1st Parliament · 1st Session
The Clerk acquainted the Senate that he had been informed by telegram that the President’s absence from to-day’s and Wednesday’s sitting was unavoidable.
Resolved (on motion by Senator O’Connor) - .
That Senator Best do take the Chair as Deputy President to-day and to-morrow during the ‘ absence of the President.
The Deputy President took the Chair at 2.32 p.m., and read prayers.
Royal assent reported.
Debate resumed from 2nd May (vide page 12273), on motion by Senator O’Connor -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
– Since the last sitting of- the Senate the Commonwealth revenue returns for the mouth of April have been published, and they’ give further proof of the remarkable power -which the Tariff now under ~discussion has to extract gold from .the pockets of the people. It must be remembered that the returns to which I allude are for the first month of that quarter of the year which is known to yield the smallest amount of revenue, and they, in every way, confirm the calculations which I made as to the probable receipts when I addressed the Senate last week. In passing, I should like to draw the attention of honorable senators to the fact that, although Senator O’Connor admitted last week that the consumption of sugar in Australia is practically something like 180,000 tons per annum, the Treasurer’s estimate of the revenue to be derived from the duties on sugar was based upon the consumption of only 157,000 tons. Consequently, the Vice-President of the Executive Council has, by reason of the revenue obtained from the 23,000 tons which represent the difference between the actual consumption and the consumption estimated by the Treasurer, the very comfortable sum of £UO,000 up his sleeve. That is, only one illustration of the peculiar manner in which the Estimates have been framed. I want now to draw the attention of- honorable senators to the fact that this is, I believe, the first time in the history of the world in which it is proposed to establish a protective Tariff to create manufacturing industries, not only upon the borders of the tropics, but within the tropics themselves. The attempt to do so affords matter for very grave consideration. The effect of climate upon the white races of Europe is a subject which for a long time past has engaged the attention of scientists. It seems to be admitted that to expose white people to a very hot climate means their deterioration, though the extent of the deterioration is a point at issue, and how far it will continue has yet to tie discovered. As the people of this continent have decided to adopt the policy of a white Australia, they should, as a natural consequence, adopt the policy, of freedom of trade. The average distance from the tropics of the United States of America is 15 degrees, of Germany about 26 degrees, of France about 23 degrees, and of Great Britain about 30 degrees; so that practically all the great manufacturing centres of the world are far removed from - the hot latitudes.
– How far are the Indian manufacturing centres from . the tropics?
– The Indian fac- . tories do not employ white labour, but I would remind the honorable senator that Calcutta is only just on the borders of the tropics, and Bombay only a few degrees within the tropics. Neither place is anything like so far within the tropics as are large portions of Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia. Therefore, in adopting the policy of excluding foreign goods from our territory, we are, in regard to a great part of it, venturing upon an experiment such as the world has never before .seen, - and are taking a great risk. We have factories in existence in Melbourne and in Sydney. I am not prepared to say to what extent they have had an ill effect upon those who are employed in them ; but I am quite certain that we cannot establish factories within the tropics without producing a deterioration of the race in excess of the deterioration which will re- ‘ suit from the employment of people there in what I call natural industries. Therefore, to maintain the policy of a white Australia we should by every means in our power allow our producers to freely exchange their commodities with those of other countries. In August, 1899, Senator Best, then Minister for Trade and Customs in Victoria - and I give this as a remarkable illustration of the faith of protectionists, and of their power not only to move mountains bat to swallow them - speaking at the opening of a rubber factory, referred to the wonderful way in which the industries of Victoria had developed. Ha said that the value of the exports of Victoria to’ one port in another State had increased from £700,000 in 1895 to £3,700,000 in 1898, and that he looked forward to the future of the industry, the expansion of which was then being celebrated, with a great amount of confidence. As a matter of fact every penny of the increase in the exports was represented by gold sent from Victoria to New South Wales for transhipment to San Francisco, and yet the Minister for Trade and Customs in Victoria at that time waa under the impression it represented a gain -to Victorian manufacturers. I desire to make a quotation ‘ from another speech made by the honorable senator during the same week. This I will afterwards compare with statements made in this Chamber last week. This is what Senator Best said on the 28 th August, 1899-
Having regard to the stability of our industries, the Federal Tariff should be a fair, reasonable, effective, protective one. That might mean 5 per cent, in some cases and 25 per cent, in others.. . An effective protection need not mean, in some cases, more than 5 per cent.
Now, speaking in the Senate on Thursday afternoon last, Senator Best said -
I do not hesitate to say that from my standpoint this Tariff is unsatisfactory, insomuch as many of its duties are too low, and do not completely carry out what was demanded, namely, the non -destruction of industries. I am sorry to say that this Tariff, mild as it is - though it may be too high from the stand-point of my honorable friends opposite - has already resulted in the destruction of some industries, and that there are far too certain indications of the closing down of others. The industries which are at present in my mind - and I have not had full opportunities of learning the complete effect of these proposals’ - are : some of the distilleries of Victoria, in consequence of the reduction of the differentiation from 3s. to1s. ; the spring and axle industries, which are about to close down ; the bent timber industry, so far as the manufacture of spokes is concerned ; the industry of strawboard making, which hitherto enjoyed a protection of 4s., and which has now had that protection reduced in one fell swoop to1s. per cwt. The latter reduction has dealt such a reeling blow that at present it is occupying the most serious attention of the proprietors as to what they will do.
In1899, prior to the federal election, Senator Best was adopting the same line of argument as was followed by protectionists in most of the States. He stated that the Tariff must be a reasonable and moderate one, and indicated that protection to the extent of 5 per cent, might be enough in some cases, and that in no case need it exceed 25 per cent.
– The honorable senator did not say that 25 per cent, should be the highest duty imposed.
– If we are to understand that Senator Best, whilst stating that the duties might range from 5 to 25 per cent., yet had it in his mind to afterwards advocate much higher duties, I will leave it to honorable senators to explain and justify such a position, if they can. Statements similar to those made by Senator Best in 1899 were made and promulgated by Senator O’Connor, by the Prime Minister, and by others, who said that the duties to be imposed under the new Tariff must be moderate. If we are to understand that no such thing was meant, but that on the other hand they had in their minds protective duties far in excess of 25 per cent., we shall know what value to attach to statements made before the federal elections.
– Would such a statement prevent Senator Best from voting for a duty of less than 5 per cent.?
– Certainly not; but a duty of £4 per ton on strawboard is equal to 100 per cent., and I should like to know if we are to be called upon to support a protective duty to that extent, and that we are to believe that those engaged in the strawboard industry have been dealt a staggering blow by the reduction of the duty to 25 per cent. I decline to credit anything of the sort.
– Will the honorable senator explain the circumstances under which the statement he has quoted was made 1 The Victorian House of Assembly were discussing a proposal for a rigid rate of 25 per cent., and the Commissioner for Trade and Customs was showing that that could not very well be imposed.
– The speech which I am quoting was not made in Parliament, but at a dinner given by the newly-elected Mayor of Fitzroy.
– I am speaking of the first quotation.
– I am referring to the first quotation. The second quotation is taken from Hansard. Last week Senator Best grew quite pathetic over the distress and decay exhibited in Great Britain, and remarked that he spoke of it with the deepest regret. He said -
I want to give honorable senators some food for reflection in this regard. It is quite true that prior to 1846 Great Britainwas a protectionist country. The result of. that policy was that she accumulated fabulous wealth, and her manufactures were so strengthened and so firmly established that in the early part of the last century she practically was the workshop of the world.
As to the position held by Great Britain in regard to the rest of the world, I shall quote some figures which can be found in Mulhall’s Dictionary of Statistics.
– The honorable senator is avoiding any reference to New South Wales.
– If there is any question regarding New South Wales upon which the honorable senator desires information, I hope he will let me know of it. I canassure him that an answer will be readily forthcoming. New South Wales without protection compares very favorably with Victoria under protection. Mulhall shows that in 1800 the value of the world’s manufactures was £650,000,000 ; in 1820, £865,000,000; and in 1840, £1,314,000,000. Great Britain’s proportions are given as £230,000,000, £290,000,000, and £387,000,000, respectively. I have taken the trouble to work out the percentages “ of these figures, which show that during the time the protectionist policy was in force in the United Kingdom she was relatively going back. In 1800 the United Kingdom had 35 per cent, of the manufactures of the world ; in 1820, 33 per cent. ; and in 1840, only 29 per cent. The wonder is that the United Kingdom had so much and that the rest of the world had so little. Considering how small the United Kingdom is, the wonder all along has been that the manufactures of the rest of the world have not made greater progress, and none of us need be in the slightest degree surprised that there has been a great growth in manufactures everywhere. It was to be expected ; it was taking place before the United Kingdom gave up her policy of protection, and it has naturally continued ever since.
– Has she 29 per cent, of the world’s manufactures now ?
– I do not think so ; it is not likely. Does the honorable member want 5 per cent, of the world’s people to turn out 50 per cent, of the world’s goods ? The thing is ridiculous. Let honorable senators ask for things which are reasonable, and I am sure they will find them in the record of the growth and prosperity of Great Britain. Let me give some further particulars from Mulhallregarding the aggregate manufactures of the United KingdomandFrancefrom 1841tol850. Ifind that during the period named the United Kingdom manufactured £249,000,000 worth of woollen goods, whilst France manufactured £233,000,000 worth. In linens, the aggregate value of the manufactures of the United Kingdom was £103,000,000, as against £105,000,000 produced by France ; whilst in silks, the former manufactured £108,000,000, as against £140,000,000 produced by the latter. It will thus be seen that in these three lines, whilst the United Kingdom manufactured goods to the value of £460,000,000 in ten years, France manufactured £478,000,000. These figures do not bear out the brave statement that the
United Kingdom was ahead all round, and was winning hands down. In regard to iron, I find that for 1830, Mulhall gives some interesting figures. He says that in that year Belgium was using 63 lbs. per inhabitant, Sweden 60 lbs., and the United Kingdom 53 lbs. Again, we have figures showing that in regard to manufactures and other industries the United Kingdom was not so much advanced as honorable senators have been asked to believe. I wish also to draw attention to some other facts concerning American and British shipping. In 1820 the United Kingdom had a carrying power in excess of that of America, representing 1,100,000 tons ; in 1840 the excess was only 60,000 tons; whilst, in 1860, America positively had an excess of 1,935,000 tons. Yet whilst in 1860 the carrying: power of America was nearly 2,000,000 tons in excess of that under the British flag, in 1888 the carrying power of Great Britain exceeded that of America by nearly 11,000,000 tons.
– What does that prove ?
– When it is asserted that, under her policy of protection in the forties, Great Britain was in advance of all the world, I say that a mistake was made, and that she did not occupy the position that has been represented. Further, she had not that wonderful excess of wealth that we are asked to believe. In this connexion, I should like honorable senators to notice that, according to Mul- hall, in 1840 the wealth of the United Kingdom was £4,100,000,000; whilst in 1888the total had grown to £9,400,000,000. That represents a vast increase. But there is something bound up in these figures to which I would draw the special attention of honorable senators. In 1840, of the comparatively small total of £4,100,000,000, not less than £1,680,000,000 represented the value of the lands, or 40.97 per cent., whilst in 1888 the value of the lands of Great Britain had actually decreased by £136,000,000, in addition to all the tens of millions sterling that had been spent in improvements in the interim. The percentage of the wealth of Great Britain represented by her lands in 1888 was only 16.43, showing that the policy of that country had effected a complete revolution in the position of affairs in the U nited Kingdom. The aristocratic classes - the owners of the land - had had their values heavily decreased by the removal of the protective system, and then the whole trade of the country flourished. Thus whilst in 1840 only 59 percent, of the wealth of the country was exclusive of lands, in 1888 no less than 831/2 per cent, of it was exclusive of lands. This is a matter which is of great interest to us in this new country. It is a proof that the policy of Great Britain tended to make agricultural land there of no more value than is land in Australia, plus the cost of taking Australian produce to England. Consequently the policy of Great Britain has been the means of increasing the wealth of the whole world - of enhancing the value of land in Australia, and in Canada. When some honorable senators wish us to believe the statements they make regarding the position of England it is well that they should be informed of these facts, and made to understand the great part that the policy of England has played, not only in the advancement of that country, but in the advancement of the rest of the world. At this stage I wish to refer to the statements which were made by Senator Best last week regarding the growing trade of American manufacturers. He said -
Honorable senators will have no difficulty in seeing by the literature to which I can refer them that at the present time America is taking vast orders in Japan, China, Egypt, and Africa, and this, I contend, is most ominous. America is also taking vast orders in Great Britain itself, and the yearly increase of importations of manufactured articles into the mother country is causing the greatest alarm. I think from the figures which I have looked up that something, like £75,500,000 worth of completelymanufactured goods from America enter the ports of Great Britain, to say nothing whatever of the millions of pounds worth of partiallymanufactured material.
The whole of that statement is far from being accurate. In the first place the entire figures relating to the export of manufactures for the United States for the year ended 30th June, 1901, are given as 395,000,000 dollars, or only £79,000,000; and, instead of the American export of manufactures growing in the way that it has been supposed to grow, it really shows a drop of 46,000,000 dollars as compared with the export for the previous year. But there is another matter which is still more important. In America the term “ manufactures “ has a wider significance than it possesses either in England or Australia. InAmerica that designation embraces a large variety of articles which it does not include in England or in any English community.
– They manufacture bacon there.
– Yes. Bacon, flour, and all similar products are shipped as “ manufactures.” That they are manufactures I do not deny. But let us understand what that term is understood to mean in America. I have in my hand a copy of the World Almanac, which gives the details of the exports of the United States, and it is quite remarkable how small a portion of the £79,000,000 worth is really represented by what we are accustomed to reckon as the standard lines of manufacture.
– Has not this only the most remote connexion with what we are discussing? The honorable senator has had a very good innings.
- Senator O’Connor must distinctly see that the statement to which I am replying is one of considerable importance if it stands uncontradicted. Therefore I am entitled to answer it.
– If every honorable senator takes two days to speak, three months will be occupied in the secondreading discussion of this Tariff.
– They will not occupy so long. I have practically finished. Before concluding, however, I wish to refer honorable senators to page 158 of this book, and at their leisure they can pick out the various items to which I refer. If they find that the figures sustain the statements which were made by Senator Best last week, I am quite sure that they will give the Senate the benefit of the information ; whereas, if the figures do not sustain those statements, I hope they will have the fairness to admit it. It has often been asserted by the Minister for Home Affairs, who is an out-and-out protectionist, that a very large amount of our imports comes from the countries in which low wages obtain, and that we ought not to admit anything which is produced by Asiatics or kindred people. In fact, we are asked to believe that the great danger which we have to fear arises from the cheap-labour countries of the old world. I have in my hand a speech which was recently made by the Minister in question. He says -
The time has come, I hope, when Australia, having adopted legislation to prevent the introduction of kanakas and alien races, will not continue in the anomalous and stupid position of allowing the free introduction of the products of those races, in themselves so much objected to and fought against, whilst the products of Asiatic and cheap labour are allowed to destroy the labour, wealth, and life of our own people.
I should like honorable senators to compare those statements with some of the facts to which I shall now direct attention. I have analyzed the imports of New South Wales and Victoria for the year 1898.I find that in 1898 of the imports into New South Wales no less than 92-74 came from English-speaking peoples. Of that quantity 86-18 per cent, came actually from within the Empire; whilst only 7.36 per cent, of the entire imports into New South Wales came from foreign peoples, including the foreigners of the whole world.
– But there are a great many people within the Empire who receive very low wages.
– The imports from India amount to very little.
– All our sacks and woolpacks come from there.
– That is a drop in the bucket. I find that in Victoria the imports from English-speaking peoples came to89.06 per cent., whilst the imports from foreign peoples - including the whole of the foreign countries in Europe, Asia, and everywhere else - amounted to only 10.94 per cent. The imports from foreign countries, strange to say, show a greater percentage in the case of Victoria than in the case of New South Wales - a remarkable comment on the statement that a protectionist Tariff is necessary to keep out goods from those countries. It seems quite clear that low wage countries are not the countries with which we have most to fear as competitors in the industrial life of the world. The great competitors are the countries where wages are good, and where high and satisfactory payments are made. It is remarkable, too, that within the borders of the very country as to which we hear so much about excluding the products of coloured labour, the United States, there are10,000,000 of coloured people. If the presence and competition of coloured people destroyed the wealth and industry of a country, the United States should not have progressed in the way she has done ; and if anything could make protection look contemptible, it is the way in which Americans to-day are making special arrangements to admit at lower rates the products of the Philippines, Cuba, the Sandwich Islands and other countries. They clearly either have forgotten, or do not fear, that they are going to be overwhelmed by the competition of coloured people. There can be no more important matter for our consideration than that of what protection costs. Let us grant that it might be desirable for us to have protection, but let us look for a moment at what it costs. I will turn once more to Mulhall. In his book, Industries and Wealth of Nations, page 32, Mulhall gives the gross value of American manufactures as £1,952,000,000. It is worth while to refer to this because, if I remember rightly, Senator Best also quoted these figures as a glorification of America. But I suppose he did not observe the comment which Mulhall makes on them Mulhall added -
The value of American manufactures is artificially raised by protective Tariffs, fully 33 per cent, over the real value. The latter amounts, therefore, to about £1,464,000,000.
It appears, therefore, taking Mulhall’s figures, that the actual value of the manufactures of America is increased by protective duties by about £488,000,000, in order that the United States Government may collect thereon customs duties to the extent of about £70,000,000. I, myself, am quite sure that Mulhall has made a very gross exaggeration, and that the difference is nob anything like that ; but I do not care how much we take off - whether we reduce it to one-half or to a fourth - if we apply those figures proportionately to Australia, it will follow that if we have a Tariff producing £9,000,000, it will produce also a great many other millions for private and protectedindustries.We must not lose sight of this fact. It is the great point on which we free-traders must fight a protectionist Tariff - that, in addition to bringing in a certain number of millions to the public Treasury, it allows private industries to collect other millions for their own purposes. Inaddition, by this time everybody in Australia must be fully persuaded of the cost of protection by the strain it puts upon public life. Years ago legislation in Victoria was frequently brought to a dead’ stoppage by revisions of the Tariff.
– When was this ?
– The last great revision of the Victorian Tariff took place somewhere about 1892.
– An inquiry commenced about 1892. A commission was appointed which sat for a very long time, and issued a voluminous report, which would take one a long time to read. Evidence was taken day after day and month after month, and finally proposals were brought before Parliament, the discussion of which occupied nearly 3,000 pages in the VictorianHansard. Now, we have had the public business of Australia hung up during all these month’s over a protectionist Tariff.
– Allof that evidence was in favour of protection.
– The revised Tariff reduced every protectionist duty. That was the effect of the report to which I allude. Nearly every protectionist in Victoria admitted that the duties were too high, and by general consent they were brought down. So that it is of no use for Senator Barrett to tell us that the report of the commission was wholly in favour of protection.
– I was a member of the Legislative Assembly at the time, and heard the whole of the discussion.
– I have no doubt, then, that the honorable senator can bear out my view when I say that the result of legislation at that period was very considerably to reduce the protectionist duties. They were reduced all round. If a reduction of protectionist duties favours protection, I claim Senator Barrett’s vote in helping us to reduce the protective duties proposed by the Tariff now before us.
– Senator Best classified the results of that Tariff in his speech last week.
– One of the latest evidences of the cost of protection in the strain of public life, caused by Tariffs of this sort, is given us in the probable retirement of the Commonwealth Treasurer. I take this opportunity of saying that the retirement of Sir George Turner would be a public loss to Australia. He has been one of Victoria’s ablest and most faithful servants. Sir George Turner is a man for whom personally I have the very highest esteem. During the course of the federation controversy I know of no man who conducted his share of the discussion with greater independence, with more faithfulness to the State he represented, and with greater honour to Australia as a whole. Nobody can be aware of the strain that exists in public life without seeing that protection adds terribly to the work of a Parliament. If honorable senators will refer to the file of the London Times of a very recent date, they will see a letter from the Berlin correspondent of that journal, in which he points out the congested state of business in the German Parliament, by reason of the new Tariff which has been introduced. There are nearly 1,000 items in the German Tariff, and it is stated that up to Easter only about 40 had been dealt with, after months and months of debate, threatening the complete stagnation of the parliamentary business of Germany.’ If Great Britain were to be so foolish as to attempt to introduce a protective policy, how could she possibly manage her gigantic foreign affairs, when the result would be that all other business would be swamped by months and months of attention to the details of the Tariff? The cost of such a Tariff is not only a monetary one ; it saps the independence and moral strength of the community. I hold in my hand a circular which runs thus -
We, the Boot Manufacturers Association, begto place before you a list of articles used by us in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and would respectfully draw your attention to the articles contained therein, which, in the interests of the manufacturers generally, should come under the following dutiable and non-dutiable lists.
That is, the interests of the public are nothing ; the interests of the boot and shoe manufacturers are paramount. Members of Parliament are instructed as to where particular items are to be placed - whether on the free list or on the dutiable list -in the interests of manufacturers generally” ! That is one of innumerable instances of the way in which the very morality of public life becomes undermined. If we want to see what protection is capable of doing, let us see how it undermines the friendship that exists between nations. Let us read the cablegrams that have appeared in our newspapers within the last two or three years, and take note of the strong tension that exists between Germany and Russia, between Austria and Germany, and between Germany and the United States. I have a number of cablegrams to that effect in my hand, but I will not read them. Honorable senators know very well the tenor of many of them, because they have seen them for themselves. They have seen how time after time one country has imposed a duty and how another country has retaliated. Honorable senators must also be aware that in years gone by this same influence was rampant in Australia, and that the same cry was raised by one State as against another State. Sir William Lyne, our present Home Secretary, was foremost in New South Wales in denouncing free-trade with other States. He used to tell his audiences that New South Wales paid Victoria £1,000,000 a year for produce, and he bemoaned that outlay as waste which the former colony ought not to incur. At that time the protectionist newspaper in New South Wales published weekly a list of the agricultural produce imported from Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and elsewhere, all with a view of stirring up a retaliatory feeling which would result in legislative action to excl ude the produce of the adjoining colonies. On one occasion, whilst an election was in progress, there was a large arrival of fruit from Tasmania, and a leaflet was issued containing the following : -
What is the use of your planting orchards and growing fruit whilst foreign -grown fruit is admitted free ‘!
If we have that spirit animating Australians one towards another, what sort of spirit must we expect to animate the people of one country of Europe against the people of other countries? The whole system of protection is calculated to undermine the friendship of nations, and to bring about in the future, as in the past, troubles of a great and serious character. I ask honorable senators to take note of the remarkable difference between the position of producers of Australia, who have to send their goods to Europe to be sold, and that of Australian manufacturers, who must await here the competition from Europe.
– Are there not any local competitors in Australia’!
– The producers of wheat, wool, and similar commodities have to sell at the prices which rule in Europe, less the cost of transport.
– That is not the case now.
– But it is the case -now.
– Wheat is dearer here than in England.
– By Gd. a bushel.
– I know that wheat is dearer here, but that does not affect the broad general statement which I am making.
– Then the honorable senator should not contradict me.
- Senator Playford knows very well that the conditions which I have indicated regulate, and are recognised throughout, the trade in Australia. At present we are suffering under a terrible drought, and have nothing to send to England : in fact, we have been a little premature with our exportations. But a farmer in England, who sells his wheat in the London market, gets the full price, whereas the farmer in Australia gets only the London price, minus the cost of transport. An English manufacturer has to pay the cost of sending his articles to Australia, but an Australian manufacturer sells his goods here, and has no need to export to England. The Australian manufacturer, therefore, not only has his price, but also gets the cost of transport, and is entirely protected. Strange to say, the Tariff before us does not propose to help the man who is “hard hit,” but really helps the man who is not “hit” at all. The Tariff does not propose to do anything for producers except impose burdens on them, while it helps the men whose only competition is in their own market. I have here quite a host of remarks on the Tariff itself, but I propose to omit practically the whole of them, because I feel my indebtedness to the House for allowing mc to speak to-day. But there is one special point to which I desire to draw attention. This has reference to the way in which tha Government have refused to make refunds of duty, which is a very serious matter to those concerned. I am inclined to think there may be constitutional complications over this question ultimately, but I shall at present merely give an illustration of what happened in regard to one shipment. A firm in Sydney has written to me -
Benzine. - While writing you we just wish to point out a piece of injustice which has been imposed upon us through the Custom-house on 19th February. We passed an entry for 100 cases of benzine, and paid duty, as stated in the morning papers, at 3d. per gallon, which was accepted by the Customs department (unfortunately for us the day before it was free). On Friday last, the 18th inst., we received a communication from the Customs-house, stating that the AuditorGeneral’s department had discovered that we had underpaid duty to the extent of 3d. per gallon, as they pointed out that the duty should have been (id. per gallon, and ‘if we refused to pay the additional amount it would probably lead to the dismissal of some official ; but rather than let this course be pursued wepaid on Monday, 21st inst., a cheque, under protest, for the difference, but during the period of the dates already mentioned, this article had been reduced to Ad. per gallon, and we maintain that we have been robbed to the ton of51/2d per gallon, because we cannot export this and claim a drawback of more than Ad. per gallon, although we have paid6d.
When such an occurrence as this is possible it almost makes us wonder whether the days of Dick Turpin are being revived. The same firm, in bringing under my notice, another instance of a difficulty which they have experienced, say -
We sent down to the Customs-house and asked if in the event of us making a sale for export we would be allowed drawback on the full amount of duty paid. We were told yes ; subsequently we made the sale and passed our export entry, but when we submitted our account for repayment, were told that we could only be refunded the amount of duty then in force. The item in particular was varnish, on which1s. per gallon and 15 per cent ad valorem duty was paid. The duty was subsequently altered to1s.9d. per gallon. As the varnish exported was very expensive the loss to us is considerable.
Firms have followed the course which is usual in every country under the sun, and yet they are not allowed refunds under such circumstances as are described in these letters. The operation of the Tariff has been followed by a whole series of customs decisions, and, although these are signed by Dr. Wollaston, I suppose the Minister for Trade and Customs is really responsible. According to the list which has been supplied to me, there have already been 218 different decisions, which vary the customs charges in all sorts of ways. In the case of bananas, for instance, no allowance was made for the stalks, the duty being charged on the gross weight, though, as senators know, the stalks form a very heavy proportion of the total, and add materially to the duty. A number of the decisions are really of a remarkable character ; but I do not propose to deal with the details with which I am prepared. Ihave only one other point on which I wish to trouble the Senate, and that is in regard to what are known as preferential duties. It is very desirable, at this juncture, that the people of Australia should form some sound opinion as to what is meant by the proposals which are afloat for arranging preferential duties - that it should be known where these proposals are likely to lead. Canada, a few years ago, decided that imports from the United Kingdom should have some rebate of duty, as compared with goods from other countries. But the protective duties of Canada are very high, and there is no particular gain to G reat Britain. At the present time, the Canadian duty on clothing is 35 per cent., and, consequently, £1,000 worth of woollen clothing - which, if made in Canada, pays no duty at all - pays £350 if from a foreign country, and £233 if imported from Great Britain. Whilst the United Kingdom has some preference over foreign countries, the former is at a very great disadvantage ; in other words, Canada is completely protected against the old country. Instead of the Canadian preference being of any real advantage to the United Kingdom, it seems to work in a different direction. In 1896, the imports of Canada from Great Britain were 33,000,000 dollars, which, by 1899, had risen to only 37,000,000 dollars, while the imports from the United States rose in those years from 59,000,000 dollars to 93,000,000 dollars. On analyzing these figures, I find that the revenue collected is equal to an all-round ad valorem duty of 12.59 per cent, on the imports from the United States, and 19.77 per cent, on the imports from Great Britain.
– There were more free goods from America than from Great Britain.
– Just so; therefore, the United States, and not Great Britain, were getting the advantage. Great Britain does not export raw material or food supplies, but manufactured articles, and these Canada very industriously tries to keep out. Canada collected £1,264,000 on imports from the United Kingdom, while in the same year the United Kingdom collected absolutely nothing on £20,000,000 worth of imports from Canada. On the 25th February last year Mr. Barton addressed a letter to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, asking that some inquiries might be made with regard to preferential duties, and their probable effect on our foreign trade, especially our trade with Germany. The letter stated that the subject of preferential duties in favour of Great Britain was receiving the serious attention of the Cabinet. The following is an extract from the reply of Mr. Chamberlain to the communication sent by the Governor-General, referring to the action of Germany: -
This action is based on the ground that since the treaty expired German exports to Canada have ceased to receive the same treatment us those of the mother country. Representations protesting against this exclusion were made by the Dominion Government, through this department and the foreign office, to the German Government ; but the hitter’s reply, of which I enclose a copy, gave no hope that its action would be reversed.
From the principles which the German Government adopts and sets forth in this reply, as well as from the export dcs motifs attached to the Bill introduced into the Reichstag on the 21st April, 1898, enclosed in my circular of the 5th May, 1898, it appears probable that if Australia decides to follow the example of Canada, and give preferential treatment to products of the United Kingdom, the German Government would refuse to accord to Australian products entering Germany the advantages of the most-favoured-nation treatment.
That is a very important matter. The letter from Mr. Chamberlain contained also an enclosure from Baron Richthofen, the head of the German foreign office in Berlin, in the course of which the Baron, referring to the relations with Canada, wrote -
These relations existing under the. treaty of 30th May, 18(15, were altered hy Canada for her part, inasmuch as she has accorded to imports from Great Britain special customs advantages which she is not prepared to extend to imports from Germany. It naturally resulted from this situation that the Federal Council of the German Empire did not extend to Canada the mostfavourednation treatment, granted autonomously and as an exception to Great Britain and the British colonies and. possessions. The Federal Council would commit an act in contradiction to the conditions explicity laid down in the laws of 11th May, 1.89S, and of 1st July, 18&9, were they to continue most-favoured-nation treatment to a British colony which had, on her side, altered the relations hitherto existing to the detriment of Germany. “
Then he concluded -
If Germany’s attitude towards Canada is based according to the above, upon a foundation of law, it must also appear to be completely justified on grounds of fairness. Canada has deprived Germany of a valuable right, of which we retained possession tor more than 30 years under the Anglo-German commercial treaty, which has come to an end. It cannot be expected of Germany that, upon a change being made by one party in the state of affairs which has hitherto prevailed, she should accept the change without more ado ; it is the less to be expected, as it is in the interests of the development of the commerce of the world, and of the mutual relations of trade and navigation between Germany and the British mother country, that in the British colonies, equal treatment should be given to the products of Germany and of Great Britain.
The statements made by the German foreign office show, on the very face of them, that if Australia took any steps detrimental to German trade we might expect a withdrawal of certain advantages which we now possess. I submit very strongly also that it is time that Australia understood fully the great advantages which ‘ her trade possesses at present, even in regard to the protectionist countries of Europe. .’ I have taken out the figures relating to Australasian trade - which includes New Zealand - with Germany, France, and Belgium. I find that in 1S99 Australasia exported to the three countries I have named goods to the value of £9,041,776, while she imported therefrom goods to the value of only £3, 1 85,905. That, I contend, is a most extrordinary position. But the full strength pf what I desire to lay before the Senate is not seen even in those figures, for I learn, on referring to the British re-export returns, the extraordinary fact that in the same year Great Britain re-exported to Germany, France, and Belgium no less than £8,557,879 worth of wool. Of course, those re-exports included Argentine and other wool, but the bulk of it would be Australian. If we assume that £6,000,000 worth of the wool so: reexported came from Australasia - and I am taking a small enough estimate- we must add that amount to the value of the goods shipped direct from Australasia to those countries. In that way we have a total of about £15,000,000 worth of goods which Germany, France, and Belgium purchased, either directly or indirectly, from Australia, in 1899, as against sales from those countries to Australia amounting in value to a little over £3,000,000.
– I presume that it paid them to make those purchases from us ?
– Undoubtedly. These enormous advantages should be borne in mind by all public men in Australia. If we think that we can improve upon a state of affairs such as I have just indicated, I guess we are very much mistaken. The whole position of Australian trade in regard to exports abroad is most satisfactory. Canada has practically no trade with Germany; at any rate, none worth speaking about. In 1889 her total exports to Germany amounted in value to £2S,000; in 1899 they had increased to £262,000, or a little over a quarter of a million sterling - a mere flea-bite compared with our export trade. Canada’s exports consist of food products, and are not likely to be affected by any special movement in Germany prejudicial to raw material such as wool. But Canada has now taken a step which has certainty made- me feel very indignant. It will be in the recollection of honorable senators that the British Government decided, some two or three weeks ago, to impose a small duty of 1½d. or 2d. per bushel upon all imported grain, in order that she might obtain additional revenue to meet the expenses of the South African war. Our friends in Canada propose to agitate for a remission of the duty so far as it relates to imports from that and other parts of the Empire. Thus they propose that the British Treasury shall only collect the duty on imports that come from foreign countries, and that Canada herself and other parts of the Empire shall receive the benefit in the shape of additional prices. That must be so, because the people of Great Britain have to pay these prices. That is a position which is unfair to Great Britain : but, as honorable senators will see, the position of Australia is widely different from that of Canada, and legislation which might be of no injury to Canada would be of great injury to Australia. I have a large number of other notes, but I shall forego all reference to them. I shall conclude my remarks by thanking the Senate most warmly for its indulgence. If in the course of the debate I have failed in courtesy to any honorable senator-
– No, no.
– Or if in any way I have, failed to recognise the sincerity of other honorable senators, I am exceedingly sorry. In the work of free-trade, which I love, I am very much in earnest. I believe that the welfare of the Empire, and the prosperity of Australia, are very much involved in this matter, and I have sought, with all the earnestness of which I am capable, faithfully, to put the position before the Senate. My only regret is that I have not been able to do so with ability adequate to the occasion.
– ! feel that there was hardly any necessity for Senator Pulsford to apologize to the Senate. Although we do not agree with his politics, I think that most of us rather like the man, and we overlook his little eccentricities, which are native to the average free-trader. We all recognise that this is a very important debate, the most important we have had or is likely to take place in the Senate for years to come. The future prosperity or otherwise of Australia depends to a very great extent upon the Tariff, and, therefore, no one can over-estimate the importance of this debate. I do not intend to enlarge on this phase of the question but as you are in the chair, Mr. Deputy President, I should like to point out that when you made the remarks which have been criticised by Senator. Pulsford - and you made the same remarks in Parliament - I understood that you were referring to effective protection, and did not care whether the duties were 20, 25, or 55 per cent., or anything else, as long as they were effective.
– Was that not an afterdinner speech 1
– I refer to what took place in Parliament. The same remarks were made in Parliament by the Minister of the day. He said that he wanted effective protection, and was not particular as to the amount, as long as he was satisfied that the duties fixed would be effective. In common with other protectionists, I suppose that I must deliver myself of that grand old platitude that I wish to preserve the markets of Australia for the producers and manufacturers of Australia. I thought that would create a laugh. There is another thing that I desire - it is not the desire of free-traders, although they will not laugh at it - and that is to see Australia selfcontained and self-supporting. Nothing but protection can achieve that end. Free-trade never can ! I think I am right in saying that in Australia we are well able to feed and clothe ourselves. AVe have here everything that is necessary for food and clothing with the exception of the one great staple article, cotton. I hope that the Barton Government, if they remain in power - as I trust they will do for some time to come - will seriously take into consideration the question of cotton-growing. I trust that they will inquire into it, if they have not done so already, and see whether cotton cannot be grown in any part of Australia by white labour.
– It can be grown in Australia ; it has been grown here.
– I am pleased to hear it. The Government would deserve the thanks of the whole of the people of Australia if they could show that cotton could be grown and turned into the manufactured article here by means of white labour. What an awkward position we should be in - what a nice fix, indeed - if the grand old mother country of which we hear so much were to become engaged in a war with two or three of the great powers, and required the whole of her navy to protect herself and her immediate surroundings ; and if our supplies were cut off, if our factories had been wiped out by the Tariff f ramed by the Federal Parliament - if we had no factories even to manufacture our wool into clothing ! We should be in a still worse position if we had no cotton. What would be the position of England herself in the event of a serious quarrel with the United States of America 1 I suppose that nineteen-twentieths of the clothing worn by her people, as well as those of these States, is made of cotton. I only refer to this matter in passing, in order ‘to impress upon the Government the importance of taking at once some steps to determine whether cotton can be grown here and manufactured by white labour.
– We have all the machinery in Queensland already, and have produced the manufactured article.
– It appears to me that cotton is the only great article which we lack.
– It is growing in New South Wales.
– When I was in Queensland, as a young man, many years ago, I saw it growing there, but it was not a very great success. Senator Pulsford assured us that he was a good, sincere freetrader. We knew that already. We know that he is a sincere free-trader. And here let me say that I admire and respect a sincere man, however wrong-headed he may be. If he believes what he advocates, I overlook a multitude of small faults. It is the charlatan who preaches what he does not believe that I dislike, and not a sincere man like my honorable friend Senator Pulsford. We have heard a good deal about free-trade Great Britain. It has been compared by Senator Pulsford with protectionist countries, but I think the greatest praise that could be given to protection came from the lips of that honorable senator when he told us that Germany fed and clothed the surrounding nations - protected Germany - and when he told us that if it were not for America, the native land of many of us would be in a very tight place. Of course we know that free-trade is particularly suited to the United Kingdom. I do not say that it is the best fiscal policy for that country, but it is more suited to Great Britain than to any other country under the sun, and for the simple and allsufficient reason that Great Britain is the world’s carrier. The United Kingdom is a distributing centre ; goods are taken there to be taken away again. Perhaps her largest industry and interest is connected with shipping, and that shipping is required to carry the products, not merely of her own manufactures, but of the manufactures of various other countries. We, on the other hand, are not a carrying nation, but a producing and manufacturing nation, and for this reason alone a policy that might be suitable to the mother country might not suit us at all. So far as Great Britain’s manufactures, are concerned, it is a stale old story to say that she is lagging behind. Her steel industry has gone from her. A generation ago she was the gunsmiths’ shop of the world. Now she stands third on the list in that respect. Her sugar refineries constituted one of her staple industries for generations, but the bounty-fed sugars of protectionist countries have killed her sugar industries, have closed her sugar refineries, and destroyed the West Indian cane-fields.
– The refineries have not increased for the last twenty years, abut they have not been closed.
– Then the honorable and learned senator only shows that she is lagging behind, for in that time the population has very largely increased.
– Have no other industries developed because of the free sugar which Great Britain gets f
– I am dealing with one subject at a time. Senator Pulsford was very emphatic upon the fact that protectionist Prance and protectionist Germany buy our wool. Like other nations, they buy our wool because it is the best wool at the price which they can get anywhere. That is the .reason they buy it, and it is merely a matter of business. The honorable senator’s point was that these are protectionist countries, and yet they are prepared to get wool from us although they grow wool themselves. What wool do they grow ? All protectionist countries admit, or should admit, the raw material of their industries * free, and there is nothing strange about Prance and Germany admitting our wool free. Free-traders, especially from New South Wales - and I am going to speak very plainly - are never weary of comparing the country with the “ beautiful harbor “ - which they did riot make, though they think they did - with little protectionist Victoria.
– I did not do so.
– No ; I stopped the honorable senator. The honorable senator was afraid, because he knew very well that I had something up my sleeve.
– I hope that the honorable senator will produce it.
– I intend to. I fully expected 1113’ honorable friend to fall into the groove which free-traders from his State usually fall into when comparing the two States.
– We never compare them ; we contrast them.
– I will do that myself directly. In all essentials to nationbuilding that are governed and controlled by human agency, I think it can be. shown that the little protectionist State outstrips its big neighbour. This is the sort of stuff we hear from the New South Wales freetraders - I wonder do they believe it themselves? I am quite sure that Senator Pulsford, if he stated what I am about to read, would believe it, but I have very serious doubts as to whether the right honorable G. H. Reid believed it when he stated it. Speaking to the people of Richmond here last year, he said -
The position occupied by New South Wales was owing to the fact that she had now no barriers.
Quite likely the position she really does occupy is due to that fact. I wonder how long they have been discovering that. With the exception of a luke- warm sort of protectionist Tariff in force for three or four years, I was under the impression that New South Wales had been a free-trade country the whole of the time. This is what Sir William McMillan, one of the leaders of the free-trade Opposition in the other Chamber, told the people of New South Wales last year -
With a free-trade policy New South Wales, of late years, had been beating the protectionist States by leaps and bounds.
If we compare like with like there is not the slightest evidence to warrant any such statement.
– It is a statement without proof.
– I intend to prove that it is absolutely unfounded, but with the peculiarly constituted mind of the average free-trader these people continue to repeat these statements until they really begin to believe them. In the few figures I am about to submit, I cannot hope to vie with Senator Pulsford. The honorable senator goes into millions and billions, but I can go only into thousands. Mr. Reid, the lieutenant in the other Chamber of the leader of the Opposition here, lately told honorable members of that Chamber that he pins his faith to Coghlan. He pins his faith to a very good man. The figures which I am about to submit are taken mainly from Coghlan, not from any lack of faith in other statisticians, but because Coghlan, being the statistician of free-trade New South Wales, the free-traders cannot take exception to statements made by him. I may say, in my remarks, I speak only for that State which I have the honour to represent in this Chamber. Protectionists from other States will, no doubt speak on behalf of those States if they think it necessary. I- have not had my figures checked by any one else, but I believe them to be correct. Before I enter upon their consideration, however, I should like to ask the attention of mv friends in the labour corner, and especially of free-trade labour members. I can hardly understand the attitude of the freetrade labour member.
– He is a monstrosity.
– I cannot understand the anomalous position which a free-trade labour member occupies. If he be a sincere man I res’pect his opinions, though I do not think much of them.,
– Perhaps the honorable senator will understand them better byandby.
– Possibly so : and what I am about to say, with all respect, not only refers to free-trade members of the Senate, but also to free-trade members in another place.
– The honorable senator had better read a labour paper called Reynolds’, and he will get a better idea of ‘it.
– That is the sort of paper I should recommend my honorable and learned friend to read.
– It is because I do read it that I recommend it to the honorable senator.
– Labour representatives from other States have come here and have asked the two Houses of the Federal
Parliament to abolish coloured labour. Protectionists and free-traders alike have assisted them to do that. We have given our assistance freely, and have helped them to drive the black man from the cane-fields and to exclude all coloured races from all parts of Australia. But having achieved those two results they call a halt. They object to coloured aliens, but not to the goods produced and made by coloured aliens, with the exception of sugar and bananas.
– Does the honorable senator object to the introduction of jute goods - wool packs and corn sacks ?
– I am not saying what I object to. I am pointing out that the free-trade labour members do not object to sugar and bananas grown by coloured labour being excluded, but they object to all other goods produced by coloured labour being excluded. They have a right to their opinion; but, with all respect, I am endeavouring to point out how inconsistent they seem to me.
– Does the honorable senator object to those other goods coming in?
– I decline to answer the question. I am not on the stump just now. If the honorable and learned senator will wait until I am on the stump nextyear to put the question to me I will answer it. Not only did we drive the black man from the cane-fields and prevent other coloured races coming here, but with the assistance of these free-trade labour members we imposed a duty of £6 per ton upon sugar, or of £5 a ton when the excise is considered to protect the sugar-growers and secure a market of 4,000,000 of people where they had previously a market of only 500,000, or about an eighth of the number. What I ask is that we should treat the white workers, male and female, in the factories of the Commonwealth in the same way, and should protect them in the same way that we have protected the cane-growers in Queensland. That I think is only fair and reasonable. It may not be as suavely put as a silk mercer’s shopwalker would put it, but my contention can be easily understood.
– For what goods does the honorable senator ask our support?
– For all industries that have been protected and require protection now.
– Against black labour ? Which of them ?
– Against black or white labour. I have not quite done with my friends in the labour comer. Some four or five years ago Mr. Sowden, the free-trade editor of the free-trade South Australian journal, TheRegister, was sent to China and Japan, his mission being to inquire into the industrial, social, and commercial relations of those countries, and especially with reference to Japan. In a pamphlet, which contains a reprint of the articles published in his newspaper, he tells us the rates of wages paid in Japan - the country from which we should get sweated goods, if we allowed them to come in free.
– What goods should we get?
– Matches, by the thousands of gross. Possibly the honorable senator..has used Japanese matches,’ and, I have no doubt, his free-trade heart would be glad if he could purchase half-a-dozen boxes for a penny.
– The profits from the protectedVictorian match factory go to London.
– I do not think Japan sends many matches here.
– Japan exports £500,000 worth of matches per annum, and a large quantity are sent to Australia. Mr. Sowden speaks of the Japanese rickshaw man as a human horse. Do all freetraders look upon workmen in that way ? The rates of wages prevailing in Japan when he was there w ere these : - For rickshaw men, from 6d. to8d.; for carpenters,1s. 6d.; for coolies,9d.; for miners,2s. 3d.; and for females in factories, 3d., 4d., and 5d.: all for a day’s work of ten or twelve hours’ duration. Compositors got 10s. per week. He tells us that there was a strike amongst the female factory hands for an additional 1d. per day, and that they won it; those getting 3d. a day having their wages increased to 4d.
– The extract the honorable senator is reading sounds like a quotation from the report of the Victorian Factories Commission.
– The working people of Victoria have never accepted a wage of 3d. or 4d. a day. I commend Mr. Sowden’s conclusion to the consideration of free-traders who are members of the labour party -
If, after the inevitable supplanting by machinery of the hand labour which now prevails nearly everywhere in Japan, the Japanese should be contented with the same wages as they now receive, the existing balance of the old-world manufacturing industry must, granting the maintenance of peace in the East, be seriously disadjusted. Speaking generally, the wages standard of the Japanese is bound to be the basis on which the European workman must be paid.
The writer foresaw the making of the treaty between Japan and Great Britain which has been ratified within the last few weeks. Another phase of industrial life in Japan, of which our free-trade friends must feel a little ashamed, is this : -
Women and children, as well as men, slave at coal-heaving with their little baskets.
Bishop Potter, giving his impressions of Japan in the Century, declares that the sight which lived most vividly in his memory was the loading of a steam-ship with coal. He says -
The huge vessel . . was suddenly festooned . from stem to stern on each side with a series of hanging platforms . . all along . . the ship. . . On board the sampans men were filling . . baskets, holding, I should think, each about two buckets of coal, and these were passed up from the sampans in a continuous and unbroken line until they reached their destination, each young girl as she stood on her particular platform passing . . these huge basketfuls of coal to the girl above her. . . . Again and again I counted 69 baskets - they never fell below 60 - passed on board in this way in a single minute by these”chains of living elevators.”
– That is an industry which cannot be affected by a Tariff.
– The fact which I wish to impress upon honorable senators is that the work is done by women and girls, and that the women employed in the factories of Japan receive only 3d., 4d., and 5d. a day. When, in committee, we come to deal with the items of the Tariff, I intend to furnish honorable senators withthe prices at which goods sent here from Japan can be purchased from the manufacturers. I turn from that subject now to a report which describes the condition of the workers in some of the English factories. The authors of that report say -
We are of opinion that . . . the evils are shown in the Report to be -
. An unduly low rate of wages.
Excessive hours of labour.
The insanitary state of the houses in which the work is carried on.
The earnings of the lowest classes of workers we barely sufficient to sustain existence. The hours of labour are such as to make the lives of workers periods of almost ceaseless toil, hard and unlovely to the last degree. . . . The sanitary conditions under which the work is conducted are not only injurious to the health of the persons employed, but are dangerous to the public. . . . We make the above statements on evidence of the truth of which we are fully satisfied. . . . We cannot conclude without expressing our earnest hope that the exposure of the evils which have been brought to our notice will induce capitalists to pay closer attention to the conditions under which labour which supplies them with goods is conducted, and that the public will withhold their custom from traders who are known to conduct their business on a system which regards neither the welfare of the workman nor the quality of the work produced.
That is the state of things in England, the country of which we are all so proud, and from which most of us have come. I do not say that such things do not happen in other countries, but I shall not be asked to name the goods which we have received from England. The report which I have just read is not the report of a number of Parliamentary labour representatives, or of a Yarra-bank committee ; it is the report of gentlemen , whom no one will accuse of being over-sympathetic towards the great mass of the people - the report of a select committee of the House of Lords, signed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Derby, Lord Rothschild, and a number of other peers of the realm. I quote it to show that it is unfair to allow goods manufactured under such conditions, either in Japan, or in England, or in any other country, to come here to compete with our own productions.
– What would be the position of the English workers if we refused to continue to purchase their goods ?
– I have heard the honorable senator speak of the millions that we want here. I hope that under this Tariff we shall build up industries which will enable them to find employment here, where they will be able to get plenty to eat and to drink, and proper bouses to live in, and will not be sweated. The other evening, when Senator Best was speaking, Senator Symon made an interjection about the decrease of population which has occurred in Victoria. It is claimed by the free-traders that free-trade attracts population ; but it is a singular thing, if that be so, that the population of New South Wales during the four years in which the Dibbs protective Tariff was in force increased by 6 per cent., while during the next four years, under the free-trade policy brought in by the Reid
Government, the increase was only 5 percent. Coghlan, speaking of the increase of population in these States, says -
Much of the increase of population, especially in the colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, and Hew Zealand, was due to the State policy of assisted immigration.
– There lias been no assisted. State immigration into New South Wales for years past.
– I admit that; but New South Wales had assisted immigration for 20 or 30 years after Victoria.
– Not so long as that. New South Wales has not had assisted State immigration within my recollection.
– I should like to hear the honorable senator explain why the population of Victoria decreased so largely in 1S96.
– I will quote the reason given by an authority whom the honorable senator cannot disregard, the veiled prophet of the beautiful harbor, Mr. G. H. Reid. Speaking in the Town Hall, in Adelaide, about 30th October, 1900, he said of Victoria -
There is no smarter, no more enterprising, more capable colony in the world. Western -Australia took, I suppose, 100,000 people from Victoria.
When I gave a similar explanation, a little earlier, Senator Pulsford, writing in a newspaper called Our Country, which he then had the honour to conduct, said that “ Any little common sense Mr. Styles ever had seemed to have left him when he made that statement.” Now, what has the honorable senator to say when Mr. G. H. Reid, the head of the free-trade cult, makes the statement 1 One point upon which free-trade speakers have not touched is the loss of population by New South Wales. Senator Pulsford knows of it, but he never touched upon it.
– The reason, of that is that New South Wales now has a protective Tariff.
– No; the loss commenced before the introduction of the Federal Tariff, and is still going on. The people are coming here. Coghlan and the census returns laid before the Chamber by the Government up to the 31st ‘ March last year give the following results : - Coghlan, at pages 249-50, shows that on 31st December-, 1S99, the population of New South Wales was 1,356,650, whereas on the 31st March last year the census showed the population to be 1,359,943, or an increase in fifteen months of 3,293.
– The figures given in the one case are merely an estimate, and in the other are the result of the actual census, because we only take our census once in ten years.
– The figures for each colony were altered year by year.
– I am quoting Coghlan.
– Coghlan altered them.
– If Coghlan altered the figures why should all the fuss have been made a year or two ago about the loss of population in Victoria 1 What is the use of these figures for any purpose %
– One set of figures is merely an estimate for the year, and the other is an actual census.
– The figures are as fair for one State as for another, and the figures for Victoria and New South Wales respectively are given in Coghlan at the same page. On the 31st December, 1899, the population of Victoria was 1,163,400, and, when the census was taken on the 31st March -last year, had increased to 1,201,4-38, or a gain of 38,038, as against an access of 3,29.3 in free- trade New South Wales.
– Does not that show that the figures in Victoria were taken, less accurately than in New South Wales 1
– Then the honorable senator has to thank Coghlan for that. According to what he says, there was nothing in the statements that were made about the loss of population in Victoria. In that respect they were like a good many other free-trade statements. If the increase of population in New South Wales had been in proportion to that vhich took place in Victoria, there would have been a gain in the mother State of 44,000, as against 3S,000 in Victoria, for the simple reason that New South Wales has a greater population than has Victoria by 16 per cent. There was an actual increase in New South Wales of only 3,293 ; so that the shortage in that State was about 41,000. Coghlan shows that the natural increase in New South Wales during the period of which I have been speaking, due to the excess of births over deaths, should have been 32,440, and as the actual increase was only 3,293, New South Wales must have lost 29,147 of her population.
– If the loss of population in New South Wales is to be used as an argument, the loss of population in Victoria can be similarly applied.
– Victoria is not losing her population. During the fifteen months to which I have referred, New South Wales lost 29,000 of her natural increase, and therefore that number of persons must have left that State.
– Will the honorable senator show me the figures ?
– If the honorable senator refers to page 260 of Coghlan, he will see the natural increase given as 19.13 per 1,000, and the honorable senator can easily work that out for himself. Coghlan is the free-traders’ Bible, and, therefore, I am only quoting their own scriptures against them. Whilst there was a shortage in New South Wales of 29,000, there was a gain in Victoria of 15,400 over the natural increase. In all sincerity I. may say that I am very sorry that any State should lose its population ; but my present purpose is to show that free-trade does not encourage population any more than does protection. I am not saying that one policy or the other does so; but there has been such a lot made of the argument that free-trade encourages population, Mr. Reid having referred to it on every platform from which he has spoken, that it is necessary to show that there is not much in the contention. Now I wish to contrast the way in which loan moneys have been dealt with in the two States. I think it is perfectly fair to make such a comparison. The people in the two States are of the same kith and kin, and any difference must be due to their respective policies. ‘
– Or to the ability of their politicians.
– In New South Wales £38 12s. per head, or 81.6 per cent, of the loan moneys has been spent upon works yielding a direct revenue, and £8 13s.11d. per head, or 18.4 percent., upon other works and services not yielding revenue. These figures are given at page825 ofCoghlan. InVictoria, £38 12s.10d. per head of loan moneys - practically the same amount as was spent in New South Wales -was devoted to works yielding direct revenue, but only £3 0s.10d. per head, or 7.3 percent, was spent upon other works and services. This shows an enormous difference, as New South Wales spent811/2 per cent, of her loan moneys upon direct revenue-yielding works, as against 923/4 per cent, similarly expended in Victoria.
– Is the honorable senator including the money spent in Victoria by local governing bodies? They have local governing bodies in Victoria, but not in New South Wales.
– I am speaking of the loan moneys spent by the Government, and the position would not be very much altered if the expenditure by the local governing bodies were taken into account.
– How about the money spent by the Water Trusts ?
– This includes all loan moneys spent, in whatever way, but has nothing to do with the loans raised by local governing bodies.
– They have no local governing bodies in New South Wales?
– Yes, they have some. Here is another case in which the protectionist State has outstripped the free-trade State. Coghlan says regarding one of his tables : -
The comparison, however, is only interesting as showing the large territorial revenue that New South Wales is fortunate enough to possess.
I should think she wag fortunate to possess a large territorial revenue, because it is shown that out of every £100 of territorial revenue collected in Australia, New SouthWales has had £61, whilst the other five States have had to be content with £39 amongst them. No wonder New South Wales has been in a flourishing condition. Why is she now losing her population? Because she cannot sell so much land, and her loan moneys are about all expended. For ten or twelve years New South Wales has been spending loan moneys to the extent of a million a year in excess of the amount spent in Victoria.
– Does the honorable senator say that the New South Wales loan money is all done ?
– I apprehend that that is the reason why the population are running away.
– The honorable senator has not explained the loss of population in Victoria yet.
– Now I desire to make a comparision between the banking businesses of Victoria and New South Wales, and to show how strong, and, in point of stability, how much better are the banks of
Victoria contrasted with those of the freetrade State. According to Coghlan up to June, 1900, the bank assets exceeded the liabilities in New South Wales by 24 per cent., whereas in Victoria the assets in excess of liabilities represented 30 per cent. The Victorian surplus assets exceeded those of New South Wales by £1,274,000, although the actual volume of banking business in Victoria was not nearly so great as in New South Wales. The bullion and coin reserves in New South Wales were in the proportion of 21 per cent, to the total liabilities, and in Victoria 26 per cent. The percentage of coin and bullion to liabilities at call represented 50 per cent, in New South Wales and 61. per cent, in Victoria. The all-important factor, however, is the percentage of coin and bullion and landed property to liabilities, and in New South Wales this was shown to be 26 per cent, only, as against 35 per cent, in Victoria. There is no way in which these returns can be viewed without demonstrating that the banks in the protectionist State of Victoria are in a much sounder position than are the similar institutions ‘ in New South Wales. This is an important matter. I do not mean to say that the banks in Nev/ South Wales are not sound ; because it would be very wrong and improper to make such a statement.
– How does the honorable senator’s statement compare with the experience of 1893 ?
– When nine Victorian banks shut up as against two in New South Wales.
– It is not my statem ent but Coghlan’s statement.
– Coghlan gives the figures, but the honorable senator is asking us to draw a deduction from them. There is not a single thing in Coghlan to justify the statement made by the honorable senator that the banks of Victoria are in a sounder position than are those of New South Wales.
– Surely the. relation of assets to liabilities is an important matter. The surplus assets in New South Wales amounted to £8,283,000, whereas in Victoria they represented £9,567,000.
– All on paper.
– I do not know whether the figures are correct or not. I am not responsible for them.
– They are the assets on paper. Their true value was shown in 1893.
– I have given the figures as they appear in Coghlan, and I would ask the honorable senator what would have become of the banks in New South Wales if it had not been for the assistance accorded to them by protectionist Sir George Dibbs ? There is another view which I should like to present to the Senate in contrasting the results of the two fiscal policies. In New South Wales, according to Coghlan, the wealth, per inhabitant, represents £265, as against £233 in Victoria. Apparently these figures give a great advantage to New South Wales, but when we recollect Coghlan’s statement that his estimate of property in New South Wales includes land to the value of £35,000,000, in excess of the value of the land in Victoria, it will be seen that this sum accounts for £26 out of the £32 per head difference between the population of the two States. I repeat that Coghlan has included £35,000,000 worth of land which was probably sold for a mere bagatelle in times gone by, and that the unearned increment has increased its value to that extent above the value of the land in Victoria. But Coghlan discounts the whole of his own figures when he says -
The table shows the place where the wealth lies, but gives no indication of the place of residence of the owners. As is well known, residents of Victoria and South Australia have large investments in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia . . . and if it were possible, to locate the actual ownership of property throughout Australia, it would probably be found that the holdings of both Victoria and South Australia would be largely increased, .and those of the other mainland States correspondingly diminished.
Where does all this wealth, per inhabitant, go ? Of course, if we cannot ascertain where the owners of these properties reside we can tell where the ready cash is located. Honorable senators have heard a good deal about the banking crisis in 1893. Let us see where the actual cash really is: In New South Wales the deposits in the banks of issue, savings banks, building, investment, and friendly societies aggregate £44,453,000 as against £41,750,000 in Victoria, or looking at the matter per head of the population, which is the proper way to view it-
– When the other does not suit.
– Surely that is the right way of looking at the matter. The cash in these institutions in New South Wales represents £32 15s. 4d., as against £35 18s. in ‘Victoria, a difference of £3 3s. per head. If the former State desires to possess the same amount of money per unit as does the latter, she will require to increase her ready cash by £4,250,000. In New South Wales the value of the production of all industries is £28 13s. 7d., as against £26 lis. 4d. in Victoria, a difference of £2 2s. 3d. per head. “ But,” remarks Coghlan -
A comparison of the production from primary industries per head of population … is liable to give undue importance to those provinces which -have larger territories and scanty population. . . . Judged by the aggregate production, New South Wales stands far above the other colonies, a position which it owes to the largeness of its interests in pastoral pursuits. But if the value of primary production, therefore, be compared with the extent of territory enjoyed by each colony, it would be found that the positions of several of the provinces are reversed. Victoria occupies first place.
These are the words of Cog/dan himself, and in the light of this statement I think I have succeeded in showing that New South Wales is not in the van in regard to all these matters. It is true that that State is three and a half times bigger, and twice as old as is Victoria, but in every other respect I claim that the latter is her equal. Freetraders are constantly telling us that our country producers cannot be protected.
– Senator Symon was very emphatic upon that point.
– Yes, and so is every free-trader. However, I am going to make it quite obvious that the country producer can be protected. I unhesitatingly assert that the imposition of protective duties will protect the farmer by preserving the Australian market to the Australian producer. It can be shown, not only that protectionist Victoria has accomplished this - and I hope the Commonwealth will follow in her footsteps in this respect - but that she has assisted the farmers to export their surplus products to the markets of the world to an extent that is equalled by no other State.
An Honorable Senator. - By increasing the cost of production.
– That is not so. That is one of the indecent old gags which we have heard till we are tired of it. I will give a sample of the stuff that we read in the Argus That journal says -
It is said that a tax on wheat can still be levied against the outer world. But such a duty has been operative in Victoria only once during the past ten years, and then only for a few months.
Most people would have thought that it was operative the whole time, but the Argus does not think so. What is the object of a protective duty but to preserve the market where a commodity is raised to the person producing itf If protective duties excluded foreign goods for the whole ten years, with the exception of a few months, they must have protected the local producer to that -extent. Senator Macfarlane, who is one of the leaders of the fast-decaying cause of free-trade, and who adheres right manfully to his doctrine, made the courageous remark that protective duties increase the price of articles to the consumer. In refutation of that statement, I would point out that for several years the price of wheat in Victoria was ls. 9d. a bushel, and that a duty of ls. 9d. per, bushel was operative during the same period. According to the free-trade doctrine, therefore, the farmer ought not to have charged anything for his wheat if the duty had been struck off. At one time I could have purchased wheat for ls. 6d. a bushel, so that if the duty were remitted the farmer ought to have given me 3d. a bushel for carrying it away.
– That fact shows that, the duty was not operative. The honorable senator has practically cut his own throat.
– I am explaining that protective duties do not enhance the price of articles to the consumer. “ If 5s. were the duty on a pair of blucher boots which could be bought in Bourke-street for 3s. 6d., the shopkeeper would scarcely give the purchaser the difference between those amounts for carrying the goods away if the duty were removed. I wish also to show how Senator Pulsford has flatly contradicted the Argus. In speaking upon the address in reply, he said -
The act of union destroys the protection how enjoyed in Victoria by the pastoral and agricultural industries.
This utterance comes from the same gentleman who now tells us that no protection can be given to the country producers. I wish further to put before honorable senators what Mr. Reid, the leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, says, and will any of his disciples venture to contradict him 1 -
With all those barriers down, the stock - fatteners and wheat-farmers would feel the cold southerly wind of a world’s competition.
– He was only joking.
– I regard that utterance, not as a joke, but as a threat that, if Mr. “Reid came into power, he would throw down the barriers’ and expose our farmers to the , cold southerly wind of the competition of the world. It was a threat, and I should like every farmer in Australia to know it.
– The farmers know that they have to face competition in the London market.
– I am speaking of the Australian market. I am pointing out that whilst one free-trader asserts that protection will not protect the farmer in the Australian market, another flatly contradicts him. When Mr. Reid made that threat he knew perfectly well the great difference which existed between free-trade New South Wales and protectionist Victoria. In this connexion, I find that in 1899 23,000 bushels of barley were exported from Victoria in excess of the imports, whilst in New South Wales the imports exceeded the exports by 030,000 bushels. Yet Senator Pulsford declares that the farmer cannot be protected, although, when speaking on, the address in reply, he said -
The act of union destroys the protection now enjoyed in Victoria by the pastoral and agricultural industries.
The other day the Argus made a very sensible remark. For once it dealt with facts. It said that in Australia the total yield of grain was almost the lowest in the world. That statement is true. When Mr. Reid spoke of “knocking down the barriers,” and exposing our farmers to the cold southerly wind of the world’s competition, no doubt he had in his mind a most dangerous rival in that wonderful country, New Zealand.
An Honorable Senator. - Japan.
– It may be that my denseness is responsible for that interjection, but, on the other hand, it may be due to the denseness of the honorable senator in being unable to follow me. I thought that I had made it sufficiently clear that I was dealing with country products.
An Honorable’ Senator. - They grow wheat in India, too.
– Yes.about 225,000,000 bushels per annum. At present, however, I am speaking of New Zealand, and in this connexion I wish to give the returns for ten years. I find that the average yields for the ten years ended 1S99 - and I ask honorable senators to note the danger to our producers if we subject them to the cold southerly wind of the world’s competition - were as follows : - Wheat, per bushel in Australia, average rate of production per acre, 7 bushels, New Zealand, 25 bushels ; oats, average for Australia, 20 bushels per acre, New Zealand, 33 bushels ; barley, for Australia, 17 bushels, for New Zealand, 29 bushels per acre; the homely and necessary “spud,” 3 -10 tons per acre in Australia, in New Zealand, 5-90 tons - nearly double. Of course, the imports of country produce into New South Wales, as compared with the imports into Victoria, for the year 1899 are worth looking at. From all countries New South Wales imported country produce to the value of ‘ £3,208,000. Victoria imported to the value of £986,000» In wheat and flour alone, New South Wales imported to the value of £525,000, whilst Victoria imported only to the extent of £29,000, showing that the Victorian protectionist Tariff protected the farmer, as a protectionist Tariff for the Commonwealth will protect him.
– When he is exporting wheat to the world ?
– That is so. From New Zealand alone, whence we have to expect great competition with our producers, £415,000 worth of agricultural produce was imported into New South Wales, whilst only £23,000 worth was imported into protectionist Victoria. I shall be told - “ But look at the natural protection.” That is a very old “gag.” It is said - “They have to bring their wheat all the way from New Zealand.” That was a very fair argument twenty-five or thirty years ago, when from 25s. to 30s. per ton had to be paid to bring wheat from New Zealand to Australia, and the voyage occupied a fortnight or three weeks. But that is all done away with now. Wheat is brought over for 13s. per ton, whilst there are 60 or 70 stations in Victoria alone from which it costs more to bring wheat to Melbourne than it costs to bring it from New Zealand to Melbourne.
– But the wheat does not grow on the wharf in New Zealand !
– I know it does not. But even when we had a duty of ls. 2d. per bushel in Victoria oats were imported from New Zealand in large quantities. That was done only last year. The same has happened in regard to butter. Notwithstanding the duty of 3d. per lb. in Victoria, butter “was imported from New Zealand to this State - so prolific and so wonderfully fertile a country is it. These facts show that the so-called “ natural protection “ has all gone now. New Zealand statesmen, with that astuteness for which they are so famous, were under the impression that there would be a free-trade Tariff for Australia, and that the producers of that country would reap the benefit. Consequently they decided not to enter the federation. But they are beginning to see that we are not going to have a free-trade Tariff, and now they are not so sure as they were about the wisdom of not coming in. Mr. Reid, in addressing a Melbourne audience in reference to the talk about the open door, used these words : -
That door, which wag open in the mother colony, was going to be open in all Australia.
Let me again allude to what he said before -
With nil those barriers down the stock -fdtteners and the wheat fanners would feel the cold southerly wind of the world’s competition.
That was a cruel thing to say concerning men struggling in various parts of this country. But a few months afterwards, in addressing an audience at Kerang, Mr. Beid did not dare to use that language to the farmers. There he said -
The dread of outside competition was only a bugbear.
– Quite right.
– But that was not what Mr. Beid said in addressing’ the importers of Melbourne, in the Town-hall of this city. Both statements cannot be right. On the one hand, he says that the stockfattcners and wheat-growers are to be exposed to the cold southerly wind of the world’s competition, and on the other hand that the dread of competition is only a bugbear. But then the one statement was made to the importers of Melbourne and the other to the farmers of the Mallee ! I have taken the trouble to look at the prices of wheat and flour in Melbourne and Sydney for the years 1899 and 1900. I went through the columns of the Argus again. I have taken the figures for the end of each quarter - that is, for the end of March, the end of J une, and so on. I find that in Victoria the farmers received about Id. per bushel more for their wheat than the farmers of New South Wales received, although wheat was free of duty in New South Wales and there was a duty of Is. 9d. per bushel here.
– Who paid it ?
– Ah ! I thought that question was coming, and the answer is ready. The farmers of Victoria got Id. per bushel more from the people of Melbourne for their wheat ; but let us look at the price of flour at the same dates. The price was £6 16s. 6d. per ton in free-trade NewSouth Wales, and £6 12s. 6d. per ton inprotectionist Victoria, or 4s. per ton less tothe consumer here when the duty was £5 a ton, whilst the producer got Id. per bushel more for his wheat.
– Where did the monev go?
– The money went into the pockets of the middlemen in New South Wales.
– The honorable senator knows that there are many brands of ‘ flour, and that a bare quotation like that has not a shadow of value.
– But I took thehighest prices in each case, wiih the exception of the price of Manitoba flour. I madethe comparison fairly and honestly, taking the highest prices recorded in the paper in. each case. But I have not quite done yet.. I have shown that wheat was sold at a.price which benefited the farmer, and that the consumer paid 4s. per ton less for his flour in Victoria than in New South AVales. It does not look much, but if those figures were applied to the whole Commonwealth, the amount would be considerable. It would mean £93,000 a year to the Australian farmer, and £96,000 a year benefit to the pockets of the consumers. That is the difference between a free-trade Tariff and a protectionist one in that respect. I should like those gentlemen who know all about New South Wales, and who have studied Goghlan, to pay attention to these facts. Not only were the Victorian markets secured to the producer of Victoria, but the policy of this State resulted in the establishment of factories, and much was done for the assistance of the farmer to aid in the exportation of the goods produced by him. In twelve years Victoria spent £230,000 in assisting the farmer and producer to place his productions on the markets of the world.
– That can be done under I a free-trade policy.
– It can ; but it is not done. The free-traders say - “ Throw the industries into the water, and let them swim if they can.” But the protectionist says - “ No, the producer needs to get his things into the English market, and we will help him to do that as cheaply as possible.” I am going to showanother thing which protectionist Victoria did for the country producer. It assisted him, by means of a water supply policy, with advances, and in 1899 the Turner Government brought in a Bill to relieve the producer of the payment of a large part of the money which had been voted for this purpose.
– But that is not protection.
– I did not say that it was, but I say that it was done to assist the producer, and that it has not been done in any other State to the extent to which it has been done in Victoria. The amount spent for the benefit of the country people in this direction was £2,490,000. A Bill was brought in and passed through Parliament with very little discussion, knocking off £1,643,000, or reducing the debt due to the State by the country people from £2,490,000 to £847,000.
– Who paid that?
– The general taxpayer ; 40 per cent, of that debt was paid by the protectionists of the metropolis of this State, in order to assist the country producer to place his goods upon the markets of the world.
– India is even more generous. That policy does not depend upon free-trade or protection, and the honorable senator’s statement is not a justification of protection.
– What I am showing is that protectionists are consistent. We say to the farmer - “ We can protect your produce in the Australian market, but we cannot protect it in Great Britain, so we will assist you by a system of bonuses.” That is what this policy means.
– The free-trade Government of India does the same thing.
– We are dealing with Australia, not with India, at the present moment. The conditions of the two countries are entirely different. The Government of New South Wales did nothing of the sort. There is only a little strip of dirty water dividing Victoria and New South Wales, yet such is the difference between the policies of the two countries in regard to assisting the farmer. In the matter of railway construction, New South Wales did not give the farmers the same chances that we gave them in Victoria. In the year 1871, when the policy of protection was first introduced into Victoria, there were82 miles of railway more in New South Wales than in Victoria, but now we have 404 miles more than New South Wales has.
– And a very large deficit.
– We have an accumulated deficit of £8,000,000 on our railways, and of that sum £7,500,000 is due entirely on account of railways constructed in the country, whilst the remaining £500,000 is due on account of the city and suburbs.
– The outer circle line, for instance.
– Accumulated deficits to the extent of £7,500,000 are due for country lines, and the metropolis paid 40 per cent, of that deficit without a murmur.
SenatorFraser. - We have shut some of the lines up.
– It is true that we have shut up some of our country lines.
– But Victoria has not not “ shut up “ the interest on them.
– New South Wales would not have constructed these railways, her policy being much more severe and selfish than that of Victoria. But every mile of railway constructed increases the value of Crown land as well as that of private land.
SenatorPulsford. - Wheat is carried more cheaply in New South Wales than in Victoria.
– I shall not go into that question, but I fancy that if I did so, I could effectively answer the statement of the honorable senator. Some time ago Senator Gould, with dramatic declamation, asked - “ Whatbenefit can protection bestow on the miner ? “ I can tell the House what protectionhas done for the miner in. Victoria. Protection does not leave the miner to “paddle his own canoe,” but affords him material assistance in many directions. It is true that no protection can be given to the gold which the miner raises.
– The honorable senator admits that much.
– That would be admitted by any one. For many years past, by direction of the protectionist Government of Victoria, about £12,000 per annum has, by means of a book entry, been paid to the Railway department, in order that coal from the Gippsland mines may be carried at a rate of one halfpenny per ton per mile. If. that £12,000 had not been transferred in this way to the Railway department, the Commissioner would have refused to carry the coal at the rate I have mentioned, and the coal mines of Victoria would not have been developed. As a result of the assistance rendered by means of this low rate, 800 or 900 people have been employed on the mines for many years, and have been paid about £100,000 per annum in wages. That money has been distributed amongst the taxpayers of Victoria, instead of being sent to another State. Are the protected factories of Victoria of no benefit to the miner ? Thousands of the children of miners are working in our factories. Their parents did not care to bring them up to the dreadful toil and hardship of a miner’s life, and I doubt if there is an honorable senator who would allow his son to work amidst such hardships if healthy employment in a factory could be obtained. Again, sons of miners have found employment in the protected iron trades ; and I contend that these young men, working in Melbourne, are producers quite as much as are their fathers who are engaged in the mines at Bendigo or elsewhere.
– Where is the distinction between the primary and secondary industries?
– There is no such distinction. Another fact which seems to have escaped the attention of my free-trade friends is that the artisans of the protected State of Victoria are numerically the largest shareholders in the mines, and by the investment of their earnings they keep scores of mines in operation, and give employment to thousands of men. Can it be said, in face of these facts, that protection is of no benefit to the mining industry? Large mining centres, such as Bendigo, Maldon, and Castlemaine, are supplied with water from the Coliban, and a sluicer may obtain from the channel 1,000 gallons for one farthing, though occasionally the charge is one halfpenny. For a large mine water is supplied from the Coliban channel at one penny per 1,000 gallons, or from the pipes at 4d. per 1,000 gallons. If the water is for use in. a factory the charge is 6d. per 1,000 gallons, the highest rate for service to those engaged in mining and connected industries. Throughout the metropolis of Melbourne, however, every factory proprietor has to pay1s. per 1,000 gallons for his supply of water. Two years ago the accumulated deficit of the Coliban scheme was £1,000,000, but 40 percent, of that deficit has been met by the people of Melbourne, who, in order to assist the miner, pay such a rate for their water that there is no difficulty in making ends meet, but rather a tendency to a surplus. Protectionists, at any rate, assist the miner as well as the farmer. During the last 23 years, over £1,200,000 has been spent in track-cutting, prospecting, and in other directions calculated to benefit the mining industry. That means that money at the rate of £1,000 per week has been spent for the purpose of discovering new mines and making them accessible and workable. Such assistance is not rendered in a free-trade State, because it is opposed to that policy.
– Similar assistance has been given for years in New South Wales.
– To what extent?
– For years there has been a prospecting vote of £25,000, and technical colleges and similar institutions have been maintained.
– Then New South Wales is not true to the free-trade policy as advocated by Mr.Reid.
– But the honorable senator has said that this assistance is not given in New South Wales.
– It is not. In Victoria a miner enjoys a railway concession which is not given to him in any of the States, or, at any rate, is not given in New South Wales. The Victorian miner can ride between his home and his work, any distance up to 40 miles, for half the ordinary second-class fare.
– I do not know what it amounts to, but there is a similar concession in New SouthWales, under the system of workmen’s tickets.
– That . is quite different from the concession to which I am referring. There has been a great deal of talk about the number of people employed in the factories of Victoria and New South Wales respectively, but I have never seen the figures quoted correctly from Coghlan. From that authority we learn that, in both States, the lowest point was reached in 1893, when we experienced a financial crisis. Starting from that year, and taking a period of six years, to the year 1899, we see that, according to Coghlan, the increase in the number of those employed in Victoria was 20,597 as against an increase of 11,800 in New South Wales - the former equalling 52 per cent., and the latter 27 per cent.
– Why pick out these particular years 1 Why not go back as far as the records go 1
– Coghlan points to 1893 as the year in which the lowest point was reached in the manufacturing returns of the States, and I therefore take that year as a starting point.
– Why not go back to 1SS5 1
– I go back to 1893 because I want to convince honorable senators that a protectionist State recovers much more quickly than a free-trade State.
– Why not compare 1891 with 1893 and show which kind of State tumbles the quickest ?
– Of course there was a greater fall in Victoria.
– Victoria had the biggest fall, and therefore the honorable senator can easily show the biggest rise.
– The question as to the respective rates of pay in New South Wales and Victoria has been raised, and there has been much misrepresentation, which I propose to correct. My authorities are Coghlan on industrial wages under the date of 31st December, 1900, and the decisions of the wages boards in Victoria for 1901, which were the latest I could get.
– Coghlan has issued a special return.
– I have dealt with 21 trades which can easily be traced, such as moulding, brick-making, boot-finishing, and so on, and compared the wages paid in Sydney with those paid in Melbourne. I must say that I was astonished at the result. I nearly believed all the stories I had heard until I -went into the question for myself . I found that the average wage for 100 employes, men and women, for one week was £195 4s. 7d. in New South Wales, as against a minimum wage of £209 2s. lOd. paid in Victoria. It will be observed that in the case of New South Wales the wages are the average, while in the case of Victoria they are the minimum. ‘
– And yet Victorian workmen went to New South Wales.
– Exactly the opposite was the case. We know that workmen always go to the place where the highest wages are paid, and we see that a higher minimum wage can be paid in Victoria than in New South Wales. Men in New South Wales, who have families or properties, cannot come to Victoria, but other men, who were free from such responsibilities, find their way into this State. In the case of 29 of the 100 employes, the average wage in New South Wales was higher than the minimum wage in Victoria, and, in one case, the minimum in Victoria was the same as the average in New South Wales; but in the other 70 cases the minimum wage in Victoria was higher than the average wage in New South Wales.
– We know how the average is arrived at ; and, therefore, we doubt the result.
– In Cog/dan we get the average, but the figures I have given for Victoria are from wages board decisions. If we take the minimum wage as given in Cog/dan, we find a difference of about £50. I come now to the question of the cost of living. Coghlan writes -
The following figures show the average expenditure per inhabitant . . . for 1899: - In New South Wales, £39 14s. 11 d. In . . . Western Australia and Queensland, where there is a large adult male population, the expenditure was probably high, but in the others less than in New South Wales.
He goes on to say -
The conditions of life and standard of living are much the same in all the colonies, but it would undoubtedly be incorrect to assume that the average expenditure throughout Australia is equal to that of New South Wales. Making a reduction on the New South Wales rates for some of the colonies, and an increase for others, such as circumstances seem to warrant, the expenditure for Australasia would be £3f> 19s. od.
If £36 19s. 5d. is the average, ‘ while in New South Wales it is £39 14s. lid., it follows that in the three States where the rate is below the average, it must be considerably below it. I feel sure that when Coghlan issues his next return it will be found that the cost of living in Victoria is no less than £4 per head per annum lower than it is in New South Wales. There is a difference of £2 15s. 6d. per annum now between the rate in New South Wales “and the average for all the States, notwithstanding the fact that Coghlan states that’ in two of the States the rate is higher than in New South Wales. I think I am right in saying that the policy which distributes the money amongst the greater number is the policy that benefits the working classes. That, I believe, is a truism. I desire to show clearly whether it is freetrade or protection that breeds capitalists. The Sydney Daily Telegraph, in its issue of 11th October last, referred to the Tariff as -
A deli berately- plan neil attempt to fasten protection upon us with all … . its trusts, its combines, its plutocratic manufacturers.
Honorable senators will be somewhat surprised when I give the opinion of a great free-trader on this point. That is the bane. Let us hear what is the antidote. It is furnished by Mr. G. H. Reid himself. When speaking in Adelaide in October, 1900, he said protection -
Does not protect your capital, because you may put your money into a Victorian industry tomorrow, and Rothschild’s may plank down an industry twenty times stronger beside it. You ure never sure.
– Is that not perfectly true ?
– Of course it is perfectly true ; because as soon as it is found that a protectionist manufacturer is making any money, someone else enters upon the same line of business. That has been proved here over and over again. As to the Rothschild’s, surely not even a freetrader would object to their coming here with their capital and planking down many industries. We desire to have their capital invested here, but we do not want to see their manufactured goods being sent here. A great deal of talk has been indulged in, not only by the Sydney Baily ‘Telegraph, but by many persons, in regard to combines amongst the manufacturers. Does anyone know that such a thing has ever occurred in Australia? No one! People may talk about combines, but I have never heard of an instance in which the manufacturers of Victoria combined to fleece the consumer.
– They are not strong enough yet.
– Protection has been the law of this State for something like 30 odd years, and it is about time they had a show of combining if such a thing really happens. Honorable senators who are free-traders are silent upon the point. They will not furnish me with any instance in which it is alleged that the protectionist manufacturers here have formed combines amongst themselves.
– Have they done so in the United States?
– I am not dealing with the United States. I am speaking only of Australia.
– Have they done it in England ?
– Senator Charleston might just as well ask me whether the manufacturers have combined in free-trade England.
– There has been a combination of manufacturers in Australia.
– I have never heard of it.
– A combine in the candle trade.
– And yet candles are cheaper than ever they were before.
– But a combination has taken place.
– There is no harm in a combine provided that it is a fair and proper one. I have been referring to combines formed for the purpose of fleecing the consumer. I intend to show that there have been combinations amongst importers for the purpose of fleecing the consumer, but no one can show that such a thing has taken place amongst the manufacturers.
– Senator Pulsford was referring to New South W ales.
– It is a matter of common knowledge that there have been importers’ combines.
– I admit that at once ; but there are combinations among all classes all the world over.
– I have not yet met with any evidence of a combination amongst manufacturers in Victoria. I intend to give my own experience in regard to a combination of importers, and I refer to it only as a case in point. In the early eighties I was using steam coal. I was paying a firm of importers here 26s. per ton for it, and I knew at the same time that they were buying it for Us. per ton in Newcastle. It struck me after this had being going on for a year that I should endeavour to alter the position of affairs. I did not advertise for quotations, as it was not a very large matter, but I went round to all the importers, and requested them to quote me their terms for supplying coal. After a week had elapsed I received an offer from one firm to supply me with coal at 26s. 6d. per ton, or 6d. pelton more than I was paying. All the other importers did not think it worth while to go through the farce of sending me a quotation.
– Why did not the honorable senator indent ?
– Why did I not indent, when there was a coal ring here ? That would look well. They would have “ indented “ me ; in fact they did it, pretty well, as it was. After receiving the quotation of 26s. 6d. per ton, I met an importer - he was not an importer of coal - and he gently insinuated that I was a chump, inasmuch as I had failed to discover before that there was a coal importers’ ring in existence. I went on for some years paying 26s. pelton for coal in Melbourne, although the price at Newcastle still remained at lis. per ton. Suddenly I received a letter from the company with which I was dealing, stating that henceforth they would supply me with coal for 21s. 6d. per ton, That reduction of near 20 per cent, was due not to any fall in the price at Newcastle, but to the fact that the ring had burst. They had fleeced me year in and year out, and I could not help myself.
– The honorable senator should have purchased his supplies in Newcastle.
– And who would have brought the coal here for me ?
– What colliery would have supplied the honorable senator with the coal at Newcastle ?
– I am not asserting that importers are more wicked commercially than are manufacturers. The difference between the two is that the importers have the chance of combining. Perhaps the manufacturers also would combine if they could do so.
– Then that is all right.
– It is our business to see that they do not. They are all human. I 3hall now show honorable senators how the coal importers endeavoured to crush the Victorian coal industry. Although there may be no duty on coal, an importer is required under the Customs Act to make a declaration, for statistical purposes, as to the value of his imports, and is subject to certain penalties if he fails to do so. The declared value of coal in Melbourne in 1891 was 21s. 4d. At that time lis. per ton was being paid for it in Newcastle. Senator Sargood must have heard something of this ; not that I mean to suggest that he was in the combine, but I dare say that as a manufacturer he suffered from this combination. In 1892, 23,000 tons of coal were produced in Victoria. The price was still the same in Newcastle, but the importers declared the value here at 18s. 3d. per ton. We continued to foster our coal-fields, and in 1893, 92,000 tons of coal were raised in Victoria. Then these monopolistic gentlemen became frightened. They made a further reduction, bringing down the declared value of imported coal in Melbourne to 13s. Sd. per ton, a drop of 25 per cent. In 1894, we gave them a still further fright by raising 172,000 tons of coal in Victoria. Then they dropped the declared value of Newcastle coal to 7s. 2d. per ton, delivered at the Melbourne wharf, notwithstanding that they were paying 6s. 9d. per ton for it in New South Wales. Some honorable senators may wonder why they declared the value so low. Any business man, however, will understand the reason for it. If they had declared the real value of the coal at 12s. or 13s., or whatever it might have been, it would have looked very funny if they had .sold it for less. But while they declared the value of Newcastle coal at 7s. 2d. per ton, they knew that could undersell the Gippsland coal, and perhaps shut up the Victorian collieries. The Victorian collieries, however, continued their operations in spite of them. I desire now to show the benefit conferred by a protective policy, which helps its industries, in contradistinction from a free-trade policy Owing to the great reduction in the prices of coal as the result of the competition of the Victorian coal mines with the importers, the consumers in Victoria saved over halfamillion of money in their coal bills for the seven years ending 1899.
– Of course, the slump in the world’s markets had nothing to do with the fall in prices ?
– It could not have induced the importers to declare their coal worth only 7s. 2d. per ton in Melbourne, when the)7 paid 6s. 9d. per ton for it at the pit’s mouth.
– The honorable senator is on solid rock now.
– He always has been, and always will be.
– I should now like honorable senators to turn to Coghlan, page 587, where they will see some surprising facts in regard to a ring in ‘kerosene, which I did not think existed. I feel that I have shown conclusively that there was a ring amongst the coal importers.
– There was such a combination.
– Yes. An extraordinary thing has occurred in connexion with the kerosene trade. At page 587 of Coghlan’s Seven Colonies, honorable senators will find the number of gallons of kerosene imported in 1S99 and the value for each of the States, and including New Zealand. In South Australia, where the value was lower than in any other of the States, it was 7.20d., while in New South Wales it was 9.34d. per gallon. It was thus 30 per cent, higher in free-trade New South Wales, although there was a duty on kerosene in South Australia.
– A duty of 6d. per gallon.
– Was the quality the same ?
– With millions of gallons, I presume that there would not be very much difference. Western Australia came next on the list, the value working out at 7.23d., New South Wales being 29 per cent, higher; in Victoria it was 7.70d., the New South Wales rate being 21 per cent, higher; in New Zealand, S.04d., New South Wales being 16 per cent, higher, although there was a duty on kerosene in New Zealand ; in Tasmania it was S.35d., New South Wales being 12 per cent, higher. In Queensland, to which State, no doubt, the ring extended, the value was 9. 18d., the value in New South Wales being only about 2 per cent, higher.
– Where can we find these figures 1
– The honorable senator will find the quantity and total values in Coghlan, but he will have to work out the percentages.
– What was the value per gallon in Western Australia t
– 7 -23d.
– There was no duty on kerosene there.
– That, to my mind, is a most extraordinary thing.
– Why was there not a ring in Western Australia as well as in New South Wales 1 The same conditions existed in both States.
– No; there was no duty here, and there was no ring in kerosene ; the figures show that.
– If free-trade caused the ring in New South Wales. it should cause a ring in Western Australia in connexion with the same article.
– What was it which caused the difference in value of the article ? In Western Australia it was sold at 7¼d. and in New South Wales at 9 l-3d. If there had been no ring formed in New South Wales, how would the honorable senator account for the difference ? I am now coming to Western Australia, and, I have no doubt, my free-trade friend, Senator Smith, listened with great pleasure to what I find is headed a “ great speech,” by P. McMahon Glynn, Esq., in the Perth Town Hall, on the 1st of February, 1901. With the assistance of my honorable friend, Mr. Glynn, I expect to let a little daylight into the ways of importers. Referring to clothing, Mr. Glynn said -
Let them take that item as tree under the New South Wales Tariff, for instance. If the import was assessed at £100, the wholesale profit would be 30 per cent., and- the wholesale merchant, therefore, sold it to the retailer at £120. Then with 33 per cent, of the retailer’s profit another £40 would be added to the £120, making the total which the consumer would have to pay £1 60 for £100 worth of free goods.
Is it any wonder that such a big fight is being made for free-trade, or that such large sums of money are expended in advocating free-trade, when we find a mouthpiece of the free-trade party telling us that the importers and retailers between them make 60 per cent, per annum on their investment. I find here the same figures appearing in the Argus of the 21st November, 1900.
– That 60 per cent, is gross profit, remember.
– It is here said that it is profit.
– I assure the honorable senator that he is utterly wrong. It is gross profit.
– Here is what the Argus says-
If the goods came in free, the charges would be - invoice value £100, - this statement appeared three months before Mr. Glynn made his speech - the wholesale profit would be 20 per cent, and retail profit 40 per cent.
Is not that clear enough? It gives the amount of profit which each makes.
– Does not the honorable senator see that the invoice price means the English invoice price, and that freight, shipping, and other charges have to be added to that?
– It is not so.
– I assure the honorable senator it is so.
– I do not doubt the honorable senator’s word. I am taking only what has been said by the Argus and by Mr. Glynn. Mr. Glynn said -
If the import was assessed at £100, the importer’s profit would be 20 per cent.
– That is gross. All the expenses have to come off that.
- Mr. Glynn gives the actual amount of money. He says -
The wholesale merchant would, therefore, sell it to the retailer at £120.
What costs £100, he sells at £120.
Then, with 33 per cent, retailer’s profit, another £40 would be added to the £120, making the total which the consumer would have to pay £100.
On which it cost the importer £100, delivered in the ‘State.
– No, not delivered; the honorable senator is quite wrong.
– But the consumer lias got to pay it whether it is gross or net
– That is another matter.
– I wish to direct the attention of the free-trade labour members to the fact that it is the working people of the States who pay the greater portion of the profits that go into the pockets of both importer and retailer. In 1899, exclusive of coin, bullion, narcotics, and stimulants, there were £31,000,000 of oversea imports delivered into Australia. Assuming all to be free, the profit to be divided between the importer and the retailer on that trade would be £18,600,000.
Honorable senators may laugh, but there is no laughing that away. The figures are their own.
– There is a very small profit on some things.
- Senator Fraser will understand that it is the average that is given.
An Honorable Senator. - Why does not the honorable senator become an importer ?
– If I only had the capital that is what I would be at once. They make such large sums of money that men like me cannot touch the business. Their profits are so enormous, and there are so few of them that they can easily form themselves into a ring without the outside public knowing anything about it.
– Give us free ports and we can all go into the business.
– How is that so many importers go bankrupt t
– I will give honorable senators Mr. Reid’s statement about importers in a speech delivered in the Melbourne Town Hall, on the 2nd of November, 1900. We hear talk about commercial morality ; but I should like to know whether any one can point to a manufacturer who would go further than Mr. Reid’s. importing friend did in the direction of rascality. I am speaking now of course in connexion with commercial business. This is what Mr. Reid told his audience -
When Sir George Dibbs put his 10 per cent, on in Sydney, I asked a great Melbourne and Sydney merchant, who dealt in certain lines at a fixed price, if he was going to pay it. ‘ ‘ No,” he replied. “ Are you going to put up your price ‘!” “No, my dear Reid,” he said-
Showing that he was a personal friend - “ I have sent home instructions to get the same article at a reduced quality sufficient to cover the 10 per cent and 5 per cent, more and interest on the money.”
The Parliament of New South Wales in its wisdom imposed a duty of 10 per cent, on this article. This importer was not satisfied with putting 10 percent, on to his price, if the duty increased the price by that amount, but he knocked 15 per cent, off the value of the article, and that is 50 per cent, more than the duty. This friend of Mr. Reid’s was not satisfied with 10 per cent, additional to cover the duty, and I am going to point out what a cunning and clever trick this was. He had an article which he was importing worth £85 instead of £100, and he paid duty at the rate of 10 per cent, on £85, that is £8 10s. That gives £93 10s. but he does more. He also adds a percentage for interest, but we will give him 10s. over and above, making the amount just £94. So that he brings out an article that costs him £94 and he sells it to the retailer for £120, the same as he did before.
– The honorable senator is wide of the mark. He is utterly wrong. He does not understand the thing at all.
– Mr. Reid’s words are -
Arc you going to put up your price ? No, my dear Reid. I have sent home instructions to get the same article at a reduced quality.
Those are not my words, they are Mr. Reid’s words.
– The honorable senator’s interpretation of them is wrong.
– I do not think so.
– I know it is.
– I know it is not. I do not know how Senator Sargood can know more than I do of the matter unless it is because he knows more about the transaction than appears in print. I know plain English when I see it.
I have sent home instructions to get the same article at a reduced quality.
What for? To sell it at the same price, of course.
– No, no.
– The reduced quality covered the 10 per cent, duty and 5 per cent, more, and interest on the money. What does that mean but that he sells an article which cost him £85 plus the duty and a few charges for the same price that he sold it before when it cost him £100. I am going to show how beautifully this trick was worked, because instead of getting £20 he gets £26 profit on that particular article. To the profit of £18,600,000 he would derive from £31,000,000 of free imports there would have been added an additional profit of £2,480,000 by means of this trick that would have gone into the pocket of the importer, and not a shilling of it would have gone into the retailer’s till. I am assuming that the whole of the £31,000,000 worth of goods are imported free. The 10 per cent, on this particular lino was imposed in connexion with what was called a revenue
Tariff, because this was a revenue Tariff, not a protective Tariff. I could not at first see why the importer did not meet the duty by putting 10 per cent, on to his first price for the original quality of goods, and charge the retailer £130 instead of £120. But he would only have got the same profit then. If this does not show what can be done under our importing system I do not know what will show it. Unless we can put some check upon this kind of thing the consumer will be nicely fleeced. We have heard about the enormous sums of money made by manufacturers. I shall tell honorable senators what Mr. Reid says about it, and he ought to know -
He did not accuse protection in Victoria with having made millionaires. It had been too abject a failure.
What about all these bloated capitalists; these plutocratic manufacturers referred to by the Sydney Daily Telegraph ? Here Mr. Reid flatly contradicts the Daily Telegraph.
– Where was that said. In New South Wales or in Victoria ‘
– That was said in Victoria ? This is what he said at Albury on the 26th October last year -
That night he had been asked to do what he could to break up the monopolistic rings of manufacturers who were sucking the life-blood of the producers generally.
Here Mr. Reid flatly contradicts himself. This is what he said again on the 5th November, 1900 -
I do not think that protection has been such a success in Victoria that any man has made a fortune out of it.
Now where are all these plutocratic manufacturers ? Mr. Reid says -
It has been such a ghastly failure that even wealthy men have lost by it.
First he contradicts the Daily Telegraph, and then he contradicts himself.
– I have not heard a contradiction. One may rob another without becoming wealthy himself.
– I think he flatly contradicts himself.
– One of the Victorian manufacturers died a week or two ago worth nearly £250,000.
– The gentleman to whom the honorable senator refers made his money by speculation as well as by manufacturing. The leaderof the Opposition, however, denies that protection creates wealth.
– Has the woollen industry here ever been a success t
– Those interested in it have not made a great deal of money, though I believe that they have made a fair living. I may say that I am not interested in any factory in. Australia to the extent of -Jd. The wider the diffusion of wealth, the sounder is the position of the State, and the better that of the people, and that policy which will distribute the wealth of the State amongst the greatest number is the best for any nation.
– Divide up every Saturday night !
– I should not mind sharing with the honorable senator every night. We are all agreed that old-age pensions should be given, though many of us are of opinion that some one else should pay for them.
– Yes ; those who make old-age pensions necessary.
– What we should do is to adopt a policy which will encourage thrift, by enabling the masses to put a little aside during the working years of their lives. The spending power of the masses is the measure of a nation’s prosperity. Mr. Reid declared in Adelaide that the savings bank deposits of a State were a sure indication of the prosperity of its people, but if we accept that test, we find that for every 100 savings bank depositors in New South Wales there are 169 in Victoria. Furthermore, the amount deposited is only £7 8s. 5d. per head of population in New South Wales, whereas in Victoria it is £7 16s., and that in spite of the fact that the directors of the savings bank in New South Wales pay interest at the rate of 3 per cent, per annum, whereas here the rate is 2^- per cent, for the first £100, and 2 per cent, for the second £100 ; so that a depositor in New South Wales having £200 in the bank, would receive £6 in interest every year, whereas a similar depositor in Victoria would receive only £4 10s. a year.
– I suppose the fact is that the New South Wales industries are active, and the people invest their money in them, instead of hoarding it in the savings banks.
– I find, furthermore, that for every 100 persons who are members of friendly societies in New South Wales there are 145 such persons in Victoria, while the amount deposited is 120 per cent, more per inhabitant in Victoria than in New South Wales. Then, again, for every 100 persons in New South Wales whose lives are insured, there are 122 such persons in Victoria, and for every 100 persons who leave property behind them there, there are 183 such persons in Victoria. Coghlan says that -
Taking the last two years, in Victoria is found the widest effusion of wealth of the individual colonies.
If this wider diffusion of wealth is not due to the fiscal policy of the State I should like some one to explain to what it is due. I am sorry that Senator Symon is not here, because I am about to deal with some of his remarks, though I am sure he will acquit me of wishing to say behind his back what I should not dare to say before his face, because even my bitterest opponent never accused me of being afraid. Not much importance would attach to the remarks which
I am about to quote if they came from the man in the street. What gives them importance is the fact that they are the remarks of one of the ablest, if not the ablest, free-trader in Australia, and of the mouth-piece of the free-trade party in this Chamber. I regard the honorable and learned senator as the ablest of a misguided band. If I wanted amusement for an hour I should listen to the right honorable member for East Sydney ; if I wanted to learn anything about the fiscal fallacies of freetrade I should listen to Senator Symon.
– And to Senator Pulsford for instruction.
– I have very great admiration for Senator Pulsford’s pertinacity, and for the way in which he sticks to his subject. If I were in business, I should be glad to have him foi1 a partner, because he would be ready to do all the work, and I should have nothing to do but the talking. Senator Symon, in an interview which took place in Tasmania, made the following statement to some newspaper reporters : -
It is amusing to me that so many conscientious and fair-minded people should apparently forget that the wealth of Australia is not due to a tew bootmakers and slop-clothing manufacturers, but is due rather to the pastoralists, the agriculturists, and the miners.
Referring to the Tariff, he said -
Natural industries have been discouraged and penalized in order to promote exotics in which a comparatively few people are interested.
The honorable and learned senator either did or didnot know what he was talking about.
– I think he knew.
– If that is so, he was deliberately misleading the people of the Commonwealth. That to my mind is unthinkable, because he is above that kind of thing. I think his remarks evidence a profound ignorance of the subject with which he should have been acquainted. To begin with, there are over 33,000 bootmakers and slop-clothing manufacturers in Victoria alone, and 70,393 in the whole Commonwealth, all of them bread-winners.
– How many are there who would not be employed if there were no protection?
– I shall not permit the honorable senator to draw a red herring across the trail. There are 171,000 persons engaged in the factories of Australia, and yet these fiscal anarchists - I can call them nothing else - would tear down the structure so elaborately reared, and would not care if a large proportion of these people were thrown out of employment. They would not care if the bulk of the £18,250,000 worth of plant and machinery embarked in these manufacturing enterprises were thrown idle, and had to go into the scrap heap. The wages paid to the operatives in these factories and connected with the industry involve an annual outlay of £15,000,000,’ and if our manufactures were destroyed a large proportion of this money would be taken from our workers and sent to other countries - not to Great Britain, not to our native land - but to foreign countries. In order to show how little Senator Symon knew, when he belittled our manufacturing industries, I need only quote the figures relating to production. Our products from forests and fisheries throughout Australia represent an annual value of £2,336,000.
– Those are unprotected industries.
– Dairying, including portion of output of cheese, butter and bacon factories - assisted as I have shown - produces £8,023,000 ; agriculture, £17,929,000.
– Unprotected again !
– The honorable senator will fall in presently. Mining produces £22,201,000.
– Unprotected again !
– The great pastoral industry that we hear so much about, including a portion of the output of the butter, cheese, and bacon factories - produces £33,088,000- the gross total value of production being £83,607,000. I have not yet said anything about the factories. The total output of the factories of the six States as given in a letter written by Mr. Coghlan to me, dated 3rd October, 1901, is valued at £51,461,000.
– The honorable senator gave the value of exports in connexion with the other industries.
– I am speaking of the value of production, and not of exports. We have heard a great deal about the great mining industry, for which I have every respect, and also regarding the great pastoral industry, and yet the value of the production in the manufacturing industry is equal, within about £3,750,000, to that of these two great industries combined.
– Nearly the whole of that £51,000,000- the value of the production in the manufacturing industries - consists of the first cost of the raw material.
– The great bulk of which is imported.
– No, it is not.
– Yes, it is; Mr. Coghlan tells me so.
– How much of the £51,000,000 is spent in wages?
– I said that nearly £15,000,000 was spent in wages annually. That includes the cost of fuel, and such things as that. The miners who dig the coal out of the ground have to be paid for doing so.
– That is first of all included in the value of the productions from mining.
– Yes : but the manufacturer pays for the coal he uses in connexion with his operations, and that should be taken into account as well as is the money spent in buying raw material. The production of the great pastoral and mining industries combined exceeds in value that of the manufacturing industries by only £3,750,000.
– The gold produced in Western Australia alone is valued at £6,000,000.
– I am leaving coin and bullion out of consideration at present.
I am dealing with factories, and I take my figures from Coghlan, at page 612.
– At that page Coghlan gives the value of agricultural products at £17,000,000, and of pastoral products at £33,000,000, making a total of £50,000,000, whereas manufactures are valued at only £28,000,000.
– The honorable senator has fallen into the mistake of making no allowance for the raw material and fuel used in manufacturing. Twenty-three million pounds has to be allowed for on that score. The figures quoted by the honorable senator relate simply to the enhanced value given to the raw material by manufacturing operations.
– That is the only thing that the manufacture creates.
– But it does not represent the total value of the output of the factories. The total output of the factories for one year was valued at £51,461,000, and this, as I have said, is equal to the value of the products of the mining and pastoral industries, the latter of which includes the output of the butter, cheese, and bacon factories, which might be very well included in the production from factories.
– According to the honorable senator’s argument, the seed-wheat used by the farmer ought to be added to the value of his products.
– Supposing that a man used £1 worth of raw material, and by his manufacturing operations increased its value to 30s., the honorable senator could not state the total value of his output at 10s.
– The seed-wheat constitutes the raw material of the wheatgrower ; the honorable member ought to be logical.
– I have stated the matter in the way that it presents itself to my mind. Exclusive of the pastoral industry, it will be seen that the value of the production of the manufacturing industry exceeds that of all the others by nearly £2,000,000, and yet it is belittled and talked about in a light and airy fashion by Senator Symon, as being constituted of a few bootmakers and a few manufacturers of slop clothing.
– Does not the honorable senator think that the manufacturing industry ought to be credited only with the amount of actual wealth that it produces?
– No, I do not. I think that the value of the total output of the factories is the proper thing to give, and that a fair comparison could not be made upon any other basis.
– If the honorable senator is merely reckoning the output, he is correct, but if he desires to represent the amount of wealth that the manufacturer produces, he ought to give the value of the product after deducting the cost of the raw material.
– My object is to show that the manufacturing industry is a very important one, and the largest in Australia. I am not particular to £2,000,000 or £3,000,000 more or less, but I wish to impress upon honorable senators the fact that the industry is highly important - if not the most important in Australia - employing, as it does, 171,000 operatives, and plant and machinery valued at £18,250,000. A short time ago Senator Pulsford asked me what amount of money was paid for material to the factories. Here is a copy of a letter from Mr. Coghlan, dated 3rd October last, which gives the desired information -
It is impossible to say how much of the money paid for fuel and materials went to pay wages to the producers employed, as the greater bulk of the materials was imported.
The materials, therefore, do not come out of the primary industries ; they are imported from outside the limits of the Commonwealth. Therefore, my contention that the increased value should not be regarded as the output of the factories is a sound one.
– All I dispute is the fairness of assuming that £51,000,000 represents the product of the manufacturing industries.
– The honorable senator is assuming that the great bulk of the raw material is produced in Australia.
– It does not mutter where it is produced.
– As everybody knows I am a strong protectionist - almost a prohibitionist. Even if I were a prohibitionist I should only be following the lead of the Royal Family, and, surely, I should not be wrong in copying their example ! Honorable senators will recollect that last year Her Majesty Queen Alexandra expressed the hope that all ladies attending the Coronation festivities would purchase their costumes from British manufacturers. Such an expression of opinion was practically equivalent to a Royal command. Subsequently Her Royal Highness the
Princess of Wales repeated the wish that had been expressed by Her Majesty. Both these Royal ladies are so deservedly popular that large numbers of our countrywomen will defer to their desire as to a Royal command. No one living is more revered or loved than Queen Alexandra, and when I say that she is a good and true woman that is about the highest praise that can fall from a man’s lips. I feel sure, therefore, that scores of thousands of women will spend their money for costumes with our own people instead of with foreigners, and consequently millions of pounds will find their way into the hands of British trades-people and operatives. As another illustration of the change of feeling which is taking place in the United Kingdom, I may mention that about two years ago Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister, ‘expressed regret that he could not use the Customs-house as an assistant in his diplomatic relations with other States. I know of one person only who holds more advanced views than the members of the Royal Family, who are prohibitionists. This is what he said -
We are nearly all of u« agreed that Australia is peculiarly fitted to be the home of the British race. Speaking generally, wo are agreed that if it is possible we should make Australia the resort and home of ourselves, of our children, and of all the same blood who choose to come here - especially, I would say, of all of the same blood. I do not extend it even to other white races. I am, and always have been, an advocate of keeping Australia - I would not limit it to Australians only - for those of British blood, so far as we possibly can.
These are not the words of an advanced protectionist, as we generally understand the term, but those of a gentleman who would restrict white immigration to people of British blood - no less a person than Senator Symon, the leader of the freetrade Opposition in this House. He goes a little bit further than I should care to go, because I should scarcely like to exclude Europeans from the Commonwealth.
– From what speech is the honorable senator quoting?
– I am quoting from the debate upon the Pacific Island Labourers Bill, which is reported in Ilansard, No. 30, of 28th November, 1901. When speaking in January last upon the “ Anglophobia resolutions,” as they were called, I intended to make a statement which I shall now present to this Chamber. At the time, however, I felt that the
Senate was somewhat against me. Interjections were freely made, more especially by Senator Playford, who exclaimed - “ Don’t introduce the Tariff.” I was going to show how we can deal with foreign nations, and direct the trade from them to our own fellow-subjects. Senator Symon ‘ made an interjection, to which I replied - “ The honorable senator does not know the extent of the trade that these States do with foreign nations.” Thereupon the honorable and learned senator answered - “ I know that it is much too large.” I am now going to submit something to the Senate which will afford Senator Symon and others full scope for their patriotism. I wish to point out how a Tariff may be framed which is preferential in its effect, without being nominally a preferential Tariff. I do not ask Senator Symon and those who think with him to preserve Australia for the British races, but to preserve Australian trade to them as far as practicable. I have in my hand documents relating to preferential Customs duties which were referred to by the Prime Minister last night at the Melbourne Town-hall. It has reference to Canada. This despatch, which is addressed to the Governor-General by the Prime Minister, states -
The importance of this matter in respect of the promotion of commercial and other relations with Great Britain cannot be over-estimated.
In referring to the same matter Mr. Chamberlain, under date 20th J une, 1901, writes -
Notices have been issued each year granting most favoured treatment to the United Kingdom and to the great majority of the British colonies, but Canada has been excluded from the enjoyment of that privilege.
In other words, notices have been issued by the German authorities excluding Canada from certain privileges granted to other nations because that country has a preferential Tariff in favour of the United Kingdom. Further down Mr. Chamberlain says -
It appears probable that if Australia decides to follow the example of Canada, and give preferential treatment to products of the United Kingdom, the German Government would refuse to accord to Australian products entering Germany the advantages of the most-favoured-nation treatment.
These are reasons against a preferential Tariff. In the German Minister’s despatch the following passage occurs : -
It is in the the interests of the development of the commerce of the world, and of the mutual relations of trade and navigation between
Germany and the British mother country, that in the British colonies, equal treatment should be given to the products of Germany and Great Britain.
I propose to show that we can mete out equal treatment to the products of all nations, and still direct the trade of Australia mainly into British channels - that we can- take it from the foreigner and give it to our own countrymen. Here is fine scope for the freetrade patriots who are always exclaiming - “ Why don’t you give the grand old mother country a show.” They ask us that whilst they give the grand old foreigner a show. Talk about the open door ! Why it should have the legend over the lintel - “ Foreigners mostly welcome; British need not apply.”
– Leave out “British need not apply.”
– I am comparing a free-trade policy for the Commonwealth with a protectionist policy. In this connexion, I think I have discovered something new, and I say it with all modesty because I have never seen it in print, and have never heard anybody mention it-
– It sounds original.
– I cannot return the compliment to the honorable senator. I cannot accuse him of ever uttering anything original. If previously the leader of the Senate had brought the matter forward and pointed it out as something fresh the chances are that some of the protectionist papers might have taken it up. Coming from the source it does it may not be regarded as of much account.
– The honorable senator should not disrate himself.
– I am not doing that. I am only stating what I believe to be facts. I am going to prove something which may be novel, but which cannot be wiped out by a shrug of the shoulders. If the facts do not bear out my assertion, that I have discovered a law with regard to the direction of trade, either into British or foreign channels, which will apply according as the Commonwealth Parliament may see fit to frame its Tariff, it will be easy to point out my mistake. In the meantime I am going to show that increased customs and excise duties increase trade between the different States of the Commonwealth and British possessions in other parts of the world. I am going to deal with each of the six States of the Commonwealth and New Zealand, showing the extent to which each State dealt with Britain and foreign countries respectively, for the whole of the five years ending December 31st, 1900. The reason why I have selected those five years is that they are the five years during which the Reid free-trade Tariff was in force in New South Wales. I take the five years of free-trade first. My honorable friend opposite, the “figurist “ - Senator Pulsford - will have an opportunity of checking these figures. The mean customs and excise duties in New South Wales for the five years was £1 5s. per head of the population per annum. For those five years the average trade done with British subjects and British possessions was 64-2 per cent, of the whole tradeforthefiveyears. South Australia comes next, in order. The average amount of her customs and excise for the five years was £1 14s. 7d. per head, and her trade with British subjects outside Australia was 75 -99 per cent, as compared with 64-2 in the case of New South Wales. Victoria comes next. All the States are in rotation ; there is no break in the order of sequence. The customs and excise of Victoria for the five years amounted in the average to £1 16s. lid. per annum - slightly higher than in the cases of New South Wales and South Australia. But Victoria’s trade with British subjects was slightly bigger - 7 8 ‘03 per cent, of the whole of her trade. Tasmania comes next. Here we have a big jump in her customs and excise, which amounted to an average of £2 10s. 3d. per head per annum, whilst 79-6 of her trade went to British possessions. New Zealand comes next. Her customs and excise amounted to £2 13s. 6d. per head per annum for the five years, but her trade with British subjects shows a big jump - 89-56 as compared with 64-2 for New South Wales. Next we come to Queensland with a still higher Tariff yielding £3 ls. Id. per annum of her population. Her trade with British subjects for the five years was 89-98, or nearly 90 per cent, of the whole of her trade. Western Australia wins the pride of place at the top of the list. Her Tariff was a big one - a revenue Tariff producing £6 9s. 2d. per head per annum for the five years. She dealt to the extent of 91 -6 with British people, and only to the extent of 8-4 did her trade go to foreigners. There is no break in the order of sequence from beginning to end. I do not mean to say that the percentage of trade rises equally with the percentage rise in customs and excise duties. For instance, there is a big jump between Victoria’s mean of £1 16s. lid. and Tasmania’s £2 10s. 3d., whilst there is only 1£ per cent, difference in the quantity of trade with British possessions. So far as I am able to judge, it depends upon the kind of Tariff. Victoria had a protective Tariff, whilst Tasmania’s Tariff was only nominally protective ; it was in reality, I believe, called a revenue Tariff.
– It was not even nominally protective.
– There is a great difference between the amounts per head, comparing Tasmania with Victoria, but not such a great deal of difference in the percentage of trade with British and foreign traders. Having made that statement it is due to myself and the Senate that I should support it, and I will furnish such evidence as I have. I am going first of all to compare New South Wales under protection with New South Wales under free-trade. Not much exception can be taken to that, surely. First of all I take the last year of the Dibbs Tariff and compare it with the first year of the Reid Tariff. During the last year of the Dibbs protectionist Tariff the customs and excise revenue per head was £1 16s. Id., and 74 per cent, of the whole trade went to British subjects. The very next year, under the Reid Tariff, the average was £1 5s. lid. per head - or a drop of 10s. 2d., and the trade that went to British subjects was only 62£ per cent., whilst the balance went to foreigners. I will put the results into money because I know that percentages are a little confusing. There cannot, however, be any mistake about the cash. Under the Dibbs Tariff, £17,812,950 worth of trade went to British subjects, which per head amounts to £14 ls. During the first year of the Reid Tariff - the free-trade Tariff - the trade was practically the same with British subjects, namely, £17,845,772, or £13 17s. per head of the population - a drop of only 4s. But now I will come to the foreign trade, and this is where the marked difference is. The foreign trade of New South Wales for the last year of the Dibbs Tariff was £6,254,298, that is £4 17s. per head of the population. Now notice the extraordinary thing. In the next year, under a free-trade Tariff, New South Wales dealt with the foreigner to the extent of £8,925,683, or £6 19s. per head of the population - a jump in the foreign trade of £2,671,385, or 42J petcent. These figures show that there was a decrease in the British trade, which declined under the Reid Tariff by 4s. per head of the population, whilst the foreign trade increased under the Reid Tariff by £2 2s. per head of the population. Practically the British trade was the same as it was in the previous year, but there was £2,671,385 worth of foreign trade more than there was in the previous year. Now I am going to compare New South Wales with New South Wales again. I have only compared two years, and it may be said that it is hardly fair to select two years in that manner. I gave those figures as showing what a marked change there was. There must be a reason for such a remarkable change as was shown in this movement of trade in comparing the results under a protectionist and under a free-trade Tariff, seeing that the British trade slightly declined, whilst the trade of the foreigner increased to the amount of £2 2s. per head of the population. I am now going to compare four years under the Dibbs protectionist Tariff, 1892 to 1895, both inclusive, with four years under the Reid Tariff, from 1896 to 1899, both inclusive. Under the Dibbs Tariff for those four years the mean customs and excise amounted to £1 19s. 5d. The total trade done - and I mention it to show what a slight rise there was under the Reid Tariff- amounted to £70,374,368, amounting to £14 6s. per head per annum. Under the Reid Tariff the average customs and excise for the four years was £1 4s. Sd., a drop of 14s. 9d. If the discovery I claim to have made is a real discovery, that big drop of 14s. 9d. per head ought to have sent a lot of trade to the foreigner, because my proposition is that the lower the duty the greater the trade that goes to the foreigner, and the higher the duty the more the trade that goes to the Britisher.
– It is all a mare’s nest !
– I have not done yet. “ Let us hang him and try him afterwards “ is bad logic ! I know that the shoe pinches a bit, but it would be just as well for the honorable senator to restrain himself until I have finished the point. His tone reminds me of that note of exaltation which I noticed in the leader of the free-trade party in the Senate the other night, when he practically said, “I have the numbers, and intend to take advantage of them.” I perceived in the tones that rangfrom his lips a belief on his part that he had the protected industries under his heel, and meant to make them suffer.
– These figures may change his opinion.
– There will be plenty of opportunity for the highly intelligent and well-informed gentlemen who represent the free-trade cause in this Chamber to show that I am wrong, if they can.
– As interesting a mare’s nest as I have ever heard of !
– It would take Senator Pulsford a long time to hatch the egg!
– I am glad that I have stung Senator Pulsford into saying something.
– I never knew what a mare’s nest was until I heard him !
– Under the Reid Tariff, £1 4s.8d. was the average or mean per head of customs and excise for the four years, showing a drop of 14s. 9d. In that four years, the trade with British subjects was £75,958,630, or £14 7s. per head per annum - one shilling per head more under the Reid Tariff than under the Dibbs Tariff. In the other case it was the other way for one year, being 4s. per head per annum less under the freetrade Tariff ; but practically it is the same in both cases.
– Does the trade with British possessions include trade with the colonies ?
– No ; I thought I had made it clear that I am dealing with countries outside Australia. I am trying to deal with the whole of the Commonwealth, exclusive of intercolonial trade. Under the Dibbs Tariff, during the four years, the foreign trade amounted to £24,463,489, or £4 19s. per head per annum. During the four succeeding years of the Reid Tariff, the foreign trade jumped to £45,606,388, or£8 13s. per head, an increase of £21,142,899, while the increase in the British trade was only £5,584,262. That is to say, the increase in the British trade was 79, or say 8 per cent. - and there was an increased population - while the increase in the foreign trade was86½ per cent. British trade, under the Reid Tariff, was greater by1s. per head per annum than under the Dibbs Tariff, but the foreign trade under the Reid Tariff was greater than under the Dibbs Tariff by 74s. per head per annum. In fact, under the Reid Tariff, the total trade was 75s. per head per annum more than under the Dibbs Tariff, but, of the 75s. increase, 74s. went to the foreigner, while only1s. per head went to our own countrymen. Is that giving the grand old mother country a “ show,” or is it giving the grand old foreigner a “show”?
– It is a lovely mare’s nest !
– But I have something else to add. The Dibbs Tariff would have given the British people more trade, and the foreigner less, by £14,250,000 sterling had it been applied over the four years during which the Reid Tariff was in force. I shall go a little further, and compare New SouthWales and the other five States during the four free-trade years with which I am dealing. I have already stated that the customs and excise of New South Wales amounted to £1 4s. 8d. per head per annum under the Reid Tariff. Putting the case rather differently, the British trade averaged £18,989,630 per year, or, as I have said, £14 7s. per head per annum. In the other five States the customs and excise averaged £3 2s. 6d. per head per annum, and the trade with British subjects amounted to £34,006,035,or£14 12s. per headperannum. That is 5s. per annum for each unit of the population in the five other States over and above the average per head per annum in New South Wales. During the same four years, the foreign trade in New South Wales under the Reid Tariff amounted to £ 1 1 , 4 0 1 , 5 9 7 , w hile in the other fi ve States th e wholeof theforeign trade wasonly£7, 22 7,449. That is to say, the foreign trade of the whole of the five States was about£4, 200,000 less per annum than that of the one free-trade State, the average per head per annum being £8 1 3s. in New South Wales as against £3 2s. per head per annum in the other five States. As I have already mentioned, the British trade under the Reid Tariff was 5s. per head per annum less than the British” trade of the other five colonies ; but, on the other hand, the foreign trade of New South Wales was no less than £5 11s. per head per annum more than that of the other States. The figures are so striking that one cannot help arriving at the conclusion that there must be something in them. I am not, of course, quite so silly as to consider myself infallible; but I have checked the figures, and I am the only one who hasdone so. I believe them to be correct, and if they are, I have made a discovery which may be useful. If it cannot be shown that the figures are wrong, every one of those patriots who proclaim from the house-tops what we ought to do, will have an opportunity of casting a vote in such a way as to send the trade along British channels to our own fellow-countrymen.
– How is that opportunity to be given ?
– By adopting the Victorian Tariff; or, better still, by adopting the New Zealand Tariff.
– Would the honorable senator alter the Tariff to make it resemble the. Victorian Tariff ?
– I would alter the present Tariff and make it more protective. As I said before, the Tariff does not affect me one way or another ; but if such an alteration as I suggest were to put me to a little inconvenience, I should still urge that we should give the trade to our own people. This is the contention which I desired to lay before the Senate in January last, when I was stopped by the President. Honorable senators thought at that time that I might branch off into the question of whether there should be a duty on boots and shoes, and so forth ; but such a course as that was not in my thoughts. What I said then was that it was here the shopkeeping element came in, and I desired to show, not only the Senate, but the other Chamber, which was then dealing with the Tariff, that there was a way, if they chose to adopt it, of benefiting the mother country. That was my contribution to the debate at that time. I shall now show what would have happened if the whole of the States had been federated for the five years ending 1900, or how the £368,485,000 of trade would have been divided between British and foreign countries if the Tariff of any given colony had been applied to all Australia. Under the New South Wales Tariff, £131,770,000 of the trade would have gone to the foreigner; under the South Australian Tariff, £88,473,000, or £43,297,000 less than in the case of New S outh Wales, would have gone to the foreigner ; under theVictorian Tariff the figure would have been £50,814,000 less ; under the Tasmanian Tariff, £56,599,000 less ; under the New Zealand Tariff - and here is a big jump - £93,300,000 less; under the Queensland Tariff, £94,480,000 less; and under the Tariff of Western Australia, £100,818,000 less. To put the matter shortly, under the New South Wales Tariff, £131,770,000 of trade would have gone to the foreigner, while under the Western Australian Tariff only £30,952,000 would have gone, or a little less than8½ per cent. of the whole of this trade. I have no more to say. Whether I have convinced my hearers that there is anything in my figures I am unable to say. Time will tell ; but to my mind the figures are convincing. Like other and greater men, when they have made little discoveries of the kind, I feel confident I am right. Senator Pulsford is smiling at my confidence ; but why should I not be confident? If the facts had been the other way, and it had been shown that the lower the duties the greater the trade with British possessions, Senator Pulsford would not merely have smiled, but would have laughed aloud, and every one in Australia would have known of the discovery to-morrow morning. I claim again, with all modesty, to have made a discovery in fiscalism that will put it within the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to send the trade of Australia, or the bulk of it, without any exceptionally high Tariff, to our own people.
– And maintain a satisfactory revenue for the Commonwealth ?
– Yes. This is not a high Tariff. If the Tariff be framed on protective lines, it will drive nine-tenths of the trade into British channels, allowing one-tenth to go to the foreigner.
– Without injury to the revenue of the Commonwealth ?
– Yes. I have heard the contention before that a protective Tariff does not yield revenue. We have it right under our noses. It is all very well to say that it does not. That is the theory.
– The States and the Commonwealth should obtain a fair amount of revenue.
– That can be secured by a Tariff which would still give protection to all proper and deserving industries. I do not refer to what the honorable and learned senator would term “proper and deserving industries.” Doubtless, they would be what his leader would call “ the primary industries.” But, so far as I am concerned, it turns out that theyare not the primary industries.
– The honorable senator said just now that we should not hang a man before we had tried him. I have not said anything yet.
– I withdraw. I should say that a Tariff of a little over £2 per head framed on protective lines, would give ninetenths of the trade of Australia to our fellow subjects outside the Commonwealth. That is what I honestly believe. I have not been asked for it, but I am going to volunteer a reason for this, although I do not know that it is altogether reliable. There is very little difference between Tasmania and Victoria in regard to the proportion of trade of those two States which went to the foreigners and to the British respectively. During the period to which I have referred already, Tasmania received very much more per head from customs and excise than did Victoria, the revenue from the first-named State Tariff being £2 10s. 3d. per head of the population as against £1 16s.11d. for Victoria. But the rise in the proportion of trade which went to the foreigner from Tasmania was only 1.60 per cent. As I have mentioned before, I think that was due to the fact that the Victorian Tariff was more protective.
– Did the Victorian Tariff discriminate between Great Britain and any other country ?
– No, that is the very point. If this Parliament can frame a Tariff that would really discriminate between the foreigner and the Britisher without being preferential on the face of it, or without any subterfuge, why should we not do it. I do not refer to a preferential Tariff. I have read a great deal on the question in the newspapers as well as in the documents before us, and I also heard the Prime Minister’s discourse last night on the subject. I think a good deal of difficulty, and, perhaps, danger might arise from a preferential Tariff, although, no doubt, if it came to the point, I should vote for giving the preference to our own possessions. But I contend that the duties themselves would give a preference to British possessions. There is one reason why it appears to me that such would be the case, although I do not know what others think on the subject, and it is shown, unwittingly, in Mr. Coghlan’s letter. He says -
The great bulk of the materials were imported.
That is to say nearly £23,000,000 worth of material was used in the factories of Australia during a single year, and the great bulk of it was imported from places beyond Australia. Fifty years ago there was a marked difference between the British and the continental workmen. I recollect reading that when the late Thomas Brassey, father of Lord Brassey, one time Governor of Victoria, went to France and other continental countries to construct railways, he found that although the continental navvies were very willing they were physically unable to do anything like the same amount of work as British navvies. For that reason, he took thousands of British navvies to carry out works oh the Continent. The great bulk of the work in connexion with nearly all the finished articles that reach here is done by machinery. That, however, was not the case in the old days. It depended more on manual labour. A man on the Continent receiving 4s. or5s. per day, or perhaps3s. a day, can do as much work on a machine as can a workman in Great Britain who receives 6s. or 7s. a day. In some cases he is able to do more; he is more skilful. It is not a question of physical endurance, but a question of skill in directing the’ machinery required to do the work. We will say, by way of illustration, that a ton of iron might be bought at Home for £10. That ton of raw material would possibly cost about the same on the Continent, because not much labour is put into it. If we were to import it to Australia, and put £30 worth of labour into it, it would probably produce £50 worth of machinery. That is to say, £30 worth of labour would be put into the £10 worth of iron, and it would probably be sold for £50, a profit of 25 per cent. But if that ton of iron were worked up in Germany the labour put into it would probably cost less than £20, instead of £30. If the labour were put into it in Great Britain it might cost £25, £26, or £27. Therefore if you want to buy cheap machinery go to Germany.
– The honorable senator says that low wages mean cheap production.
– Yes ; I am saying that the finished article can be produced cheaper in Germany than in Great Britain, as the wages are lower in Germany.
– Does not the honorable senator think that the cheapest production takes place in America ?
– The reason I have given constitutes my ground for thinking that a protective Tariff gives trade to British subjects. We bring the raw material here to a large extent, and it can be bought nearly sis cheaply as on the Continent. The finished article, however, cannot be purchased so cheaply in Great Britain as on the Continent, owing to the difference in the pay of the workmen. That would not have obtained 40 years ago owing to the difference between the extent of the use of machinery in those days as compared with the present time. Senator Millen desired a word or two of explanation, when I pointed out that in Victoria wheat brought Id. per bushel more than in New South Wales, while flour here was cheaper. I have the figures here now, and they are at the honorable senator’s disposal. I desire to thank honorable senators for the very patient hearing they have given me. I felt somewhat sanguine about this matter of sending our trade to our own people, and I am still sanguine in regard to it. If it is not done now I am perfectly certain that it will be done later on. I am sure that that spirit of home-liking, if I may so describe it, whicli the British races have in them will cause them, to say by and by, even at the sacrifice of some of their fiscal views - “Well, we will adopt something of the kind, and see if it will give the trade to our own people.” For my own part I would sacrifice a good deal if in the way I have described I could secure the trade for the race from which I sprang, and of which I am very proud. I think I may say that every honorable senator would do the same. In the meantime, however, some will look askance at the figures I have quoted on the subject, and wonder whether it can be possible that, during all these years, someone else has not discovered the fact. As no one else has discovered it he will say it cannot be true in fact; that it must be a mere chance. I wish that some unbiased person would take the trouble of going into the whole thing for years back as I have done.
– I am afraid it is not worth the .trouble.
– The honorable senator expresses that opinion before he understands the subject.
– We may think it worth while examining it. 35 o 2
– I will say, in reply to the honorable senator that the Senate has done me the honour of listening patiently to me while I have been discoursing upon this question ; it has thought the matter worth while listening to. I thought it worth the trouble of investigation in order to see if there was anything in it that would benefit the State that I represent. If Senator Charleston does not care about taking the trouble of going intothe matter in order to ascertain whether it would benefit the State that he represents that is no reason why others should not do so.
– Certainly not.
– I thank the Senate for having given me a good hearing. I hope that in future neither I nor my honorable friend and direct opponent, Senator Pulsford, will occupy this Chamber for so many hours. I trust that I shall never have to stand up here again for over an hour, for I confess that I do not like it.
– The honorable senator has not been very long. .
– I must yield the palm of endurance to Senator Pulsford. I thought he was never going to finish. Like my honorable friend, the leader of the Opposition, who began to fume and become impatient when a number of other matters were coming on for consideration, I was very anxious to have my say and to be done with it. I have had it. I am done with the Tariff, so far as the second reading is concerned, but not with the protective part of it. That has yet to come. This is a mere introduction.
– What has been called “ an Australian Tariff for an Australian people “ is now before us, and it becomes the duty of the Senate to suggest such amendments of that Tariff as will make it satisfy the needs of the State Treasurers, and also adapt it to the requirements of our industrial life. I am not going to waste time in asking myself whether the Tariff as laid on the table of the House of Representatives was or was not a carrying out of the Maitland manifesto. What we have to consider is the document before us, and to alter that document if it needs alteration. It appears to me that our task has been very much simplified and shortened by the excellent work which the free-traders have done in another place, because having reduced the duty on 72 items, and having made alterations in regard to 150 others, they have sent the Tariff on to us in a very greatly improved condition. I think, also, that a meed of praise is due to the Government, who listened most attentively to all the arguments adduced in another place, and frequently compromised items, not because they knew that a majority was against them in every case, but because they thought it was a fair thing to do. The fair thing, I take it, is what we all desire to do. I am tired, and, in fact, have been tired for some time, of what is called the fiscal issue. There seems to be a straight-out fight between the ultraprotectionists on the one hand and the freetraders on the other. But as it appears to me that the Commonwealth cannot, for many generations to come, talk’ about a freetrade Tariff, and as I hope the ultraprotection of Victoria is dying, and dying fast, and that we shall hear no more of it, I think that to fight out the battle of protection verms free-trade, as I find the press and platform orators, as well as honorable senators doing here, is to indulge in what Tennyson calls the “falsehood of extremes.” We have to take the free-trade Tariff of New South Wales and the ultra-protectionist Tariff of Victoria, as well as the moderate protectionist Tariffs of all the other States, and ask ourselves what is a fail’ and just Tariff under which to begin the industrial and commercial life of the Commonwealth. I understand that free-traders as well as protectionists admit that this compromise has to be achieved, and I hope that when we get into committee we shall all strive for that one object.
– Senator Pulsford does not admit that there must be a compromise.
– I think that when the honorable senator gets to work in committee he will see that as New South Wales is the only free-trade State, she can hardly expect to dictate her policy to the five other States, and that we must have a compromise. I admit that as between those of us who call ourselves revenue Tariffists and the ultra-protectionists of Victoria, there is great room for difference, and some of the differences which strike me as a moderate free-trader I shall point out as I go along. I should like to consider the Tariff in three aspects. First, the financial aspect ; secondly, the industrial aspect ; and thirdly, the Imperial aspect.
– Oh, the Imperial !
– I thought so. I thought my honorable friends in the labour corner would ask what the Empire has to do with this. It has a great deal to do with it, and if Senator McGregor did not listen to the very instructive figures brought forward by Senator Styles in the last part of his remarks he missed something, because they open up a very important question which has been discussed throughout the whole of the Empire, and to which the Prime Minister will have to give his most earnest attention when he stands face to face with the representative of the Empire, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain. With regard to the financial aspect of the matter. As I understand it, the Tariff is to yield in this abnormal year about £S, 500, 000, and the estimate for a normal year is about £9,000,000. As Senator Pulsford has pointed out, that is really not an up-to-date estimated the revenue in a normal year. So far as I can make out from discussions I have had with those who have more acquaintance with the figures than I have, I believe ‘that in a normal year the Tariff will bring in over £9,000,000. Mr. Reid says that it will bring in £10,500,000.
– But none of them have taken into account the effect of the drought.
– I was going to point out that the drought from which Australia has been suffering has diminished the purchasing power of the people. Then we shall lose revenue on sugar ; we have had the duties upon tea and kerosene struck off, and if there is, as we all hope there will be, an increase of trade between the States, that will, to some extent, shut out importations. All these factors reduce the estimate. Still, taking that into account, I think we may safely say that this Tariff would bring in £9,000,000 in a normal year. The position of Tasmania under this Tariff, or in fact under any Tariff which we could possibly impose upon the Commonwealth, will be that that State will be left with a considerable shortage of revenue. That is nothing new. We have been prepared for it, and Tasmania with her eyes open voted loyally and almost ‘ unanimously for the union of the Australian States. I find that in Tasmania we shall have a shortage, ‘according to some calculations, of £94,000, accordingto other calculations, of fi 1 0,000, and according to the most unfavorable calculation, the shortage will be not less than £137,000. The estimate of my esteemed friend, Mr. Max Hirsch, for whom I have a great respect and who certainly knows something about these matters, is that the Tasmanian shortage will not exceed £60,000. I hope that may be so ; because if it is anything less than £S0,000 I am hopeful that by reasonable, but firm retrenchment, and by the imposition of direct taxation such as exists in the other States, the little State from which I come will be able to pay her way, without asking for that aid which, under the Constitution, the Commonwealth has a right to give to any State which stands in need of aid. We shall have a considerable loss through the legislation affecting “ Tattersall and weshall have a loss in connexion with excise of some £15,000. In connexion with all intoxicants and narcotics - we have no factories of our own ; and we do not care about the excise - Tasmania will lose owing to the difference between the excise and the import duty. Taking all these things into consideration, Tasmania may expect to have a shortage of over £60,000. The purchasing power of the people of Tasmania was one-fourth, and is now one-fifth of the average purchasing power of the Australian people. That is to say that while the average Australian citizen has £1 in’ his pocket to spend in the purchase of dutiable goods, the unfortunate Tasmanian has only 16s. Therefore no Tariff which we could possibly frame would give Tasmania the revenue she requires. Honorable senators probably know that our own Tasmanian Tariff was a very high one, framed partly from a revenue and partly, I believe, from a protectionist point of view. I am not sure whether it had a protectionist effect, but it certainly brought in money, and gave us 47 per cent, of our total revenue, a much higher percentage than was derived through the Custom-house in any of the other States. This leads me to the question of expenditure, and I should like to call the serious attention of my honorable and learned friend, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, and of the Senate generally, to that question. Senator O’Connor said the other day that some very wild and loose statements had been made, accusing the Commonwealth Parliament of extravagance. Possibly some of those statements may have been wild, but I shall point out, by giving the items, that the expenditure of the Commonwealth is getting exceedingly generous and liberal, and that already, according to my view of the matter, and allowing for the expenditure to be incurred under the Bills now before Parliament we have considerably exceeded the Adelaide Convention estimate of £300,000. That estimate, which I believe was made by the worthy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Holder, who knows something about these matters, allowed £55,000 for interest at 3 per cent, upon £1,500,000, which was his estimate for the erection of the Governor - General’s; residence, Parliament House, and Government offices in the proposed new capital. Taking off that £55,000 from the Adelaide estimate of £300,000, let us seewhere we stand and where we are going to. The new expenditure shown by the Estimates is £228,374. I propose to add to that amount the additional items which must be voted by Parliament, assuming that theBills now before both Houses are carried, into law. First, we have the High Court. In addition to the £3,000 allowed for Crown Solicitor and High Court, that is for six months, or at the rate of £6,000 per* annum, there will be five Judges at £3,000 each, which will make £21,000 per annumNext we have an extra amount of £5,000 for New Guinea beyond the £15,000 which the States are now paying. Then there is. the Inter-State Commission, the six months, according to the Estimates, accounting for £1,490. There will be three commissioners, whose salaries will amount to £5,000.
– Is the honorable and learned senator counting all this for thisyear t
– The Estimates arebefore us for six months, and I am trying to show that when we get a year with all the Bills now before Parliament in operation,, we shall really have exceeded the Adelaideestimate.
– The Estimates before us are for the year ending 30th June, 1902,
– Quite so. I am taking the Estimates for six months as they are, and adding to them an estimate for another six months, to show what the annual expenditure is, and what it probably will be if the Bills now before Parliament are passed. I am going to give reasons so far as I can why the High Court Bill, the Inter-State Commission Bill, and one or two others ought not to be passed at the present moment.
– What about the £10,000 extra for the Governor-General?
– I hope the honorable senator will not interrupt by references to matters which are not before us.
– That is an item which is before Parliament.
– That is an item which will never occur again. The honorable senator knows that that £10,000 is being voted to cover expenses incurred for the entertainment of Royalty.
– That is Imperalism
– According to the Estimates, the vote for Public Service Commissioner for six months is £1,440. For the Public Service department, extra for a commissioner and six inspectors, there will be required about £5,000. For Public Works, for the six months as per Estimates, there is £4,06G: Auditor-General, six months’ salary, £500 ; Auditor- General’s department, six months, £3,449.
– Does not the honorable and learned senator think that an “Auditor-General’s department is necessary ?
– Certainly. My honorable and learned friend does not suppose that I am going to cut out all the items ? I merely wish to say that I think we are going too fast, and I should like to see the drag put on. Then, again, there is the Statistician’s department, at, say, £2,000. Then there are salaries for officers in the Audit, Treasury, and other departments, say an extra £3,000. Those figures give a total of £280,319, and if we add’ the £55,000 allowed for in the Adelaide estimate to that amount, we have an expenditure of £330,000. J should like to point out that there are two items in connexion with which there must be further consideration. First of all, if we appoint the Judges which the High Court Bill provides for, we shall have certain very heavy pensions to pay which are not accounted for.
– We do not expect them to die immediately.
– -Will my honorable friend make some remark which requires answering? Certainly we do not expect them to die. But I am pointing out the liabilities we are incurring. If my honorable friend wishes to support the Government, let him do so in a speech, and not by interrupting those who desire to exercise the right of fair and honest criticism of the proposals put before us. I can tell the honorable senator that he will do the Government more harm than good if he insists upon making interjections of that sort.
– I am not supporting the Government.
– Then I do not know whom the honorable senator is supporting. He told us at the opening of the session that he was for sale, but I do not know yet who has bought him. In connexion with public works, there is an amount of £5,000 also put down in the Estimates which has to be paid to recoup the various States for salaries of professional and clerical officers employed by the Commonwealth. I have not put that down as new expenditure, but still it must be remembered that it represents an increase of expenditure. The new expenditure is over £280,000, without any allowance whatever for buildings, maintenance, or the capital.
– Does the honorable and learned senator include the cost of the High Commissioner in his estimate ?
– No ; I have, not included that. One reason for not including the High Commissioner is that, I believe, it was generally understood, and I know that we in Tasmania always supposed that it would be so, that by cutting down the establishments of the Agents General, and having one High Commissioner to cany out all the diplomacy on the part of the Commonwealth, the States would really save money.
– Still, we shall have to charge the amount against the Federal Government.
– It will be new expenditure.
– It will be new expenditure, but the States will get some benefit if they make up their minds to do away with their Agents General.
– Abolish the offices ?
– Abolish the head men who are getting £1,500 or £1,000 a year.
– The honorable and learned senator will understand me when I say that I hope that Tasmania will not abolish her representative in London.
– I do not think that certain of the States will abolish their Agents-General. I am not at all certain that if the Prime Minister appointed a High Commissioner to-morrow,’ the States would make much, if any, reduction whatever in the departments of their Agents-General. It is quite likely also that if they do make a reduction with one hand they will make it up again with the other by the appointment of one or more General-Agents. I have, therefore, not included the cost of the High Commissioner, because really I have not known how it should be dealt with.
– The honorable and learned senator will pardon me for saying that if he desires to make a comparison with the figures put forward in the Adelaide Convention, he must include the cost of the High Commissioner, because Mr. Holder’s estimate includes it.
– At all events, I have not included it, and that only makes my estimate the more moderate. Now, let us come to deal with the expenditure which is not new or other expenditure, but which still has to be incurred, and, to some extent, is attributable to the formation of the Commonwealth. The minimum wage, and increases in the public service, will account for £47,000, as we are told by Ministers themselves. This item will have to be paid by the various States, but it is still the direct result of Commonwealth legislation. Then we have the increases of salaries under the last Victorian Act, as to which, I believe there is to be some great question raised, and increases for other federal officers, particularly in Tasmania, where the)’ are grossly underpaid. It will take at least £25,000 to bring up the salaries to what is considered a fair average all round. Then we have buildings, repairs and maintenance, which, according to the Estimates, account for £61,750. ¥e have also an expenditure upon rifles. It is said that we require £100,000 worth, but as only a vote of £25,000 is put down, I assume that the proposal is to meet the expenditure by four yearly instalments of £25,000 each. These figures make a total expenditure of £494,000. When the Prime Minister returns from England, he will have something to tell us as to how the defences of the Empire are to be maintained, and what part the Commonwealth is to take in the matter.- Without wishing to say that we should contribute, per capita, an amount equal to that raised in the United Kingdom, I think that if we want to do what is just and right, we should pay something more than the miserable sum which we now contribute, and if that were done £200,000 or £300,000 would have tobe added to the amount which I have named. That being so, there is ground, not for extraordinary and wild statements, which I deprecate as much as the Vice-President of the Executive Council does, but for careful administration. The Government must remember that their expenditure verges very closely upon, if it is not exceeding, the Adelaide limit. Since the expenditure is increasing why should they not drop the High Court Bill, and provide for the administration of justice by the State courts for a year or two ? What will the public say if we appoint a new court, consisting of five highly-salaried and pensioned Judges, when there will not be a day’s work for them to do in a month? In regard to the InterState commission, the suggestion I make is that the heads of the Railway departments of the States might be told to try to put an end to all discriminating and differential rates between now and the meeting of the next Parliament. If they tried, they could dispose of- most of them ; but if that suggestion is not feasible let us appoint a temporary InterState commission to settle these matters. I do not believe in attempting to do too much. If we do, we shall make a false start, and possibly earn for ourselves a character for extravagance which we do not deserve. In reference to the financial aspect of this matter, I join with those who hope for the reduction -of some of the high duties now in the Tariff. I do not feel justified in spoiling the Tariff, and in voting against my principles upon item after item, in order to get a few hundred pounds more for Tasmania ; but when my friends ask me, “ Are you, seeing how much money is required, going to vote for the reduction of duties?” my reply is that by reducing the duties on such articles as boots and shoes, for example, the revenue will be increased, and that, therefore, in voting for a reduction in such cases I shall benefit Tasmania, and assist to make the Tariff a fair compromise. I presume that honorable senators will have to discuss at some length what our powers are in regard to the reinstatement of the tea and kerosene duties. I shall not take up much time in dealing with the matter to-night ; but I wish to express my bitter disappointment that honorable members of another, place thought it right to strike out of the Tariff duties such as both free-traders and protectionists are accustomed to look to for a large amount of revenue.
– I shall not try to persuade my honorable friends in the labour corner. I admit their wisdom and their acumen in many matters, but they sometimes attribute more value to political catch phrases than to the underlying facts. With the exception of Western Australia, almost every State has for years past derived a large amount of revenue from duties upon tea and kerosene. The remission of the duties upon these articles means a loss to the Commonwealth revenue of £500,000; but, seeing that two of the States will have a tremendous shortage in their accounts under the Tariff as it stands, and one or two others, in view of the very bad seasons from which we are now suffering, will be very glad of more money, I do not know any justification for the remission. I shall be happy to join with either free-traders or protectionists in re-imposing those duties.
– We do not want to raise more than £9,000,000 of revenue, and that amount can be raised without imposing duties upon tea and kerosene.
– The* greater the revenue of the Commonwealth, the less will be the shortage of Tasmania ; but I admit that £9,000,000 or £10,000,000 is as much as the citizens of the Commonwealth ought to be called upon to pay. I hope for the sake of Tasmania that the Commonwealth revenue will be £10,000,000 rather than £9,000,000. When Tasmania has made up £60,000 or £70,000 by retrenchment and additional taxation, her people will have to make a tremendous sacrifice to obtain another £20,000 or £30,000.
– They could put on an income tax there.
– We have a partial income tax now. Before I could advocate assistance being given to Tasmania^ if ever I advocated it, it would be after she had exercised retrenchment in every reasonable direction, and had imposed direct taxation equal to that of the other States. I come now to the industrial aspect of the question. When the people accepted the Federal Constitution, the free-trade cause gained an enormous victory. Having won that victory, it is idle to talk about obtaining free-trade with the outside world, because that is impossible. That being so, the question we have to consider is what degree of protection we should adopt, in view of the circumstances of the country, and the conditions under which our industrial life is carried on. To my mind, it is absolutely certain that when England adopted free-trade she adopted a policy which was suitable to her requirements, and which has made her the strongest commercial and industrial nation on the face of the earth. Senator Best referred to the fact that the United States adopted protection at the very outset of their career as a nation, and it seems to me that they could have done nothing else. To my mind, they would have made a mistake if they had at that time opened their doors to the nations of the world. Inasmuch as every industry has to learn first to toddle and then to walk, her 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 of people were quite right in adopting the principles of John Stuart Mill. But in dealing with the Tariff now before us, we must compromise between the views of the freetraders, the protectionists, and the revenue Tariffists ; and some of the items on the Tariff are to my mind not a fair compromise. Something has been said about trusts. Does it not stand to reason that the higher the duties the greater the opportunities for the establishment of trusts ? In freetrade England there are only about twenty trusts, while in the protected United States there are 183. The seven largest trusts in Great Britain control a capital of £49,000,000, and the seven largest trusts in the United States a capital of £144,000,000.
– The shipping trust will be larger than any of them.
– And more destructive.
– The United States steel trust, which has swallowed up twelve other trusts, has a capital of £220,000,000.
– With debentures, £280,000,000.
– It may be that the ‘ navigation trust, to which the VicePresident has drawn my attention, will be still larger. Although it is possible to have rings and combines in a free-trade country, it is the heavy duties that render it easy to form trusts. Some of those who manage the American trusts have admitted that if it were not for the high protective duties of the United States, the trusts could not exist. Coming to the duty upon boots, I think it should be reduced. I was in the House of Representatives when the leader of the Opposition read a document signed by three of the largest boot manufacturers in Sydney, declaring that they did not want protection. It seemed to me such an astounding thing that I made up my mind to go to Sydney and interview those gentlemen. I did go, and I saw two of them. On my way up I travelled with some members of the protectionist party in Sydney, and I was told that some of these boot manufacturers were also importers, and that it was hardly fair to take their views on such a subject. Then I saw two of the boot manufacturers who wanted no protection. One of them showed me his accounts, and I found that 70 per cent, of his business was done in factory-made boots and 30 per cent, in imported boots. The other manufacturer admitted that half his boots were imported and the other half factory-made. What struck me, however, was that these men should have opened their factories- and carried them on, and have done a splendid business in factory-made boots under absolute free-trade. It appears to me that one unanswerable argument in favour of the revenue tariffist is that ever since Mr. Reid introduced his freetrade Tariff in New South Wales, . we have heard no grumbling, no whining, and no complaints or agitation from the manufacturers of New South Wales. If one-half that the protectionists of Victoria say were true, we should have heard no end of whining and groaning from the manufacturers of Sydney. There must be something wrong here. We are told by the Victorian manufacturers that unless they have 30, 40, or 50 per cent, protection they cannot carry on ; whereas just over the border their brother manufacturers are successfully conducting their business without any protection whatever.
– They do a totally different business.
– I do not believe that.
– That is a fact.
– I may tell my honorable friend that I pursued ]ny inquiries beyond the boot trade. I happened to go into the Parramatta woollen mills. I did that for a very good reason, because, although we have a few7 small boot factories in Hobart, we have, what is more important to us, two magnificent woollen mills, in the progress of which I am much interested. I am much concerned, in judging from all the surrounding circumstances, which policy -will suit them best, ‘ having, regard to the interests of the consumers. We have to consider all the citizens of the Commonwealth before we can decide what fiscal policy is the best. The manager of the Parramatta woollen mills told me a very interesting story. He showed me his balance-sheet, according to which he had just paid a 6 per cent, dividend, had written off £500 of the cost of his buildings and machinery, which were small, and had carried forward £400 odd. He said that he had commenced without any protective duty, and had at the outset sold his goods fairly well. He then found that the importers who desired to undersell him by procuring cheaper goods wrote to the proprietors of the English mill’s, procured the same class of goods at a lower price, and cut him out of the local market. He was becoming very sick indeed of this, and then came the Dibbs Tariff, which gave the woollen mill owners 10 per cent, protection. This moderate 10 per cent, completely put them on their legs, and they were able to do a sound business. When a free-trade policy was again introduced by Mr. Reid the mills were goingstrong, and they have been goign stronger ever since This gentleman has doubled the capacity of his factory within the last few years under free-trade. This appears to me to be a story diametrically opposite to that told by the protectionists in Victoria.
– According to the honorable senator’s statement, if it had not been for the protection afforded by the Dibbs Tariff the industry would have been killed.
– I am very glad to see my drowning friend catching at that straw.
– I am a long way from being drowned.
– The honorable and learned senator can hardly say that there is any mixing up of comparisons in the case of the Parramatta woollen mills, which affords, a complete instance of progress in factory work under freetrade. I admit that in the case of a young industry a moderate revenue duty, which brings in a good deal of revenue and at the same time strengthens and encourages the owners of factories, is not a very bad thing. I am not one of those free-traders who imagine that under no circumstances whatever is a protective duty necessary. I stated plainly and boldly that the 10 per cent, duty under the Dibbs Tariff had put the manufacturers on their legs, but the difference between the factories in New South Wales and those in Victoria is that the Victorian factories have always been in an unsound condition, whereas the moderate protection afforded in New South Wales has brought forth a sturdy youngster, which has since grown into a robust man. I heard when I was in Sydney that some of the boot manufacturers in Victoria were in rather embarrassed circumstances, and that some of the leather merchants there would infinitely prefer to take the bills of a dozen boot manufacturers in Sydney than those of the best six. manufacturers in Melbourne. I thought that was a little too much to believe, and I accepted the statement with a grain of salt ; but within the last 24 hours a Melbourne man, who is a large buyer of boots, and who knows the whole of the trade, has told me very much the same thing. He said that the duty* under the Victorian Tariff - 5s. per pair, which is something enormous - was so high, and the encouragement given at the expense of the consumers was so great, that boot factories had sprung up without enough Capital behind them, simply with the desire to grab the profits that were to be made. The consequence was that after a time the owners of the factories became embarrassed, and this gentleman told me, in almost the words of my Sydney friend, that the leather merchants would much prefer to do business in Sydney, where they could pick out sound men. These facts are worthy of consideration by Senator Best and Senator Styles, and afford food for reflection on the part of the ultra-protectionists of Victoria. They confirm me in the idea that those who have leanings towards free-trade can very fairly and justly set to work to reduce some of these items in order to effect a fair compromise. With reference to the boot trade, I have received a letter within the last three days containing ‘ certain statements whicli will open the eyes of some of our protectionist friends. The writer says : -
Amongst the highly protective duties that passed by a small majority in the House of Representatives and will shortly come before the Senate for their consideration, is that on boots and shoes, passed 30 per cent, ad valorem. As one who is thoroughly familiar with this trade I venture to lay before you a few facts and figures that seem to suggest that the Senate will be acting for the public welfare in insisting that a substantial amendment of this excessive duty be made : -
First : There is no compromise in this duty. It is essentially and distinctly protective. Compared with the previous State Tariffs, the present duty of (actually 33 per cent.) is fully 15 per cent, higher than obtained in Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland.
It is exactly 13 per cent, higher than Tasmania, and it is obviously 33 per cent, higher than the free-trade Tariff of New South Wales. Further, it is only 10 per cent, to 15 per cent, lower than the scientific Victorian State Tariff. Thus you will readily see it is a purely Victorian impost, based essentially on the lines of their protectionist policy. To support this contention I would draw your careful attention to an analysis of the voting on the various divisions on this duty on the’ 5th March last. Counting pairs, I find that on the 20 per cent, division 19 Victorians were in the majority numbering 40 - nearly one-half. In the subsequent three divisions the numbers were practically the same. Only four Victorians voted in favour of the 20 per cent., and in the three other divisions this number was increased to five only by one member coming over. Deducting the 23 Victorian votes, nineteen of whom voted for and four against, you will find that the 20 per cent, duty was carried by the remaining five States’ representatives by 27 to 21. On the 25 per cent, dutv the voting was 28 to 21. On the 274 percent, “duty it was 29 to 20, and in the. 30 per cent, it ran 28 to 21.
– We cannot expect the House of Representatives to upset decisions whicli were arrived at by such a large majority.
– Are we to go . through this Tariff like a parcel of children and to do nothing in cases where the House of Representatives have arrived at certain compromises after a big fight, because it is not likely that they will alter their minds ?
– - They will not give way in cases where they arrived at certain decisions by a big majority.
– My honorable friend has not grasped the significance of the letter which shows that these proposals were carried solely owing to the desire on the part of the representatives of Victoria to impose their ultra-protectionism on the rest of the States. If we are to do what is fair and just to the whole of the citizens of the Commonwealth, my honorable friend should join with us in cutting down these duties.
– Whose letter is that?
– Never mind whose letter it is.- Let us note the arguments -
These figures must show you most conclusively that it is the Victorian protectionist party who carried the excessive 30 per cent act valorem on boots unci shoes.
Second : The colony of New South Wales under free-trade has in existence to day, factories quite as large, and employs practically as many hands as Victoria. The factories, on the whole are better equipped and the output against the competition of the whole world equally as large as those of Victoria.
We find that the factories in New South Wales have Deen enabled to turn out boots in competition with England, America, Germany and Austria, and Japan as well.
– What is the value of an anonymous letter 1
– The value of an anonymous letter consists in the weight or otherwise of the arguments used. What is the value of anonymous leading articles in the newspapers which influence so many honorable senators ? Simply the value of the ideas contained in them.
– Leave the New South Wales Tariff out of consideration, and take those of the five other States, and see how the result will work out. Act fairly.
– Am I not trying to act fairly ?
– The honorable senator is reading- an ex parte statement made for a special purpose.
– I believe that I am relating facts. The writer proceeds- - -
Third : Under her free-trade policy the imports of boots and shoes into New South Wales have been declining, except iu the loading-up years of 1900 and J.901, despite an increase in population ; whilst, on the other hand, the internal output litis been progressive, and the number of hands employed larger year by year.
That is a fact according to Co,Nan. How can protectionists get away from the position that, under free-trade, the number of factories increased, more hands were employed, and wages were higher ?
Fourth. - Throughout the Commonwealth under existing State Tariffs I venture to say that fully 75 to 80 per cent, of the internal consumption has been locally produced. Thus, this 30 per cent, duty is levelled at only 20 to 25 per cent, of the consumption. It is therefore essentially a class tax.
Fifth. - The excessive duty of 33 per cent, will so materially tend to restrict imports as to be practically unproductive of revenue. Already in New South Wales there is a shrinkage of from £137,547 to £5S,.H)0 from 1st January, 1902, to the 22nd March, 1902, as compared with the same period of 1901.
During those three months, there was an absolute falling off in the New South Wales revenue, simply because of the enormous duty imposed, which I am contending does not constitute a fair compromise. I am dealing at some length with the question of boots, because I want honorable senators to thoroughly understand the principles upon which I intend attempting to amend this Tariff. I find that 67 per cent, of the boots consumed in New South Wales are locally manufactured: The decline of imports into New South Wales without the aid of protection, shows that the factories there are progressing. In 1882 the imports per head of the population represented a value of about 15s. 8£d. ; in 1883 their value was 13s. 2id. per head ; in 1884, it was 12s. 7£d.; in 189S it had dwindled to 4s. 3-d., and in 1S99 it was 5s. Id. During all this time the population had increased from 827,000 to 1,350,000. I should like to show some inconsistencies in this Tariff from the point of view of the old protectionist argument, that an allowance should be made for the low wages paid in other countries which compete with Australia. I have in my hand a return showing the cost of labour in various trades, and the measure of protection which it is proposed to levy upon certain classes of goods. In woollens I find that the cost of labour is about 40 per cent., the duty imposed is 15 per cent., whilst the protection afforded represents approximately 41£ per cent. In the clothing trade the cost of labour is 25 per cent., the duty is 27£ per cent, and the measure of protection conferred is 110 per cent. In the manufacture of jewellery, the cost of labour is 15 per cent., the duty is 27^ per cent., and the protection afforded represents 1S3 per cent. In the engineering trade, the cost of labour is 16 per cent., the duty 22 per cent., whilst the protection imposed amounts to 36 per cent. In the boiler-making trade, the cost of labour is 30 per cent., the duty is 16£ per cent., and the protection conferred 33 per cent. In the manufacture of boots, the cost pf labour is 25 per cent., and the measure of protection granted is 132 per cent. If we imposed a duty of 27£ per cent., instead of 33 per cent., the measure of protection afforded would represent 112 per cent., whilst if we reduced the duty to 20 per cent., the protection granted would be SS per cent. A 15 per cent, duty would be equivalent to 66 per cent., which is a larger measure of protection than that which is enjoyed by the woollen, boilermaking, and engineering industries.
– Whose figures are these ?
– I do not know the author myself. Let the argument stand for what it is worth.
– Upon a point of order I should like to know whether there is not a standing order which compels a senator who quotes from a document to lay it upon the table, when there is a general desire on the part of honorable senators to know from whom the information comes ?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Under our present standing orders there is no such provision.
– I only desire to be upon the safe side. I can assure the Senate that the writer of this letter did not ask me to regard it as private. At the same time I do not desire to mention his name, because it is just possible that he may have wished me to treat it as such.
– All this stuff comes from Max Hirsch.
– I can assure the honorable senator that Max Hirsch knows nothing about it. The communication comes to me as the result of inquiries which I made in Sydney.
– Why did not the honorable senator tell us that at first ?
– Did I not tell the Senate that I endeavoured to learn both sides of the question, and that I got mixed up in the train with the protectionist party? This letter contains arguments and. figures which I know of my own knowledge to be absolutely correct. At all events the little warmth displayed by Senator Barrett is the best evidence that the statements contained in this anonymous letter are unanswerable. In considering whether we shall apply protectionist or free-trade principles to the Commonwealth, I have already said that we ought to glance at the circumstances under which we live. Having regard to what the Commonwealth is, I desire, with all humility, to contradict the arguments used by Senator Styles. I wish to assure him that the value of the factory-made goods does not approach the value of the products of our primary industries. I find from figures which have been compiled from Coghlan and which are taken from Hemsard, that the annual value of our pastoral products is set down at £41,000,000, that of the agricultural and horticultural products at £18,000,000, and that of minerals at £22,000,000, making a total of £81,000,000, whilst the value of our factorymade goods represents only £28,000,000. Therefore, the value of the products of the primary industries is almost two-thirds more than that of our secondary industries. Of course, if we exclude from the primary industries the butter, jam, and bacon factories, we may alter the figures very materially. But in this connexion I should like to know whether butter, bacon, and jam do not come almost entirely from the soil. I would further point out that there are 1,614,000 bread-winners throughout the Commonwealth, of which 1,395,000 are males and 3 1 8, 000 females. According to these figures only 273,000 bread-winners are engaged in the manufacture of goods, whilst 1,341,000 are employed in the primary industries and in commence. Therefore four-fifths of the people are occupied in the primary industries, arid only one-fifth in the manufacture of goods. In debating the policy -which we ought to adopt we must look at how the country can become rich and how it can be made to progress. Surely if we do not assist the natural industries of the country instead of endeavouring to unduly bolster up artificial ones, we are absolutely going in opposition to nature, and are neglecting to make the most of the great advantages which nature has conferred upon us ! In this connexion, let us consider our position in regard to South Africa, from which we have recently received large orders. What has the War Office ordered from us but meat, flour, oats, horses, live stock, and jam % Do the Imperial authorities send to Australia for boots and shoes, for saddlery, or any manufactured article which the protectionists can name ? No. It would be laughable to suppose that they would send to Australia for boots and shoes when they can manufacture them at home from better leather. We have not received a single order for other than primary products.
– We have had a lot of trouble to get any trade whatever from them.
– My honorable friend is quite wrong. The British Government have been ordering goods very liberally, and the cheaper and the better we can supply them the more advantageous it will be for us. But if my honorable friend’s policy were carried out, we should for the sake of a little more in wages crucify the primary industries of this country,
– .Did not the British Government take some saddles from Australia 1
– A few saddles may have gone to South Africa.
– They have not ordered any more from us than they could help.
– It is well known that the leather made in England for the manufacture of boots and saddlery is, I am sorry to say, infinitely better than anything we can manufacture here. It is better seasoned and better tanned. I am told that the properties of oak bark in tanning are infinitely superior to the properties of the wattle. We cannot compete with the English in that respect. Again, in considering the amount of protection we ought to put on, we should look at the cost of importation of certain things. I have certain facts here with reference to imported apparel. A man showed me his invoices and his original books, and pointed out the different percentages of cost opposite the ‘ various lines. They all had to do with the cost of apparel, and the importation expenses, according as they related to different articles, amounted to 30^ per cent., 30 per cent., 24 per cent., 16£ per cent., 20 per cent., 16£ per cent., per cent., 29 per cent., and so on. For 29 cases of assorted apparel the cost of import ranged from 9£ to 30 per cent. So that in imposing a high duty or any duty whatever on apparel, it is necessary to consider what natural protection the situation of the Commonwealth gives to the local manufacturer.
– Is the gentleman referred to one whose opinion is worth having 1
– Those figures are correct.
– I sa<w the man’s books. I went into the place in Launceston and saw the books in each case. I copied out my facts from them. The expenses’ were 2-) per cent, for buying, 3£ per cent, for exchange and insurance, and other expenses for packing, freight, &c. I am sorry that the Vice-President of the Executive Council should regard these figures as incorrect.
– No ; I do not say so ; but if the honorable and learned senator puts some one forward as a witness, I should like to know who he is, and whether his testimony is reliable. If Senator Sargood tells us from his personal knowledge that the facts are correct I accept them. But if one meets a man in the street, and he says so and so, what he says is not very valuable.
– I’ think the VicePresident of the Executive Council is doing me an injustice. I have told him again and again that I have tried to get information on this subject. I went into a warehouse in Launceston where the people did not know me. I had to introduce myself to them. When I examined their books, and saw the absolute cost marked opposite to each article, according to percentages, it is impossible to deny the value of the evidence as an important factor in the case. I cannot, as a man desiring to do what is just and right, deal with a subject of this kind without asking myself : what is the cost of importing these goods 1 On hats I think the duty is altogether too high. It is not a fair compromise. I should be sorry to vote, either with regard to boots or hats, to reduce the duty so low as positively to injure a factory. I admit that, whatever my principles are, I am bound to compromise for the sake of fairness, and also to secure a Tariff that will give “ revenue without destruction.” That was a grand phrase of the Prime Minister’s. I do not think we can improve upon it. What we have to do is to see that the facts and figures in connexion with any duty cany out the principle embodied in that phrase. In the case of boots’ and hats, the proposed duties do not carry it out. I mention these items in order that there may be no misapprehension about my views. These cases illustrate the principle I have tried to lay down. Another principle would be this. I have been talking of the primary industries in a way which I think is justifiable. In regard to agricultural machinery, I am going to vote to enable it to be introduced absolutely free of duty if I can secure that end.
– Hear, hear ! I do not know that we can go that distance.
– What is the use of taxing a man’s tools 1 Would my honorable friends in the labour corner like a navvy to have to pay a duty on his spade and his shovel, or the other tools with which he earns his livelihood t No. What right have they then, looking . at this vast Commonwealth and at its agricultural and horticultural possibilities, and its vast pastoral areas, to tax the implements which are used in those industries 1
– I suppose the honorable and learned senator will admit that there is a liberal free list, which includes a number of tools ?
– I do, and I wish that list were greater than it is. I shall be glad to see many other things placed upon it - for instance, the cream separator. It took the House of Representatives a very long time to deal with some of these things, but I hope we shall be able to decide upon them in a much shorter time. In regard to mining machinery, I think the duties should be reduced. But at the same time the people who go in for mining have not the same right to free goods as have the agriculturist, because a man who goes in for mining as a rule does so, not to gain a livelihood, but because he has some surplus capital. Sometimes he can afford to lose it ; sometimes he cannot - but mining is not his living. Therefore I think that if mining machinery were allowed in at 10 per cent., and agricultural machinery at 5 per cent., it would be a fair compromise. With reference to narcotics, spirits, and so forth, I have already said that Tasmania is going to lose a considerable amount of revenue on account of the very great difference between excise and protective duties ; and the Senate would do well to consider whether we ought not to increase the excise and leave the duties as they stand. I am in favour of high duties on tobacco, spirits, wine, and so forth. I do not care how high they are fixed ; the higher the better. I believe that tobacco manufacturing is a vast monopoly all over the world. Thousands and thousands df pounds ai-e being made out of it, because tobacco is an article of such general consumption.
– Make it a State monopoly.
– I do not know about that ; but I am prepared to impose a heavy excise, and make it less of a monopoly to certain firms within the Commonwealth. I come now to what may be regarded as the Imperial aspect of the question. It is a very complicated matter to deal with. My honorable friend Senator Pulsford referred to it, and my honorable friend Senator Styles has given us some very important and interesting figures. The point I propose to refer to is as to whether this Tariff should or should not contain any provision like that in the Canadian Tariff, which says that a preference shall be allowed to goods which come from the mother country as against goods which come from other parts of the world. This question has been a long time before the British community. Mr. Joseph Chamberlain suggested an Imperial Zollverein in 1897, but, as has been remarked, he dropped it. The criticism was very strong, and we hav<3 heard very little of the matter from the Government lately. But from that moment to this the feeling has been growing stronger and stronger in favour of the consolidation of the Empire by means of commerce. We all know -that the South African war has consolidated the Empire in one way - thank God for that ! It has consolidated the Empire in the- feeling of loyalty, and in the feeling that we are one people who stand shoulder to shoulder against the world. We have spilled our blood side by side with the Imperial troops ; but we shall never really consolidate or federate the Empire except by means of commerce and finance. If we desire to have a constitutional consolidation, with representation in the Imperial Parliament, or some voice in Imperial affairs, the easiest way in which to bring that about is through commerce. If we have an Empire and do not unite it on questions of trade, commerce, and industry, we shall have the name of consolidation without its reality.
– Great Britain’s trade with the colonies is small, compared with her trade with other parts of the world.
– The honorable senator is telling us facts with which we all are familiar. The trade of England with her colonies is about one-third as compared with two-thirds with other nations. The honor’ able senator seems to forget what a vast thing the Empire is. We cannot get freetrade throughout the Empire, but if we could, the area and blessings of the system would be extended enormously. Does the honorable senator not see that if we had ari internal or home free-trade between Canada; Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom, just as there is free- trade between Florida, California, and New York, we should greatly extend the operation of this beneficent principle 1 <
– If the honorable senator means absolute free-trade, I am with him.
– We cannot have absolute free-trade ; but is there any reason why we should not have a beginning ? I admire the position which my ultraprotectionist friend, Senator Styles, took up, when he urged’ that we ought to make some sacrifice to the mother country in return for all she has done for us. Canada has shown the way, and, as every one knows, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mr. Reid, and Mr. Barton, and other colonial representatives, stood before the London public in 1897, the most popular man of all was the man from Canada. Sir Wilfrid Laurier had the pluck and courage to say, “We will not wait to haggle and bargain with the motherland ; we know what England has done for us, and we will give her a preference and- advantage - we will not wait years and years for a treaty to be formulated in order to see what we can get in return.” England is defending Australia at this moment with her navy, to the support of which we contribute £106,000 a year, when we ought to subscribe £3,000,000 or £4,000,000, considering our population and our interests in trade. In return for all the benefits and advantages we derive from Great Britain something ought to be done. The correspondence which was read by Senator Pulsford is the outcome of a letter which I wrote to the Prime Minister fifteen months ago. I was so much interested in the question, that I drew the attention of the Prime Minister to the disadvantage which Canada had suffered, owing to her losing the benefit of the most-favoured nation clause in connexion with Germany, and suggested that he should communicate with the Secretary of State, in order that we in Australia might know our position. I know that the German Foreign Office has already said that if Australia ventures to give preference to English goods, we shall no longer be entitled to treatment under the most-favoured nations clause at the hands of Germany. But are we to wait and wait until we get everything ready for an Imperial union of the kind I suggest ? It seems to me that we ought not to wait, but should sometimes take a step ahead. No doubt when we do take this step there will at first be disadvantages.
– How can we afford the sacrifice of revenue such a position would involve 1
– I say there must at first be . some disadvantages. But does Senator O’Connor think there will be no gain - that it is impossible to have some sort of Imperial’ Zollverein? Five years after Canada has given preference to Great Britain - five years after Mr. Chamberlain made his suggestion - does Senator O’Connor think the Senate would not do well to give a little time and thought to this important matter 1
– I think Canada has “bitten her fingers” over the preference to Britain. That is the general feeling.
– I do not believe anything of the kind. My reading is to the contrary, and I can point out a good reason why Canada’ has not “bitten her fingers.” Canada’s trade with Germany is so infinitesimal that she can afford to snap her fingers at it. The figures of Senator Pulsford remind me that last year Canada’s trade with Germany was represented by only £264,000. What does Canada care for that so long as she increases her trade with England ?
– It. would be much worse for us with our wool trade.
– I did not quite follow the contentions of Senator Pulsford in regard to the wool trade. I take it that if wool goes to England and is bought there by a German representative, or is sent to Germany by an English merchant, it will not be regarded as Australian wool. When Senator Pulsford was speaking it struck me that he was hardly correct.
– Senator Pulsford pointed out that a large quantity went direct to Germany.
– Very little goes direct. If it went direct, of course it would have to pay the penalty.
– A great deal goes direct to Germany. “
– I am willing to admit that there are enormous difficulties, but I am also able to assert that there are enormous advantages, and just as the United States of America have progressed in the most marvellous manner by having freetrade throughout their huge domain, and by having certainly a large amount of protection against the outside world, so England and her colonies, by means of the most moderate duties - duties that could, not be called and would not be protective - might have a Zollverein and Customs union that would strengthen her trade and industries in every possible way. We have to consider not only the conditions of the world to-day. We are being run neck-and-neck by the United States, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. But what will it be when Japan, China, and Russia enter the industrial world ? What will it be 50 years hence, when Japan and China are full of progressive and prosperous factories, and when they supply numbers of our products, and take away ‘a great deal of our trade ? What will it be when Russia supplies us with corn, and so forth ? That will be the time when I think we may regret that we did not sooner begin to consolidate the Empire with regard to all her commercial and industrial enterprises. I hope that when the Prime Minister returns he will be able to give us some interesting information on this vast and important subject. I was rather surprised the other day to hear my honorable friend Senator Stewart give expression to the opinion - and at the banquet at the Town Hall last night the same thought arose - that the Prime Minister should go Home and be almost dumb. No one supposes for a moment that the Prime Minister, sitting at Home in the Colonialoffice, could pass an Act of Parliament, and nothing could be done without an Act of Parliament. But to send him Home and to so frighten him before he leaves us that he will be afraid to open his lips is not what I believe in. I believe that a leader should lead. The very object of the conference is that the first man in each of the British possessions shall be brought face to face with the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that he will be able to speak on behalf of the colony he represents, that he will have some pluck and grit, and that Mr. Barton will be able to tell the Secretary of State for the Colonies what he thinks, and what the people of Australia think, about a great many matters.
– How could the Prime Minister do that ?
– Surely he can represent them ? If I were to appoint Senator Pearce to represent me in regard to any matter, do not honorable senators think that I would not give him an implied authority to represent me, to act for me, and to express my opinions ?
– The honorable and learned senator would first find out what my opinions were.
– How could the Prime Minister represent the Commonwealth unless he had some kind of gauge of what the people think ? And what will Mr. Chamberlain think of the various representatives if, when he asks them what are the opinions of the people of their colonies in regard to this or that policy, they shrug their shoulders and say, “ We do not know ; we are told not to bind our ‘people to anything?” I understand the feelings of my honorable friend, but it goes without saying that we cannot be bound without an Act of Parliament, and surely, when the Prime Minister reaches Home, he should be able to speak to some extent for the people who send him there instead of being simply dumb ? I trust that something will come out of the conference in regard to the defences as well as the consolidation of the Empire, and of those commercial and industrial interests that we have all so much at heart.
Motion (by Senator Glassey) proposed -
That the debate be adjourned.
– I « should like to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council if he will have the Excise Bill read a second time so that it can be referred to the same committee as that to which this Bill will be referred? He understands the reason for my question. It is really in the interests of debate - in order that we may practically consider the two Bills together - that I ask that this should be done. Unless the Excise Bill is read a second time, referred to the same committee as the President has ruled it may be, we cannot well discuss it on the Tariff.
– I will undertake to have the Excise Bill read a second time.
– And referred to the same committee.
– I do not knowthat that is necessary. That is a matter which ‘will have to be dealt with.
– We had a ruling from the Chair the other day.
– I think the President intimated that there might be the freest allusion to both Bills, as the Tariff must be taken as a whole. Therefore, it will not really be necessary to refer this and the Excise Bill to the same committee. The Excise Bill can be dealt with, and referred to, exactly as if it were before the committee, and I do not see that there would be any advantage in formally referring it to the same committee. I will undertake to do what Senator Clemons suggests with regard to the second reading of the Bill. I presume it will be merely a formal matter, because the discussion of the Tariff in all its aspects is open to us. I presume that the passing of the Excise Bill will be a formal matter following on this measure.
– So far as the second reading is concerned.
– Yes. Then, both measures having passed the second-reading stage, there will be no reason why they should not both be referred to in the discussion on the Tariff. Of course, it is my desire that the Senate should have every facility for dealingwith the Tariff as a whole. That is what the honorable and learned senator desires, I presume.
– That is what I want.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Strictly speaking, I should not have permitted any discussion on this motion, but as the question put by Senator Clemons related to a matter of public business, I did not care to interpose. I desire, however, that this shall not be read against me as a precedent.
Motion agreed to ; debate adjourned.
Senate adjourned at 10.8 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 6 May 1902, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1902/19020506_senate_1_9/>.