House of Representatives
15 May 1908

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

page 11154

QUESTION

WANGARATTA TRAIN SERVICE

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Will . the Prime Minister inform the House if the Government has any control over the railways of the Commonwealth by reason of the fact that it pays the Commissioners a large sum annually for the carriage of mails? Through a recent alteration in the running of the Sydney express,Wangaratta has been practically cut out of communication, except on two days of the week. A more monstroifs re-arrangement of the railway time-table has never before been made in this country. Is there any possibility of the Government doing anything? I shall not trouble the House with the history of the case, which was published in the newspapers yesterday ; but the borough council is taking action. It is most unfair that the first express should pass Wangaratta. The arrangement may be all very well for Sydney passengers-

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member must not discuss the matter.

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

– I shall make inquiries.

page 11154

COHESION OF THE EMPIRE

Cardinal Logue’s Statements

Mr WILKS:
DALLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

– An astounding . cablegram appears in both, the Argus and the Age this morning. I do not know whether the communication is or is not a fake, but it is so important that attention must be paid to it. The message reads -

London, 14th May.

A remarkable declaration in respect to the future of the British Empire has been made in the course of a press interview at New York by Cardinal Michael Logue, Archbishop of Armagh and Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland.

Cardinal Logue declared that he saw signs of the certain dissolution of the British Empire. “ The colonies,” he said, “ are restive. Australia is to-day practically independent, and the trend every moment is more and more in the direction of absolute rebellion. New Zealand is indifferent. Canada is legislating in a manner showing her desire to conduct her business in her own way. The firesof rebellion are lighted in India, and men and women have been hanged for daring . to advocatethe neverdying doctrine of freedom. “When England sits alone as the result of misgovernment,” Cardinal’ Logue added, “it will be a day of reckoning for the children of Ireland.” .

What I am concerned about - arid the Prime Minister should also be concerned about it - is the statement that -

The colonies are restive. Australia is to-day practically independent, and the trend every moment is more and more in the direction of absolute rebellion.

The questions I wish to askare-

  1. Is there any evidence of the trend of public affairs in Australia in the direction of absolute rebellion?
  2. Is it not a fact that the ties of race and sentiment of the British race that most effectively bind the Empire together have never been stronger in Australia than they are to-day?

The statements of the Cardinal having received publicity in the columns of our newspapers, they are of sufficient importance to require a denial at the hands of the Prime Minister.

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

-The honorable member for Kooyong was good enough to hand me a typewritten copy of questions of the same nature as those just asked.

Mr Fisher:

– What has the matter to do with us?

Mr Wilks:

– It is the duty of the Prime Minister to state the true position.

Mr Knox:

– The remarks of the Cardinal are a slander on the Commonwealth and on this Parliament.

Mr SPEAKER:

– The Prime Minister having been asked the question, I ask honorable members to do him the courtesy to listen to his reply.

Mr DEAKIN:

– I should be sorry to accept on the faith of a statement in an American newspaper the remarks attributed to the Cardinal, or to any other person.

Mr.Wilks. - The cablegram was sent from London.

Mr DEAKIN:

– It has an American source. If the remarks were made, the assertion that Australia is practically independent is true only in thatwe enjoy the amplest powers of self-government within the Empire.. To say that our trend is’ “more and more in the direction of absolute rebellion “ is absolutely incorrect.

Mr Knox:

– It is an infamous lie.

Mr DEAKIN:

– The grant to us of great powers of self-government and the freedom with which we exercise them have had an opposite influence, drawing us always closer together instead of thrusting us asunder.

Mr JOHNSON:
LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Does not the Prime Minister think that the gross misrepresentations of Australian sentiment towards the Mother Country to which reference hasbeen made by the honorable member for

Dal ley are the mischievous results of the passing of dictatorial resolutions by this House regarding British domestic policy and legislation?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I do not. I have recently, seen quoted in English newspapers similar misrepresentations from German magazines, the source of which can be readily understood. I believe that the attitude of Australia towards the Mother Country is thoroughly understood and appreciated in Great Britain and elsewhere by any who choose to properly qualify themselves for expressing an opinion on the subject.

Mr KNOX:

– Will the Prime Minister cable to London a contradiction of Cardinal Logue’s slanderous statement?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I have not the least doubt that such an announcement will be cabled withoutany action of ours.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Will the Prime Minister see that the denial is sent, and not trust merely to the chance of it being cabled ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– There is no chance that it will not be cabled ; but I shall certainly make sure of it.

page 11155

BANK CLERKS’ SALARIES

Mr KING O’MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA

– In the Age of the 1 2th May, in a. leader dealing with the salaries of bank clerks, appear these statements -

Considering the small salaries paid to bank clerks, it is astonishing that charges of embezzlement and peculation on the part of bank employes are not more frequently reported .

Here was a young man of 27 years of age, who had been employed by the Commercial Bank for ten years, and, though he had the daily handling of from£3,000 to £4,000, he was rewarded, and placed above the reach of wrong-doing, by the munificent income of £115 per annum, or £2 4s. per week.

No one will deal nowadays with a tradesman who is a notorious sweater. Why should any generous-minded man keep his account at a bank which notoriously underpays its clerks”?

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member must not debate the question.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:

– I am not doing so. I am reading a newspaper extract.

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member may neither debate the question itself nor read a report debating it. If the rule were otherwise, it would be easy to evade the standing order by the reading of printed or written matter with that object.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:

– The questions which Iwish to ask, founded on the newspaper statement’s, are these -

  1. Does the Prime Minister think £2 4s. per week for the teller of a great banking corporation who handles £5,000 a day, after ten. years’ services, is too high pay?
  2. Does he think the directors should be prosecuted for the payment of such extravagantly high wages when Chinamen could be secured to do the same work for half the amount - £1 2S. per week ?
  3. And, if not, is there any constitutional bar to placing bank clerks under the Victorian wages boards ?
  4. And if there be, will the Government put a few clauses in the next banking Billempowering the Judges before whom these bank clerks occasionally appear to debit the bank and credit the charged clerk with the amount taken as part of his withheld salary? 5.Will the Government enable the Judges to raise the salary of any clerk appearing before them to what they believe should be paid?
  5. Is the Government aware that every shilling paid in dividends to shareholders represents great drops of clotted blood sweated from the brains and hearts of those honest but misguided bank clerks, who have neglected organizing a strong clerks’ union and affiliating with the Trades Hall, from where a strike would have been declared long ago?
Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member is now going far beyond the limits of a question. I ask him,in putting his question, to refrain from indulging in’ expressions of opinion.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:

– Is this not a question; Mr. Speaker?

Mr SPEAKER:

– It is more than a question.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:

– Then I shall ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that arule of the banks prevents clerks, on pain of instant dismissal, from marrying before a certain salary is reached, and, if so, does be not regardthat as a combination of capitalists in restraint’ of trade and a violation of the higher laws of God and nature? In view of these facts, will he help me to establish a national postal banking system of exchange, issue, deposit, and reserve, under which good wages will be paid for honest work, and which will be a haven of rest towhich oppressed and down-trodden bank clerks may flee from the. tyrannical combinations of despotic boodliers?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

-The latter part of the honorable member’s question indicates that he knows as well as any other honorable member that the wages and working conditions of bank clerks are matters of State law, and are not within the scope ofCommonwealth legislation. The honorable member invites an opinion as to the wages of these clerks, which I should not feel justified in expressing, except to say that I am informed, and believe, that the salaries paid by the Commonwealth to public servants, charged with similar duties, are’ at least double those to which the honorable member has referred.

page 11156

QUESTION

ADVERTISING AUSTRALIA

Mr WILKS:

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether it is the intention of his Department to formulate a general scheme for advertising Australia in Great Britain? Does he intend to provide for the creation in London of an advertising and information bureau which will arrange for the better distribution of our advertisements among the more popular newspapers of the Old Country,’ such as the Daily News, Reynolds’ Weekly, and Lloyd’s Weekly, which reach the class of people that we desire to attract?

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable member is now debating the question.

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– It is our intention to employ’ in connexion with the High Commissioner’s office a special officer, charged’ with the distribution of reliable information concerning Australia. The services ot whatever newspaper appears best suited for the purpose will be requisitioned.

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

– Or newspapers ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– Quite so. One newspaper may be the best medium for reaching a particular class and another more effective for reaching a different class. Those to which the honorable member for Dalley has referred circulate principally in towns. The chief advantage to be gained by advertising in .a city newspaper is that it appeals to financiers and others whom we are principally interested in keeping well informed.

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

– The Government seem to have started, as is natural, with the greatest Tory newspaper.

Mr DEAKIN:

– I am not prepared to state which is the greatest Tory newspaper. We simply began with the paper’ that is making a new departure that - promises to be of great value to us. None of the London press can afford to let a rival obtain a lead in the consideration of Empire affairs. If the proposition submitted to us by the London Standard had come from any other newspaper it would have met with exactly the same response.

Mr WILKS:

– Cannot the Prime Minister avail himself of the services of the present representative of the Commonwealth in London, Captain Collins, to initiate an advertising bureau there instead of deferring action until the appointment, of a High Commissioner?

Mr DEAKIN:

– We are already doing so; I understood the honorable member to refer to additional efforts.

Mr SALMON:
LAANECOORIE, VICTORIA

– In view of the fact that a number of applications from head teachers of State schools have been made to me for the last number ‘ of Australia To-day, I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether he has in hand any copies of that publication which can be used in our public schools as an aid to education?

Mr DEAKIN:

– If there are any copies which . have not been distributed, ‘ I will take the honorable member’s suggestion into favorable consideration. I think that the last issue of the Victorian State School Paper - which I hope has been brought under the notice of honorable members - is one of the most satisfactory, from the point of view of the political education of the young in regard to the Commonwealth, that we can hope to see.

Mr PAGE:
MARANOA, QUEENSLAND

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Is the price which the Federal Government proposes to pay the Standard £$o or £60 a week ?
  2. If it is either of these amounts, does he know that this is above the usual price for an advertisement to be inserted in thirteen issues?
  3. Does he think that an advertisement in the Standard will reach as many people as a similar advertisement in the halfpenny papers which go into the homes of the workers in town and country ?
  4. Is not the Standard a journal written for the wealthy and aristocratic classes?
  5. Is the newspaper in question not one of the organs of the Conservative party?
Mr DEAKIN:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow -

  1. The price is ^64 per week, of which the Commonwealth is responsible at present for onehalf.
  2. It is not above, but rather below, the price being charged to other advertisers.
  3. 4 and 5. I do not attempt to discriminate between the several leading London papers, or to attach political labels which are often more misleading than informative to Australians. “There is a group of papers in the Mother Country which are distinctly friendly in their attitude towards Australia. The Standard is one of these. This new supplement is being used for advertising purposes, because its issue marks a new departure in English journalism. We have had no similar offer from any other paper.
Mr Page:

– What about the Daily Chronicle?

Mr DEAKIN:

– We have had no offer from that journal.

Mr Page:

– What about the Westminster Gazette ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– Neither of the newspapers mentioned by the honorable member, nor any other journal-, has made a proposition of this kind to the Government.

Mr Page:

– Have they had the opportunity to do so?

Mr DEAKIN:

– They have had exactly the same opportunity as the Standard. We did not approach that journal in connexion with this matter. Its agents, Messrs. Gordon and Gotch, came to us and submitted this proposal. As I have said previously, any other newspaper which makes a novel proposal - if it possesses an advertising value to us - will be used. It is a pure matter of business. In the present instance we inquired from our representative in London, Captain Collins, whether this advertisement would be profitable, and we were advised not only that it would be profitable, but that it was absolutely necessaryin view of the action which had been taken by Canada and other Dominions. It would never do for Australia to be the only self-governing portion of the Empire not represented in this newspaper. The arrangement made is merely for a three months’ advertisement - that and nothing more. It will take a novel shape, and one of the features in connexion with all good advertising is novelty. This particular kind of thing has never been done in London before, and that is why we are using the opportunity -

In advertising it is necessary to alter frequently both the mode of appeal to the public and the matter published. It is hoped that the example set by the Standard will stimulate others to educate public opinion in the Mother Country by other means having a similar value to us.

page 11157

QUESTION

BRITISH PATENTS ACT

Mr MALONEY:
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

– Has the Minister of Trade and Customs read the paragraph appearing in this morning’s issue of the Age, in which it is shown that the amount of capital which Mr. Lloyd George’s amending Patents Act is compelling foreign manufacturers to expend on new works in England has risen to£25,000,000? I also desire to know whether the Minister has taken steps to obtain complete data with respect to the effect of the new Act with a view to legislation on similar lines by the Commonwealth Parliament?

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

– My attention was directed some little time since to the effect of the Act in question, and I then directedthat full inquiries should be made concerning it’. Instructionshave since been given to the Attorney-General’s Department to prepare an. amending Bill on the lines of the new British Act.

page 11157

QUESTION

DUTY ON ANTIMONY

Mr SINCLAIR:
MORETON, QUEENSLAND

– I wish to ask the Treasurer a question, without notice. I have been furnished with a copy of a report of a certain smelting company having its head office in Sydney, in which it is shown that on a turnover of £1,595a profit of £564 was made in a month, and in which it is also stated that -

It is most important to. note that future conditions governing sales of Star antimony in the Commonwealth have been vastlyimproved by the Federal Government having imposed a duty of 20 per cent. against foreign antimony, 5 per cent, being preferential. This duty was due to the efforts of Mr. Hermann, and those associated with him, and was solely for the protection of our company. It will have the effect of driving the whole of the trade of the Commonwealth into our hands, and we have no opposition to contend with.

I desire to ask the Treasurer if that report is correct?

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

– I do not know how the honorable member can expect me to say whether or not it is correct. ‘ I have not seen the document, and I know nothing whateverabout it. All I can say is that the effect of the duty will be to provide additional work in the Commonwealth.

Mr SINCLAIR:

– I do. not. think that the Treasurer quite grasped the meaning of my question. I wish to ask him whether Mr. Hermann did interview him, and whether that gentleman brought any pressure to bear upon this Parliament with a view to getting a duty imposed upon antimony ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I do not think that I ever saw Mr. Hermann. As far as I can recollect at the moment, I did not. I do not know whether he brought any pressure to bear upon this Parliament. If he did so, the fact is quite outside of my knowledge.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:

– I desire to ask the Treasurer whether the effect of the duty of 26 per cent. upon antimony will not be to enable Australians to selltheir antimony ore to Australians instead of being at the mercy of the Germans as they have been hitherto?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I think it has been represented to me that under existing circumstances the antimony ore mined in Australia has to be sent to the Continent to be treated, and that subsequently the product of that treatment is brought back to Australia. If a duty had been operative upon this commodity there would have been no necessity to send the ore to the Continent. 1 think that it was a member of the Senate who put me in possession of the factsof the case. No doubt the operation of the duty will do a great deal towards establishing the antimony industry in Australia.

page 11158

QUESTION

COUNTRY RIFLE CLUBS

Mr McDOUGALL:
WANNON, VICTORIA

– I desire to ask the Minister of Defence whether it is true, as stated in some quarters, that the. Defence Department intends to supply old and obsolete rifles to country rifle clubs instead of up-to-date weapons? I also wish to know whether he will have the matter inquired into and advise that thoroughly up-to-date rifles are supplied to the clubs iri question?

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

– The statement is not correct that obsolete rifles are to be supplied to country rifle clubs. The rifles with which rifle clubs will be equipped in the course of a few months will be infinitely better than those they have ever had.

page 11158

QUESTION

POSTMASTER-GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT

Carriage of Mails : Protection from Fire. - Instrument Fitters.

Mr BAMFORD:
HERBERT, QUEENSLAND

– In view of the fact that the Post and Telegraph Department pays annually a very considerable amount for the conveyance of mails on the railways of the States, will the Postmaster-General, having regard to the late appalling accident at Sunshine, wherein fire played a somewhat prominent part, take such action as he may deem necessary to minimize the risk of the destruction of mails by fire in all mail vans in future to be placed upon the railways of the States?

Mr MAUGER:
Protectionist

– I have already taken steps to preserve, not only mails in transit, butin post offices all over the Commonwealth. Arrangements are also being made to connect, post offices by wire with fire stations. Special supervision is being provided for, and attention is being given to the question of fire, extinction in connexion with mails.

Mr BAMFORD:

– I desire to ask the Postmaster- General whether, in making; the arrangement to which he has referred, he has taken into consideration the advisableness of having mail vans lighted by electricity?

Mr MAUGER:

– I am conferring with the Railways Commissioners in that connexion.

Mr COON:
BATMAN, VICTORIA

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

  1. How many instrument fitters are employed in the Ppstal Department in each State?
  2. What is the qualification required to be an instrument fitter?
  3. What is the rate of pay to start with, and what is the maximum?
Mr MAUGER:

– In reply to the honorable member’s questions, I may state that inquiries will be made, and’ the desired information’ furnished as early as. possible.

page 11158

QUESTION

PAPUA: TREATMENT OF NATIVES

Mr KNOX:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. If any taxes or capitation fees are imposed upon the natives of Papua?
  2. Have any proposals been made to impose such taxation ; if so, by whom, andwhat were the proposals?
  3. Have the natives been compelled to work for the Government without reward ; and, if 50, how were they employed?
  4. Has he any knowledge of the forciblealienation or purchase of land from the natives?
  5. Will he say what precautions are being taken to prevent the exercise of undue influencein the acquisition of native lands?
Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The answers to thehonorable member’s questions are as follow -

  1. No.
  2. Yes. Numerous proposals have been made by private individuals and others. The matter was considered by the Papua Royal Commission and fully discussed in their report - see pp. XLV., XLVII.
  3. No.Except in the case of prisoners who work on the roads and otherwise.
  4. No.
  5. The work is intrusted to experienced officers,, whose instructions are to the effect that they must be fully satisfied that the natives thoroughly understood that they were disposing of the whole interest in the land to the Government, and that the boundaries had been walked round by the natives in company with the officers, and also that the natives were satisfied with the price which they got and that it was the pricewhich they had asked.

page 11159

QUESTION

SECRET DRUGS, CURES, AND FOODS

Mr LIDDELL:
HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Is it a fact that the Government has withdrawn from circulation the revised report of Mr. O. C. Beale on Secret Drugs, &c?
  2. If so, for what reason?
  3. What has been the total cost to date of these reports?
  4. What does the Government propose to do with the revised report, which has been compiled at so much cost and labour ?
Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are’ as follow - 1, 2, and 4. No issue of the revised report has been authorized pending legislation, with which it will be circulated.

  1. The account for printing has not yet been submitted, but on the title page of the report there is. a statement that, the approximate cost of printing was £477 8s. Freight charges amounting to £15 have been paid.

page 11159

PAPER

The Clerk laid upon the table the following paper -

Postal Department. - Waverley Postal district - Return to an Order of the House, dated 1st May, 1908.

page 11159

QUESTION

COMMONWEALTH AND STATES: FINANCIAL RELATIONS

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Protectionist

– The honorable member for North Sydney, yesterday, asked me the following questions -

  1. What is the total debt of each State, interest on which is set out in column 2 of Tables

    1. and (d)?
  2. What is the total sum that each State will pay to the Commonwealth under the provision in column 3 of Tables (a) and (b) during the thirty-five years for which the payment is to run?

I have this morning had placed in my hand by the Secretary to the Treasury the following calculation -

  1. Total debt of each State -
  1. Total sum that each State will pay to the Commonwealth under the provision in column 3 of Tables (a) and (b) during the thirty-five years -

page 11159

CUSTOMS TARIFF BILL

In Committee (Consideration of Senate’s requests resumed from 14th May, vide page 1 1 153) :

Item 303. Timber, viz. : -

Request. - Insert the following foot-note : -

Note. - The term “ super face “ means the superficial measurement of those surfaces (except edges) of the timber actually dressed or partly dressed.

Upon which Mr. Sinclair had moved -

That the requested amendment be modifiedto read - “The term ‘super face’ means the superficial measurement of one surface (except edges) of the timber actually dressed or partly dressed; if being under1 inch in thickness.”

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– When the honorable member for Moreton last night submitted the amendment on the second note, and I said I would endeavour to obtain further particulars on the point raised, the honorable member stated that duty was charged on four or six surfaces ;but I find that it is charged on not more than two surfaces. In the trade, the term “ super face “ is applied to the measurement of timbers, dressed or undressed, if less than 1 inch thick. When the Department issued the order in reference to a super, face measurement, the trade was consulted, and expressed the view that’ the duty would be properly chargeable on each surface, dressed or partly dressed. The Department, however, did not go so far as that, but limited the order to charging the duty to the superficial measurement of those sides, not including edges, actually dressed or partly dressed, and that has since been the prescribed practice.

Mr Sinclair:

– Has duty not been charged on more than two dressed surfaces ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I have no definite information on. the point, but 1 believe that such was the case for a. very short , time. As I have pointed out, however, the Department consulted the trade, which, I understand, was practically unanimous in approval of the course adopted. If the timber is only finished on one face, the duty is charged orr one face, but, if finished on two or more faces, then the duty is limited to two, and not charged on the edges. I do not see what other step the Department could have taken, since the trade agreed in what was proposed.

Mr Watson:

– There is an easy remedy ; let the timber be dressed here.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Of course, the dressing can be, and ought to be, ‘done in any part, of Australia by our own workpeople. The Committee have gone so far as to practically admit undressed timber duty free; and an attempt has been made to take me to task for not adhering to some alleged compact. But what was done in regard to the duties was done by the Committee ; . and I have no doubt that the fact that employment would be given led to the imposition of the lower, duties on the raw material. I hope that the action taken will be a lesson to those who are importing timber, and induce them to bring it to this country as nearly as possible in the raw state, in order that the finishing may be done by our own workmen.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

-I regard the proposal before us as an example of protection run mad. It is monstrous that attempts should be made by different people to mislead this Committee, when, as a matter of fact, the business this duty is intended to benefit is. scarcely worth consideration. From actual experience, I can say that one machine can turn out from 8,000 to 10,000 superficial feet a day, and, taking the. production at. the- minimum of 8,000 feet, a duty of 3s. means protection, not to the employe, but to the machine to the extent of. ^12 a day. That is the result of the duty if it be charged on only one side, but if it be charged on both sides, then, of course, it means ah imposition to the extent of ^24 per day. This machine can be worked by one man at a wage of, probably, 10s. a day - if he be lucky - with, perhaps two other men as helpers. The whole labour cost cannot be more than 30s. a day ; and yet we are asked to protect this trivial industry to the tune of £24 a day.

Mr Fisher:

– Will the honorable member state how he arrives at that calcula’tion ?

Mr HEDGES:

– I have done the work myself, and I have paid for the work, and, therefore, I know. This wood is the raw material of far more men working in Australia than are employed in planing it. The cabinet maker, the carpenter, and dozens of other tradesmen require thiswood ; and to tax it to the extent proposed is, in my opinion, iniquitous. It is possible, I should say, to produce

I 2;000 superficial feet by one .- machine; but, at any rate, the minimum is 8,000, unless the appliances are obsolete. 1 hope that the Committee will not agree to this monstrous suggestion. It is too silly altogether. It reminds me of a remark made by an American friend of mine who said that if some people had been brought up as farmers they would plant their wheat with a gimlet. The Treasurer is trying to plant his wheat with a gimlet in this case. Such a tiddly-winking proposal should not be allowed to take up the time of the Committee.

Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay

.- The argument of the honorable member for Fremantle would be good enough if there were no answer to it.

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

– That is the case with most arguments.

Mr FISHER:

– The honorable member says that if we allow timber to come in . cheaply undressed a comparatively cheap machine can run through between 8,000 and 12,000 feet per ‘day. I remind him that the ordinary rules of competition will apply, and the cost of working the timber will be brought down to a reasonable profit, plus interest on the cost of machinery ; at the same time, we shall have the advantage of having the work done in the country. At present we are discussing only imported timber.

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

– Only box wood and door stocks; those are the only timbers in the whole list which are charged on the super, face.

Mr FISHER:

– The whole question comes back to this : Are we determined to make it easy to’ have the whole of the work performed outside or within the Commonwealth? I can speak more freely in this matter, because Queensland is not affected. According to the way in which we have now fixed the Tariff, §-inch boards will not be counted as. 1 -inch timber. Although such boards -may have six faces, they will be charged as i inch. Would any honorable member say that that is an excessive charge?

Mr Hedges:

– On top of that there is the duty charged on account of the planing.

Sir William Lyne:

– Why should we not do the planing in this country?

Mr FISHER:

– What reason is there for saying that this duty amounts to an extortion ? There seems to be no end to the extravagant statements made by honorable members who are opposed to the protection of the timber industry, but their charges cannot be sustained.

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

– Does the hon- ‘orable member know that, this provision applies only to one line in the Tariff?

Mr FISHER:

– We should be sensible, and deal properly with every line.

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

– The honorable member argues as if the provision were one for general application.

Mr FISHER:

– I really think that when the Tariff is next brought up for consideration it will be necessary to bring machines into Queen’s Hall to show that work can be done in Australia.

Mr Poynton:

– Of course, it can be done here at a price.

Mr FISHER:

– The honorable member for Grey knows perfectly well that workmen in Australia can handle machinery as effectively and as cheaply as can workmen in any part of the world, and he will agree with me that when six super; faces are charged as two the duty cannot be excessive. The whole question is whether every particle of the work upon timber should be done outside of Australia, or whether is should be done here. That is the only general question. As to the particular contention of the honorable member for Fremantle, I say .again that if his contention is correct the law of competition will bring down the cost of treating the timber, and the consumer will get the benefit. The boards can be brought in undressed, and as the machines are not dear, I assume that ordinary competitive laws will apply, and that every advantage will be given to the consumer, whilst a considerable amount of labour will be employed in dressing the timber in Australia.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

– A more sophistical argument to bolster up an iniquituous system was never used in this Chamber than that just advanced by the honorable member for ‘Wide Bay. It seems to me that Ministers and certain honorable members opposite are suffering from protectionist hydrophobia or monomania. They seem to have the fever very badly. When we examine the system which they advocate we find that it is absolutely unjust from beginning to end, and amounts to nothing more nor less than an absolute robbery of the consumer.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

. -I shall support the Senate’s request, lt is one of the recommendations of that section of the Tariff Commission to which I had the honour to belong. Although it was not embodied in the Tariff as it ‘ left this House, I think it ought to be inserted now, if only for the purpose of settling a definition. In the first- place, even if adopted, its operation will have a limited effect. It applies only to dressed or planed timber.

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

– It applies only to paragraph s.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Yes-

Timber, for making boxes or doors, being cut into shape, and dressed or partly dressed, per 100 feet superface, as. 6d.

That is the only part of the Tariff in which the expression “superface” occurs. The definition will tend to’ clear that paragraph up. Whether it is put in or not, the law is clear enough, and the Customs Department, in; enforcing these duties on timber for boxes or doors, will have to ascertain the true meaning of the term by inquiry amongst the trade.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– It’ ought to be fixed by Parliament.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Whether fixed by Parliament or not, “ superface “ means every surface that’ is dressed or planed, or partly dressed or planed. The Senate’s proposal is intended to assist the Department in clearing up doubts, and to prevent litigation. Evidence was given before the Tariff Commission by trade representatives in Adelaide, one of whom, .Mr. E. ]. Filsell, stated that the expression “ superface “ simply means the top dressing wherever it occurs. That is to say, if a piece’ of timber is dressed or planed on both sides, both sides have to be measured for the purpose of determining the duty. That applies only to box and door timber, and cannot have a general application to all dressed timbers.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Butter-box timber would come in undressed.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– As a matter of logic, if it is desired to impose a tax upon the improved part of the timber, both improved sides ought to be taxed. Why tax merely one side?

Mr Watson:

– They are allowed to get their raw material in cheaply.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– The raw material comes in at’ the lower rate of 6d. per 100 superficial feet. If those interested like to bring in their box or door timber unplaced, they can obtain the advantage of that lower rate. If they bring it’ iri planed or dressed on both sides, they ought to pay a duty based upon the dressing or planing on both sides* -

Mr Hedges:

– It is a one-action proposition.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– It is a doublesided proposition. It is absurd t’o charge an article on one dressed side, and leave the other dressed side uncharged for’. I feel justified in supporting the request, not only on the ground that I was originally a party to recommending the adoption of the definition, but also because it is necessary to clear up any doubts that may have previously existed, . and to allow the administration of the Customs Department with regard to paragraph s to be carried on without’ danger of litigation or dispute.

Mr STORRER:
Bass

.- I hope the requested definition will not be modified in any .way, because I see a great danger to the Australian door and sash manufacturers. Under the proposal of the honorable member for Moreton, an importer could- bring in doors, “ knocked down,” as- they are generally known ia the trade,- or all ready to. be put together, at a duty of 2s. 6d. per 100 superface. On an ordinary door, even - if the duty was charged on both sides the charge would amount only to about is. 3d. . We protect the Australian door-making industry to the extent of 7s. 6d. per door, if the door is put. together. In this case, if the door is. “knocked down,” or not put together, the duty will be only is. 3d.

Mr Watson:

– Although the door is all prepared for putting together.

Mr STORRER:

– Yes. All that would have to be done here would be to put it together. I hope the Treasurer will be very careful in this case or he will find that the door, industry of Australia will te ruined. The duty ought to be much more than 2s. 6d. per 100 superface.

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

– The Department have been charging duty according to that definition.

Mr STORRER:

– The knocking down principle has come into force only during the last few years.

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

– If the door is dressed and knocked down,, it will come under the 3s. duty.

Mr STORRER:

– Even so, both sides of the door would give an area of only about 50 feet, so that the duty on it would be is. 6d., whereas in another ‘ paragraph we gave a protection of 7s. 6d. each on doors. The putting together of knockeddown I doors would be a matter of a few minutes. They are made in large quantities in factories elsewhere, all ready for putting together.

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

– A duty of 3s. on dressed timber, with 3s. more for the surfaces, makes a total of 6s. for the 100 feet.

Mr STORRER:

– On a liberal estimate, the area of both sides of a door is not more than 50 feet, and consequently the duty at the most on a knocked-down door would be only is. 6d.- instead of 7s. 6d.

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

– But I think the Customs .Department charge on parts just as though the article were made up.

Mr STORRER:

– There is no provision in paragraph s to that effect. The Treasurer should take great care lest the door industry be ruined.

Mr SINCLAIR:
Moreton

.- I do not wish the Committee to think that I am anxious to reduce the duty on dressedtimber. -What I am fighting for is a’ definition of the term “super, face.” The Department have put two different constructions on it. I am informed that some time ago they charged for six surfaces on dressed timber, and, judging from the amount of duty paid in certain cases, I think my information is correct. The honorable member for Bendigo spoke just now din support? of the ‘ (amendment ‘requested by the Senate, but I understand that the Treasurer does not propose to agree to it. I wish to say that if the honorable gentleman will accept the suggestion Qf the Senate, in order that we may have some reliable definition of the term “ super, face,” I shall be prepared to withdraw my proposal and vote for that which will involve higher duties on dressed timbers. If we have not a proper definition of the words “ super, face” we shall not know where we may be landed as a result of different interpretations put upon the term by the Customs authorities.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– When I moved that the requested’ amendment should not be made, my object was to leave matters as they are at the present time. The honorable member for Moreton has raised a very important point. He ‘ moved his modification, I think, under a misconception, because he was not aware that the departmental interpretation of the term “ super, face “ had been altered. The definition of the term suggested by the Senate is in accordance with my own views. The Senate suggests the following definition -

The term “ super, face “ means the superficial measurement of those surfaces (except edges) of the timber actually dressed or partly dressed.

If it is the wish of honorable members that the term should thus be distinctly defined, I am prepared to move that the requested amendment be made, if the honorable member for Moreton will withdraw his modification.

Modification, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion (by Sir William Lyme) proposed -

That the requested amendment be made.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– - I am prepared, in this matter, to be guided by the practical knowledge of the honorable member for Fremantle. When we adjourned last night, there was great confusion as to what would be the effect of the requested amendment. It has been said that it is proposed to impose taxation injurious’ to two of our great industries, and, as representing a great pastoral and agricultural community, I am forced to recognise the justice of the contention of the honorable member for Fremantle. It would appear that an inch board may be cut up into sixteen planks each 1-16th inch in thickness, and that 8,000 feet of these planks- can be put through a machine and smoothed on both sides in a day. As I understand the proposition, it is that each of these sixteen boards should carry the same duty as a single board one inch thick dressed on both sides.

Mr Hedges:

– No; boards only 1-16th inch thick dressed on both sides would probably be regarded as veneer, and .would come under another item.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I certainly gathered from the remarks of the honorable member for Fremantle that the proposition involved the imposition of a huge duty out of all proportion to the intrinsic value of the- timber on which it would be imposed. It will not be denied that the expansion of Mie butter industry has been the saving of New South Wales and Victoria, and it would be a very serious mistake if, in ignorance of the injury likely to be caused to that industry!, the Committee decided to impose a duty on the packages in which our butter must be put on the market. Under a successful system of irrigation, I hope we shall shortly - be producing ten times as much butter as we have produced in the past, and I trust that the Committee will not consent to load those engaged in this industry with unnecessary cost in connexion with the means which must be adopted to have their produce carried to the markets of the Old Country. I should regard such a thing as a crime, and I would sooner leave Parliament than be a party to it. The Treasurer, and those who are supporting him, have- evinced a determination to get revenue under this Tariff, and it is revenue that is desired in this case. The plea that the worker should be .considered in this matter is a little too thin.

Mr Hedges:

– -The workers want what I have asked for.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The honorable member’s” interjection adds point to my remarks.’ Honorable members who have no practical knowledge of these matters are placed in a difficulty by the conflict of opinion between practical men like ,the leader of the Labour Party and the honorable member for Fremantle. ‘ The honorable member for Moreton has.. also fur’nished the Committee with exceedingly valuable information in connexion with these timber duties; but an unbiased mind like my own, open to receive information, is unable to grasp the position when it is put in so many different ways.

Mr Fisher:

– The honorable member might follow the Chairman of the Tariff Commission in this matter.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The honorable member for Wide Bay is aware that I am accustomed to think for myself upon all matters dealt with in this ‘ Chamber. Something has been said about -leaving the definition of “ super, face “ to the Customs authorities) but I have a strong objection to permitting the officers of any public Department to interpret the desire of Parliament. The officers of the Customs Department would not be likely to express an opinion in opposition to the views known to be held by a gentleman like the present Treasurer. I” mean that they are bound to follow his instructions, and I venture to say that he will give such instructions as will bring in the greatest amount of. revenue. I know that his object is covered up with this thin guise of a proposal, to help the working man. I recognise the possibility of the cost of labour becoming extreme. I, as a country member, know that, it is absolutely impossible in ordinary circumstances to get that amount of labour which is necessary to improve the country and increase its yield. This proposal means the employment of an additional number of men in the cities, and the withdrawal of labour from the country.

Mr Johnson:

– It means that the worker will get10s. and the employer £24.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Quite so. When we consider that the country must progress, that large estates must be subdivided and settled, and that settlers will require houses and plants, we must recognise that protection cannot benefit them very much, because their products will have to compete in the markets of the world with the products ofcountries where labour and production are cheaper, and where perhaps production is carried on under circumstances a little less arduous than in Australia at times. I cannot forget that during this season of drought men - not only in my district, but in the surrounding districts - have had to sacrifice cattle which at one time were worth £3 or £4 a head for 10s., and, as happened the other day, for even 4s. No man who represents a huge agricultural and pastoral constituency, as I do, can refrain from exerting his utmost efforts to prevent an improper duty from being imposed upon any of the articles which are required by the men on the soil. If it were made clear to me that this proposal to levy & duty of 2s. 6d. means only what appears on the surface I should be satisfied. But if it means what the honorable member for Fremantle has alleged, we shall be faced with a great difficulty,, and in all probability a reopening of the Tariff, which I am sure we do not want. There is plenty of legislation which is needed, and which perhaps would be acceptable to the people, but they certainly do not want a re-opening of the Tariff to the worry of the lives of honorable members and the unsettling of trade. 1 cannot see what good it will do to impose a heavy duty of this character. I have received some memoranda from an expert ; but the matters with which he dealt appeared to me to be so complicated that I decided to trust to the intelligence of the Committee to educate me more fully. On many occasions I have listened to the Treasurer, but I have never vet been able to gather exactly what he meant. Generally he has left me in a bigger fog than I was in when he began to speak. Our friendship is of such long-standing - some thirty-three years - that of course he understands that I would not make any remark for the purpose of harassing him.

Sir William Lyne:

– Let it go; let us get on.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I understand that if a duty of. 2s. 6d. were imposed, and a3/8-in. board were treated as proposed, the duty would amount to 8s. 6d.

Sir William Lyne:

– Not unless the two sides were dressed.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– My honorable, friend has, I understand, expressed his intention to charge the duty on. the two surfaces.

Sir William Lyne:

– No; the honorable member is mistaken.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– An interjection from the honorable gentleman last night clearly indicated to me that the Department was charging the duty in that way.

Sir William Lyne:

– Yes, but only where the two surfaces had been dealt with before the shipment arrived. If there is only one surface we deal with only one, but if there are a dozen surfaces we deal with only two surfaces, which is the running measurement.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– I have no desire to occupy the time of the Committee, but I want ‘ to feel assured that this item, when it is passed, will leave no loop-hole for the Department to take advantage of. Of course, I do not mean that the Customs officers would act in the arbitrary manner which my remarks might almost suggest. I. look upon them as so many pieces of machinery who, out of loyalty to the country, deem it to be their duty to collect revenue to the fullest possible extent. I dread the possibility of more revenue being collected under this item than is intended by the Committee. I should have liked to. deal more fully with the comparisons which have been supplied to me by experts, but I believe that we can very safely accept the opinion of the honorable member ‘ for Fremantle, whose practical knowledge of the subject we all recognise. I venture to think that, in this matter, no one can go wrong in following that honorable gentleman in preference to the Treasurer. With me the dairying and mining industries are’ highly important ones, and I want to feel perfectly satisfied that they are not likely to be unduly or improperly handicapped.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.- I want to feel perfectly sure that in adopting this proposal we are not imposing a double duty, that the duty is not to be charged on two surfaces of aboard.

Sir William Lyne:

– If it is not dealt with as a super, face the duty will not be charged, but if it is dressed the duty will be charged, though not on the edges.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If a1/2-in. board happens to be dressed on two sides the duty will amount to 5s.. not 2s. 6d… per 100 super, feet.

Sir William Lyne:

– The trade already know that, and the effect of the provision will be to limit the importation of timber dressed on both sides. I explained that I intended to disagree with the Senate’s request, so that the present practice might remain. The honorable member for Moreton said that he would withdraw his . modification if I would accept this, which really leaves things as they are.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I should like. to know what the honorable member for Fremantle thinks about the matter.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

– I should like it to be made clear that the duty does not affect timber for butterboxes. In my opinion, it does affect that timber, and will be a heavy impost on the dairying industry. .

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Which that industry cannot afford.

Mr Page:

– Dairying is the most profitable industry in Australia.

Mr HEDGES:

– The woodworkers of Victoria, through their secretary, recommend a duty of 3s. per 100 feet superficial.

Sir John Quick:

– Read the letter.

Mr HEDGES:

– I have already read it. It is signed by James Sutch, secretary to the Federated Sawmill and Timber Yard Employes Association of Australasia. It is a mean thing to introduce a new system of measurement to double the duty on butter-box timber. In no other country is timber charged on both surfaces. One might as well expect to be charged tor flannel on two surfaces. The Government is introducing measurements different from those in vogue in other parts of the world, and I hope that the Committee will not allow this.

Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert

.- If the duty is to apply to butter-box timber, I shall vote against it. It is a pity that the Treasurer has not fallen in with the suggestion that we should make clear what is to be. regarded as butter-box timber. I have all along been in favour of the free admission of such timber, and shall not withdraw from that position. But, while willing that butter-box timber should be admitted free, I do not wish the free importation, as butter-box timber, of wood to be used for other purposes. Probably the whole ground would be covered if we inserted a provision relating to New Zealand white pine of a certain size for the making of butter-boxes.

Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay

.-I understand that the secretary to the Timber Workers Association here and another employes association have sent in a joint circular of which one of the parties is,with good reason, very much ashamed. In my opinion butter-box timber should “ not be charged more than 6d. per 100 superficial feet.

Mr Bamford:

– Where is that provided?

Mr FISHER:

– That is among the provisions relating to undressed timber. If boards are only1/2 inch thick, 200 superficial feet will be charged only 6d. It is clear that if undressed timber 1-32 inch thick were imported, thirty-two boards, 100 superficial feet, would be charged only 6d.

Mr Hedges:

– Such boards would be only veneers. It takes a clever man to make a box of boards 1-16 inch thick.

Mr FISHER:

– I have seen dovetailed boxes made of timber not more than 1-16 inch thick, and very pretty ornamental boxes made of timber not more than 1-32 inch thick. We are not bound to confine our consideration to commercial boxes, eliminating those intended merely for comfort, convenience, or ornament. Our object is to bring about the dressing of timber in Australia ; and, although Queensland is not affected, I contend that it is not unreasonable tosay that timber should be dressed here. The competition among planers will make prices reasonably low to the consumer.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

.- I wish to point out that I heard the evidence, given on oath before the Tariff

Commission by the Mr. James Sutch referred to by the honorable member for Fremantle. The proposition which he put before the Commission on behalf of the united timber trades was that timber cut into shape, dressed or partly dressed, for making boxes, should be charged 2s. 6d. per 100 feet super, face.

Mr Hedges:

– That is what I am asking for.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– Super, face means both sides.

Mr Johnson:

– No; it means the surface, not the under face.

Sir JOHN QUICK:

– The same proposition was submitted in Adelaide by Mr. Filsell, representative of the South Australian branch. He gave as his reasons for asking for that duty that he understood -

That the timber is boxed together, and that it comes in as superficial measurement, instead of face. That timber has to be planed up both sides, and we contend that it should pay for the labour placed upon it. That is the reason that we are asking for 2s. 6d. per 100 super, feet. Every inch of the face measurement planed will have to be paid for. At the present time it comes in as superficial measurement.

  1. do not know that Mr. Sutch has authority from his association to go back on the request which he made to the Tariff Commission. It is only in regard to this class. of timber that it is asked that the duty be charged super, face, and, therefore, Iam of opinion that the workers desire the proposed definition of super, face.
Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

.- It is monstrous to ask the Committee to agree’ to the proposed duty. On boards3/8 inch thick the duty will be as much as the timber is worth, and more than any industry requiring boxes can afford to pay. Seeing that a man with a machine can earn £12 a day for the labour employed in putting timber through the machine, the industries requiring this timber are being asked to pay too much I move -

That the requested amendment be modified by leaving out the words “ those surfaces,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “one surface.”

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasured · Hume · Protectionist

.- The item affects butter-box timber very little, because that comes in undressed.

Mr Hedges:

– Then no harm will be done if my modification is agreed to.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Great harm will be done. I am proposing to continue the practice which the Department has adopted at the instance of the trade.

Mr SPENCE:
Darling

.- I was speaking last evening to Mr. Sutch, and he informed me that he still holds the views to which he gave expression when before the Tariff Commission.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– Because this definition will increase the cost of this kind of timber.

Mr SPENCE:

– The honorable member’s education as a protectionist has been utterly neglected. We are told again and again that the imposition of a protective duty does not increase the cost’ of the article to which it relates.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– The honorable member does not believe that.

Mr SPENCE:

– I am not so foolish as to swallow the statement made by the honorable member for Fremantle that this definition must necessarily increase the cost of timber to the extent mentioned by him. As pointed out by the honorable member for Wide Bay, keen local competition will keep down prices. A combination would be necessary to enable those concernedto increase their prices in proportion to the duty. Haying regard to the widespread competition in Australia, I am satisfied that even a prohibitive duty would not’ affect local prices, and I hope that the Committee will agree to the Government proposal. If timber is dressed on more than, one side it should be charged for accordingly. In the case of certain sizes of timber the dressing of even the edges may be an important matter, but under this proposal duty can be charged in respect of only two surfaces.

Question - That the proposed modification, omitting from the requested note, the words, “ those surfaces,” with a view to insert the words “one surface,” be made - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 18

NOES: 30

Majority . … … 12

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the negative.

Proposed modification negatived.

Requested amendment made.

Postponed item 170 (Manufactures of Metal).

Request. - Insert the following new paragraph : -

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I move -

That the requested amendment be made.

The consideration of the request on a previous occasion was postponed owing to a conflict of opinion as to whether or not the utensils covered by it were made in Australia. Some of the representatives of South Australia asserted that they were or could be made there. I’ had received similar information, but the inquiries of’ the Department go to show that the utensils covered by. this request are not made here. That being so, I ask the Committee to agree to the request.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson

– When this request was previouslyunder consideration, I said that castiron kitchen utensils were not being made in Adelaide. I subsequently wired to the firm that I named, and. obtained from them a reply to the effect that they had been making castings for thirty years.

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

– But what sort of castings? They might have been referring to cast-iron lamp pillars.

Mr HENRY WILLIS:

– I merely want to do the firm the justice of putting its reply before the Committee.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– In answer to the remarks of the honorable member for Robertson, I wish to read the following telegram from the Customs Department in South Australia, in reply to the Comptroller-General’s inquiry as to the manufacture of these articles in that State -

Kitchen utensils, cast-iron, not made South Australia. Enamelled wrought iron hollowware and tin-ware made here by Simpson, who states if cast-iron hollow-ware admitted free will seriously interfere.

It is because of that statement that I am moving that the request be agreed to.

Mr KNOX:
Kooyong

– I wish to read the following paragraph from a letter from the president of the Victorian Hardware Association -

I notice that this item was postponed, it being stated that several members told the Minister that these utensils were made in Australia. This must be a mistake; as there is not any factory or foundry at the present time, to my knowledge, in Australia manufacturing these, nor is there likely to be for many years to come.

What I desire to point out is that this heading should read “ Made of cast-iron, Tinned, Enamelled, or Plain.”

Sir William Lyne:

– No, the enamelled ware is being made here.

Mr KNOX:

– This, at all events, is the statement of the president of the Victorian Hardware Association -

A large quantity of these utensils are enamelled inside in place of tinned. These also are not made in Australia.

This information comesfrom an authoritative source. It is pointed out in this letter that the Victorian Hardware Association has refrained from interviewing members, or sending letters, ‘ except in reply to requests for information, having no desire to take sides on this fiscal question.

Motion agreed to.

Requested amendment made.

Item364. Pens, n.e.i………

Request : - Insert the following new paragraphs : -

  1. Pencils and penholders of wood, free. And on and after 7th December, 1907 -

    1. Pencils of wood, but not including pen cils with metal or other clamps or attachments, also pen handles of wood (including metal attachments for nibs) free.
    2. Fancy pencils, ad val. (General Tariff), 35 per cent. ; and on and after 7th. December,1907, 30 per cent. (United Kingdom), 25 per . cent. ; and on and after 7th December, 1907, 25 per cent.
  2. Pencils of wood with metal, rubber or other attachments, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.
  3. Pencil Cases ; Pen and Pencil Sets and Penholders, n.e.i., ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.
  4. School Pen and Pencil Sets in Boxes, free.

    1. School Pencil Sets and Boxes, ad val. (General Tariff), 35 per cent., and on and after 7th December,. 1907, 30 per cent.; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent., and on and after 7th December, 1907, 25 per cent., make the paragraph free.
  5. Penholders, other than of wood, not being partly or wholly made of gold or silver, free.
Mr POYNTON:
Grey

.- I wish to know whether the clamps attached to the pen which I hold in my hand will be dutiable under this item?

Sir William Lyne:

– No. 1 intend to move that pencils of wood with metal’, rubber, or other attachments shall be admitted free, and that school pen and pencil sets and boxes shall also be free.

Mr POYNTON:

– It would be most absurd to admit the wooden portion of a penholder free and to charge a duty upon the metal attachment. That, however, did occur under the operation of the first Tariff. Upon that occasion the wooden pen handles were admitted free, but 25 per cent, was charged upon the metal attachments.

Sir William Lyne:

– I am informed that the clamps to which the honorable member refers are upon the free list.

Mr POYNTON:

– Then I. have no further objection to urge.

Mr PAGE:
Maranoa

.- I wish to ask the Treasurer whether the box of pen and pencil holders which I hold in my hand will be classified under paragraph e of this item?

Sir William Lyne:

– No; but under paragraph g.

Requested amendments inserting paragraphs d and e made.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the requested amendment in paragraph F be made with the following modification-: - Leave out “5 per cent.” (General Tariff), and insert “free.”

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the requested amendment inserting paragraph G be made.

Mr KELLY:
Wentworth

.- I understand that these high duties have been requested by the Senate with the object of making luxuries pay a fair tax. But there are a number of pencils imported which are extremely useful for school children, and which cannot be regarded in anv sense as luxuries. The pencil which I hold in my hand would probably cost less than 6d. But I am informed by the Customs authorities that it would probably be dutiable under this item. Yet it is the sort of pencil that we all wish to have admitted free. During the discussion of the Tariff in the Senate in reply to a suggestion by Senator St. Ledger, the Minister of Home Affairs is reported, vide page 9812 of Hansard, to have said -

He will see that it is not at all likely that duties of 30 and 25 per cent. will be charged on the cheaper kinds of pencil cases.

On the strength of that assurance Senator St. Ledger did not submit an amendment which he had foreshadowed. But in view of the fact that the departmental decision in respect of some pens and pencils which are at present imported is in direct opposition to the desire of this Committee, I suggest that after the word “cases” the words “ wholly or partly made of gold, silver, aluminium, or nickel “ be inserted. This would have the effect of limiting paragraph g to articles of luxury.

Mr HUME COOK:
Honorary Minister · BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– I cannot accept the suggestion of the honorable member, because the cheaper class of pencils - especially those used by school children - have already been made free. Fancy pencils, of course, are to be made dutiable at 30 per cent., and other pencil cases n.e.i. ought to be subject to the same duty. I do not see that there should be any difficulty in regard to school pen and pencil sets, which are to be free.

Mr Kelly:

– I have it from the officials of the Department that probably the pencilcase, which I have in my hand, would be made dutiable at 30 per cent. and 25 per cent. I was informed that there is extreme difficulty in the Department, in discriminating between the two, and it would be of great assistance if my proposal were adopted.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– I am not in a position to accept the suggestion out of hand. All I can promise is to look into the matter while the items are being reconsidered by the Senate, and, if there is any danger of duty being charged, care wiil be taken that the wishes of the Committee are carried out. The intention is, as far as possible, to make all these articles for the use of children, or for commercial purposes, free or dutiable at a low rate.

Mr KELLY:
Wentworth

.- No doubt the honorary Minister is acting with the best intentions ; but I again urge the difficulty there will be in the Department.

Moreover, the moment we accept the request, there can be no further consideration of it in the Senate. The only chance we shall have of dealing with this matter, and also the point raised by the honorable member for Maranoa, is at the present moment.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– We have modified paragraph f, and that will give the Senate an opportunity to make an alteration in the paragraph now before us.

Mr KELLY:

– But the paragraph is being put separately, and, if passed, is finally dealt with. I know that the Minister is anxious to help in making free these cheap articles intended . for the use of school children ; and, although I do not like to take the step, I now move -

That the requested amendment inserting paragraph g, be modified by inserting after the words “pencil cases” the words “wholly or partly made of gold, silver, aluminium, or nickel.”

Mr PAGE:
Maranoa

– I think that the modification moved by the honorable member for Wentworth is a laudable one. I have in my hand a pencil which works with a screw,, but is made of tin; and I ask whether the Honorary Minister thinks a duty of 30 per cent. ought to be charged in such a case?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– I have just expressed my opinion.

Mr PAGE:

– The Honorary Minister has expressed the Treasurer’s opinion, but I should like to hear his own. Those who use gold, silver, aluminium, or nickel pencil cases can afford to pay a duty, where our children cannot.

Question - That the proposed modification be made - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 23

NOES: 21

Majority … … 2

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Modification made.

Motion (by Mr. Page) proposed -

Thatthe requested amendment, inserting paragraph g, be further modified by leaving out the letters “ n.e.i.”

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I hope the honorable member will not persist with his modification… because, if it were adopted, it would destroy the symmetry of the Tariff. This paragraph is inserted for a special purpose, and any alteration would seriously interfere with the whole group.

Mr Page:

– Will all the articles be free, except those mentioned in the last modification ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– That is the effect of the vote just taken.

Mr Page:

– Then I suppose we shall strike out paragraphs h, i, and j.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I am making those articles free.

Mr Page:

– Thenwhere is the necessity for the letters n.e.i. ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– If the honorable member knew the number of articles which come under n.e.i., he would know that they could not be enumerated in a subdivision.

Mr Page:

– As the Treasurer has expressed his intention to make school children’s requisites free, I beg leave to withdraw the motion.

Modification, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion agreed to.

Requested amendment inserting paragraph g, as modified, made.

Requested amendments inserting paragraphs h,i. and j.

Mr KELLY:
Wentworth

.- There are other kinds of pencil cases than those exhibited by the honorable member for Maranoa, and there seems to be a difficulty on the part of the Customs officers as to how other kinds shall be treated. The officers require the assistance of Parliament to enable them to come to a proper decision. They have to interpret the Tariff as they find it, and Ministerial assurances will have no effect apart from a distinct provision in the Act.

Sir William Lyne:

– The Department always looks to the debates in Parliament to enable them to interpret an item.

Mr KELLY:

– -The Minister probably knows that there has been a difficulty within the last couple of days ; but if he says that all children’s pencil sets are to be free, I shall accept his assurance.

Requested amendments in postponed items 329 (Pencils, &c, of wood), 330 (School Pen and Pencil Sets), and 357 (Stationery) made.

Item 370. Licht-pausrohpapier and Leatherette, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent; (United Kingdom), free.

Request. - Leave out the words “ Lichtpausrohpapier and “ and insert new paragraph - (b) “ Licht-pausrohpapier, free.”

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the requested amendment be made.

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

– I move -

That the request be modified by inserting after the words “Licht-pausrohpapier,” paragraph b, the word “ Licht-pauspapier,”

I may explain that both licht-pausrohpapier and licht-pauspapier are used for the same purposes. They are used largely in Government Departments and by architects for the reproduction of plans and other drawings. Both are specially prepared papers, but licht-pauspapier issensitized and lichtpausrohpapier is not. Very little occupation is provided in sensitizing the raw paper, and if any sensitizing is done in this country it must be avery trifling business. There is no reason why duty should be imposed on licht-pauspapier when licht-pausrohpapier is admitted free.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I direct attention to item 410, which, it seems to me,’ makes the unsensitized paper dutiable at 30 and 25 per cent. We cannot interfere with that item, as the Senate has made no request in. regard to it. Therefore, if we were to adopt the modification suggested by the honorable member for North Sydney, we should simply make the same article come under two different items of the Tariff. I believe that there is a man in Sydney who has been giving information to the honorable member, and who wants to get this paper in free.

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

– No one has seen me about it.

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

– There is in Sydney a man named Pier who wants to get the sensitized paper in free, but there is another man named Wurcker who desires to manufacture licht-pauspapier, and therefore wants a duty. I submit, however, that as the article is. already dutiable under item 410, it is not in order for the honorable member to submit a modification, the effect of which would be to make it free under item 370.

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

– May I point out that whenever we have omitted an article from any one of the Senate’s requests the effect has been to bring it under another item. Therefore the same objection could have been taken to every modification that has been made.. The Treasurer’s objection to my proposed modification in this case is, I understand, that duty is charged on lichtpauspapier under item 410, but may I point out that no such paper is mentioned in that item.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.

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

– The point of order raised by the Treasurer is not tenable, because there is no such paper named in item 410. This paper does not come under item 410, the wording of which is “photographic sensitized films and paper.” This it not photographic paper. Mr. Austin Chapman. - Is it not sensitized paper?

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

– It is not photographic sensitized paper. I quite admit that, as this paper is not named in the item as it went to the Senate, there may be a question as to whether its insertion is now admissible, and that that question will have to be decided by you, sir.

Mr Johnson:

– This paper is used by architects for the reproduction of plans. It is not used in photography at all.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I rule that the amendment is in order.

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

– Then I intend to press it. But perhaps it would be fair to charge, say, 15 and 10 per cent, on the completely prepared paper, and 5 per cent. and free on the paper which is less completely prepared. As, however, both are specially prepared papers, and one has only to undergo locally a slight additional process of treatment, it is undesirable to make the enormous difference in the duties proposed by the Treasurer. Will the Minister agree to duties of 15 and 10 per cent. on the completely prepared paper? Even from the Minister’s stand-point there would then be a reasonable difference between the duties on the two. Shortly, I ask him to make the licht-pauspapier dutiable at 15 and 10 per cent., and the lichtpausrohpapier dutiable at 5 per cent, and free. To charge the former under item 410 would, I think, be declared illegal, because it is not photographic sensitized paper, lt involves merely a light process.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have been just informed that it is classed as photographic paper, and dealt with as such.

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

– I do not think that that interpretation would stand if disputed. The difference I suggest would protect those engaged in the work carried on in Australia, and would not absolutely shut Out the imported paper.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The position, as staled to me, is that one individual in Sydney - an importer - is trying to undercut another - a manufacturer.

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

– He is- not a manufacturer; he is only putting the last process on.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The difference . of 10 per cent, suggested by the honorable member is not .sufficient to give a substantial opportunity to the local man. It is not a matter with which I am personally acquainted, but the Department has been classing licht-pauspapier as photographic sensitized paper under item 410 ever, since the Tariff was tabled.

Mr Salmon:

– That is why representations have been made in -the matter.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes, in order that the importer may be able to undercut the local man. I cannot accept the suggestion of the honorable member for North Sydney. I ask the Committee to afford some protection to the man who is doing the work here.

Mr Page:

– What is the paper used for?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– For photography.

Mr Johnson:

– It is not; it is only plan-copying paper.

SiF WILLIAM LYNE.- It is used for more than plans. The duty has been operative for some time, and it would not be wise to reduce it very much. My principle is to give the man who is doing the work here some support. I should be very loth to take away his protection.

Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie

– We have treated licht-pausrohpapier in exactly the same way as baryta paper.

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

– Baryta paper is photographic paper; this is not.

Mr SALMON:

– It is used for reproduction. The printing of a photograph on sensitized paper is a reproduction. So is the printing of a plan on lichtpauspapier, which is only licht-pausrohpapier sensitized. No paper sensitized for the purpose of reproduction has been made free. We have allowed baryta paper, which is sensitized in Australia, to come in free, and it will not do to allow any paper which can be, and is actually being, sensitized here to come in free, or at rates as low as 15 and 10 per cent. In any case, duties of 15 and 10 per cent, would not insure effective preference, because this paper comes from Germany, and the benefit to the dear old Motherland would be rather illusory than real. We should stand by the decision already arrived at. The result df our action has been to establish, not in Victoria, but in Sydney, an industry - - .

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

– Of what size?

Mr SALMON:

– It is not very big, but the man has made a specialty of the work, and is producing a. paper equal to the imported. Why should he be wiped out?

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

– He did that without a difference of duty.

Mr SALMON:

– There is no great duty on the raw material. Nothing is more certain than that if we do away with the duty on sensitized licht-pausrohpapier paper, he will be absolutely wiped out.

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

– Does the honorable member know how many years that man has been doing the work in Sydney ?

Mr SALMON:

– No; but he is competing successfully with the importer. The latter feels it, and is very anxious to check him, and wants us to do so by putting sensitized paper on the free list or making it dutiable ‘at so low a rate that no protection will be given to the man who is doing the coating here. I am prepared to allow the raw material in free, but we do not desire to destroy the successful industry of the local man. I hope that no protectionist will give a vote to destroy the industry by which this man makes his living: It is certain that if the suggestion of (he honorable member for North Sydney is adopted, that will be its effect.

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

– If, as the honorable mem-, ber for Laanecoorie says, the local manufacturer will be wiped out unless we maintain the extraordinary difference between the duties on these two classes of paper, I would ask why it is that he was not wiped out before?

Mr Salmon:

– Is not the honorable member aware that he is now competing successfully with the importer, and that he could not do so before?

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

– My information is that he did compete successfully with the importer, and if he was not wiped out before the imposition of these duties;,; how will he be wiped out under the proposal I make? I am not now suggesting that there should be no duty on this paper, but that the difference between the duties on the two classes of paper referred to is unjustifiable.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I hope that the modification suggested by the honorable member for North Sydnev will not be accepted by the Committee. “The honorable member proposes to take this Licht-pauspapier out of the photographic sensitized papers included in item 410, and dutiable at 30 and 25 per cent., and insert them as a paragraph of- the item at present under consideration, making them dutiable at only 15 and 10 per cent. This is really a case in which two men are lighting on opposite sides. That is absolutely the whole story of the proposal. One man is importing this class of paper finished,, and is trying tei undercut another who is finishing the same paper here. The honorable- member for North Sydney wishes the Committee to reduce the duties in order to injure the local manufacturer.

Mr Austin Chapman:

– Where is he carrying on his manufacture?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– In Sydney.

Mr Watson:

– Another New South Wales industry.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It is a New South Wales industry. The whole object of the proposal is to knock out the local man. and it is submitted at the instigation of the individual who is importing this paper. He wants the Committee to enable him to destroy the business of his local -competitor. The industry is not at present important, but the principle we have adopted throughout in dealing with’ the Tariff is to protect the man doing the work here, rather than to give all the work to the importer.

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

– The Minister makes si,ch statements as call for reply, and so delays the passing of the Tariff. I should like to say that I consider it a highly improper thing for any Minister to suggest that this matter should be regarded as involving merely a question of a conflict of intere’st between two men.

Sir William Lyne:

– So it is.

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

– The Minister has no right to say that. He admits he is here proposing the duties which he has suggested simply to help one man.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did not say so.

Mr Watson:

– One manufacturer is only the forerunner of others.

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

– The Minister put his proposal before the Committee on the ground that he desires to support one man, and he suggests that I am supporting another.

Sir William Lyne:

– T did not say anything of the kind. I said, that the honorable member’s modification, if accepted, would destroy the business of the local manufacturer.

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

– The honorable gentleman said that I wished to destroy the business of the local manufacturer, and that if I was supporting the importer he was supporting the other man. No such attitude should be adopted by a Minister of the Crown. The imposition of duties should not be regarded in anysuch light. We should have regard for the character of an industry and the interests of the consumers of the article it produces, as well as the interests of individuals who may be importers or manufacturers. If the course the Minister proposes is to be followed, Parliament will be degraded and become merely a log-rolling institution. These papers with which we are dealing are manufactured chiefly in Germany. They are not manufactured here. The only difference between the two classes of paper referred to is that one, after being im- . ported, is put through a very inexpensive process locally. If one of these papers was actually being manufactured in the Commonwealth. I should be prepared to admit that, from the protectionist standpoint, the difference between the duties proposed might be justified; but it is not justified by the fact that it is merely put through a simple process in the Commonwealth. This paper is -not used in photography.

Sir William Lyne:

– That is denied.

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

– I say that it is not so used.

Sir William Lyne:

– The Department, the honorable member for Laanecoorie, and other honorable members, have told me that it is used in photography.

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

-s-I .shall not bring the officers into the matter.

Sir William Lyne:

– I should think not.

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

– I shall certainly do so if the Minister speaks in that- way.- I am informed that it is not used for photography.

Mr Johnson:

– That is so.

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

– The hon- ‘ orable member for Lang has received his information from the officers of the Department, and, while he says one thing, the Minister says another. Although personally I should prefer that both these classes of paper should be admitted free of duty, I am not suggesting that this paper, which is subjected to a simple and inex- pensive process in the Commonwealth, shall be admitted, free. It is used for printing by light, and not for photography. I propose that there should be duties of 15 and 10 per cent, on Lichtpauspapier, and 5 per cent, and free on Lichtpausrohpapier that is subjected to a process here. I repeat that both these papers are manufactured abroad.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– The honorable member persists in saying that this Lichtpauspapier is not used for photography. It is a sensitized paper, and is practically the same as the paper used ordinarily in photography, and it is used in the same way. .

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

– Does the Minister say that it is used for photography ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– I am informed that it is.

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

– Will the Minister say that he got that information from the Department?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yos.

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

– I have received information from the same source that it is not so used.

Mr Johnson:

– It is used. for a special purpose only - the reproduction of architects’ plans.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It is used chiefly for the reproduction of plans, and that is practically the same thing. This paper is at present prepared in Sydney, - and is dutiable now at 30 and 25 per cent. The honorable member for North Sydney has said that,, from the protectionist point of view, if it was wholly manufactured in the Commonwealth, the proposed duties would be justifiable; but we know that the honorable member has voted all through that paper should be admitted free or at a very low duty.

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

– I am not a protectionist.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The honorable member would be far more useful if he were.

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

– I thank the honorable gentleman’.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The honorable member cannot deny that Mr. Pier is importing the paper, and doing none of the finishing work here.

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

– I do not know him.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– The other man, Mr. Max Wurcker, is completing the paper here. Both men are established in Sydney, and one is trying to undercut and destroy the other. Whether the paper is made here or not does not enter- into the consideration of the question at all, because very little is made locally. The main point is that the paper is completed by a certain man, and may be obtained from him. It is not fair to take away the protection of 30 and 25 per cent, which he has enjoyed for a very considerable time.

Mr Wilson:

– Under the old Tariff he had no protection.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Never mind about that. He is carrying on his business under the present .Tariff ; but, of course, the honorable member will make any excuse to give a vote against the local manufacturer.

Mr TILLEY BROWN:
INDI, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC

– That is not a fact.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes ; he has turned and twisted and jumped at any possible reason for voting against the local manufacturer.

Mr Reid:

– Let us get on; that is the main point.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– My main point is to maintain the principle which is embodied in this item.

Mr Reid:

– This is not a big matter.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– It is not a very large matter, but I think that we are called upon to protect the .interests of the local manufacturer, and I hope that the Commitee will not agree to reduce the measure of protection.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.- I think that it is most improper on the part of the Minister to range himself on the. side of one man as against another. According to the honorable gentleman, two men are com. peting with each other, and one of them must be sacrificed.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did not say anything of the kind.

Mr JOHNSON:

– That is a wrong attitude for the Minister to take up, and it is reducing our debates to a very low level indeed. As regards the merits of the matter, the Minister seems to be entirely misinformed. He appears to. have got into his head the idea, and wants the Committee to believe, that this sensitized paper is generally used for photographic purposes. It is not so used.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did not say so.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If anybody wants to produce a peculiar kind of photograph - something out of the ordinary as a curiosity - he can use this paper for the purpose of getting a print, but it is not a photographic paper ordinarily in use in a photographer’s business. When it is exposed to the light, the paper, except in those portions which contain the design, assumes a blue colour. , It is used in . architects’ offices for reproducing plans. After the plans have been drawn in the ordinary way, they are stretched on a frame with a piece of sensitized paper underneath and exposed to the light. The action of the light causes all the exposed portions of the paper to become blue, and leaves white lines showing the design. The paper is then handed over to contractors to work from.. Although that is the only general purpose for which the paper is used, yet the Minister would have the Committee to believe that it is used” generally for photographicpurposes.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did not say so.

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is simply used for a special purpose.

Sir William Lyne:

– I did. not say so.

Mr JOHNSON:

– The honorable gentleman said-

The CHAIRMAN:

– I askthe honorable member to accept the Minister’s assurance.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I am not accusing the Minister of intentionally misrepresenting the matter, but from the way in which he conveyed the information to the Committee, it seemed to me that he was under the impression that the paper would be generally used for photographic purposes. He now admits that he knows that it is not so used, and is only used for a special purpose.

Modification negatived.

Motion agreed to.

Requested amendment made.

Item 372. Bicycles, Tricycles, and similar Vehicles, n.e.i., and Frames thereof, whether partly or wholly finished, ad val. (General Tariff), 30 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), 25 per cent.

Request. - Before “ 30 per cent.” (General

Tariff) insert the original duties, viz. : - “ Each £5 5s., or ad val. 30 per cent., whichever rate returns the higher duty, up to and including. 10th December, 1907; and on and after.11th December, 1907”; make the duty “Each 25s.,or” ad val. 30 per cent., whichever rate returns the higher duty.” Before “ 25 per cent.” (United Kingdom) insert the original duties, viz.: - “Each£5, or ad val. 20 per cent., up to and including 10th December, 1907 ; and on and, after nth December, 1907”; make the duty “ Each 20s., or ad val. 25 per cent., whichever rate returns the higher duty.”

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– As regard the preferential Tariff, the Senate omitted to embody in its request certain words which are necessary to validate what was done up to the nth December last. Therefore, I move -

That the requested amendment be modified by inserting after the words “per cent.,” line 10, the words “whichever rate returns the higher duty.”

Motion agreed to.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the requested amendment, as modified, be made.

Requested amendment in item 374 (Motor Cycles, &c.) made.

Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne

.-I was informed last night that motors can be imported free of duty, whereas parts are dutiable. Surely neither free-traders nor protectionists desire that.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT; IND from 1910

– The honorable member has been misinformed. Motor cycles, tricycles, and similar vehicles, n.e.i., or the frames thereof, whether partly or wholly finished, are dutiable at 30 and 25 per cent. However, I shall look into the matter again, and if there be any doubt, I shall move the recommittal of the item, and have an alteration made in another place.

Mr Salmon:

– I am assured that chassis are admitted free when made up; although parts are dutiable. Will the Minister inquire if that is so?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– Yes.

Requested amendments in items 376 and 377 (Perambulators and Go-carts), in items 378 and 379 (Cycle parts) made.

Requested amendment in item 380 (Carriages, &c, n.e.i.) paragraphg (Axles, n.e.i.), made.

Modification, inserting in item 380 (Carriages, &c, n.e.i), new paragraph gg, “Roller-bearing and ball-bearing axles, ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent.. (United Kingdom), free, and leaving out paragraph c (Roller-bearing and ball-bearing axles), made.

Requested amendment in item 380, paragraph j, sub-paragraph b (Rubber Tyres), made.

Requested amendment in item 380, paragraph j, inserting new sub-paragraph (c), not made.

Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle

– I should like to know if the roller-bearing and ball-bearing axles for other than motor-cars will be dutiable at the same rate as those for motor-cars ?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– Yes.

Mr HEDGES:

– The paragraph does not say so. If the Treasurer will give me an assurance that that is so, I shall be satisfied.

Sir William Lyne:

– I have already given that assurance.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to-

That the consideration of the Senate’s requests in regard to item384 (Pianos) be postponed.

Requested amendments in item 38.6 (Band instruments), in item 388 (Baskets, &c), item 390 (Curled Hair, Sec.), and item 395 (Brushes) made.

Item 399. Fishing andRabbit Nets and Netting therefor ; Fish Hooks ; Floats for Fishing Nets; and Lines…….

Request. - Strike out “ ; and Lines.”

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the requested amendment be made.

Mr KELLY:
Wentworth

.- The omission of fishing lines from this item is a very serious matter to a great number of persons. I should like to know under what item fishing lines will now be classified?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– They will be dutiable at 25 per cent., under the item relating to cordage.

Mr Reid:

– What? Impose 25 per cent. upon fishing lines?

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– They are made here in thousands.

Sir William Lyne:

– And fishing nets are retained in this item.

Mr Reid:

– Because they are the raw material of the fishermen.

Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT

– But we have already imposed a duty of 15 per cent. upon the raw material of the fishing nets.

Mr KELLY:

– Then I suppose that this proposal is a fair enough one.

Motion agreed to.

Requested amendment made.

Requested amendments in item 400 (Yarns) and item 402 (Sewing and Embroidery Silks and Twists) made.

Requested amendment in item 406 (Fumigators, &c.) not made.

Item 408. Corks -

  1. Small Corks (up to 8 oz. bottles), Bungs and Kings, per lb.,1s. ; and on and after 12th December, 1907, free.

Request.- Make the duty1s.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) put -

That the requested amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

AYES: 22

NOES: 20

Majority … … 2

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Requested amendment made.

Item 403. Corks - …..

Request. - Make the duty 6d.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) put-

That the requested amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

AYES: 23

NOES: 19

Majority … … 4

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Requested amendment made.

Requested amendment in item 409 (Explosives, &c), made.

Item410. Lantern Slides : Photographic Sensitized Films and Paper; Photographic Mounts ; Photographic Backgrounds (mounted or unmounted) ; Photographs of Australian subjects ; Post-cards (sensitized with or without letter press) ; Powdered Magnesium ; Sulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Potash; Nitrate of Silver; and Chloride of Gold.

Request. - Leave out the words “ and Paper,” “ Photographic Backgrounds (mounted or unmounted)”; “Metabisulphite of Soda; Metabisulphite of Potash “ ; and insert before the word “ Lantern “ the letter “ (A),” after the word “ Films “ the words “ Photographic Sensitized Papers n.e.i., Linen, or other material”; after the word “ press,” the words “ Stereoscopic Views”; and also the following paragraphs : -

Motion(by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the requested amendments be made.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

.- I find that the Senate has requested that photographic back-grounds, mounted or unmounted, shallbe excluded from the operation of this duty. As a free-trader, I have no fault to find with the request, which should, however, have covered all the other articles mentioned in the item. But, according to the principles of the protectionists, these goods ought to be protected, because they can be produced in this country. Where is the consistency of including things which cannot be made here, and excluding others which undoubtedly can be made in Australia? There is not a scene painter in Australia who cannot paint photographic back-grounds. They may not all be experts, and the work will vary with the skill of the artist, but they can certainly be produced here. There is already a heavy duty on the materials used by painters, and on the top of that the Treasurer proposes to allow photographic back-grounds to come in free. Personally, I have no objection. I suppose that I paint as many of these back-grounds as any one does. But I do not fear competition. I merely draw attention to the anomaly. I can compete against any of the imported backgrounds, and do not require a duty. More than that, I am not one of those freetraders who are only free-traders in regard to things that do not affect them personally. We have protectionists here who are only protectionists when the other fellow has to pay, but they are free-traders in all that touches their own pockets. I am a free-trader all the time; and, notwithstanding that a duty might advantage me, I am quite prepared to let imported back-grounds come in free. My attitude is that I have no right to ask Parliament to limit the choice of the users of photographic back-grounds simply because I happen to be engaged in painting them. People who use them have a right to choose the best they can get, irrespective of where they are produced, and I. shall vote for them coming in free.

Mr Reid:

– I am told that that crocodile back-ground which the honorable member painted beat all the other back-grounds !

Mr JOHNSON:

– I merely draw attention to the peculiar position in which the Treasurer stands in regard to this item.

Mr Salmon:

– His position is not a back-ground, but a back down.

Mr JOHNSON:

– It is, really, from the . protectionist point of view.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I am much impressed by the remarks of the honorable member for Lang. I had overlooked the matter to which he has drawn attention, and shall, therefore, withdraw my motion, with a view to submit another one modifying the Senate’s request, so as to retain photographic back-grounds within the operation of the duty. The honorable member has done me a service. I had overlooked the point to which he has drawn attention.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) put -

That the requested amendments be made with the modification that the words “ Photographic Back-grounds (mounted or unmounted) “ be not left out.

The Committee divided.

AYES: 29

NOES: 11

Majority …… 18

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Requested amendments, as modified, made.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– I desire to leave out the words “and scenic backgrounds” from new paragraph b. Otherwise there will be a complication.

Mr Reid:

– We cannot go back now;

The CHAIRMAN:

– I thought the Committee were agreed, and I put the whole question.

Mr Salmon:

– The amendment desired by the Treasurer is consequential, and may well be made by the Clerk. It is not necessary for us to go back.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

– To get over the difficulty, I will ask the Committee to authorize the Chairman to make the amendment as a consequential one.

Mr Kelly:

– On previous occasions, when we have inadvertently passed an item and have wished to have it recommitted, the Treasurer has refused to allow it.

Requested amendment in item 411 (Cameras, &c.) made.

Progress reported.

page 11177

ADJOURNMENT

Missing Steamer “ Orion

Motion (by Sir William Lyne) proposed -

That the House do now adjourn.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:
Darwin

– As the steamer Orion, plying between Melbourne and the north-west coast of Tasmania, has been for several days overdue, and there is no account of her, will the Commonwealth Government charter a boat to go round the various islands where the vessel might have drifted? It is a serious matter,’ with all those people’s lives at stake.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist

– Both the Tasmanian and Victorian Governments have sent out search vessels. I do not know that the Federal Government can do any more, but I will mention the matter to the Prime Minister.

Question resolved in. the affirmative.

House adjourned at 3.57 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 15 May 1908, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1908/19080515_reps_3_46/>.