1st Parliament · 1st Session
The President took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.
Has the usual allowance for overtime been paid to letter-sorters in the General Post-office, Sydney, for the period from November last to date?
At what rate per hour is this allowance calculated ?
Have not the officials concerned to expend the said allowance in the purchase of meals ?
Is it intended to place the allowance of overtime pay on a more equitable basis ?
– I have been furnished with the following information : -
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable senator’s questions is as follows : -
The final allocation of the illumination vote of £5,500 has not yet been decided.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 22nd May, vide page 12784).
Item 16 (Cocoa and chocolate) agreed to.
Item 17. Coffee and chicory, viz. : - Raw and kiln-dried, per lb., 3d. ; roasted or ground, and in liquid form, or with milk, or other substance, per lb., 5d.
– Honorable senators will see that raw and kiln-dried coffee and chicory is dutiable at the rate of 3d. per lb., which is equivalent to about 331/3 per cent. ad valorem, while roasted and ground coffee is dutiable at the rate of 5d. per lb., or 2d. more than the rate upon the raw material.. But, unless the duty upon roastedand ground coffee is reduced, we shall get no revenue atall from it, because nearly all the coffee imported will come in raw, to be roasted or ground here. I do not propose to move the reduction of the duty upon roasted or ground coffee to 3d. per lb., although, to secure a cheap breakfast table, I should like to see it diminished ; but, as I think that a difference of1d. between the two rates of duty will be a sufficiently ample margin for the encouragement of the enterprise of merchants who prepare coffee here, I move -
That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 17, by adding the words- “And on and after 1st July, 1902,4d.”
– I am glad that Senator Symon does not propose to abolish the duty of 3d. per lb. upon raw coffee, because the coffee-growing industry is now becoming established in Queensland, and . in a very short time that State will no doubt be able to produce enough raw coffee to supply the wants of the Commonwealth, and ultimately to export verylargely. Hitherto some little difficulty has been experienced in discovering which are the right situations, the best soils, and the proper methods of cultivation for coffee plantations ; but, as the experimental work has now been in progress fo a number of years, there is every prospect of the immediate success of the industry. But in proposing to reduce the duty upon roasted and ground coffee to 4d. per lb., I think Senator Symon overlooked the fact that in the process “ of roasting there is a loss of weight of 16 per cent. That is to say, 1 lb. of roasted coffee represents something like l1b. 21/2oz. of raw coffee. Making allowance for that loss, and the cost of preparing the raw coffee in different forms, and putting it up into packages ready for use, a margin of 2d. should not be regarded as excessive.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). - I would point out that, if the. duty upon ground and roasted coffee isreduced. to 4d., it will still be 331/3 per cent. higher than the duty upon raw coffee, and that will leave a margin of171/2 per cent., after allowance has been made for the loss of weight to which the Postmaster-General has referred. I think that1d. is a fair and reasonable margin to allow. We do not want to increase the cost of articles which appear upon the breakfast tables of the community more than can be helped. Surely it is only a fair thing that that should be done. My honorable and learned friend implies that the effect of a reduction by1d. will be to encourage the prepared form being imported. The effect of maintaining the duty is equally obvious - to prohibit, as far as possible, the prepared form being imported. We must try to get a little revenue out of this item if possible. It is of no use to make the duty so protective that prepared coffee will be entirely shut out. I object to the imposition of duties on articles of ordinary consumption. In this subdivision we are taxing everything we eat and drink, and it is done partly for revenue, and partly with regard to existing occupations. If that is thecase, surely the 1d. that my honorable and learned friend admits represents 331/3 per cent. will cover any diminution in respect to weight, and leave 16 per cent. towards the cost of preparing coffee from the raw product which is imported. I therefore hope that he will agree to the motion.
– Coffee essence contains 90 per cent. of water, and to charge a duty of 5d. per lb, on that water is monstrous. In the previous line we charged a duty of1d. per lb. on cocoa and milk, but here we are asked to charge a duty of 5d. per lb. on coffee and water. That is not fair to the trade generally. We ought to have a little revenue from this item if we can, with a fair protection for the manufacturer. Coffee roasted and ground is very seldom imported, because buyers prefer to have a fresh article. Fresh ground coffee is very much more necessary to our comfort than stale roasted coffee, and that itself is a very great protection. It will be prepared and sold at a very much higher price when it is fresh roasted and ground. To leave a margin of 2d. per lb. seems to me to be inconsistent, and an injustice to ordinary dealers in this article.
– That wasratheranunfortunate reference which Senator Macfarlane made to essence of coffee. He says that it contains a proportion of water - I do not think it can possibly be 90 per cent.; but he has not told us that all the grounds, which constitute the great weight in coffee, are taken out. A small portion of the essence makes a large quantity of the beverage. I do not know exactly how it is manufactured, but it is a pure essence like extract of beef. I do not know how much of ordinary ground coffee it will take to make a lb. or a pint of essence. The coffee is boiled down in some way or other, and all the material part of the bean is taken out. It is worth while to put a small duty on roasted coffee, if it is only to insure that people shall have freshly-ground coffee instead of coffee which, perhaps, has been lying in stock for years. Coffee is twice as good when it is freshly roasted. Why should we legislate so as to encourage persons to drink coffee which has been roasted and ground in England, perhaps the year before last, and put up in tins ? If we are of opinion - and I do not know how we can come to any other conclusion - that it is desirable that the coffee we consume should be freshly roasted, I can see no harm in imposing a duty upon the imported article.
– In Queensland the coffee industry is growing, and it is desirable to keep the duty moderately high, so that persons may always be able to get fresh ground and prepared coffee. If essence of coffee contains, as Senator Macfarlane said, 90 per cent. of water, and possibly other deleterious substances, it strengthens thecase for the retention of the duty, with the view of encouraging, as far as possible, the local production and manufacture of coffee. I am glad to hear from Senator Drake that the importation of essence of coffee into Western Australia has been prohibited. Why? Because it had been made a mere dumping ground for a quantity of useless rubbish, containing 90 per cent. of water, and bad water at that.
– When was its importation prohibited ?
– I have just received a note to that effect from Senator Drake.
– According to this schedule, the duty on essence of coffee in Western Australia is 6d. per lb.
– I presume that in order to keep out the stuff called coffee and encourage the producers of good coffee, Western Australia imposed a duty of 6d. in the lb. People desire to get their coffee as fresh as possible. A duty will help the growth and production of coffee in Queensland,’ and at the same time assist to keep out this rubbish, which Senator Macfarlane says contains 90 per cent, of water, and ‘ I fear very dirty water at that.
– The Statistical Register of Victoria shows that the production in Queensland exceeds 100,000 lbs. per year. We freetraders are willing that the duty of 3d. per lb. on raw coffee, which is an enormous protection - simply absurd from our point of view - should remain unaltered. All we ask is that on top of that there should not be an enormous duty imposed on coffee that happens to be roasted or to be imported in tins. The request we have* put forward is, if anything, not very creditable to lis as free-traders. Certainly it is one which ought not to be objected to for a moment from the Government benches.
– I enter my usual protest against this proposal being brought forward without notice. In Queensland we can produce coffee equal to any coffee in the world, and if necessary I can . give the names of the growers in the Cairns district. This is another flank movement. The importation of these abominations in the shape of coffee essence and so forth, should be prohibited. The coffee-growers of Cairns should be protected in every possible way, because they will be attempting, within a very short time, to do all their work with white labour. Honorable senators who expressed so much sympathy with the planters in their endeavours to continue the employment of black labour should, instead of reducing the duty, support the present proposal for assisting them in another way.
– Senator Higgs must have been less observant than usual, or he would have seen that I gave notice last month of my intention to propose the reduction of the duty upon roasted coffee to 4d. I concluded that I should have had an opportunity of making that proposal, but the same result will be arrived at by supporting the motion now before the Chair. I do not see how the interests of the coffee growers in Queensland can be affected by the proposal to reduce the duty on the manufactured article, whilst the duty on raw coffee remains untouched. I entirely agree with the Postmaster-General with regard to the reduction of weight that is brought about by roasting coffee. I think that it is even greater than he states ; but any difference between’ his estimate and my own might very well be accounted for by the fact -that the quantity of moisture in the raw beans varies very widely according to the quality of the coffee. It depends upon the locality and the season in which the coffee was grown. Beans grown in a wet season will contain more moisture than those gathered in a dry season. When the beans are roasted, however, the final result is the same with all coffee, as the whole of the moisture is evaporated. I do not suppose that we are likely to have much ground coffee imported here. The obloquy cast upon coffee essences is undeserved. These are made only by two of the largest firms in the world, Lipton Limited being one o’f them ; and it is ridiculous to suppose that firms of such high status would enter upon the wholesale manufacture of such filth as has been suggested. They make wholesome extracts, which are miscalled essences. The grounds are eliminated from the coffee, and . the extract being mixed with sugar, and possibly with chicory, the so-called essence is reduced to a glutinous substance of somewhat thinner consistency than condensed milk. Senator Macfarlane has been misinformed with regard to coffee essences containg 90 per cent, of water, because there cannot be more than 33 per cent, of water. There should be a difference between the duty levied upon raw coffee and that imposed upon roasted coffee, but Id. is sufficient.
– I am sorry to .find that the document I had, which stated that the importation of coffee- essences into Western Australia was prohibited, was out of date, and that they are now admitted at 6d. per lb. duty.
– The statement just made by the Postmaster-General is quite correct. In Queensland the duty upon raw coffee was 4d. per lb., and upon essences 6d. per lb. Large quantities of coffee ‘essences are used in many parts of Australia, and these to a very large extent take the place of coffee. They are not so good as coffee, but after a time a taste is
I acquired for them, as for many other things.
I do not consider the difference in the duties as they stand is too great, and therefore- 1 shall support the Government proposal.
Senator GLASSEY (Queensland). - Senator Symon will _ be delighted -to hear that the coffee-growing industry has made considerable progress in Queensland during the last few years. The statistics for 1888 show that 35,451 lbs. of roasted coffee and 164,696 lbs. of raw coffee were imported into Queensland during that year. In 1900, when our population had been increased by 100,000, we imported 85,855 lbs. of roasted coffee and 77,502 lbs. of raw coffee. This shows a great decrease in the importations, which is accounted for by the fact that a great advance has been made in the production of coffee in the northern part of Queensland. Eminent authorities have expressed the opinion that in many parts of Queensland, and especially in the Cairns district, the soil and climate are eminently adapted to the production of coffee, which should be in every way encouraged. I believe that any reduction in the’ duty, upon either raw or roasted coffee, would injure the local production of the article, and therefore I trust that the motion will be withdrawn.
– I cannot understand the position taken by Senator Glassey, in view of the fact that it is not proposed to interfere with the duty upon raw coffee. The reduction of the duty upon roasted coffee cannot affect the coffee growers of Queensland. The difference of 2d. between the duties upon raw and roasted coffee, as provided for in the Tariff, can only have the effect of unduly increasing the price to the consumers. I will give an instance. Messrs. Parsons Brothers, the coffee roasters, have large factories both in Melbourne and Sydney, and they recognise to the full the value of any duty upon roasted coffee. Prior to the introduction of. the Tariff no duty was levied upon roasted coffee in New South Wales, but a duty was imposed in Victoria. On the 24th May, 1900, Messrs. Parsons Bros, quoted roasted coffee in Sydney at ls. 2d. per lb. and in Melbourne at ls. 5d. For another quality they quoted in Sydney ls. per lb. and in Melbourne ls. 2d. per lb., and the price of still another grade was ls. per lb. in Sydney and ls. 4d. per lb. in Melbourne.
– It is the duty that makes the difference - the duty has to be paid.
– Exactly ; that is, my point. If we impose . the duties proposed by the Government we shall increasethe price to the consumer. Making all. allowances for difference in weight, and. giving full value to all the arguments in favour of permitting some coffee roasting tobe carried on within the Commonwealth, a difference of Id. per lb. between the dutiesupon raw and roasted coffee would be ample.’ ‘Anything beyond ‘that would be taken out of the pockets of the consumer,’ without in any way benefiting the coffeegrowing industry in Queensland. If we> had desired to injure the Queensland coffee growers we should have attacked the duty on raw coffee, but we are now appealing to every one, whether he be protectionist or otherwise, not to allow a few coffee roasters, to put up the price of the article to the consumer.
Senator HIGGS (Queensland). - Senator Clemons has stated that it would not matter to the producers of coffee in Queensland if roasted coffee were imported from abroad at a lower duty, but Senator Fraser has pointed out that coffee essences are becoming very popular, and are largely used by certaim people throughout the Commonwealth. They find a .place in the list of rations supplied in various places. It is said that the use of this abomination, coffee essence, givespeople a taste for it after a time. Consequently, if large quantities of essence are to be introduced at a low rate of duty, it must interfere with the coffee producers in Queensland. Coffee can be produced throughout that State. I know a lady in Brisbane who grows very good coffee in the back yard of her small 16-perch allotment, so well and so freely does the plant thrive there. The coffee producers of Queensland require a duty for protective purposes against the cheap labour of other countries.
– Queensland produces 30 tons of raw coffee per annum.
– That statement shows a deplorable lack of knowledge on the part of the honorable senator. What are the facts 1 I find, according to the Queensland Statistical Register, pages 394 and 395, that Cardwell produced 56,914 lbs. of coffee in the year 1900; Douglas, 5, 244lbs ; Ingham, 4,632 lbs. ; Mackay, 3,290 lbs. ; Mareeba, 12,996 lbs.; Mourilyan, 9,520 lbs.. Queensland, in fact, produced a total of 102,134 lbs. The retail price current in Brisbane in the year 1900 for pure coffee was 2s. a lb., and for mixed coffee ls. 4d. There is no doubt that coffee is produced at lower prices in other parts of the world by means of cheap and coloured labour; -but, nevertheless, if there were no import duty the public who wish to have coffee would have to pay a very much higher rate for it than they are paying now.
– The whole issue is in a very narrow compass. What is the actual amount of protection to be obtained by the coffeeroaster within the Commonwealth 1 Take 100 lbs. of coffee. Suppose the roaster pays duty on that quantity at 3d. per lb.; that is 25s. When he has roasted the coffee and made it ready for packing, his 100 lbs. weigh only 84 lbs. The importer of 84 lbs. weight of coffee essence, at 4d. per lb. will pay 28s., but the importer of the raw coffee will have paid 25s., and there is only 3s. difference between them. This puts the protection at a very low figure. It is only necessary to mention that to show that, although it may appear on the surface that what is proposed is a reasonable assistance, as a matter of fact the protection is very small indeed. If there is any doubt about the matter, -we should consider the policy we have adopted in the Customs Act and other legislation, that we should always press more heavily upon articles which we do not wish to see imported than upon other goods ; and I do not think any one will question that it would be very much better if we could grow our own coffee rather than have the coffee essences that are made out of all sorts of rubbish in other parts of the world, and which are imported to the detriment of the people who use them. I submit that the protection which we ask for, 5d., is not a bit too much, and that if the duty is put at 4d., as now proposed, there will be a protection of only 3s. to the roaster, and that is not really enough.
– It appears to me that this is not a matter of protection to Queensland. I look upon it in another light altogether. I regard this as a revenue item as far as concerns coffee essences and roasted or ground coffee, whether mixed with milk or otherwise. This is not an article of food in the sense that it is consumed by the poorer members of the community. The principal consumers of coffee are those in better circumstances. It seems to me that the duty of 5d. per lb. is, under the circumstances, perfectly warranted, and that the free-traders who are proposing to lower it, are going against their own principles. Therefore, I shall support, the Government proposal, on the ground that this is a revenue line.
– One of the reasons why I support the tax on coffee generally is on the ground of revenue. I find from the returns laid upon the table by the Government that they estimate a revenue of something like £27,000 per annum from the duty upon coffee. But I should like to point out to the Queensland senators that, while the production of coffee in that State amounts to 102,000 lbs., the consumption of coffee in the whole Commonwealth amounts to 2,225,000 lbs. It will therefore be seen that, while Queensland is making headway with the industry, she has a long way to go before she can overtake the consumption of the States. So far as the duty of 3d. is concerned, honorable senators have no reason to anticipate that any harm will be done from what is proposed by Senator Symon, which will produce revenue and, at the same time, give a certain amount of incidental protection . So far as coffee essences are concerned, I would point out that they are not an article of luxury for rich people, who will use freshly-ground coffee. The prepared coffee essences go into the interior of the country, where it is not possible to get fresh coffee so conveniently. Whether a man is a poor or a rich man he would sooner have freshly -ground coffee if he can obtain it. It is just as well that we should assent to the proposal of Senator Symon, and make the duties on raw and roasted coffee 3d. and 4d., which will, approximate to what is fair and reasonable. I have followed the figures given by SenatorO’Connor, and they appear to be correct. But nevertheless it would be a perfectly legitimate thing in view of the fact that solarge a proportion of our people cannot obtain freshly-ground coffee, that we should, reduce the duty proposed.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). - I was very glad to hear SenatorPlayford say. that this is largely a revenue’ duty, and that he views it mainly from thatstandpoint. There is of course an elementof protection in it, to the extent which hasbeen indicated by the Postmaster-General. As to the revenue aspect, I would pointout that 4d. is exactly the South Australian, rate.
– That is what I thought sufficient at the time.
– Senator Playford has not given any reason why . he has changed his mind as to the South Australian rate which he himself imposed in 1887, and which has been in existence for fifteen years. The coffee drinkers of South Australia would prefer the rate of 4d., which increases the price of coffee by only Id. per lb., to a rate of 5d., which the honorable senator now, without any reason, thinks ought to be imposed. If the higher rate be adopted coffee will be possible only on the tables of the better-to-do classes, and the poorer people will be deprived of the beverage. I hope Senator Playford will give me his vote on the ground that what I propose is a fair and reasonable duty, which he has thought sufficient for fifteen years. - Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales). - The Government ought to give some explanation of what appears a remarkable anomaly. In the various Tariff rates, as published by the Government, raw coffee and kiln-dried coffee appear under different duties. In Victoria, raw coffee was free, and kiln-dried carried a dutv of 3d. : in Queensland, the duty on raw coffee was 4d., and on kiln-dried 6d. ; and in Tasmania the duties were 2d. and id. respectively. What is more remarkable is that in the first column, which shows the rates the Government are supposed to be charging, we have a distinction made between raw coffee at 3d., and kiln-dried coffee at 5d., while in the Tariff itself, the two are placed together. In the State Tariffs, kiln-dried and roasted coffee were always placed together, and I suppose that kiln-dried is a form of roasted coffee.
Senator HIGGS (Queensland). - I hope honorable senators realize that, in supporting the proposal of Senator Symon, they are reducing the duty on raw coffee in Queensland. In that State the duty on raw coffee was id., and on roasted and liquid coffee, 6d. ; but there appears to be an impression that there is no necessity for any impost. In spite of the duty of 6d., 52,955 lbs. of coffee were imported into Queensland in 1897 ; in 1898 the quantity was 95,138 lbs. ; in 1899 it was 89,122 lbs., and in 1900 it was 96.881 lbs. I hope honorable senators will take notice of these facts, and consider “the position of coffee producers in QueensHand. In the report of the Queensland
Registrar-General on Agricultural and Pastoral statistics for 1900, I find the following :-
There has been a slight increase iu the area of land under coffee for the past as compared with the previous year, the total area of bearing trees for 1900 being 283 acres, against 223 acres for 1899.
Honorable senators, and no doubt many people throughout the Commonwealth, are under the impression that coffee cannot be produced in the States ; but the report of the Registrar-General proceeds -
In the land under coffee shrubs which are not yet bearing, the area for 1900 is 254 acres, against 272 acres for 1899 ; so that for 1900 there is an increase in area of bearing trees of 60 acres, and in non-bearing trees a decrease of 18 acres, leaving a net increase of 42 acres. . . . Another promising district is that of Mareeba, which in 1900 returned 34 acres of bearing and 18 acres of nonbearing trees, against 34 acres and 11 acres respectively in 1899. The rich lands of Cairns, the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers, and Kuranda seem admirably adapted to the production of coffee, and so far the growers do not appear to have had any serious difficulty in picking, whilst the heat, absence of frost, and copious rainfall of those localities insure a regular growth. ,
– We are not interfering with the protective duty of the Queensland grower. .
– But the proposal1- before the committee will indirectly influence the production pf coffee in Queensland. I know there is an impression that coffee cannot be produced successfully in Queensland, owing to the absence of the necessary labour for picking. That, however, is not so ; and, further, it is erroneous to suppose that the value of the coffee produced in Queensland is only from 2d. to 6d. per lb. Dr. Thomatis, of Caravonica Estate, near Cairns, has produced coffee which has brought the highest price of 2s. per lb.
– I have placed a tin of Queensland coffee in the refreshment-room, in order that senators may sample it. This coffee was grown in Cairns, and dried in the sun.
– When coffee-growers find such ignorance of their industry existing throughout the Commonwealth, the)7 have a perfect right to send samples of their produce to Parliament House. In Queensland the best of coffee can be produced, and we have no right to attack the industry in the way proposed by Senator Symon.
Question - That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 17 by’ adding the words “and on and after 1st July, 1902, 4d.”- put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question - That item 17 stand as printed - put, and declared resolved in the affirmative.
– If a point of order is raised I must listen to it.
– I think Senator Neild hastily asked for a division, and that is why I suggest now he should withdraw his request.
– This may be an irregular discussion, but the matter before us is very important. I do not quite agree with the view of Senator O’Connor, because I think the Constitution would be complied with if we negatived the item. I hope, however, that Senator Neild will not persist in his call for a division.
– Is Senator Symon in order in addressing the Chair?
– There is a point of order raised.
– What is the point of order? I should like Senator Symon to rise and let us know.
– A senator cannot rise to address the Chair during a division, or after a division has been called for.
– As it appears that the two duties in the item have been submitted, and as I have no desire to vote against the first, I beg to withdraw my request for a division.
Call for division, by leave, withdrawn.
– On the question of procedure raised by Senator O’Connor, I wish to seek your guidance, Mr. Chairman, as I do not desire uselessly to call for any division. I submit that it is competent for the committee to negative an item, because the message which would go to another place would be drawn up, not by the committee, but by the Senate. Therefore the form in which we pass or negative a motion is immaterial.
– This is really a mere abstract question, involving very serious considerations, and I submit that you are not here, Mr. Chairman, to decide such a matter. There is really no question before the chair.
– I can scarcely agree with Senator O’Connor. I can see that it is undesirable that we should pursue a course without a definite ruling as to the procedure ; and I do not agree with my honorable friend as to the position of the committee. It seems to me that the committee is entitled to divide on a substantive motion that an item stand as printed, just as it would divide upon an amendment by way of request. If a division is called for, and the item is carried, or if it is carried on the voices, there is an end to it. But if the question “ that the item stand as printed “ be defeated, it is equivalent to a request to another place to amend the Tariff by striking out the duty altogether.
– Is it wise or desirable to raise such an important question as this at the present time?
– I quite agree that it is not; and, therefore, I do not say that you should give a definite ruling, Mr. Chairman, but I do not wish it to be implied that when Senator Neild or any one else withdraws a call for a division under these circumstances, he acquiesces in the view that such a course is unconstitutional.
– I am obliged, of course, to put the question “ that the item stand as printed,” for that is the only known procedure whereby we can arrive at a decision. The question of what would be the effect of negativing such a motion is a constitutional one, which I have no jurisdiction to decide.
– I think that the effect of negativing the question would be practically to relegate the item to the free list, and we should have to submit a request to another place to place the article on the list of exemptions.
Items 18 (Confectionery) and 19 (Eggs) agreed to.
Item 20 - Fresh fish, viz.: - Oysters, percwt., 2s. on and after 3rd April,1902.
Senator Lt.-Col. NEILD (New South Wales). - So far as I know, oysters are introduced into the Commonwealth from New Zealand, for example, only for the purpose of replenishing local beds that have been exhausted.
– No. Stewart Island oysters are sold largely in Melbourne.
– There is no local oyster production here, I presume, and therefore the duty cannot be asked for as a protective one. As it is only a revenue duty, I presume the committee will allow it to pass.
Item agreed to.
Item 21 - Fruits and Vegetables, viz. : -
Fruits, dried, viz. :
Raisins and other, including peel and ginger preserved (not in liquid), per lb. 3d.
Vegetables, dried or concentrated, ad valorem 20 per cent. ; and on and after 28th November, 1901, 15 per cent.
Fruits and vegetables, n.e.i. (preserved in liquid, or partly preserved, or pulped) -
Half-pints and smaller sizes, per dozen, 9d.
Pints and over half -pints, per dozen,1s. 6d.
Quarts and over pints, per dozen, 3s.
Exceeding a quart, per gallon,1s.
Fruits and vegetables, n.e.i., per cental, 2s.
Bananas, per cental,1s. on and after 28th November, 1901.
Senator Lt.-Col. NEILD (New South Wales). - Accordingto Sydneyprices current the duty on cooking raisins, which are the bulk of those imported, and which, I believe, are not produced locally, amounts to no less than 75 per cent. Raisins are used very largely by the poor as well as the rich, and I think it will readily be seen that the duty of 3d. per lb. upon an article of such general consumption is so high that we should not be justified in imposing it. A duty of 2d. per lb. would amount practically to 50 per cent. on the value, and it ought to be high enough for those most anxious to secure revenue, or protection for any little local efforts which may be made in the production of these articles. I am aware that there are one or two places in the Commonwealth where some attempt is made to raise raisins, but the quantity produced is small. I move -
That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 21 by inserting after the word “ Raisins,” line 4, the words “ per lb., 3d., and on and after 1st July, 1902, 2d.”
– This is very largely a revenue duty, and like other revenue duties, it has a protective incidence. To show what it means as a source of revenue, I would point out that it is estimated that this duty will produce a revenue of £25,313. That this is intended as a revenue duty is shown by the fact that, even under the New South Wales Tariff, there was a duty of 2d. per lb. on raisins. In Victoria, Queens-: land, South’ Australia, and Western Australia the duty was 3d. per lb.; in Tasmania it was 2d. per lb. Considering that this is very largely a revenue duty–
– At a rate of 100 per cent.
– The rate of percentage does not affect the question of a revenue duty. Numberless articles are subjected to a duty considerably over 100 percent. when selected for the purposes of revenue. I do not think that this duty is equal to anything like 100 per cent., and it is not prohibitive. It was imposed in Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia, where it was certainly not prohibitive, and also in Western Australia, where no doubt it was put on for revenue purposes. Under these circumstances, and as our honorable friends of the Opposition are supposed to be so very careful of the interests of Tasmania and Queensland, which are so much in need of revenne, we ought not to make any abatement in the amount of the duty. Apart from the question of revenue, surely it is a matter for consideration that raisins are being produced very largely at Mildura and Renmark, as well as in other parts of Australia 1 Surely this is one of those industries of intense cultivation, belonging to the dry country that can be irrigated, of which we ought to take some care 1 There are very few gases in which we can give protection to farmers who cultivate in the dry country, such as Renmark and Mildura, and when an instance of this kind arises, surely, if it is only a question of Id. per lb. more or less, they ought to be given some encouragement 1 I hope the duty will stand.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). - I shall support the motion. This is a revenue duty, and it is also a very heavy protective duty, and whilst I agree with Senator O’Connor as to the principle upon which we should regard a revenue duty, he seems to forget that we have no more right to make a revenue duty excessively high than we have to make a protective -duty exceedingly heavy. The point of view from which we must look at every revenue -duty is that of the consumer. We must graduate the imposition on the consumer, according to the kind of article which is involved and the generality of its consumption - whether it be an article like spirits and tobacco, which can be taxed to the uttermost farthing, or an article of universal household use, and almost a luxury to the poor, as dried fruits are. Considering the -question from the revenue point of view, I ask if a duty of 100 per cent, can be considered reasonable. If a duty is increased beyond a certain amount it becomes absolutely prohibitive of importation, and therefore destroys revenue ; while, if it is not too high to prohibit importation, it may yet be so high as to prove very burdensome to the poorer classes of the community. It must not be thought that, because honorable senators on this side are willing to impose customs duties for revenue purposes, we are indifferent -as to the rate of those duties. We look at these matters from the point of view of the consumer, and in this particular instance we say that is unreasonable to double the price of raisins to the consumer. Under the old Victorian Tariff no distinction was made between raisins, currants and dates ; they had all to pay an import duty of 3d., and it is ‘obvious that there is no particular reason for any differentiation between them. But, under the federal Tariff as it stands now the duty on currants has been reduced to 2d. per lb., and the duty upon dates to Id. per lb. These rates are equal to ad valorem duties of something over 75 per cent., and why should we impose a higher rate upon raisins ? The effect of reducing the duty upon dates has been to increase their consumption in Victoria tenfold, while the reduction of the duty upon currants to 2d. per lb. has largely increased the consumption of that article, too. But another point of view from which the duty is to be considered is supplied by the fact that raisins are grown at Mildura, and at Renmark, and other parts of South Australia. It must also be borne in mind, however, that dates are grown in South Australia; and it is to be hoped that the production of dates in some of the more-favoured positions nearer the centre of the continent will be very large.
– We hardly produce any dates at all in South Australia.
– But surely my honorable friend desires to encourage the production of dates, as I do ; and I ask him why, since the duty upon dates has been reduced to Id. per lb., the duty on raisins should be left at 3d. per lb. ? . A duty of 2d. per lb. on raisins would afford ample protection to the growers. Those who grow raisins in Renmark and Mildura do not require protection. The average price of Mildura raisins selling in fair-sized parcels - in what I suppose would be called merchants’ parcels - is from 2d. to per lb., so that the proposed duty is equivalent to an ad valorem rate of from 50 and 60 to over 100 per cent’.
– But the duty is levied not on Mildura raisins, but on imported raisins. .
– It is an import duty for the benefit of the Mildura producers, and. gives them an advantage of from 50 to 60 to 100 per cent. The figures I have quoted show that the Mildura raisins have practically overtaken the demand in this .market so far as fruit of a certain quality is concerned. I understand that there are better kinds of raisins, ‘ such as the sultana raisin, which are not yet produced at Mildura, but that ultimately they will be produced there. However, the figures which I have given show that there is no need for a larger protective duty than 2d. per lb., and that, from a revenue point of view, a higher duty upon an article of universal consumption would be excessive.
– Some question was raised by the” mover of the motion as to whether there is really a substantial dried-fruit industry at Mildura and Renmark. The demands of Australia in regard to dried fruit have not been nearly overtaken by the local production, but the quality of the raisins produced locally in South Australia and Victoria has been so good that in 1900 Victoria, under a duty of 3d. per lb., exported 663,177 lbs. to. other States, and South Australia, under the same dutv, 4S,296 lbs., or in all 711,473 lbs.
– After meeting their own requirements 1
– Yes. These figures show that in Victoria and South Australia there is a very substantial industry, which has proved its right to be fairly considered. It has grown and flourished under a protection of 3d. per lb.
– It grew up. because of Chaffey Brothers’ venture and enterprise in the two States.
– Will my’ honorable and learned friend say that if it had not been for the protection afforded there would have been any possibility of the industry growing at all ?
– The experience of Australia in other matters shows conclusively that it would not have been worth the while of Chaffey Brothers, or any one else, to embark on a venture “of this kind unless there wai a certainty of keeping out the foreign product by means of a duty. These figures will be very useful to honorable senators in determining this question, because I can quite see that there- is an intention to give some consideration to this industry. I appeal to the representatives of Victoria and South Australia to see that there is no undue or unreasonable interference with it.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania). - This is a very excellent example of an item which gives rise to a direct conflict between protection on the one hand and revenue for most of the smaller States on the other. In Tasmania the duty on raisins, which no doubt Senator O’Connor will tell us was a revenue duty, was 2d. per lb. If the federal duty were 2d. per lb., Tasmania would get pre’cious little revenue; a fortiori with a duty of 3d. per lb. she will get practically no revenue. In 1890 Victoria exported about 690,000 lbs. of raisins, after,
I presume, she had satisfied her local requirements. If she exports raisins toTasmania, the latter will get practically no revenue. We are asked to give fair consideration both to natural industries and to the revenues of the smaller States.
– A duty of 2d. a lb.. would not assist Tasmania any more than will a duty of 3d. per lb.
-If the duty of 3d. is maintained Tasmania will get no revenueworth collecting from that source. If it is reduced she will get much less revenue than she did from her old duty, but she may geta little. The smallest consideration that honorable senators ought to offer to Tasmania is to reduce the duty by aid-. If they make that reduction they will not bedoing her justice, but they will, to a small extent, be endeavouring to compromisetwo antagonistic views. Is there no limit to the amount of protection that they want 1 Apparently there is not. Senator O’Connor has said something about the rate of the duty. I think it is equivalent to 100 per cent., but if he says that it is equivalent to 75 per cent., then I ask him if he wants a duty of 75 per cent., at the cost of losingrevenue to the smaller States, to get up and say so. I ask protectionists to stand up’ and tell the people of Australia that on a. natural product of the soil, they require at least 75 per cent, protection.
– The duty is 3d. per lb. in Western Australia, where it was imposed for purely revenue purposes.
– Precisely, and where it had a purely revenue producing result. We might have expected SenatorO’Connor to have had more knowledge of what is meant by revenue duties, than toinsinuate that a duty of 3d. per lb. in theCommonwealth Tariff will have the same effect as had a duty of 3d. per lb. in aState Tariff. I submit to him that a duty of 3d. per lb. is absolutely destructive of revenue to the smaller States. If he says in answer - “That may be so, but I must consider our protected industries,” I ask - Is there any compromise at all ? Does he seriously suggest that 75 per cent, is necessary toprotect this industry? The result of the protective duty in Victoria has been to create that which we know often . occurs under protection. The growers of raisins here formed a trust, and are going to extend its operations, because they have the Commonwealth to deal with. The trust was formed with the result that the local purchasers of raisins had invariably to pay a higher price than did the purchasers in other States. What were the tactics adopted by the trust in Victoria prior to federation? For exactly the same quality of raisins the local prices were 4£d., 4d., and 5-[-d., and the export prices. 3^-d., 3d., and 4¾d. I asb the committee to consider how the operations of the trust may one day affect the people of the Commonwealth! The same’ result will happen the local price will be much higher than the export price, because it is fairly conceivable that the Commonwealth may be an exporter of raisins. Does Senator Drake wish the Commonwealth to export raisins with this result - that the local consumer would pay at least a penny a lb. more than would the consumer in Great Britain? This duty can have only one incidence, and that is absolutely mad protection - 100 per cent.! - for the product of a primary industry in Victoria and South Australia to the disadvantage of Tasmania and every other State which cannot grow raisins. Does Senator Barrett think it fair that Tasmania should be debarred from every item of revenue because Victoria has had this big protective duty, and that at the same time the consumer should not get cheaper raisins ?
– Whether it is equal to 75 per cent, or 100 per cont., I desire a duty of 3d. per lb. to be imposed on raisins. I am not ashamed to go before the people of Victoria and say that although a duty may be equal to 75 per cent., if it is necessary for the protection of this or any other article, I am.prepared, not only to vote for it, but to induce the committee to pass it. Senator Clemons has made a number of statements, but he has not givenus any proof that they are absolutely correct. He has quoted foom a document which may or may not be absolutely truthful. The honorable and learned senator asked whether the whole of the people in the Commonwealth were to be taxed in respect of raisins for the sake of Victoria and South Australia. In reply to that question, I would ask him another, namely, whether the whole of the people of the Commonweallth are to be taxed in respect of hops for the sake of Tasmania ?
– No. If the honorable senator will consent to reduce the duty on raisins, I shall vote for the reduction of the duty upon hops.
– That is a perfectly safe offer to make.
– I am prepared to protect the hop growing or any other industry irrespective of the State in which it may be carried on. The honorable and learned senator’ has stated further, that if the present duty is continued Tasmania will derive no revenue from it. So far as I can ascertain, Tasmania would derive very little revenue from a duty upon raisins under present or any other conditions, and the amount of the duty will not make the slightest difference.
– We received 2d. upon every lb. of raisins imported prior to the establishment of the Tariff.
– Some honorable senators tell us that they have a great deal of sympathy with the primary producer, and as raisin-growing is a primary industry, which is only in its infancy,’ I appeal to them to grant a -generous protective duty. The raisin-growers have had an uphill fight, and have only very recently been able to obtain any return for their labour. I trust therefore that the duty of 3d. per lb. will be retained.
Senator Lt.-Col. NEILD (New South Wales). - Since I made my opening statement, I have referred to the Sydney “ prices current,” and I find that I have considerably understated the rate of the proposed duty on raisins. Eleme raisins, which are very largely used in cooking and manufacturing, are sold in the open market in Sydney, duty paid, at 6Jd. per Jb. This class of raisins is not grown at Mildura, so it cannot be contended that the duty does not affect the cost to the consumer. The price of Eleme raisins in bond is 3^-d. per lb. This includes the importers’ profit and the cost of importation, which, for Customs purposes, is assessed at 10 per cent, upon the invoice price. Taking this into account, it is reasonable to suppose that the value of the article at the port of shipment would not be a fraction over 3d. per lb., upon which the duty proposed by the Government represents fully 100 per cent. Sultanas, which are not grown at Mildura or Renmark, are sold in bond at from 4d. to 4f d. per lb., and deducting the cost of importation and the importers’ profit, we may assume that the duty represents fully 95 per cent, upon the cost of the raisins at the port of shipment. Muscatel raisins, which are used only as a dessert fruit, are quoted at ls. per lb. in bond, and ls. 3d. per lb. duty paid. The ls. includes the cost of importation and the importers’ profit, and it is therefore quite evident that the duty of 3d. per lb. represents about 33 per cent, upon the cost of the article at the place of t export. If we strike an average extending over the three classes of raisins I have quoted, the duty proposed by the Government represents 75 per cent, upon the value at the place of export. I do not think that I could more fairly state the figures, or give the Senate a better idea of values than I have done.
Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia). - I have not the slightest doubt that the figures quoted by the honorable senator are absolutely correct, but it does not -matter whether they are or not. Our object is, in the first place, to obtain revenue, and in the second place, if we can, to incidentally help the producer. Senator Clemons made one of the most illogical speeches I have ever heard him deliver. He asked - “ What protection do you want ; do you want 100 per cent, or 50 per cent., or 20 per cent. ?” In answer to that, I say that it entirely depends on the circumstances of the- case. So far as raisins are concerned, we. ‘have the actions of the various States in the past to guide us, and we find that in four States out of six a duty of 3d. per lb. has been levied. This proves that the duty proposed by the Government is required. It is all very fine for Senator Clemons to ask the representatives of South Australia or Victoria, - “ As you have established this industry of raisin-growing, why should you want such high protection 1 “ The honorable and learned senator forgets that just as high a rate of protection, 100 per cent., is extended to hops which are produced in his own State, and that an even higher rate of duty is imposed upon jams, which are largely made in that part of the Commonwealth. I venture to say that the honorable senator will not condemn these duties as excessive because of their high percentage. The question is not one of percentage, but the duties have to be fixed with a view to their revenue-producing capacity, and having regard to all the circumstances. Senator Symon displayed exceeding cleverness in attempting to lead us off the track. South Australia made an attempt to produce dates, and because the Tariff provided for a duty of only Id. per lb. on that article, the honorable and learned senator argued that there should be a duty of only Id. per lb. upon raisins, which are also grown in that State. So far as dates are concerned, not 100 lbs. of dates fit for consumption are grown in South Australia in any year, as our date palms are only just coming into bearing. We know that dates are exceedingly cheap in foreign countries, the price being in some cases considerably below Id. per lb. Therefore, a duty of Id. per lb. would represent more than 100 per cent, upon the value of the dates at the place of export, and more than the duty of 3d. per lb. would represent in regard to raisins. Then the honorable and learned senator pointed to the South Australian Tariff, and told me that as I was responsible for that Tariff, I ought to vote for duties in keeping with those provided for in it. I ask the honorable and learned senator to apply that argument to himself. I have no doubt the South Australian Tariff is dear to his heart.
– It is dear to my pocket !
– Senator Symon is constantly turning to the South Australian Tariff, and complimenting its author. But the duty under the South Australian Tariff was 3d. per lb., which is an exceedingly fair rate. Senator Clemons says that a trust has been formed which eventually will become a gigantic affair, and will injure the consumer by raising the price. There is not the slightest chance of a trust doing anything of the sort for a long time to come. I only wish it could. I wish our production could overtake the whole consumption of the States. That would be a good thing for South Australia. But why was the trust formed? Because the Mildura, Renmark, and other fruit-growers in South Australia and Victoria found the importer in their way in regard to the sale of their commodities. They found that the importer had secured the market, had supplied the storekeepers throughout the various States for years and years, and no individual producer could by himself compete against them. They were beaten down to such a low price that Mildura and Renmark would not have been able to exist if they had not formed a trust. They were obliged to do so in absolute self-defence against the importers.
– That was not the reason.
– All I know is that I was up at Mildura and Renmark on a commission, and we took evidence from the Renmark growers. That was the reason given to me for the formation of a trust.
– But that is not the trust that Senator Clemons referred to. Senator Playford is alluding to the packers’ association. That is not the same as the agents’ trust, which has been formed to keep up the price of raisins and currants.
– These packers formed a trust, as I have explained ; and any trust that has been formed outside that one can have no more reference to Mildura than to any other place.
– Indeed it has, because the agents in Victoria and at Renmark and Mildura haveagreed to raise the price to a uniform limit.
– Therefore it has been done to help the producers. They first established the packers’ association, by whom the goods are put together, and then they formed another trust for the purpose of regulating the price as far as possible and to Steady the market and keep back supplies. That was necessary in order to maintain the market. Unless this had been done, the producers could not have got a living. Honorable senators are aware that for years and years the importers have ruled the market with their foreign produce, and have endeavoured to create a prejudice against the locallyproduced article. They exercised influence over the small storekeepers, who are the general distributors throughout the country. If the storekeepers sold the local article they would be boycotted. Consequently the producers were compelled to form a combine to help one another. Senator Clemons also said that Tasmania was going to lose revenue. But as far as I could see, his argument proved a great deal too much. According to what he said, it does not matter whether we make the duty 3d., or id., or 1d., or whether we make the article absolutely free, Tasmania is bound to lose. In South Australia we have had the industry established under the same rate of duty as is proposed by the House of Representatives. I believe that the other
House has come to the right decision upon the matter, and that a duty of 3d. is exceedingly fair. It comes to something like 75 per cent., which is not so high as the duty on wine, which amounts to 200 pet cent. Upon jams, the duty is 100 per cent., and I do not suppose that our free-trade friends will attempt to interfere with that. To single out the duty on raisins, which has existed in Victoria and South Australia for many years, and to reduce it, is altogether a mistake. The argument is advanced that the percentage is higher than that on currants, which, at 2d. per lb., is over 100 per cent. protection.
– It is all revenue.
– Does the honorable senator know of the hundreds of tons of currants which are grown in South Australia every year? We are supplying all our own wants, and are beginning to supply other States. Raisins are certainly more of a luxury than currants, which are especially a poor man’s article, used in the poor man’s puddings. Raisinsare used in a more limited degree. I therefore trust that the motion will not be agreed to.
– From the prices quoted by Senator Neild, it must be perfectly evident to every one that the duties proposed by the Government are exorbitant, and that the suggestion of the leader of the Opposition amounts to a very high rate. Australia, at present, is producing a certain kind of raisin, sufficient for the local consumption, and in addition exports something like 700,000 lbs. of raisins per annum. But, while the duty proposed by the Opposition is high, that proposed by the Government is altogether absurd. The great danger is that in imposing very high duties on commodities produced in Australia, we may assist to bring about the formation of trusts, which would put up the price to the amount at which the imported article can be brought into Australia. In the Argus of 15th February, 1899, the following paragraph appeared : -
To help Mildura the Victorian Parliament raised the duty on imported dried fruits to 3d. per lb., which, on the average, is equal to 150 to 200 per cent. on prime cost.
That is the duty that the Government are also proposing -
Last year this provision was taken advantage of in this manner. Raisins were exported to New Zealand and New South Wales at 3d. per lb., and
Melbourne merchants had to pay 5Ad. per lb. This year the Mildura Trust has announced its determination to lower the export price for their best samples, and to raise the price for their low samples, which, they reckon, must be consumed by the Victorian public, on account of the duty of 3d.
If that statement is true, a ring has been formed in Victoria, and we are giving it facilities to extend its operations all over Australia. Raisins are sold retail in the streets of Melbourne at from 4d. or od. per lb. The proposal of the Opposition will give locally-produced raisins a protection equal to 50 per cent. Surely that is not a duty which will ruin an Australian industry. That high duties create the danger of trusts is clearly shown by the extraordinary increase of these combinations in America. Indeed, I have shown that in respect of raisins a trust has already been formed in Victoria, and local consumers are made to pay a much higher rate than that at which the commodity is exported, the excess representing nearly 700,000 lbs. annually. It has been denied that) Mildura raisins can be bought in the streets of Melbourne at from 4d. to 5d. per lb., but my statement to that effect is confirmed by several honorable senators. We are offering a protection of nearly 50 per cent, on the retail price, whereas the Government proposal means over 100 per cent, on the wholesale rate. We are giving certain people the opportunity of exploiting the public of Australia by an enormously high duty which shuts out the lower class of raisins. The natural protection as against imported raisins is at least 20 per cent., which, together with the 50 per cent, now offered, means 70 per cent.; and yet that is objected to as too small. The following letter is signed by Messrs. James Service and Co. and nine other leading merchant firms in Melbourne : -
We desire to draw your attention to the present high rate of duty on raisins, viz., 3d. per lb. This rate represents more than 100 per cent, on the average cost of raisins landed in Australia, and is higher than the duty on raisins in any other country of the world. The reason for such a high duty on raisins was, presumably, to protect Mildura, and similar centres producing raisins. But as Mildura raisins are selling in merchants’ parcels from 2d. to 4id. per lb., the necessity for such a high rate of duty would appear to have ceased to exist. Under the old Victorian Tariff, the duty on currants was 3d. per lb., and on dates 3d. per lb. This was reduced by the Federal House of .Representatives to 2d. on currants and Id. on dates, and even these reduced rates represent, on an average, about 100 per cent, on the cost of these fruits. Dried fruit is used in every household, and particularly in tho houses of the working classes, with whom it is almost a necessity. And if the rate of duty on raisins were reduced, the increased consumption would, in our opinion, more than recoup any loss in revenue, as in the case of dates the consumption has increased tenfold, while in currants the reduction of duty from 3d. to 2d. per lb. has considerably increased the consumption.
The manufacture of raisins is confined to a few places in Australia, and with an extremely high duty it will be the easiest thing in the world for the producers to combine and arrange a scale of prices under which they will make enormous profits at the expense of the general community. Another reason for reducing the duty is that we desire to obtain revenue. Western Australia does not produce any raisins, and in that State this will be a purely revenue duty. If a high duty be imposed, the consumption of the better classes of raisins must’ fall off, and the result will be a loss of revenue. The object of the Government, as stated over and over again, is “ revenue without destruction,” and surely a duty ranging from 50 to 60 per cent, will not injure an industry which is already exporting and selling in the open markets of the world. Any reasonable protectionist must see that a duty of 2d. is amply sufficient for all purposes.
– I have been trying to regard the proposal before us from two stand-points, the first of which is that of revenue. My honorable colleague Senator Clemons is quite as anxious as I am to conserve the revenue of the smaller States, and in the view he puts forward he must be under a misapprehension. The raisins imported are of the more expensive class ; and I have , here some figures from the Australian , Journal of Commerce, showing prices before and after the introduction of the Tariff. The wholesale price of muscatel and Malaga prime was ls. Id. per lb. before the introduction of the Tariff, and so late as the 21st April last the price was practically the same, or ls. Id. or ls. 2d. per lb. Sultanas were previously 7d. and 7£d. per lb., and on the date I have mentioned they were 6d., which, strange to say, shows a reduction. Another brand of imported raisins was sold at 6£d. per lb. before the Tariff was introduced, and at 6d. afterwards, again showing practically no difference.
– Before federation, prices varied in the different States.
– I do not agree with Senator Clemons that an increase of a1d. in the duty on an article which was worth 1s.1d. per lb. before the introduction of the Tariff, is going to decrease the importation. There will be just as large an importation of the better brands of raisins under a duty of 3d. as under a duty of 2d.
– Has the honorable senator compared the price in April of last year with the price in April of this year?
– I have not done that ; I am looking at the question from a general stand-point. If my contention be correct, the smaller States will get even a larger revenue under a duty of 3d. than under a duty of 2d. The cheaper classes of raisins consumed are those from Mildura and other parts of the Commonwealth. Before the introduction of the Tariff the price of Mildura raisins was 41/2d. per lb., and at that figure they have remained. The information which I have gathered from the Australian Journal of Commerce - which should be a very fair authority on the subject - shows that the price of the cheaper class of raisins has not been raised by the increase of1d. per lb. in. the duty which has taken place so far as those States are concerned in which the duty was formerly 2d. per lb. Senator Clemons is confident that the smaller States will lose bythis duty, because it will have the effect of decreasing importations. I am equally certain that they will not, and that the cost of the cheaper raisins will not be increased. In Tasmania, which is one of the smaller States, those who have been using coloniallyproduced raisins will continue to consume them, while those who can afford to pay for the higher-priced article will continue to use imported raisins. I am sure that Senator Clemons is genuine in his desire that the poorer classes should not be called on to pay an increased price for their raisins, and I am equally anxious that they should not. I maintain that they will not have to do so, and that Tasmania will not suffer by the increase from 2d. to 3d. per lb. Therefore I support the duty.
Senator HIGGS (Queensland). - I do not understand how any honorable senator can imagine that those who support this proposal do so in the interests of the poor, when we find that they have agreed already to a duty of 100 per cent. on currants, which are used very largely by the working classes. They propose now to reduce the duty onan article which is used by gentlemen who can have soup, fish, poultry, and so forth for dinner, and wine, muscatels, and almonds for dessert.
– How many of the “ horny-handed,” for whom Senator Clemons says he is anxious to secure this concession, ever have muscatels, almonds, and wine after dinner?
– Every household in the Commonwealth uses raisins.
– Every home in the Commonwealth uses muscatels, almonds, and wines after dinner? That is a very interesting statement from free-traders who have been telling the people of protectionist States that protection is ruining them.
– Every household uses pudding raisins.
– If honorable senators turn to page7881 of Hansard, they will find a reference to the discussion which took place on this item in another place.
– The honorable senator cannot allude to the debates in another place, but he can refer to the records of the House.
– I was going to say that according to the, records of Parliament which I hold here–
– The honorable senator did not say that. He said that he proposed to quote from Hansard. He cannot do that.
– The records show that an amendment in favour of the reduction of this duty was negatived in another place.
– By only two votes.
– No. An amendment was moved in another place to reduce the duty to 2d. per lb.; but the mover gave way when he found that the committee was against him, and the amendment was negatived on the voices. I trust honorable senators will see that those who are able to indulge in wine, muscatels, and almonds after dinner pay a little extra for their raisins, and that they will protect the vinegrowers of Queensland to the extent of this duty. In Queensland, in 1899, 3,230,627 lbs. of grapes were gathered from 1,746 acres, while in 1900, 3,634,949 lbs. were gathered there from 1,734 acres. Queensland is a very rich country, having wonderful resources ; but although this large quantity of grapes was produced there, and notwithstanding that there was a duty of 3d. per lb. under the State Tariff, I find that raisins of the total value of £12,530, yielding a duty of £7,974 5s. 9d., were imported into that State during 1900 from two or three of the other Australian States, the United Kingdom, Arabia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Asia Minor, Greece, and the United States. Do honorable senators think that, if we reduce this duty, we are likely to have a larger importation 1
– I think that Senator Symon is only looking after the interests of gentlemen who consume these expensive luxuries after dinner.
– Nothing of the kind.
– J ust as the honorable and learned senator assisted in reducing the duty on high-class cigars in the interests of the aristocracy. The vine-growers of Queensland .are desirous of being protected against the imports of producers in Arabia, Asia Minor, Greece, Turkey, Italy, and other places, who have probably a very large supply of cheap labour at their disposal, and would send their products to our country if a reduced duty were agreed to. During the tour made by senators in search of a site for the federal capital - and which was looked upon as time wasted - I had an opportunity of observing that raisins and everything coming within the same category can be produced in a very high state of excellence in “various parts of the Commonwealth. We saw them at Wagga Wagga and Albury, for example.
– And produced under State socialism.
– Yes. The New South Wales Government have been very wise in securing the best expert teachers in order to show the people that the best of these articles can be produced. Are honorable senators going to interfere with the State Parliaments, which have passed legislation for the encouragement of the raisin and currant industry by the establishment of vineyards, to teach people the proper way in which to grow and preserve these fruits? Free-trade senators tell us that we should not encourage what they call exotic industries, among which, I suppose, they would include the boot industry ; but they never seem to be tired of levying taxes upon our primary industries, of which this is one.
– It seems to me that Senator O’Keefe based his conclusions on very misleading grounds. He gave us the price of raisins before and after the imposition, of this Tariff - at the end of September last, and in April. . But, inasmuch as the raisin crop is an annual one, and is put upon the market in April, raisins are cheaper in that month than they are at any other period of the year.
– New season’s raisins generally command a higher price than other raisins.
– It is the same with raisins as with wheat. When the crop is first put upon the market, there is a number of sellers who must realize, and that brings down prices. Afterwards, when stocks have become low, prices increase. What Senator O’Keefe should have done, was to make a comparison between the price of raisins in April of last year, and the price of raisins in April of this year. While on this subject, I should like to read to honorable senators a quotation which appeared in the Melbourne Ago of 9th May last, dealing with the prices of dried fruits-
Cables continue to advise strength in the London markets for currants, and 19s., ci.f., is quoted tor Australasian samples. Dates are firm, and business covering a moderate aggregate ex spot stocks is mentioned, small lots bringing 3Jd. to 3 3/8d. , and parcels to the former price for new, and lower for old, fruit locally. In sultanas a small business done at “ijd. to 8id. The Moravian, about seventeen days out, has fair supplies, followed by the Warrigal with good shipments. About 1,000 boxes bought in Sydney for this market, and now local stocks are out of first hands. In Mildura currants, business at 44d. to 4gd.
Senator Higgs spoke of the duty upon curranis as a duty of 100 per cent., but that quotation shows that it is a duty of only 50 per cent. Then Senator O’Keefe said that the price of raisins before the Commonwealth Tariff was imposed, was 7d. per lb., and 7-Jd. per lb. after .the imposition of the Tariff; but his figures do not agree with those which I have just quoted. This extract shows that Australia is exporting hot only raisins but also currants.
– But it does not show that she meets her own requirements in the matter of raisins.
– It is likely that she would meet herown requirements before 8ending dried fruits to England to compete with the productions of other countries. It seems to me that if a duty of 2d. per lb. will place the currant industry upon such a sound basis that our producers can send currants to England to compete there against the currants from Greece and other parts of the world, a duty of 2d. per lb. would be sufficiently high to impose upon raisins.
– Some honorable senators seem to be greatly concerned about the amendment, because it is proposed to place the same duty upon raisins as upon currants, and I gather from the arguments which they have used, that if the duty upon currants had been reduced to less than 2d. per lb., they would have been willing to agree to a duty of 2d. per lb. upon raisins.- I would point out to them, however, that even if 2d. per lb. is too high a duty to place upon currants, that is no reason why we should penalize the consumers of raisins by compelling them to pay a duty of 3d. per lb. They overlook the fact that in hardly any other Tariff in the British dominions has a distinction been made between raisins and currants in the matter of duty.
– In South Australia there was a duty of 2d. per lb. upon currants, and of 3d. per lb. upon raisins.
– That is the only State in which a distinction was made. All the other States, and Canada and New Zealand, made the duty upon raisins the same as upon currants. Senator Higgs referred to the large quantity of grapes grown in Queensland, and ‘apparently wanted us to infer that there is a fine field there for the raisin industry. But, although there was a duty of 3d. per lb. upon raisins under the Queensland Tariff, no raisins were produced in Queensland up to the time of the imposition of the Federal Tariff. Large as is the Queensland crop, it is, with the exception of table grapes, wholly absorbed by the wine industry. Furthermore, I would point out that the producers of raisins will be better off if Senator Symons’ amendment is carried than they were under the State Tariffs, because, whereas formerly they had to pay high duties iu order to put their produce upon the markets of the other States, there -is now with Inter-State free-trade a clear market, and they will have, in addition, a duty of 2d. per lb. to protect them against the competition of producers in other parts of the world. If, with all our natural advantages - good soil and climate, and’ intelligent and industrious people - we cannot make the raisin industry pay, the sooner we give it up and go in for something that will pay, the better it will be for all concerned.
Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales). - We have been told by Senator Higgs that imported raisins are for the table of the rich man. Last year Victoria imported 715,000 lbs. of raisins. If these had all been muscatels, at ls. or ls. 3d. per lb., the value would have been £40,000 instead of only £12,000, which works out at about 4¼d. per lb. landed. The raisins when shipped were worth less than 4d. per lb. The percentage of high-class raisins included in that quantity was as near nil as possible. The truth is that the bulk of the raisins imported from Europe are of the lower class, on which a duty of 2d per lb. is equal to a protection of at least 50 per cent., in addition to the natural protection of 20 per cent. The attempt to mislead us as to the character of the raisins is therefore an utter failure. Senator O’Keefe stated that the smaller States will continue to use Australian fruit. If Tasmania continues to use Australian fruit she will get no revenue from this source, whereas if the duty is reduced to 2d. per lb., there will be some probability of a percentage of imported fruit being consumed, and to that extent she will get some revenue.
Senator GLASSEY (Queensland). - It is contended by some honorable senators that there is little or no difference between the price of currants and the price of raisins. For several years - certainly a long while ago - I was engaged in selling these articles, on commission as a traveller. My experience went to prove that there is a difference of from 30 to 40 per cent, in the values, and I think that will hold good to-day. If it be fair from both the protectionist and the revenue point of view to levy a duty of 2d. per lb. on currants - to which proposition honorable senators have tacitly agreed - a duty of 3d. per lb. on raisins is equally fair. It has been contended that the existence of the trusts at Mildura and other places is. highly detrimental to the people of the Commonwealth, and that exceptionally high charges are generally made. I find that the establishment of Mildura as a fruitproducing colony has been a great blessing to the people of Victoria. In Melbourne Mildura raisins can lae bought as cheaply as imported currants, and there is no householder but would prefer sultana raisins to ordinary currants. The contention that the trusts have been highly detrimental to the interests of the consumer cannot be borne out by the facts. It has been stated by Senator Smith and others that Mildura raisins have been sold at 4d. and 5d. per lb. - I presume he means by the wholesale merchant ?
– No ; in the streets of Melbourne.
– That is the retail price. So far as I can ascertain there is no such price as 4d. or 5d. per lb. charged for Mildura raisins. During the luncheon hour I went to a very respectable establishment at the top of Bourke-street, and ascertained that Mildura sultanas are sold at lOd. per lb., imported currants at 7d. per lb., and the ordinary Mildura raisins at 7d. per lb. I bought some samples of the Mildura fruits,’ which I place on the table for the use of honorable senators. By the removal of the commercial barriers, the people of the States get the benefit of the production of this splendid Mildura fruit at as cheap a rate as they can buy imported currants. We are told that the imposition of the extra duty will injure the revenue. I think it will not make the slightest difference in that respect.. Many years ago Queensland levied a duty of 2d. per lb. on these articles, and later on it was increased to 3d. per lb., and notwithstanding the increased duty there has been a corresponding rise in the revenue. I thought it well to deal practically with the question before the committee, and not to theorize or to come here with wild statements supplied by merchants, who are extremely anxious to preserve then* profits. That the incidence of a protective duty is not against the interests of the consumer, but in their favour, is proved by the evidence I have placed on the table. Honorable senators on the other side are moving in the interests of the importer and the middleman. I am studying the interests of the producers and the great consuming public. Unless this difference in the duty is maintained, it will be manifestly unfair, because currants are everywhere of very much less value than raisins.
Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales). - I am sorry’ to have to throw a little cold water on the enthusiasm of Senator Glassey. If he will refer to the returns for 1900, he will see that 663,000 lbs. of Victorian raisins were exported for the sum of £10,150, and that the value of the fruit was therefore only about 3d. per lb.
– It is excellent proof that protection is a good thing that we can afford to export raisins at less than 4d. per lb. Before raisins were produced in Australia the price here was Sd. or 9d. per lb., but now we are told by Senator Smith that it is 5d. per lb., and, if I recollect aright, Senator Symon said 4id. per lb. The duty is 3d. per lb., and we are told that without the duty raisins would be cheaper. Is it to be assumed that we would then get them for Id. per lb.? Our honorable friends on the other side are very solicitous about the poor working men. What raisins do they use ? The Mildura raisins, because they cannot afford to buy the high-class ones. Honorable senators would deprive the working men of plum pudding if they had their way. We are all very apt to look at these questions from the point of view of our own States. Senator Clemons deplored the fact that Victorian or South Australian raisins might find their way into Tasmania, and thereby deprive that State of the revenue she might otherwise derive from raisins imported from abroad. This would apply all round. Senator Clemons voted for the duty imposed on sugar, with a view to encouraging the growth of sugar in Queensland, and very properly so ; but I do not know that any Victorian respresentative has objected to the sugar duty, or to receiving sugar from Queensland,, because it would deprive Victoria of the revenue she would otherwise derive from sugar coming from abroad. Objections such as the honorable senator has raised are entirely out of place. We are not legislating for any particular State, but for the whole Commonwealth. What would Senator Clemons say if we were to object to Tasmanian Cascade beer coming into Victoria, because it would decrease the revenue derived from the duty upon beer imported from foreign parts, or if we objected to hops coming from Tasmania because we should not derive so much revenue from New Zealand hops? I hope the duty will be retained.
Senator FRASER (Victoria).- I buy raisins very largely sometimes to send to Queensland and other places, and the price I pay is about 43/4d. per lb. I think, therefore, that a duty of 2d. per lb. upon raisins would be ample. Our growers now have the whole of the Australian markets to operate upon, and as they have shipped some of their raisins to London in competition against the whole world, they ought to be able to compete successfully in the Australian markets with the foreign product. I have had some experience in connexion with the Mildura settlement, and I feel sure that the raisin growers there will be infinitely better off with a duty of 2d. per lb. in the future than when they had the assistance of a higher duty, but were restricted to the Victorian market.
Question - That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 21, by adding after the word “Raisins,” line 4, the words, “ per lb., 3d., and on and after 1st July, 1902, 2d.” - put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). - I move -
That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 21, by adding, after the figures “ 15 per cent.,” line 8, the words - “and on and after 1st July, 1902, free.”
Preserved vegetables are an absolute necessary of life in the interior districts of Australia, because it is impossible to obtain fresh vegetables beyond 100 miles from the sea coast.
Senator EWING (Western Australia).It is almost amusing to hear protection suggested for the benefit of the vegetable growers of Australia, when we know perfectly well that a very large proportion of those growers are Chinamen. In addition to that, does any rational man mean to tell me that preserved vegetables will ever come into competition with fresh vegetables, when the latter can be obtained % There is practically no sale for preserved vegetables when fresh vegetables can be purchased. This is a tax which will increase the cost of living of the persons who are least favoured in Australia - those on the back-blocks’ goldfields of Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia, where it is impossible to get fresh vegetables - and yet the article is one which is absolutely essential to the maintenance of a healthy condition of life. If there is a tax which is undesirable it is that which is imposed for the purpose of obtaining revenue from one class only, and that class the least favoured of all the people of Australia.
Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (Western Australia). - I sincerely hope that the committee will realize the necessity of supporting Senator Symon’s motion. No one will contend that concentrated vegetables will be used if fresh vegetables can be obtained. These commodities are only used where the soil is so dry and arid that it is impossible to grow fresh vegetables. The duty will cruelly increase the burdens of those people who have to go out into the wilderness prospecting for mining purposes, by increasing the cost of articles which are absolutely necessary if they wish to maintain their health. I can give an illustration from personal experience. When I first went to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, before the railway was constructed, there was a population of from 15,000 to 20,000 people, and the only fresh vegetables we could get were a few potatoes. Those who went out prospecting did not take potatoes with them, because they were too heavy and bulky, and the only possible way in which they could obtain vegetables was by taking them in a concentrated form. Where there is no railway communication, and fresh vegetables cannot be grown, they cannot be obtained at all, as they would only last for a few days. Therefore, in those places only concentrated or preserved vegetables can be used. That is only an illustration with regard to one mining centre. At present we have an ample supply of fresh vegetables in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, because we have railway communication ; but while our disadvantages in that respect have been remedied, twenty other centres have grown up where there is no railway communication, and where vegetables cannot be grown. Take the position of prospectors. I can speak from personal experience, having assisted to fit out prospecting expeditions that have gone out for as long as six months at a time. These people could not possibly take potatoes with them. They would set out with half-a-dozen camels, and the only vegetables they could take were those in a concentrated form. Is it not a cruel thing to say that these people shall pay a higher price for these articles by means of a revenue duty? I contend that concentrated vegetables are not produced in Australia. It has been mentioned that there was a factory in Tasmania, but we were told by Senator Macfarlane that it is now closed down. In the year for which figures have been supplied to us, Western Australia imported from Victoria only £3,000 worth of dried vegetables out of the whole quantity she consumed, and probably those were re-exported from Melbourne.
Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia). - The statement made by Senator Symon in moving this motion, that there are no institutions in the Commonwealth in which these dried and concentrated vegetables are prepared, is, I believe, accurate. But that may be because previously each State had its own Tariff against its neighbours, and there was not sufficient inducement for any one to go in for the business. The question is whether, as we are now one Commonwealth, works may not be established for the supply of our own requirements. I am a vegetable grower, and therefore I am interested ; but the item is an exceedingly small one. I totally disagree with Senator Smith that this is purely a poor man’s matter. No doubt it is to a certain extent, but my experience of stations, of the bush, and of mining centres, is that you see the preserved peas and other vegetables on the table .of the manager and the richer members of the community. I do not remember once noticing them on a poor man’s table. All the States have previously imposed a duty on this article, and even Western Australia has had a duty of 20 per cent. Although a Government supporter, I care very little about this line, which brings in a very small revenue. Thepoint about the poor man is more sentimental than anything else ; but if Senator Symon will agree to the next line as it stands - or, if he does not like it because it is a fixed duty, will agree to make it an ad valorem duty of 20 per cent. - I shall be inclined to support him.
Senator PEARCE (Western Australia). - I hope this item will be made free. Senator Playford, with all his knowledge of the Australian bush, does not quite realize the effect of such a duty. It is not preserved green peas which are involved, but dried concentrated vegetables such as potatoes, a supply of which the prospector can carry sufficient to last him for six months in all climates. Prospectors and those engaged in pastoral pursuits should be regarded as revenue producers, because they open out new areas for us. I have been for six months out of touch with civilization, and during the whole of that time I had a supply of dried potatoes, whereas to have taken fresh vegetables would have involved the employment of an extra team. Prospectors are building up a greater industry than the dried vegetable industry can ever be, and they, along with the pastoralists, are entitled to every consideration in this connexion. The bulk of the preserved vegetables come from outside the Commonwealth, as is shown by the fact that, as against £4,016 worth imported into Western Australia in 1900 from the other Australian States, there was £12,236 worth imported from outside the Commonwealth. Then, again, out of the 320,000 lbs. exported from Victoria, no less than 216,000 lbs. went t Western Australia. These figures go to show that this is not a small matter so far as Western Australia is concerned, and I believe that if the particulars in this connexion could be obtained with regard to Queensland, and also with regard to South Australia and New South Wales, it would be found that the pastoral industry is responsible for the consumption of a vast amount of these preserved vegetables. I hope the proposal of the leader of the Opposition will be carried unanimously.
Senator Lt.-Col. NEILD (New South Wales). - Senator Pearce has said practically what felt it incumbent on me to say. I desire to very briefly urge the claims of those engaged in pastoral and mining pursuits in New South Wales, who are entitled to every consideration. No men live harder lives ; and this is not a question of luxury, or so much a question of food, as of human health. We should have some regard for the health of nien who are positively precluded from enjoying green vegetables, which are within the reach of almost every other class of the community. To impose this duty would be to tax those who cannot obtain the ordinary foods of life, while allowing other people, who are much more advantageously situated, to escape any similar impost.
Senator FRASER (Victoria).- This is a small item, over which much time ought not to be spent. The consumption of dried vegetables, although it may appear large to Western Australian representatives, is infinitesimal amongst the general community of Australia. The duty proposed is only 15 per cent., which is a lower rate than that previously imposed in the States.
– I hope the Government will give way in regard to this particular duty, which, as has been pointed out, has no protective incidence. The fact that a duty is retained in Western Australia is no reason why the Commonwealth Tariff should be disfigured by it. The duty in Western Australia is maintained by a free-trade Government, though that, I admit, is quite consistent with what we sometimes hear advocated as free-trade principles. I hold that this is a purely revenue duty, and that it has no protective . incidence. That being so, I think the Government might very gracefully give way. All that Senator Smith has said with reference to the hardships borne by those who are denied the use of vegetables is true. The remark applies not only to prospectors, but to men working in out-of-the-way camps and remote townships, far removed from railway lines. The preserved vegetables imported into Western Australia come principally from the continent of Europe, and do not enter into competition with the Australian article. Even if they did, we must remember that most of the vegetables grown in Australia are produced by a race for whom it is not our duty to have any regard. Seeing the reasonableness of this motion, I hope the Government will give way.
Senator HIGGS (Queensland). - Although I sympathise with Senator De Largie, who has given the Government a good deal of support iti connexion with the Tariff, I think that several honorable senators from Western Australia exhibit a spirit of selfishness in claiming special concessions. Senator Smith was only in Western Australia about 24 hours when he was elected. He went there from Victoria. The chief point for honorable senators to consider is that we have a market for dried vegetables in Western Aus? tralia, and surely if we can dry grapes in Victoria and other States, we oau preserve potatoes? The principal point made by Senator Symon was that in certain parts of the Commonwealth there was a large number of miners and others who were unable to obtain vegetables. I presume that he referred to Kalgoorlie and such places. But the position in Western Australia is peculiar at the present time. There is a very great area of auriferous country there, and wherever people concentrate in large numbers, the Government very speedily construct a railway. With railway communication vegetables are readily obtainable. It has been said that because a large quantity of vegetables are /grown by Chinamen in Australia, we should not impose this duty. But white men are competing successfully with the Chinese ; they are commencing to take up large areas, and to adopt the most modern methods in the cultivation of’ vegetables, while the Chinaman works his land as he did probably in tho time of Confucius. We have a man in the Stanthorpe district of Queensland, who cultivates vegetables in the very midst of Chinese gardeners. He sends them away as far as Charters Towers, and has acquired a great reputation both as a grower of fruit and vegetables. When Western Australia is generous enough to treat the other States as liberally as she has been treated herself - when she removes her Inter-State Tariff - probably Victorians and others will be able to send the people of that State all the dried vegetables they require. It is a mistake to suppose that the miners in various parts of the Commonwealth demand that the Tariff shall be a free-trade one. The majority of them are protectionists. I do not feel very strongly on the question, but I think we have now an opportunity of encouraging a small industry, which may grow into a very large one, if the. statement that there are many people in the Commonwealth who require dried vegetables is correct. There, are many prospectors who obtain no vegetables at all, but who, because of the life they lead in the open air, enjoy very good health.
– I should have refrained from speaking on this question had not a number of honorable senators exaggerated the position to a very great extent. Whether the duty is struck out or not is a matter of indifference to me ; I do not think it a matter of great importance. But it has been stated that nine-tenths of those who grow vegetables in South Australia are Chinamen. So far as South Australia is concerned, I am sure Senator Playford will, bear me out, that the great majority of those who grow vegetables there are Europeans. In a few cases Chinamen attempt to grow them, but they are being driven out of the industry, and forced to buy vegetables from white men and to hawk them, in order to obtain a living. A groat amount of importance has been attached to the desirability of supplying men in the back country with dried vegetables. I have been far more than 100 miles distant from the seaboard in different parts of Australia, and I have laboured with a great many of. the poor working men whose interests some honorable senators are so anxious to protect. But I have never seen them eating preserved vegetables. .1 never tasted preserved vegetables, save when on my voyage to Australia, and yet I was for years in the back country. Senator Fraser has very extensive pastoral interests in Northern Queensland, and I should like to ask whether he sends preserved vegetables to the boundary riders and others up there?
– We give them plenty of fresh vegetables.
– There are many places to which fresh vegetables are not sent. I do not think many honorable senators will oppose the remission Of this duty, and, in my opinion, the lengthy arguments which we have heard were quite unnecessary.
Motion agreed to.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). - I move -
That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 21 by inserting after the figure “ls.,” line 14, the words “and on and, after 1st July, 1802, 15 per cent.,o(i valorem.”
I intended at first to propose that another place (should be requested to ‘substitute for the fixed duties relating to fruits and vegetables preserved in liquid, or partly preserved or pulped, a duty of 10 per cent, ad valorem ; out I am willing that the duty should be 15 per cent. My only object in proposing that an ad valorem duty be provided is because these fruits and vegetables, which are all in the same category, vary greatly in quality. I do not think that it is right to have a fixed duty which would be more oppressive upon the cheaper articles than would an ad valorem duty.
Senate adjourned at 3.58 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 23 May 1902, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1902/19020523_senate_1_10/>.