lenses and accessories,” be left out.

Mr POYNTON:
Grey

– I received a wire yesterday from Sir Langdon Bonython asking me to endeavour to have stereoscopic views placed on the free list.

Mr Salmon:

– The Government intend to do that.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the letters “ n.e.i.” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ of Australian subjects.”

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I am not interested in this particular amendment, but Iam interested in lantern slides; and I desire to show why they should be placed in the same category as photographs. Lantern slides of Australian subjects, which can be made here, ought to be dutiable, but lantern slides representing other places ought to be free.

Mr Salmon:

– Nine-tenths of the slides used in Australia are made here.

Mr WILSON:

– Suppose a lantern slide of Niagara Falls were required?

Mr Salmon:

– It can be made here.

Mr WILSON:

– I think not, except from a copy of a photograph ; and we know that such a copy does not produce as good a slide as that made from an orginal negative. There are innumerable lantern slides which cannot be made here, or are not made here ; and the proposed duty seems to me an excessive tax on an amusement of the people. I ask the Treasurer to withdraw his amendment, with which I think most honorable members are in agreement, in order to permit me to include lantern slides of Australian subjects.

Sir William Lyne:

– In order to save discussion I ask leave to withdraw my amendment temporarily.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment(by Mr. Wilson) proposed -

That after the words “ lantern slides,” the words “ of Australian subjects “ be inserted.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– If this amendment be carried a great deal of work now done in the Commonwealth will be done elsewhere; and slides of all but Australian subjects will be admitted free. Over 80 per cent. of the lantern slides used in Australia are now made here ; and I speak from considerable experience. The ordinary method of preparing slides of foreign pictures is to obtain a photograph from any part of the world, take a negative of it, and from that negative prepare the slide.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the letters “n.e.i.” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ of Australian subjects.”

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ Postcards (finished, with letter press)” be left out.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I desire some information in regard to powdered magnesium. This is an article which is largely used in connexion with flashlights.

Mr Batchelor:

– It is being made at Port Melbourne.

Mr WILSON:

– Ido not think that it is manufactured in Australia. Of course, I am aware that magnesium is imported into the Commonwealth, and that the powdering is done here. That, however, is a very; different thing from manufacturing powdered magnesium. I move -

That the words “Powdered Magnesium; Sulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Potash,” be left out.

Mr Mauger:

– Those articles were subject to a duty of 20 per cent. under the old Tariff.

Mr WILSON:

– Not all of them.

Amendment negatived.

Mr TUDOR:
Yarra

.- I ask the Treasurer to consent to the words “nitrate of silver and chloride of gold” being added to this item.

Sir William Lyne:

– All right.

Mr TUDOR:

– Then I move-

That after the word “ Potash,” the words “ Nitrate of Silver and Chloride of Gold “ be inserted.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– Nitrate of silver andchloride of gold are not largely made in the Commonwealth.

Sir William Lyne:

– They are made here.

Mr WILSON:

– I have made nitrate of silver and chloride of gold myself in small quantities. But, as the honorable member for Laanecoorie must know, the best chloride of gold is imported.

Mr Salmon:

– I do not know it. I use the stuff which is made at Abbotsford.

Mr Mauger:

– Why, Mr. Cliff, who belongs to the Working Men’s College, makes these things.

Mr WILSON:

– A small quantity may be produced in Australia ; but certainly not sufficient to supply our demands. The proposal of the honorable member for Yarra would have the effect of taxing an important industry to an abnormal extent.

Question - That the words “ nitrate of silver and chloride of gold “ (Mr. Tudor’s amendment) be inserted - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 24

NOES: 15

Majority … … 9

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) put -

That after the words “35 per cent.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 25 per cent.,” be inserted.

The Committee divided.

AYES: 15

NOES: 23

Majority … … 8

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “35 per cent.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent.,” be Inserted.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) proposed -

That after the words “25 per cent.,” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.,” be inserted.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I appeal to the Minister to preserve the preference of 10 per cent. which he proposed when he submitted this item. The duty in the general Tariff has just been reduced from 35 to 30 per cent., and I suggest that the duty in the preferential Tariff should be reduced to 20 per cent.

Mr Storrer:

– What we have been doing right through has been to give a preference of 5 per cent.

Mr WILSON:

– We have given a preference of more than 5 per cent. in some cases.

Amendment negatived.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the following new item be inserted : - 407a. Cameras and Magic or Optical Lanterns, including lenses and accessories, ad val. (General Tariff), 35per cent., and on and after 1 2 th December, 1907, 5 per cent. ; ad. val. (United Kingdom), 25 per cent., and on and after 12th December, 1907, free.

Item 408. Photographic accessories, rubber, not being integral parts of cameras, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the word “of” be inserted after the word “ accessories.”

Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta [4.25 a.m.]. - I should like the Treasurer to explain what photographic accessories are?

Sir William Lyne:

– The cloths and things which do not belong exactly to the camera.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Does the honorable gentleman mean the black covering which is put over the camera?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes, and other things.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The honorable gentleman is actually proposing to put a. duty of 30per cent. on the black cloth which is put over the head of the photographer. Could absurdity go further?

Sir William Lyne:

– It includes the rubber article, too.

Mr Wilson:

– The only objection is that the duty proposed is too high.

Sir William Lyne:

– In order to bring this item into unison with other rubber items, I shall ask the Committee to reduce the duty from 30 to 25 per cent. in the general Tariff.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I suppose that I ought to be thankful to the honorable gentleman for that small mercy.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “ 30 per cent.,” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff 25 per cent.,” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 409. Photographic Dry-plates and Negatives, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I want the Treasurer to explain to me what a dry-plate is. I think that he ought to voluntarily explain these articles to the Committee. Apparently, he knows only enough to tax them.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– These goods paid 15 per cent. under the old Tariff. They are being manufactured in the Commonwealth. No evidence with regard to them was given before the Tariff Commission, but since the Commission took evidence the largest manufacturers of photographic dry plates in the world have made arrangements to establish a factory in the Commonwealth. Under these circumstances, I ask the Minister to consider whether duties of 25 per cent. and 20 per cent. should not be imposed.

Mr TUDOR:
Yarra

.- We charge the manufacturers of photographic dry plates on their glass and their gelatine, but we propose to make the finished article free when imported from the United Kingdom. Surely that is a mistake.

Amendments (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “5 per cent.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 20 per cent.,” be inserted; and that after the word “ free,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907 (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 410. Prepared Plates for Engravers and Lithographers, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent.; (United Kingdom), free.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

– There seems to be no reason why engravers’ plates should not be prepared in the Commonwealth. This is purely a city industry, and we have been taxing country industries in all directions. Surely engravers and lithographers are entitled to pay something on some of their requisites, especially as we have taxed the country printer on everything he uses except his paper.

Sir William Lyne:

– What duty does the honorable member ask for?

Mr MAHON:

– I think that these plates could stand a higher duty than 5 per cent.

Mr Johnson:

– If there is to be a higher duty there will be considerable debate.

Mr Crouch:

– Are these plates made in Australia?

Mr MAHON:

– I cannot say that they are, but they ought to be made here. There is nothing difficult about their preparation. However, if an amendment would lead to discussion I shall drop the suggestion.

Item agreed to.

Item 411. Smoking Pipes n.e.i. and Cigar and Cigarette Holders and Accessories; Smokers’ Requisites, including cases, Tobacco Pouches, Smokers’ Sets, Boxes, Match Stands, Ash Trays, Smokers’ Lamps, Cigar Stands and Lighters, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Surely the Minister does not mean to adhere to these high duties on tobacco pipes and smokers’ requisites ?

Sir William Lyne:

– Luxuries.

Mr Wilson:

– What ? Smoking a luxury? It is an absolute necessity!

Mr Mahon:

– Duties of 25 per cent. and 20 per cent. would be quite enough.

Sir William Lyne:

– Very well.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “30 per cent.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907 ad val. (General Tariff), 25 per cent.,” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 412. Clay Smoking Pipes, per gross,1s.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am surprised at this item. We are actually proposing to tax the old clay pipe of the navvy at the rate of1s. per gross. I move -

That after the figure “1s.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per gross, 6d.,” be inserted.

Mr J H CATTS:
Cook

.I think that the duty should be made1s. 6d. on the general Tariff and1s. in the second column. There is a clay pipe factory in the electorate of the honorable member for Parramatta, although he does not seem to be aware of it. About 30,000 gross are annually imported, and the competition against the local makers is very severe. We have a manufacturer of clay pipes in Parramatta, and also in Newtown, and I am assured that it is impossible for them, under existing circumstances, to continue to fight against their German competitors. On the other hand, if the duty were increased to1s. 6d. on foreign imports, and1s. per gross on imports from Great Britain, I am confident that the industry could be carried on successfully. The manufacturer at Newtown, Mr. Shaw, came from Great Britain some years ago, with the object of establishing the industry in Australia. He started operations in Victoria, and, failing to succeed, went to Sydney, where he has been struggling for some years to make a success of his business. I hope that the Treasurer will adopt my suggestion.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.This is a proposal by a representative of the Labour Party to increase the price of the poor man’s pipe. If the local manufacturers were under a disability, they had an opportunity to appear before the Tariff Commission, and to ask for higher duties. The protectionist section of the Commission recommended a duty of1s. per gross, and that recommendation was adopted by the Government. Let the Minister stand by the duty originally proposed by him, and I shall refrain from further discussing the matter. If he adopts the suggestion of the honorable member for

Cook, I shall certainly have more to say on the subject.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That after the figure “ is.,” the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per gross (General Tariff), is. 6d.,” be added.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.Will the Treasurer explain why he has proposed this increase?

Sir William Lyne:

– I object to any one smoking a clay pipe.

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is all very well for the honorable member, who can smoke shilling cigars, to object to clay pipes, but what about those who cannot afford to buy any others? We were led to believe that these were non-contentious items, but the Treasurer has suddenly sprung this proposal on the Committee. If it be pressed just now to a division, he may find himself in a rather awkward position; some of my honorable friends may feel inclined to leave the Chamber. That is what he must expect when he makes such a proposal at this hour of the morning. Why is this increased duty sought by the manufacturers ?

Mr J H Catts:

– In order that they may obtain a footing in the market. They are selling now below the price charged by importers.

Mr JOHNSON:

– And how do they propose to obtain a footing on the market ? How is this duty going to help them ? Do they propose to sell at a still lower rate-?

Mr J H Catts:

– The honorable member is absolutely ridiculous.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I object to that remark.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member must withdraw it.

Mr J H Catts:

– I withdraw it.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I propose to read the evidence given before the Tariff Commission by Mr. Frederick Shaw, clay pipe manufacturer, of Wellington-street, North Botany. At page 561 of the Tariff Commission’s Minutes of Evidence, honorable members will find the following -

What is your request in regard to the duty on pipes? - I wish. a duty of is. per gross to be imposed in respect of all clay pipes. For fifteen years I was manufacturing clay pipes in Victoria.

In Melbourne? - Yes. I worked there witha duty of is. per gross prevailing for eleven years in respect of all clay pipes, but with the advent of Federation that duty was reduced to the extent of about two-thirds. I have been in

Sydney for about twelve months, having been induced to come over here in the belief that with a little duty prevailing where free-trade previously existed 1 might be able to work up a business all over the States. My business in Victoria went down after the reduction of the duty.

How many men did you employ in Melbourne ? - Five, and I also worked myself.

Was that the greatest number you employed ? - Yes ; but at that time I was catering only for the Victorian trade. I could not do any business in New South Wales, because freetrade existed here. My object now is’ to do business all over the Commonwealth.

Were you prospering before the reduction of the duty? - I did very well.

Honorable members will mark that answer. The witness was further asked -

And with the reduction of the duty had you 10 discharge all your men ? - Yes.

Did you sell your plant? - No; I brought it with me.

Why ‘did you bring it to Sydney? - Because, as I have already explained, I thought that as u slight duty had been imposed by the Federal Parliament, I might be able to cut slightly into the trade here, although prior to Federation I could not get in at all.

Mr Chanter:

– How many men does he employ?

Mr JOHNSON:

– I believe he employs five ; and that he does not want more than a duty of is. per gross. The honorable member for Cook says that the manufacturer requires the increased duty in order that he may sell a cheaper article; but if he can sell a cheaper article, he does not require an increased duty. I should not be reading the evidence, if I had been able to get from the Treasurer any explanation of the proposal which, has been made. I have been forced to look into the evidence given be’fore the Tariff Commission to see what justification, if any, there is for the proposed increase of duty. I might read the whole of this evidence, but I do not want to proceed to extremes. I warned the Treasurer that his proposal was likely to cause discussion.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did not hear the honorable member.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If that is so, I shall not proceed further.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William LYNE. agreed to -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, per gross (United Kingdom), is.,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 413. Works of Art, being Statuary* and Paintings, Oil or Water Colours, framed or tin framed, imported for public institutions or purposes under Departmental by-laws, free.

*Statuary means any reproduction of complete figures in marble, clay, cement, metal, or wood, and being a work of art.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.I move -

That the words “ being Statuary and Paintings, Oil or Water Colours,” be left out.

Sir William Lyne:

– The item covers a great, deal more as it stands.

Mr BOWDEN:

– I want to get in carvings, works in china,’ and many other articles brought in for public institutions or public purposes. The item as it stands is limited to statuary and paintings.

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 414. Works of Art, being Statuary and Paintings, Oil or Water Colours, £5 and over in value, other than those for public institutions or purposes, ad val., 25 per cent. (To be assessed for duty at- ^,’5 plus the value of the frame and mounting, if any, and plus the value of the canvas or other material of which such Statuary or Painting is made.)

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the following words be added :-r-“ and on and after 12th December, 1007 - 414A. Works of Art, being Statuary-, not being less than £10 in value, free.”

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [5.10 a.m.]. - Such an article as a valuable vase for a museum will not be admitted free under this item.

Sir William Lyne:

– The ComptrollerGeneral assures me that such a vase will be admitted free.

Colonel FOXTON.- Under what item does it come? I feel sure there must be some mistake.

Mr Salmon:

– Item 413 covers such a case.

Colonel FOXTON.- The footnote contains the only definition, but does not cover the case of a valuable vase, an art cabinet, or a table such os that which stands in the Queen’s Hall. It relates only to statuary “ Sir WILLIAM _ LYNE (Hume- Treasurer [5. 1 1 a.m.].- - I have given the honorable member my word, so far as I can, that such articles will be admitted free. This item is under Departmental bv-law and if it should prove that there is any mistake. I shall do what the honorable member desires in another place.

Item. as amended, agreed to.

Item 415. (Paintings, &c.). negatived.

Item 416. Pictures n.e.i., ad val. 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) agreed to -

That after the letters “n.e.i.,” the words “ including Scripture Cards of all kinds,” be inserted.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, free,” be added.

Amendment (by Mr. Mahon) proposed -

That the following new paragraph be added :’ - “ And on and after 12th December, 1907 - (a) Pictures, being Colcured Supplements for Newspapers under Departmental by-laws, per lb., 3d-“

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I cannot see any justification for this amendment. Why should these supplements be charged 3d. per lb. ?

Sir William Lyne:

– The amendment is only in unison with what has already been done.

Mr WILSON:

– For instance, are the coloured supplements of Christmas numbers, such as the Illustrated London News, Graphic, Sporting and Dramatic News and so forth, to be charged at the rate of 3d. per lb. 7 If that be the intention, I am afraid there will be considerable difficulty.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Those coloured supplements are sent out in cases and inserted in the publications here.

Mr WILSON:

– They may come through (he post with the publications themselves.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Then they will come in free.

Mr WILSON:

– I think they will be charged the duty. In my opinion, it is most undesirable that a duty of 3d. per lb. should be. charged on coloured supplements such, as I have mentioned. Then there are a good many pictures which are imported in small parcels of twos and threes, such as Pears’ Annual, which is a source of pleasure to many people. There is no justification whatever for the duty proposed, unless the Treasurer can arrange with the Department that illustrated pictures accompanying journals shall be admitted free.

Sir William Lyne:

– The Committee have already decided this matter, and I am merely giving effect to a promise which I made.

Mr WILSON:

– I do not know the exact nature of the promise to which the Treasurer refers. ‘ If he can assure me that no- disability will be placed upon those persons who receive these coloured supplements, my objection to the item will be withdrawn.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The decision at which the Committee previously arrived was that this duty should not be applicable to journals like the Graphic. It will be levied only upon illustrated supplements intended for use in Australian newspapers. I had to give a promise to that effect. Where a pa.per is accompanied by an illustrated supplement, the duty will not be charged.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

– I could have disposed of the objection of the honorable member for Corangamite in a moment. My amendment is to be applied under departmental by-laws. Consequently, the Department can provide that single copies of illustrated supplements, posted from Great Britain or elsewhere to Australia, shall be exempt from the duty proposed, which shall apply only to those supplements which are printed outside Australia, and which are imported in bulk. The proposal is a perfectly reasonable one in view of the fact that other matter of an almost identical character is subject to a duty of 6d. a lb.

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 417. Undertakers’ requisites of all kinds and materials, including immortelle crosses and the like, ad val. 25 per cent.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– This is an item in which the members of the medical profession are somewhat interested. The duty proposed upon, many articles covered by this item is altogether too high. The recommendation of the Tariff Commission in respect of it is “ nil.”

Sir William Lyne:

– “ Nil” means that the Commission did not consider the item, and did not take evidence upon it.

Mr WILSON:

– It means that it should be free. I move -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, free,” be added.

Amendment negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 418. Wall and Ceiling Parts and Decorations of any materials, n.e.i., ad val., 25 per cent.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.I would point out to the Treasurer that the old rate of duty upon this item was 20 per cent., and I ask him to agree to the insertion of that rate in the second column of the schedule.

Mr BATCHELOR:
Boothby

– I should like to know whether wall and ceiling parts are made in the Commonwealth ?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes.

Item agreed to.

Item 419. Cotton, Asbestos, and other Packings, including Sheet Asbestos, Yarn, and Cord, ad val., 20 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the word “ Yarn “ be left out.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 420. Asbestos Pipe and Boiler Covering; Asbestos Mattresses for Boilers; Asbestos Millboards, ad val., 20 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “Asbestos Millboards” be left out.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) proposed -

That the words “ and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 15 per cent.,” be added.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– This is such a small matter, that I hope the honorable member will not press his proposal.

Mr Page:

– Why, there are tons of asbestos in Australia.

Amendment negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 421. Inks and Stains for Leather, ad val., 20 per cent.

Mr TUDOR:
Yarra

.- I wish to know from the Minister whether dressings for leather, which come under item 230, might not also be brought under this item. Would it not be better to make the rates the same for the two items, and strike out this item?

Sir William Lyne:

– Dressings will not come under this item.

Item agreed to.

Item 422. Articles n.e.i. of Celluloid, Xylonite, Bone, Ivory, Pulp, Papier Maché, Indurated Fibre, or Asbestos, ad val., 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the letters “n.e.i.” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ not included under any other heading in the Tariff.”

Mr PAGE:
Maranoa

– Are any of the articles mentioned in this item made in Port Melbourne?

Sir William Lyne:

– Ido not know. They are made in the Commonwealth.

Mr PAGE:

– I have here two small celluloid boxes, which are practically identical, but, because one bears the word “trinkets,”’ it has been charged duty at the rate of 35 per cent. while the other is admitted at the rate of 25 per cent. That is an anomaly. Surely the Customs officials can use their common sense in matters of this kind ?

Sir William Lyne:

– Both boxes are dutiable under item 384.

Mr PAGE:

– Surely the ComptrollerGeneral knows how to interpret the Tariff ? He has informed me that, because one box bears the word “ trinkets,” it is dutiable at 35 per cent.

Sir William Lyne:

– The box bearing the word “ trinkets “ is dutiable under paragraph a of item 384, as a trinket box, while the other is dutiable as a fancy box.

Mr PAGE:

-Both boxes are made of the same material, but that which bears the word “trinkets” is made dutiable at the same rate as is charged on the most valuable trinket boxes, some of which are worth several pounds, while the other is dutiable at 10 per cent. less. Surely they should be both charged at the same rate? This sort of thing makes it impossible for importers not to commit offences against the Customs law.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– There appears to have been a mistake in this differentiation.

Mr Tudor:

– Would it not be better to make the duties on celluloid boxes uniform?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT; IND from 1910

– I am not going to do that. It is a twopenny-halfpenny thing to bring up in this way.

Mr PAGE:

– Apparently any proposal with which the honorable member does not agree is a twopenny-halfpenny one.

Sir William Lyne:

– Are these boxes imported from England?

Mr PAGE:

– These articles are imported from the dear old Motherland.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Then they are subject to a duty of 25 per cent.

Mr PAGE:

– Thatis what I contend; but because one of them bears the word “ trinkets “ it is brought under item 384, and subjected to a duty of 35percent.

Sir William Lyne:

– The ComptrollerGeneral says that that is not the case.

Mr PAGE:

– He told me differently.

Sir William Lyne:

– He has informed me that if it has been done it was owing to a mistake.

Mr PAGE:

– If a mistake has been made, will the Minister see that it is rectified ?

Sir William Lyne:

– I will.

Amendment agreed to.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 423. Surgical Appliances, n.e.i., including Belts, Trusses, Pads, Corsets, Braces,. Breast Supports, Vaccination Shields, ad val. 25 per cent.

Amendment (by Mr. Joseph Cook) agreed to -

That the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, ad val. (United Kingdom), 20 per cent.,” be added.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 424. Articles imported by or being the property of the Commonwealth, free.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [5.45 a.m.] - I move -

That after the word “ Commonwealth,” the words “or of a State, and imported for use in the Public Works or in the Public Service of such State,” be inserted.

Mr Storrer:

– That amendment, if carried, would include all the railway material for the States.

Sir William Lyne:

– It would include everything imported by a State Government.

Colonel FOXTON.- Some weeks ago I gave notice of my intention to submit this amendment. Section 114 of the Constitution Act contains this provision - nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has decided - and so far as I know it is the only Court which has dealt with the question that it is ultra vires for the Parliament of the Commonwealth to impose Customs duties on goods or property belonging toa State.

Mr Chanter:

– Will the amendment apply to the seizure of wire-netting in New South Wales?

Colonel FOXTON.- No. At this period of the session I have little hope of carrying my amendment. At the same time, I think it is very desirable that I should state as shortly as I can some of the reasons which have prompted me to submit it. It will be observed that my amendment proposes to limit this exemption to such property of a State as is imported “ for use in the public works or in the public service of such State.”

Sir William Lyne:

– If the honorable member wants to do that,he had better propose to shut up the Commonwealth. What is the use of bringing on the proposal at this hour?

Colonel FOXTON.- It is not my fault that we are sitting here at this hour, and i’.hat I have to speak now. I have waited here all night, as the honorable gentleman has done, and I have as much right to submit this proposal as he has to submit his. I did hope to be able to do so without any show of temper on his part. One objection constantly raised to any such exemption being given is, that a State might connive with private individuals to enable them to import goods in the name of the State.

Mr Mathews:

– That was done in New South Wales.

Colonel FOXTON.- Nothing of the sort was done there. The declaration under this amendment would have to be made, either by a Minister or by a departmental officer of the State which was importing the material, to the effect that it was for public works purposes. Is it conceivable that any Minister or officer would make such a declaration for the purpose of defrauding the Commonwealth of revenue? The suggestion is preposterous.

Mr J H Catts:

– Would the honorable member also exempt the importations of municipal councils?

Colonel FOXTON.- If the honorable member will move an amendment to that effect, I shall be prepared to give my views on it. Then we come to the question of goods which might be imported by a State for the purpose of being retailed or sold- to private individuals. Such goods would not be exempt under my amendment, because they would not be property imported for use on public works. So that there again the Commonwealth is protected. One very strong reason why it is desirable that, irrespective of what may be the rights, of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, we should adopt such an amendment as this, is that most of the imports of States Governments are on account of such works as railways, which are paid for out of loan money. Let us suppose that a large railway is in course of construction, involving the making of expensive bridges. A great deal of the material required, such as rails, &c, must be imported. Let us suppose that the State pays in duty £20,000. That duty becomes, so to speak, part of the price paid for the material, and is paid out of loan money.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

-The State could credit the revenue returned to it by the Commonwealth to loan account.

Colonel FOXTON.- At the end of the financial year, £15,000 of that £20,000 would be paid over by the Commonwealth to the State as revenue. Therefore, that would be a means by which the State would convert part of its loan money into revenue, because the £15,000 would go into the Consolidated Revenue of the State as revenue pure and simple. As the honorable member for North Sydney says, it would be possible for the State to re-pay that revenue into its loan fund. But we know what Governments are, and how strong is the temptation to a Government to swell its revenue from every possible source. I venture to say that the circumstances would be very exceptional indeed, when any Government would repay money received from the Commonwealth into loan account by way of recoupment.

Mr Storrer:

– That is purely a State matter.

Colonel FOXTON. - The money would be received as revenue. I do not think that we should assist the States in doing such things as I have described. We should carry out the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution. A great deal more could be said in favour of the amendment, but I do not wish to detain the Committee at this hour. I undertook to move this amendment and think it my duty to do so. I think that the reasons which I have given are sufficient. In my opinion- and I think my view is shared by a large number of people throughout Australia - it is desirable, whatever may be the powers conferred upon the Commonwealth by the Constitution, that there should be no attempt to strain those powers. By introducing’ such a provision as this into the Tariff, this Parliament would give an indication that there is a desire, as far as possible, to settle those vexed questions which are now sub judice, upon a satisfactory basis, and1 would show that there is no wish on the part of the Commonwealth to take advantage of the States, or of any possible flaw which there may be in the wording of the section which I have quoted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I am somewhat surprised that the honorable member for Brisbane should have brought forward this amendment. I take it that if such an amendment were carried it would strike a very severe blow, if not a death blow, at the Commonwealth.

Colonel Foxton. - Nonsense !

Mr BaTCHelor:

– The Commonwealth, is not so sick as that.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Protectionist

– If there is not going to be a fairly strong vote against the amendment, I must adjourn the House, so that a division may be taken upon it when there is a large attendance. The matter is so important that we cannot risk anything. The passing of this amendment would lx; nothing short of a disaster to the Commonwealth. The honorable member for Brisbane has referred to the action which the States would, in all probability, take. Let me remind honorable members of what was done in New South Wales, and to a large extent led up to a very vexed case. At the inception of the Federation the Government of New South Wales thought they had the right’ to import goods free of duty.

Mr Hedges:

– So they had.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– They had not,’ and the Court took that view. The Railways Commissioners, with the consent of the Government of the State, , imported a lot of material, and supplied it to one contractor to make waggons and other things required for the Department. All the other contracting firms were at once up in arms, because they were precluded from participating in this arrangement. That was the commencement of the trouble in New South Wales.

Mr Hedges:

– The goods were imported for the State railways.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The Railways Commissioners practically said to the one contractor, ‘ ‘ You can have everything that you require for our work free of duty, but all other contractors must pay duty upon their imports.”

Colonel Foxton. - Let us assume that the goods had been required for a Commonwealth railway.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The Commonwealth have a right to collect the Customs revenue.

Colonel Foxton. - If such a proceeding were adopted in connexion with a Commonwealth Railway Department, w’ould not the contractors be up in arms in the same way ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not think that the Commonwealth would single out one contractor, and give him his materials free. If I had anything to do with the matter, I should call for tenders, subject to the condition that the necessary material would be supplied by the Government. But I have correctly stated what took place in New South. Wales.

Mr Batchelor:

– That would not be covered by the honorable member for Bris- bane’s proposal.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Certainly it would. The Customs and Post and Telegraph Departments are at present our only sources of revenue, and if this amendment were agreed to no one would be able to say what loss of revenue we should suffer.

Mr McWilliams:

– Does the honorable member think that the Commonwealth ought to take revenue out of borrowed money ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– That is s. State matter. I am astonished that an honorable member who has sworn to. be true to the Commonwealth should submit such a proposition as this.’ If ever anything that’ was absolutely traitorous to the Commonwealth was proposed-

Colonel Foxton. - I. rise to a point of order. The honorable member said that I was traitorous to the Commonwealth.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I ask the Treasurer to withdraw the remark.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do so. We are all concerned in preserving the Commonwealth intact.

Colonel Foxton. - And that is my desire.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If anything would tend to disintegrate or destroy the Commonwealth, it would be such an action as that proposed by the honorable member. The Government cannot accept such a proposition. I do not know what is the temper of the Committee, but if there is the slightest danger of the amendment being ‘ agreed to, I must move that progress be reported, and, if necessary, have a call of the House. It would be most inconvenient to do so, for it .would certainly prevent our entering upon the Christmas recess be- . fore next week.

Mr Hedges:

– We do not care if we have to remain here until next year.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If Western ‘ Australia got half a show she would take the whole Commonwealth.

Mr Hedges:

– Western Australia has to pay 19s., where the other States pay only 9s.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– At present, three-fourths of the Customs revenue is returned to the States, and the Commonwealth has to carry on with a pittance of one-fourth. Probably, this year or next year, the whole of that proportion will be absorbed.

Mr Bamford:

– It will all be spent on defence.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Probably.In order to obviate the necessity for reporting progress, I would suggest that the honorable member should agree to the item being postponed until we have dealt with the rest of this division. The issue raised is so important, that I should like an opportunity to consult the Prime Minister in regard to it. I do not wish business to be delayed, and, I therefore, move -

That the item be postponed until the remaining items of the division have been dealt with.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [6.8 a.m.]. - I am only too glad to meet the Treasurer in every possible way. I fully recognise the importance of this question, and am sorry that it should have to be discussed in a thin House at six o’clock in the morning. I am pleased to have the Treasurer’s assurance that we shall have an opportunity to deal with it in a full House. I, therefore, agree to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion agreed to; item postponed.

Item 425. Articles imported, or purchased in bond, for the official use of the GovernorGeneral, and declared as being for such official use, free.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The question of the exemption of articles imported or purchased in bond for the official use of the GovernorGeneral has been a rather vexed one. In all the States there has been some little friction in connexion with this matter, since the Governors have, in every case, accepted their appointment on the understanding that goods which they required for official use would be admitted free of duty. A system has been adopted, which I began first with Queensland, when I found that I could not permit goods required for the Governor to come in free, under which the States Governments have paid duty on them in the ordinary way. As some feeling has existed in connexion with the matter, and it is, comparatively speaking, such a small thing, I think we should place the Governors of the

States in this respect on the same footing as the Governor-General.

Mr Salmon:

– Why not LieutenantGovernors also?

Mr Batchelor:

– And Chief Justices and members of Parliament.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not desire that there shall be a long debate about the matter, and if any serious objection is raised to the proposal, the only thing that might be done would be to extend the privilege to existing Governors, who have been appointed under certain recognised conditions.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The States object to what they consider degrades them as Sovereign States. Their Governors are appointed by the Crown, and the practice so far adopted makes a distinction between them and the representative of the Crown in the Commonwealth.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I propose to put them on the same footing as the GovernorGeneral, and would move -

That the following new paragraph be added : -

Articles imported or purchased in bond for the official use of the State Governors, and declared as being for such official use, on and after 12th December. 1907 - free.

Colonel Foxton. - I think I might have been permitted to move the amendment of which I gave notice over two months ago.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I beg the honorable member’s pardon, I was not aware that he had done so. I am quite willing that he should move the amendment, but I hope he will accept the form which I have just read.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [6.14 a.m.]. - I think I can improve upon the wording of the honorable gentleman’s proposed amendment.

Mr Page:

– I rise to a point of order. Can a private member move to increase taxation ?

Colonel FOXTON. - What I propose is an exemption.

Mr Batchelor:

– But its effect would be to increase the burden upon the rest of the community.

Colonel FOXTON.- The Treasurer practically repeats item 425. I think that all that is necessary is to insert after the word “Governor-General” the words “or the Governor of a State “ ; the item would then read -

Articles imported or purchased in bond for the official use of the Governor-General or of the Governor of a State, and declared as being for such official use - free.

I am prepared to submit my amendment in that form if the Treasurer has no objection.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Has the honorable member for Brisbane considered the point that, if the form he proposes were adopted,, duties already collected upon these goods required for the official use of the Governors might have to be refunded. Might not that be the reason for the adoption of the form proposed by the Treasurer?

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [6.16 a.m.]. - I am obliged to the honorable member for Parramatta for raising that point. But I suggest that the difficulty to which he has referred would arise under either of the forms of amendment proposed. However, the form suggested by the Treasurer might be adopted to meet the difficulty if it were preceded by the words “ on and after 12th December, 1907.” In view of the objection made by the honorable member for Parramatta,I think that, with that amendment, it would be better that the Treasurer should submit the new paragraph he has suggested.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the following new paragraph be added : -

Articles imported or purchased in bond for the official use of the State Governors, and declared as being for such official use, on and after 12th December, 1907 - free.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I should like to say that I cordially agree with the proposal to exempt the personal importations of the Governors of the States, because they are the direct representatives of His Majesty. They stand in precisely the same relation to the States as the Governor-General does in relation to the Commonwealth. I think it would be only a graceful act to make this concession, and extend to the direct representatives of His Majesty in the States those privileges which they have enjoyed from time immemorial. It seems to me only a proper and a fitting thing to do, and I do not think the amendment should be so drawn as to cover any one but Governors of the States.

Sir William Lyne:

– I hope there is not going to be any long debate on the question.

Mr Batchelor:

– No, we are prepared to reject the proposal straight away.

Mr J H CATTS:
Cook

– I see no justification for granting an increase in the Governor-General’s salary by means of an item in the Tariff. Although I have the greatest respect for the representative of the King-

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It is not increasing his salary. It is what we have been doing all along.

Mr J H CATTS:

– It is informing him that if he desires to use English carriages and other such articles he can import them free of duty, instead of using Australian-made articles. I object to the provision.

Question - That the words proposed to be added be so added (Sir William Lyne’s amendment) put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 22

NOES: 14

Majority … … 8

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr BATCHELOR:
Boothby

– I desire to move an amendment to include the Lieutenant-Governors also.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member will have to propose a new paragraph.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– Then I desire to move -

That the following new paragraph be added -

Articles imported or purchased in bond for the official use of the LieutenantGovernors, and declared as being for such official use, on and after 12th December, 1907 - free.

move this in all good faith, as every argument that can be advanced in favour of including the State Governors applies to the Lieutenant-Governors. The latter act as locum tenens for Governors during their absence, and they receive their appointments, just as Governors do, direct from the King. There is an additional reason why Lieutenant-Governors should be given some consideration, in the fact that they receive no salary, especially when acting for a few weeks, or a few days.

Mr Watson:

– Sometimes they receive both salaries.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– That may be so in some cases, but generally they do not receive any salary as Lieutenant-Governor, or, at any rate, do not receive salaries commensurate with the position they occupy.

Mr Maloney:

– The LieutenantGovernor of Victoria, who acted during Lord Brassey’s absence, received £500 a year more than did Lord Brassey himself.

Mr Salmon:

– Lord Brassey was away the whole year.

Sir William Lyne:

– Let us get to a vote.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– I am -speaking seriously, and it is of no use the Treasurer asking me to drop the subject.

Sir William Lyne:

– I desire to get to a vote.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– It. will not do for us to take that attitude. We did so on. the last vote, whereas, if we had waited a few minutes, and had had further discussion, there would have been a different result.

Sir William Lyne:

– If the honorable member desires, I will postpone the consideration of this item until the end of the division. I do not desire that the “Committee should continue to discuss the matter now.

Mr BATCHELOR:

– If the Treasurer will postpone this item until after (he consideration of postponed item 424, I am quite prepared to agree to his suggestion.

Sir William Lyne:

– Very well; I shall do so.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the consideration of item 425 be postponed until after the consideration of postponed item 424.

Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie

– I should like to hear what reasons can be advanced for’ the postponement of this item. So far as I can see all the honorable members here are in full possession of their faculties.

Sir William Lyne:

– I know that; but some members are complaining that there is only a small attendance.

Mr MAHON:

– Oh, indeed. I consider that the Government were very ill-advised in consenting to this course being taken.

Sir William Lyne:

– I desire to consult with the Prime Minister, as I have been asked to do.

Mr MAHON:

– If it is understood that the Government are reconsidering the advisability of having this clause in the Tariff at all, that is a good reason for a postponement. We all wish to give them an opportunity to make up their minds.

Sir William Lyne:

– I certainly shall consult the Prime Minister.

Mr MAHON:

– The Treasurer can count on my opposition to every proposal’ of this sort.

Sir William Lyne:

– Surely the honorable member does not object to what I propose to do?

Mr MAHON:

– This proposal will open the door to many serious abuses. It may allow others than the Governor-General’ and the Governors to have their goods brought in free.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Such goods were free under the old Tariff.

Mr MAHON:

– I doubt whether there was any such provision in the old Tariff for the Governors of States, though there may have been for the Governor-General.

Mr Crouch:

– I rise to a point of order. Is it possible to postpone an item when it has been partly amended? I understand that rulings previously have been against this course. I may say that I have no objection to a postponement.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member for Corio, is quite right in saying that such course is not customary, but, under the exceptional circumstances, I shall, with the leave of -the Committee, put the motion.

Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne

– A vote has been taken on the item, and I desire to know if it is really proposed that it be postponed. If the vote already taken is to be rescinded, and the ground cleared for a full reconsideration of the item I have no objection.

Sir William Lyne:

– I shall give the honorable member the opportunity he desires to discuss the item later on in the day.

Mr Batchelor:

– All that was voted on was an amendment, and there will be an opportunity to vote against the whole proposal later.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Some question has arisen as to whether these goods were free under the old Tariff. I find that articles imported by, and for, the official use of the Governor-General, or State Governors, were amongst the special exemptions.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I must again point out to the Committee that I do not wish the postponement of this item to be regarded as an ordinary method of procedure. I am taking an exceptional course only with the consent of the Committee.

Motion agreed to; item postponed.

Item 426 (Articles for the use of the blind, deaf, and dumb) ; item 427 (Uniforms, &c. for foreign consuls) ; item 428 (Fire Brigade Appliances) ; item 429 (Minor Articles for use in the manufacture of goods) ; item 430 (Models of Inventions) ; item 431 (Collections of Antiquities for Public Institutions); item 432 (Natural History Specimens) ; item 433 (Passengers’ Personal Effects), agreed to.

Item 434. Pictorial Illustrations and Casts and Models for Teaching purposes, when imported by and for the use of Universities, Colleges, or Schools - free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “schools” the words “ or public institutions “ be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 435. Scientific Instruments and Apparatus (and materials for scientific purposes) for use in Universities, Colleges, Schools, or Public Hospitals, under departmental by-laws, free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to-

That after the word “ Hospitals,” the words “ or any Public Institution “ be inserted.

Amendment by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words - “435(a). Machinery specially designed and adapted for use in any University or Public Educational Institution for the purposes of instruction to students only, and any article which has been bequeathed or donated to any Public Institution, on and after12th December, 1907, free,” be added.

Item, as. amended, agreed to.

Item 436. Surgical and Dental and Veterinary Instruments and Appliances (not being Furniture), viz. : -

Amputating; Cupping; Dissecting; Examining and Operating ; Veterinary ; Lint ; Gauzes; Bandages n.e.i.; Ligatures; Oil Silk; Poroplastic Felt; Splints and Artificial Limbs and Eyes; Surgical Pessaries; Glass Rectum and Vaginal Tubes ; Operation Bags fitted with Instruments ; Syringes ; Galvano-cautery Batteries and Appliances; Operating Tables; Dressing and Instrument Trays; Accident Emergency Cases; Hot Air Apparatus for legs and arms ; X-ray Apparatus except Motors; Snake-bite Outfits; Medicated Wool; Aseptic Paper; Impression Trays; Dental Rubber; Amalgam and Gold Filling-in Pellets or Cylinders, ad val. (General Tariff),10 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That after the word “ Pessaries,” the words “ except of glass “ be inserted.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [6.45 a.m.]. - If the Treasurer’s proposal be carried, under what item will the exception which he desires to makefall ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The instruments of glass in question will then be dutiable as glassware, n.e.i., under item 253. ‘ All these articles, I understand, are being manufactured in the Commonwealth.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the words “ Glass Rectum and Vaginal Tubes” be left out.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– I would point out to the Treasurer that the construction of these tubes is a very different matter from the manufacture of an ordinary pessary.

Mr Page:

– They are being manufactured in Brisbane.

Mr WILSON:

– I am aware that they can be made in Brisbane if a pattern is supplied, but it might be necessary to send to America or to the Continent to procure a pattern. There are a number of varieties. Therefore, I think that the Minister is ill advised in proposing to omit the words, and, in the interests of the medical profession, I object to it being done.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “ syringes “ the words “except of glass” be inserted.

That after the word “ medicated “ the words “ and absorbent “ be inserted’.

Mr CHANTER:
Riverina

– I suggest to the Treasurer that the words “snake bite outfits” should be omitted. They should not be dutiable at 10 per cent.

Sir William Lyne:

– I intend to make free all the articles mentioned in the item.

Amendment (by Mr. Wilson) agreed to -

That after the word “ wool “ the words “ and surgical dressings “ be inserted.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “ rubber “ the words “dental alloy and cements” be inserted.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– The dentists wish to be made free rubber dams, pedestal spittoons, hospital furniture, and burrs.

Mr Batchelor:

– Rubber dams would come under “ dental rubber,” which is free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the words “ 10 per cent.” the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907 (General Tariff), free” be inserted.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 437 (Theatrical Costumes, &c), agreed to.

Item 438 amended to read as follows, and agreed to -

Trophies won abroad and Decorations, Medallions and Certificates awarded, or to be awarded, and sent from abroad to individuals, and Trophies or Prizes sent by donors resident abroad for presentation or competition in Australia under Departmental by-laws - free.

Item 439 (Goods sent for repairs) agreed to.

Item 440 amended to read as follows, and agreedto -

Goods brought back to Australia by the person who was owner, or the legal representative of such owner at the time of exportation, after exportation, without drawback having been paid thereon subject to the provisions of section 151 of the Customs Act 1901 - free.

Item 441. Blankets, Rubber or Wool for Printing Machines, Top Cloths for Ruling Machines, Felts for Paper Making Machines, when imported with the machines of which they form a necessary working part, one or more as required for working the machine - free.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.According to the wording of this item, felts for paper-making machines are only free when imported with them. These felts, which are about 90yards long, cannot be made in the Commonwealth, and, consequently, have to be imported from time to time. It is necessary to release the articles from the words of limitation in the item.

Therefore, I move -

That the words “ felts for paper-making machines “ be left out.

If the amendment is made it is my intention to ask theCommittee to add to the item the words “ and felts and wires for paper-making machines.

Mr Batchelor:

– Why does the honorable member include the wires?

Mr CROUCH:

– It is a mere attachment to the machine.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment(by Mr. Crouch) proposed -

That after the word “machine” the words “ and felts and wires for paper making machines” be inserted.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– That amendment seems to me to alter the sense with regard to top cloths for ruling machines. Does the honorable member intend that the words “ when imported “ &c, shall apply to the top cloths for ruling machines?

Mr Crouch:

– Yes. The felts and wires are not imported with the felt machines, but have to be imported separately, and that is why I want the Committee to insert these words at the end of the item.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Cannot these felts be made at any place in Australia?

Mr Crouch:

– The paper-making mills tried to make them, but could not as they are 90 yards long. They have to be renewed every six months.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Cannot the felts be made inVictoria ?

Mr Crouch:

– No.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Is there any particular reason why these mills, which are doing well, and enjoying a tolerably high protection, should get all these materials in free?

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.When the honorable member for Adelaide was Minister of Trade and Customs he adopted a rule by which these articles were allowed to come in free and they have come in free since that time. This item is only continuing what is practically the existing law.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The question is whether these highly-protected industries ought to get free all the materials they require.

Mr Crouch:

-I do not think the honorable member will find they are highly protected.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I notice that all these highly-protected manufacturers are the very first to secure any economical aid to their industries. This is another instance of men who ask the Treasurer for the highest possible duties which they can get. and afterwards request to be exempted from the ordinary taxation which other citizens have to bear, and cheerfully pay.

Amendment agreed to

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 442. Scientific Instruments and Apparatus, viz. : -

  1. Instruments for measuring the density of Liquids Solids and Gases; including Hydrometers, Saccharometers, Lactometers, Salimometers, and Barkometers - free. . . .

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That after the word “ instruments,” paragraph a, the words “of other material than glass” be inserted.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– In my opinion the Treasurer is coming it a little bit too strong in submitting this amendment. In Brisbane there is a man who manufactures all the instruments which are included in paragraph a.

Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910

– Then we must protect him.

Mr WILSON:

– This item, as it is printed, includes scientific instruments of very great accuracy. In some cases the users of such instruments like to deal with the manufacturer in Brisbane, but, in other cases, they want to import them from America or Germany or England. I do not think that the Minister should alter the wording of the item, and so remove such instruments from the free list.

Mr Johnson:

– Let the item go. The articles are on the free list.

Mr WILSON:

– Evidently the honorable member is not aware of the fact that the Treasurer has moved to insert the words “of other material than glass” after the word “instruments.” All these scientific instruments should be free. To tax them would be to do a great injustice to the scientists of Australia, and to those concerned in schools of mines and laboratories. I do not deny that some of the instruments are made in Australia, and they may be perfectly accurate so far as they go. But a scientist would not be altogether satisfied with the conditions under which they are made in Brisbane. These instruments are of no use unless they are made with the greatest delicacy. The amendment simply means that only those made of gun metal will be admitted free. I want honorable members to be seized of the facts.

Sir William Lyne:

– We do not want facts at this time of the morning. We intend to put on a duty. That is the fact that concerns us.

Mr WILSON:

– If I had not drawn attention to the matter the item would have been passed without any consideration. The Minister really should not press his amendment.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am going to press it.

Mr WILSON:

– I undertake to say that there are many scientists in Australia who would not think of going to Brisbane for their instruments.

Colonel Foxton. - Why not?

Mr WILSON:

– Because they would not be satisfied that they were getting instruments that were perfect for their scientific work.

Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne

– It would be far better to give the gentleman in Brisbane who is making these instruments a bounty than to impose a duty for his benefit. Scientific men are not even satisfied with English-made instruments’ in many cases. They send to Germany, or to the United States of America for particular instruments for particular purposes. They are certainly not likely to be content with Australian-made instruments when they want to make sure of obtaining the most scrupulous accuracy. It would be regrettable if every dairy in Australia was practically forced to buy a lactometer in which perfect confidence could not be put. What does the proposed duty amount to?

Colonel Foxton. - Thirty and 25 per cent.

Mr MALONEY:

– I shall have to get one of these instruments and test it

Mr Page:

– They are all on sale.

Mr MALONEY:

– I think that the amendment is due to the energy of the Queensland members. In order that his deductions may be recognised elsewhere, a professor in Australia needs for the purposes of his scientific investigations instruments of the same high grade as those used in the Old World. If an astronomer here were to observe certain nebulae, it would be necessary that the instrument with which he made his observations should correspond with those used in other parts of the world.

Mr Crouch:

– There must be an absolute standard.

Colonel Foxton. - The instruments made in Brisbane are standardized.

Mr MALONEY:

– Is it the standard of Berlin, of Paris, or some other part of the world that is observed? lft conclusion, I simply desire to know whether the Treasurer intends to insert the words “ of other material than glass “ in the remaining paragraphs.

Mr PAGE:
Maranoa

– I was never more surprised in my life than I was when I heard the honorable member for Melbourne speak as he did regarding the industry to which this item relates. When invited by the Treasurer to vote for a duty of .50 per cent, for the protection of a Victorian industry, he has done so without blushing; but when he is asked to vote for a duty for the assistance of a Queensland industry, he immediately begins to talk about the Milky Way, and the standard of Paris, Berlin, and other cities, with a view of showing that the proposed protection should not be granted. When the honorable member can turn a* political somersault with such consummate ease, I am satisfied as to his consistency and his ideas of protection.

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [7. 26 a.m.]. - When I spoke of these instruments being standardized. I meant to convey that the instruments enumerated in paragraph a are made in Brisbane by a highly trained scientific man. who acquired his knowledge in the best manufactories of Europe. He thoroughly understands his business, and has been engaged for years in making the very instruments to which the honorable member for Melbourne has referred. Every scientific instrument that he makes is examined by a Government expert, who must certify to its correctness before it can be offered for sale.

Mr Wilson:

– Is the Government expert competent?

Colonel FOXTON. - I have yet to learn that protectionists, at all events, are not to accept Australian experts in lieu of those on the other side of the globe.

Mr Batchelor:

– How many are engaged in the industry in Brisbane?

Colonel FOXTON.- I do not know; it is not a large establishment.

Mr Batchelor:

– It is the usual Queensland industry?

Colonel FOXTON.- I am aware that some honorable members are prepared to taboo an industry the moment it is mentioned that it is carried on in Queensland.

Mr Watson:

– When we find the honorable member supporting a duty we know that it must relate to a Queensland industry.

Colonel FOXTON.- That is not fair. I have supported the imposition of duties in relation to a large number of industries that are peculiar to Victoria.

Mr Wise:

– Low duties.

Colonel FOXTON.- No; I have supported the Government on various occasions, but I am not, and do not pretend to be, a prohibitionist. 1 invite honorable members to compare this proposed duty of 30 per cent, with the duties of from 100 to 200 per cent., that have been passed for the protection of Victorian industries. I repeat that every possible precaution is taken to insure the accuracy of the scientific instruments made in Queensland. I should also like tb mention that these people do not propose to attempt the manufacture of any of those instruments which are beyond their capacity. They will make only those with which they are thoroughly familiar.

Mr Batchelor:

– If this man were to remove to some other country the whole industry would be abolished.

Colonel FOXTON. - No, I presume that some one else would take his place. Why should we assume that die usual consequences claimed for a protective duty would not follow in this case, and that the number of persons engaged in this industrywould not be increased ?

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– I opposed this proposal when it was before the Committee in another form on a previous occasion. I oppose it again for the same reason, that throughout the Tariff we have refrained from imposing duties on purely scientific instruments. It should not be forgotten that a number- of these articles are coming every day into more common use, and we w’ish to encourage their use in the Commonwealth. Many reasons have been given why the proposal should not be accepted, but one which has not yet been mentioned is that the result of prosecutions in the Courts, involving the livelihood, or the liberty of a man, in very many instances, depends upon the accuracy of these instruments..

Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [7.35 a.m.]. - I should just like to ask the honorable member for Laanecoorie whether he thinks we shall ever be able to make these instruments in Australia, and, if so, when he thinks we should begin to make them ?

Mr STORRER:
Bass

.When this question was before the Committee in another form, I voted with representatives of Queensland for the protection of this industry. It did matter to me, as a protectionist, if those honorable members voted free-trade on every other question. If men in any part of the world can make any article, there are men in Australia who can make it, if they are given encouragement. When honorable members, in dealing with industries carried on in their own States, talk of the work that Australians can do’, and then refuse to protect the work of Australians in other States, they are grossly inconsistent. I am prepared to support a duty upon these articles.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I have listened with the utmost amazement to the tirade of abuse directed against the honorable member for Brisbane, and I hope it will teach the honorable member a lesson. We have had some difficulty on this side in bringing the honorable member to reason on fiscal questions. He has supported the Government when their own supporters have left them, and this is the reward he gets. I hope it will induce the honorable member to turn over a new leaf.

Question - That the words “ of other material than glass “ be inserted after the word “ instruments,” paragraph a (Sir

William Lyne’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 19

NOES: 16

Majority … … 3

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That after the word “ barkometers,” paragraph (a), the words “ of other material than glass “ be inserted.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Wilson) proposed -

That the following new paragraph be inserted : - “ aa. Instruments made of glass for measuring the density of liquids, solids, and gases, including hydrometers, saccharometers, lactometers, salimometers, and barkometers, on and after12th December, 1907, ad val. (General Tariff), 10 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 5 per cent.” ‘

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I hope the Committee will not agree to this amendment. These articles fall under items dutiable at 25 per cent. and 20 per cent.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– If the Government will propose to make the duties 20 per cent. and 15 per cent., I shall support them.

Sir William Lyne:

– I agree to the suggestion.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– The honorable member for Laanecoorie only just now advocated that these instruments should be admitted duty free ; and to be consistent, he ought to support the lowest impost obtainable. .

Mr Page:

– The question was then one of protection, or no protection.

Mr WILSON:

– But I regard it as a question of scientific research, and one closely connected with the observation of certain legal formalities in regard to the tests. There is enormous breakage in conveying these delicate instruments from one end of the world to the other; and the duty I propose would give some little encouragement to the local industry.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

. -The question before us was, whether or notthere should be a duty ; and, in my opinion, the decision arrived at by the Committee was a wrong one. But, in view of that decision. I do not feel inclined to vote for the duty proposed by. the honorable member for Corangamite. It would simply be a revenue duty ; and I declared myself, at the beginning of the Tariff discussion, as against such duties.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– No doubt these very delicate instruments require to be as mathematically perfect as possible. Industries of this kind do not spring up like mushrooms; and I do not see that the industry in Brisbane could by any possibility supply all the requirements of Australia. In my opinion, a fair duty would be one of 15 per cent. all round.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– Boththe honorable member for Laanecoorie and the honorable member for Melbourne showed that, no matter how high the duty might be, these goods must be brought from abroad; and, therefore, the impost must, to a large extent, be merely revenue producing.

Amendment (by Mr. Salmon) agreed to -

That the amendment be amended by leaving out the figure “ 10,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the figure “ 20,” and the figure “ 5,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the figure “15”.

Proposed new paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraphs b, c, and d agreed to.

Paragraph (e). Apparatus for the testing and analysisof milk, wine, and other agricultural products, as prescribed by departmental by-laws - free.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the paragraph be left out.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– This is another instance in which the Treasurer proposes to subject to a duty a number of articles which are used in the testing of wines.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I would point out to the honorable member that all the apparatus described in this paragraph is being manufactured in Australia. The industry is being principally carried out in Brisbane, where the apparatus has to be subjected to a Government test before it can be delivered by the manufacturer.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– The Treasurer’s explanation is scarcely satisfactory. I repeat that this proposal will have the effect of subjecting to duty apparatus used to test wines in respect of their acidity, their alcoholic strength, and the carbonic acid gas which they contain. Such instruments as acidometers, alcoholometers and eudiometers, are not manufactured in Australia.

Colonel Foxton. - I will guarantee that they are manufactured in Brisbane.

Mr WILSON:

– The honorable member is prepared to guarantee that any instrument made of glass is manufactured in Brisbane.

Amendment negatived.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Item 443 (Ophthalmic instruments and appliances) agreed to.

Item 444. Outside packages n.e.i., in which goods other than those subject to an ad valorem duty are ordinarily imported, when containing such goods - free.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I move -

That after the words “packages n.e.i.” the words “including the sole containing package” be inserted.

The amendment will have the effect of making these packages free.

Mr Page:

– Will zinc-lined cases come under this item ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “ other than those subject to an ad valorem duty “ and “ when containing such goods “ be left out.

Mr WILSON:
Corangamite

– Two days ago I was informed that the Customs authorities wished to charge 12s. 6d. on what is known as a “dry” cask, in which ironmongery was imported. These casks when empty are practically of no value, and cannot be used as new casks.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That duty must have been charged before the Tariff was amended.

Mr WILSON:

– No; since then. The rule laid down by the Department was that the exemption relating to casks applied only to casks containing liquids.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– All full casks are free.

Mr WILSON:

– Whether they contain liquids or dry goods ?

Mr Austin Chapman:

– Yes.

Item, as amended, agreed to.

Mr.MALONEY (Melbourne) [8.15 a.m.]. - I have here The Shipping World Year-Book, in which the principal Tariffs of the world are published. It will be seen that they contain schedules of prohibited goods. St. Vincent, for instance, prohibits the importation of plants, seeds, berries, earth, soil, and vegetable matter used for packing or covering imports from Ceylon, Natal, South India, Mauritius, and the Straits Settlements. Ceylon and Mauritius have similarly drastic prohibitions. I suggest that our prohibitions, most of which are embodied in the Customs Act, should be printed as a schedule attached to the Tariff.

Mr Salmon:

– I support that.

Excise Duties.

Saccharin and other similar substitutes for sugar, per lb., £5.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words “and on and after 12th December, 1907, per lb., £1” be added.

Rebate for Home Consumption.

Tariff Item 124 (Schedule A). Piece goods of any material when used in the manufacture of Rubber Waterproof Cloth. Rebate, threefourths, of the duty paid.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– This rebate was allowed under the old Tariff.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– We gave these manufacturers a higher duty.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It would be 7½ per cent. now. I propose to rebate three-fourths of the duty paid.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– We increased the duty on waterproof cloth.

Mr Wilson:

– Do I understand that the Minister proposes to insert “ 7½ per cent.”?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– No; I propose to rebate 7½per cent.

Mr Wilson:

– Of the duty paid?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– No, threefourths of the duty paid, which is 7½ per cent. The Comptroller-General has pointed out to me that it is very necessary to get this alteration made to-day.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Why should these manufacturers get this advantage at all? They are getting a protection of 30 per cent. now.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– No, the duties are 30 and 25 per cent.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– They have got a thumping big protection.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I ask the honorable member to allow the amendment to pass, as it is doing the same thing as was done under the old Tariff.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It is quite true that this provision was in the old Tariff, but since then we have given the manufacturers of these goods very much higher protection, viz. : - 30 and 25 per cent., and I do not quite see why we should go further and rebate to them three-fourths of that duty. Why should they not be put on the same footing as other manufacturers? Since they have got a protection of 30 and 25 per cent., it seems to me to be absurd to give a rebate of three-fourths of it. Let them be treated like other manufacturers who are subject to competition.

Mr Bowden:

– It is only to be done in respect of goods exported.

Sir William Lyne:

– That is so.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I think that the Minister should not allow this item to pass.

Sir William Lyne:

– I shall make further inquiry, and if it should transpire that it is not a proper thing to do, I will see that an alteration is made in another place.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But why should persons who happen to manufacture waterproof cloth get this advantage over every other kind of manufacture? It is an anomalous item to put in the Tariff. Certainly, it cannot be called a scientific Tariff, when certain manufacturers are singled out for specially favorable treatment. I should like to know the reason for this proposal, and if there is no reason why these manufacturers should be treated differently from any others, it ought not to be done, I think.

Sir William Lyne:

– Oh, let it go.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Has the honorable gentleman dealt with the other items in this schedule?

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes, with everything. The leader of the Opposition took exception to them, and at my instance they were struck out.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Why should we have a special schedule in the Tariff for one class of manufacturers? He is a singularly fortunate manufacturer who, after he has made up imported material, and exported it, is to be refunded threefourths of the duty paid.

Mr Johnson:

– It is worse still, because it is a rebate for home consumption, not for export.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I was told by the Minister that it was a rebate on the exportation of the manufactured article.

Mr Johnson:

– Look at the heading - “ rebate for home consumption.”

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– It appears that the object of this item is to place the manufacturer of rubber waterproof cloth in exactly the same position as he was in under the old Tariff.

Mr Bowden:

– No, because he has a higher duty.

Mr SALMON:

– The amount of the rebate will beexactly the same as he got before. He will not be put in any better position.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– He will be in a better position if he uses local woollens. .

Mr Johnson:

-Why should he be singled out for special treatment ?

Mr SALMON:

– We have dealt with the raw material of his industry in a different fashion from that which was anticipated.

Mr WATKINS:
Newcastle

– I am not clear yet about this item. It appears to me that if a man who utilizes piece-goods in the manufacture of waterproof cloth is to get a refund of the duty paid, any body who uses piece-goods for any other purpose should stand in a similar position.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– And if he uses Australian cloth he has a protection of 30 per cent.

Mr WATKINS:

– Seeing that the piece of-

Sir William Lyne:

– Oh, I will withdraw the whole thing, and I have a very good mind to withdraw the Tariff too. I withdraw the item. I will not go any further with it.

Mr Salmon:

– It will simply ruin this manufacture.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am not going to put up any longer with the nonsense I have had here thismorning.

Mr Johnson:

– It is time that some of these proposals were debated a little more.

Mr WATKINS:

– I decidedly object to the remark of the Minister. I rise to ask why this special treatment is to be given to the manufacturer of rubberwaterproof cloth ?

SirWilliam Lyne. - The honorable member was asleep when the information was given.

Mr WATKINS:

– I ask, sir,that that statement be withdrawn, because there is not a word of truth in it.

Mr Watson:

– It should be withdrawn.

Mr WATKINS:

– Before I vote for this schedule I shall require to know why this industry has been singled out for special treatment.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Minister has withdrawn it.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Batchelor:

– I understand that the Minister is willing to withdraw the item, but the better plan will be to negative it.

Mr Salmon:

– If it is negatived we can not get another opportunity to deal with it, but if it is withdrawn, we can.

Item negatived.

Progress reported.

page 7413

SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the House at its rising adjourn until 4.30 p.m. this day.

page 7413

ADJOURNMENT

Tariff. - Recommittals. - Manufactures EncouragementBill.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– In moving -

That the House do now adjourn,

I wish to say that immediately the House meets this afternoon a statement will be made as to the course of business. I may also observe that several things have to be done in regard to the Tariff.I have a list of corrections which require to be made. They are merely formal corrections’, which are necessary before it can be said that the Tariff is complete. I will request the Clerks to let honorable members have copies of the list, and I ask honorable members to look over the corrections before this evening. Probably we shall be able to deal with them very shortly.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Is the Treasurer going to propose any recommittals?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I say nothing about that. Probably I shall say something when the House meets this afternoon. In the meantime I shall have to consider what is to be done.

Mr Page:

– Does the Treasurer intend to propose any recommittals this evening? If so, will he supply us with a list of those which he intends to submit?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If I can possibly arrange to have necessary alterations made in another place I do not think I shall propose to recommit any items. If I do move to recommit any it must be on the distinct understanding that we’ are not to have a shower of proposals for recommittals, and so occupy the time of the House for a considerable period.

Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean

.- I wish to inform the Treasurer that I have received a telegram from the Mayor of Lithgow, with reference to the iron works. I will read it -

General feeling here is that early settlement of bonus question by Representatives would facilitate settlement of crisis at iron works.

I wish to know whether the Government propose to deal with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill before we adjourn over Christmas?

Mr CHANTER:
Riverina

– I wish to ask a question, following on that asked by the honorable member for Maranoa. It has relation to the recommittal ofitems in the Tariff. I have asked that one item should be recommitted, and I think that every honorable member opposite will be with me in regard to it.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– If we do not propose recommittals of our own, we cannot be expected to vote for those of honorable members opposite.

Mr Johnson:

– I have thirty items which I wish to have recommitted, and I shall propose them if one is recommitted.

Mr CHANTER:

– All that I desire to do is to rectify an error, to make discs for ploughs and one or two other agricultural implements free of duty. A mistake was made but it can be easily dealt with. We need not wait until the error can be rectified by the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 8.38 a.m. (Thursday).

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 11 December 1907, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1907/19071211_reps_3_42/>.