House of Representatives
25 October 1907

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session

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

page 5208


Sir PHILIP FYSH presented a petition from certain newsvendors of Tasmania praying that magazines be admitted free of duty.

Mr. REID presented a petition from residents of the municipality of the Glebe in public meeting assembled praying that the Tariff may not be allowed to pass in its present form.

Petitions received.

page 5208




– I desire to ask the Prime Minister, without notice, when it is proposed to introduce the Bill relating to the new protection, and whether he is aware that the early passing of such a measure would materially facilitate the passing of the Tariff?

Minister for External Affairs · BALLAARAT, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– The preparation of the Bill, which must be read in relation to the Tariff, is well in hand. The discussions now taking place on the schedule touch so many points of the new protection that we are anxious to take advantage of them before introducing a measure, the scope of which will be extensive and its administration complex.


– Will the. Prime Minister submit to the Parliament at an early date a memorandum dealing with the leading features of the proposed new protection legislation ?


– I shall endeavour to prepare a memorandum setting out in a general way the difficulties to be coped with. The particular means which the Government propose to’ adopt to meet those difficulties will of course be disclosed in the Bill.

page 5208



High Commissioner - Transfer of Work of Agents-General - States Debts - Design for Offices


– I wish to ask the Prime Minister, without notice, a question relating to the Commonwealth offices in London. It is mentioned in this morning’s newspapers that an offer made by the Government for a lease of the site of the proposed Commonwealth offices is likely to be rejected, and that it is possible that the Government may offer an increased rental. Are the Ministry satisfied that a considerable amount of the work now done by the Agents-General of the States is likely to be transferred to the Commonwealth, having regard to the statement made in the report of the AgentsGeneral, presented in December, 1905, to the effectthat of a total outlay of £82,000 in connexion with their offices, £51,000 or £52,000 represented expenditure incurred in connexion with the registration or inscription of stock, which of course is not likely to be transferred to the High Commissioner ? Seeing that if a High Commissioner were appointed as a merely ornamental entertainer he would be Ludicrously out of place, is there any certainty that the greater part of the expenditure now defrayed by the States will be taken over by the Commonwealth as their agent in order to justify to some extent the large expenditure proposed to be incurred upon Commonwealth offices? .


– It is rather difficult to deal off-hand with all the suggestions contained in the honorable member’s inquiry. He, perhaps, will remember that, since the presentation of the report to which he refers, there has been in connexion with the London offices of several of the States a very large development of business quite

*Commonwealth Offices* [25 October, 1907.] *in London.* 5209 apart from the inscription of stock. That business must continue to grow and thus involve an increased expenditure upon the part of the States. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- What chance is there of the States asking us to carry out some of that work on their behalf ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I think they will be glad to transfer to us much of the business which they now undertake without receiving any direct return. We are satisfied that it can be undertaken more cheaply by the Commonwealth; acting on behalf of all the States, than by six different competitors in London. {: #subdebate-2-0-s2 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Arising out of the answer just given by the Prime Minister to the question put by the honorable member for Angas, I should like to ask whether it is the intention of the Government to arrange, at an early date, for the transfer of the States debts? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- When the Tariff is disposed of, the Government will submit proposals in that regard. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Are negotiations pending between the States and the Commonwealth, which are likely to be successful, in regard to the transfer to the Commonwealth control of any portion of the London business of the States, including the management of the States debts, as to the transfer of which the Agents-General in the report I have mentioned expressed considerable doubt? I think the House should receive some information on the point in view of the very large expenditure which is likely to be incurred in connexion with the selection of a site for offices. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The information sought will be immediately pertinent when there is before the House a proposal for the acquisition of the site. It can then be dealt with in detail. The assurances I have received from the States are practically those made by several States Premiers at recent Conferences. They were willing to transfer to the Commonwealth certain portions of the work now being carried out by the Agents-General. I do not recall that in any case there was a proposal to transfer to the Commonwealth the management of any States debts whilst they remain States debts. When the States debts become Commonwealth debts then naturally the Commonwealth alone will deal with them. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS: -- Will the Prime Minister inform the House whether the design for Commonwealth offices in London recently exhibited in this Chamber has been approved by the Government? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The design exhibited here has been approved by the London County Council, but in the event of our obtaining the site for which we are negotiating, we propose to ask for the power, which no doubt will be granted to us, to amend that design in order to provide - I shall not say for the substitution of something more Australian, " but for an opportunity for the architects of Australia to send in competitive drawings for a more characteristic and distinctive type of building. {: .page-start } page 5209 {:#debate-3} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-3-0} #### INTER-STATE TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATION {: #subdebate-3-0-s0 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- Has the PostmasterGeneral noticed the frequent breakingdown of telegraph communication between Melbourne and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and Melbourne and Adelaide? If so, will he cause inquiries to be immediately made as to the reason for this failure? {: #subdebate-3-0-s1 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Postmaster-General · MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA · Protectionist -- I have noticed the breaking-down to which the honorablemember refers, and have already taken steps to prevent a recurrence of the trouble. {: .page-start } page 5209 {:#debate-4} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-4-0} #### WARATAH-ZEEHAN TELEGRAPH ROUTE {: #subdebate-4-0-s0 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA -- Some time ago it was decided that the old telegraph route *via* Waratah to Zeehan should be replaced by a new one along the Emu Bay railway from Guildford Junction to Zeehan. Will the Postmaster-General endeavour to expedite the work? {: #subdebate-4-0-s1 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Protectionist -- I shall make inquiries and see what can be done. {: .page-start } page 5209 {:#debate-5} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-5-0} #### NEW SWITCHBOARD, SYDNEY {: #subdebate-5-0-s0 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS: -- Can the PostmasterGeneral inform the House whether the new telephone switchboard for Sydney is likely to be placed in position within the next few months? {: #subdebate-5-0-s1 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Protectionist -- The work is being pushed forward with the greatest possible speed. My predecessor did _his best to expedite it, andI am supplementing his efforts, so that I hope that the work will be carried out sooner than the honorable member anticipates. 5210 *Personal Explanation.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Tariff.* {: .page-start } page 5210 {:#debate-6} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-6-0} #### IMPORTATION OF BUTTER INTO THE PHILIPPINES {: #subdebate-6-0-s0 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA -- Has the Prime Minister received any further information with reference to the importation of butter into the Philippines, upon which hitherto there have been some rather severe restrictions? {: #subdebate-6-0-s1 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist -- I have no direct official knowledge, but information' which I think is quite authentic has reached me to the effect that the first decision arrived at by the United States authorities in the Philippines is to be upheld. No butter containing boric acid or any trace of borate, will be admitted except in bond, and subject to the condition that it shall ultimately be exported. {: .page-start } page 5210 {:#debate-7} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-7-s0 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I wish to make a personal explanation in reference to a statement in this morning's *Age* which has just been brought under my notice. It is reported in that newspaper that last night I made some observations to the honorable member for Maranoa, who, in. reply, threatened to do for me outside the chamber. It is too bad for a newspaper to attribute ton honorable member, for the purpose of holding him up to ridicule, statements which he never even thought of making. I made no Statement to the' honorable member for Maranoa of the kind attributed to me by the *Age.* {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And the honor able member for Maranoa made no statement whatever in return to any observation that I am alleged to have made. So far as I am concerned the whole report is a fabrication. {: .page-start } page 5210 {:#debate-8} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-8-0} #### TARIFF SCHEDULES - NONDEBATABLE ITEMS {: #subdebate-8-0-s0 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: asked the Treasurer, *upon notice -* >Is it not possible to appoint a Committee, composed of not less than two members of each party in the House, who shall examine the Tariff schedules and report to the House a list of items which can be passed without debate, thus terminating unnecessary discussion. {: #subdebate-8-0-s1 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist -I have not had time to give this question any consideration, but, speaking off-hand, I do not think that much good would result from the adoption of the honorable member's proposal. If he will repeat his question on Tuesday, I shall be glad to give it further consideration. {: .page-start } page 5210 {:#debate-9} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-9-0} #### TARIFF In Committee of Ways and Means : Consideration resumed from 24th October *(vide* page 5175) : >Item 45 (as amended). Confectionery, Cocoa, and Chocolate, viz. : - (Gen. Tariff) (U.K.) {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Confectionery, n-e.i., in cluding Cocoa and Chocolate prepared for edible use, or potable use (not in powdered form) ; Bon-bons and mixed packets of Confectionery containing trinkets (gross weights) ; Sugar Candy ; Medicated Confectionery, Cachous ; and Crystallized or Candied Fruits - per lb. 3¾d. 3½d {: type="A" start="B"} 0. Confectionery, ornamental but not edible - - ad. val. 25 per cent. 1. Cocoa and Chocolate, for potable, use, in powdered form - - - -per lb. 2¼d. 2d.. 2. Cocoa Beans - - - Free 3. Cocoa Shells and Nibs; Cocoa Mass Paste or Slab unsweetened - - per lb.¾d. {: type="a" start="f"} 0. Cocoa Butter; Caramel; Caramel Paste and Caramel Butter - - . per lb.1¾d.1½d. Upon which **Mr. Poynton** had moved by way of further amendment - >That after the figures " 3¾d." the words " and on and after 25th October, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., 2d.," be inserted. {: #subdebate-9-0-s0 .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER:
Perth .- I feel that it is due to the Tariff Commission, that at least one member of it should make some observations upon this item, in respect of which some honorable members appear to be labouring under a misapprehension.. I listened with a good deal of interest to the speech which was delivered last evening by the honorable member for Yarra, who put the case for the manufacturers very well indeed. It seems to me, however, that his speech afforded another excellent illustration of the vicious circle in which protectionists move. He pointed out that it was absolutely necessary to levy high protective duties upon confectionery, because similar duties had been imposed for the benefit of other industries. His statement clearly illustrates what is continually going on in the fiscal circle. One industry has to bear a portion of the burden which rightly belongs to another. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Bear ye one another's burdens. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- That is a very good' adage ethically, but it does not apply industrially. In the final distribution of the burdens we arrive at a point at which no *Tariff* [25 October, 1907.](Item 45). 5211 transfer can be made, and it is at that point that most harm is effected. The honorable member for Yarra stated last evening that a reduction had taken place in the price of sweetmeats in Victoria, and quoted evidence in support of his allegation. His statement was entirely correct, but I object to his having left the "tail" of the thing out of sight. According to the evidence of a witness, who appeared before the Tariff Commission, the reduction in the price of confectionery was made by a certain firm for the purpose of crushing a workman who had started a business of his own in opposition to them, and was endeavouring to work up a connexion for himself. That was the reason why the reduction was made, and I am sure that it is one which will not 'commend itself to the honorable member. Consequently, his illustration of the willingness of the manufacturers to reduce their prices was about the worst that he could have selected to support the contention that protective duties have the effect of reducing prices. {: .speaker-KQT} ##### Mr McDOUGALL:
WANNON, VICTORIA · ALP -- Does the honorable member deny that they reduce prices? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- In this particular instance the price was reduced in order to crush a small man who had just started to manufacture an article in the production of which a particular firm had previously enjoyed a monopoly. {: .speaker-KQT} ##### Mr McDougall: -- What opportunity does free-trade give to the small man? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- It does not subject him to the disadvantage of having to compete against a big monopoly which is sheltered behind a high Tariff wall. It affords him a freedom of action which a protective policy denies to him. In framing a recommendation regarding the duties to be levied upon confectionery, the Tariff Commission undoubtedly laboured under a very grave disability, because although the manufacturers busied themselves in presenting avery strong case - and incidentally I may say that one manufacturer presented his case in such a frank way as to win the commendation of every member of that body- {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Is that the reason, why an increased duty was recommended? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- It may have had something to do with it. Undoubtedly the members of the Commission were influenced by the testimony of employers who treated their workmen well, and who did not appear to charge the public undue prices. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Who was the witness to whom the honorable member refers? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- **Mr. MacPherson** Robertson, who has a substantial interest in one of the largest confectionery firms in Victoria, and whose business is conducted upon excellent principles. I regret that other manufacturers do not conform to the high standard upon which he carries on his important industry. The importing firms tendered no evidence whatever to the Tariff Commission. Had they been in such close combination as has been suggested by the honorable member for Yarra, they would undoubtedly "have appeared before that body. But I believe that they did not tender evidence because of the keen competition which exists amongst themselves. The fact that no importer appeared before the Commission to my mind demonstrates that no such combination as has been alleged exists. There is no doubt that during recent years the imports of confectionery have considerably increased. But I would point out that those imports chiefly consist of chocolate combinations, which seem to be so popular with the users of confectionery in this country. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- There has been an increased importation of1 1,000,000 lbs. in chocolates, and of 500,000 lbs. in general confectionery. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- The increase of 500,000 lbs. in, general confectionery is not a very serious one. In relation tothe local manufacture it is really a negligable quantity. The witnesses who. appeared before the Tariff Commission testified that the local manufacturers enjoy a practical monopoly of the lower class of the confectionery trade. As a matter of fact, there are very few importations of confectionery other than chocolate preparations. In this particular instance it can scarcely be alleged that our manufacturers have to compete against that pauperized labour which forms such a useful *ad captandum* argument amongst ' the protectionists ' of Australia. The imports of confectionery are nearly all comprised in three very large British, firms, all of whom treat their employes in a way that is. almost unexampled. They are. firms of the highest repute, and their attitude towards their employes is a standing refutation of the allegation that highly paid labour must always be protected against poorly paid labour. These firms are paying double the wages which are paid in other parts of the world, and are treating their employes in the most handsome fashion, notwithstanding that they control the entire importation of confectionery into the Commonwealth. What has become of the cheaply paid labour in this industry in Great Britain? Why do not the confectionery manufacturers who employ cheap labour sweep out of existence the workmen employed by Cadbury's, Fry's, and Rowntree's? The truth is - as has been pointed 'out again and again by political economists - that highly paid workmen do not require protection against poorly paid labour, because, of the two, the latter is the most ineffective. The honorable member for Yarra, recognising that the reputation of. such firms as Cadbury's was beyond assault, took refuge in the insinuation that certain Scottish firms sweated their employes, and that large quantities of their confectionery were imported into the Commonwealth. Fortunately, these firms have representatives here, and one of those representatives who heard the insinuation in regard to the bad conditions imposed upon the operatives, immediately took action to refute it. lt is to be regretted that an honorable member will utter words which are put into his mouth by interested people, without first taking the trouble to satisfy himself as to their accuracy. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- It is not correct to say that anybody put the words into my mouth. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- When the honorable member made the statement which he did, he ought to have supplied the Committee with facts. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- Do Cadbury's compete with the Scottish firm .in question ? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- They compete very successfully indeed. I hold in my hand a copy of two telegrams sent by a representative of one of these Scottish importing firms to his firm in Glasgow asking them to telegraph immediately what is the average wage paid to their workmen. The following is the reply received, adding necessary words to make it intelligible: - Above the age of eighteen, the average wage is 32s. weekly. The honorable member for Yarra is sufficiently well acquainted with the labour conditions in the old country to know that such is by no means a sweating wage, but that, as a matter of fact, taking the difference in the cost of living as between the two countries, it compares favorably with the average paid in Australia. At any rate, here is proof positive that one of the Scotch firms, regarding whom insinuations were made, pay what is, so far as the old country is concerned, a high wage. The principal witness before the Commission on this subject was **Mr. Robertson. His** evidence was undoubtedly given frankly, and with the object of supplying all reasonable information; and he did not for a *moment* insinuate that he had to compete with sweated labour in connexion with importations. He stated what I believe is the fact, that, so far as the higher classes of confectionery are concerned - and these form the bulk of the importations - high wages are paid, not only in Great Britain, but even on the continent of Europe. Some of the men employed on the continent earn as much as £3 or a week; but these are special cases, and that rate does not apply to the majority. Here, at any rate, we have an Australian industry which has to face a certain amount of competition, not from poorly paid labour, but from well paid labour. The honorable member for Yarra, while pointing out the increased importation of confectionery, had to admit that there has been a certain increase in local production, though he argued that the local increase is not proportionate to the importation. However, I think that if the honorable' member for Yarra goes 'into the figures again, he will find that the increase in the local production is in greater ratio than the increase of importation. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- In the last seven years the increase in the local production is represented by 13 per cent., while the increase in the importation is represented by 42 per cent. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- I question the correctness of the honorable member's deduction*, If we take Victoria as a fair illustration, we find, according to the report of the Inspector of Factories, that in 1905 the number of hands employed in the confectionery industry was 797, which number had, in 1906, increased to 1,043. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- If the honorable member refers to appendix B of the same report, he will see that the increase in the number is only fifty-five. The honorable member is quoting appendix A? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- Yes. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- If the honorable member refers to appendix B, he will find that the figures he has quoted are entirely wrong. Tariff [25 October, 1907.](Item 45). 5213 {: #subdebate-9-0-s1 .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- What is the differ ence? **Mr.** Tudor. Appendix B gives the wages of the employes, according to age, and is more complete. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- I prefer to take appendix A as a correct indication of the number of hands employed. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- But the details do not work out correctly. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- It is strange "that there should be such a discrepancy between two tables in a publication of the kind. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- Why quote figures if they do not suit? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- I take the table that is most obvious, and it shows that, in the period named, the increase in the number of hands was nearly 300. At any rate, one of the inspectors makes the following general statement in regard to the confectionery trade : - >A very good year was experienced; the InterState trade increased considerably, and I am informed the prospects are good for its continuance. That does not look very sad or discouraging in regard to the future of the confectionery industry of Australia. The manufacturers complained to the Commission that certain classes of chocolate were admitted at a lower rate than was justifiable. That complaint was regarded as reasonable, and, accordingly, the Tariff Commission recommended that edible chocolates, which are really confectionery, should be placed in the higher lists. That recommendation has been adopted by the Government, and will, in itself, be a considerable advantage to the local manufacturers', who have obtained a higher duty for a large and important class of chocolate goods. It will be observed by those who have taken the trouble to read the Commission's report, that the members were practically unanimous in this connexion. When it is remembered that the recommendations were based very largely on the evidence of the manufacturers themselves, it will be realized that the very best case was submitted for higher duties. There was little or no rebutting evidence; and, consequently, it may be fairly said that the case was judged on the evidence of the manufacturers themselves. It is unfortunate, I think, that that should be so ; but the Commission had to take such evidence as was offered them. I think I can fairly claim on behalf of both sections of the Commission that the duties they recommended were regarded as ample even from a protectionist stand-point. The free-trade section, in practically indorsing the recommendation of the protectionist section, were largely influenced by the fact that those particular confections might reasonably be subjected to a very high revenue duty. But I have not heard yet, in the whole course of the debate, any substantial reason given for the higher rate of duty as proposed by the Government. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- Have the Government given any reason? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- No; it seems to be simply a case of running up the duties, reason or no reason. While I undoubtedly hesitate to take any steps which would injure or destroy an industry that I regard as one particularly Australian - as one which ought to be carried on here, rather than that we should have any considerable introduction of confectionery from abroad - I think it is the duty of this Committee not to impose such a high Tariff as may lead to a monopoly in the trade. I have here a telegram from a manufacturing confectioner in Western Australia, who gave evidence before the Tariff Commission in that State ; and he is of opinion, now that he has been able to compare the Government proposal with the recommendation of the Tariff Commission, that the latter is the fairer all round. With such additional evidence as that before me, I have no hesitation whatever in adhering to the recommendation of the Commission. I feel satisfied that if that recommendation be adopted, the industry will continue to progress until those engaged in it have practically control of the whole of the trade, even including those chocolate goods of which there has been a considerable introduction during the last few years. That importation, however, has been more than equalled by the increase in local production, and that increase is a fair indication of the prosperity which has come to Australia during the last few years, and which I hope will be long continued. {: #subdebate-9-0-s2 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson -- This is an item in which I take some interest; and, so far as I can gather from the evidence obtainable, the market for the commoner classes of confectionery is practically controlled by local manufacturers. If the local men have complete control of the market, there seems no necessity for a duty on this class of goods. We have been told by a member of the freetrade section of the Tariff Commission that practically the trade is in the hands, of Australians; and if a duty be placed on importations, the result, undoubtedly, will be to increase the cost of imported goods. We must remember that whatever duties we impose there must be some importation of all classes of goods; and the increase in price caused by the Tariff enables the local manufacturer, who has command of the trade, to increase his price .to the consumer. That is a natural result of a highly protective Tariff ; it ceases to be protective, and becomes taxation. Theduty in itself will result in only a small amount of revenue, but, as a matter of fact, it is imposed on the whole consumption, though in regard to the latter we, of course, have no statistics. It seems to me that such a duty confers no benefit on the general consumer, though, of course, it is of great advantage to those engaged in the trade bv enabling them to obtain higher prices. Statistics go to show that their output has increased enormously, and that there has also been an increase in the number of .persons employed in the making of the various brands of confectionery. According to a return furnished to the Tariff Commission, the number of employes in the confectionery business in New South Wales in 1899 was 613,. and in 1904 839, while in Victoria the numbers were 727 and 995 respectively. Therefore, in this State, in five years the number of the employes in the' business has increased by more than 250. . These facts show that the industry is by no means declining, and that it will not suffer if we do not increase the duty on confectionery. Last night the > honorable member for Yarra stated that although the higher rates of duties are now being collected, prices have not been increased to the consumer, that the child who enters a lolly shop gets as much for his pence as he received formerly. But the retail sellers have to pay more for their supplies. The honorable member for Yarra spoke of this condition of things .as something in favour of the Trust; but I interjected that the small storekeepers were really being sweated, and I' contend again now that, in supporting the present arrangement, the honorable member is giving countenance to the sweat-' ing of the labour engaged in the work of distribution, because, when 'goods are sold bv the ounce, those who sell them may well, be spoken of as labourers. The confectionery industry is well established in' Australia, and is a. credit to the Common- ' wealth. Free-traders like to see up-to-date factories which are able to stand alone, and it is an eye-opener to go through some of the factories here.. The industry being so well established, it is absurd to speak of fostering or protecting it. Higher rates of duty are not. necessary for its protection, and, if agreed to, can only have the effect of taxing the community for the benefit of the manufacturers in the industry, who. have practically the command of the trade of the Commonwealth. Therefore, it is no longer a question of free-trade or protection. One of the witnesses examined before the Tariff Commission, said that, the importations of confectionery did not affect the local manufacturers, that the over-sea competition was not worth considering, the local trade being strong enough to stand on' its own. According to him, it is the Australian competition that is affecting the local makers. They are cutting into one another's trade, and thus reducing their profits. It is not the duty of Parliament to interfere under these circumstances. Competition is the soul of business, and firms that are not up-to-date and able to compete with, 'their rivals must go under. Prior to the passing, of the Kingston Tariff, there were in New South Wales manufactures which had not been fostered by hot-house treatment, but established under free-trade, and when, on the consummation of Federation, were able to compete on equal terms in the Victorian market, the Victorian manufacturers had speedily to get rid of the obsolete machinery with- which they had been making a good living under the old Victorian Tariff. Of course, the man in the street is always ready to give information on this or any other subject ; but a witness who is under examination on oath, and liable to punishment for giving false testimony, is much more careful. Therefore the statements contained in the evidence attached to the reports of the Tariff Commission must be taken in preference to irresponsible statements. Some of the witnesses who asked for higher rates of duty had commenced business only since the imposition of the Kingston Tariff, and', notwithstanding, were doing very well. They thought, however, that if the importation of confectionery were reduced, they would get a larger output. But, as I have shown, it is the local competition that does most to reduce prices, and men who have been in business for only a short time *Tariff* [25 October, 1907.](Item 45). 5213 cannot expect to be so successful as firms of long standing, who have agencies everywhere, and are doing things on a large scale. If the small makers are earning a good living,wemay be sure that the large manufacture . are amassing wealth. It is highly creditable to the industry that wageshave increased; that the employers who are doing well themselves are paying good wages to their workmen. Of course, they expect high-class work from them. In some of the factoriesin Melbourne, artists are employed in the manufacture of confectionery, and, of course, must be paid high wages. Employment is given to large numbers of active, well-dressed, respectable girls, who are well paid. Thisbeing the stateof the industry under the old duties, why should we increase the rate, seeing thatthe effect of such action 'can be only to increase prices or to sweat the retailers.? . {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Fifty thousand pounds worth of confectionery is imported annually.. SirWilliam Lyne. - The total importation is valued at £1 20,000. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS: -- Most of the confectionery importedconsists of highclass chocolate manufactures and preserved fruits, which are most delicious, and are got up most attractively, largely by French firms. This is confectionery which you can put on your table without the fear of causing dyspepsia to your guests, and we should take steps to make it reasonably cheap, and within the reach of all classes. Notwithstanding the importation of high-class confectionery from abroad, the trade of the local manufacturers is increasing largely, and Iunderstand that nowhere in Australia is better confectionery made than in Victoria. Under these circumstances, theCommittee will be well advised if it adopts the suggestions of the Tariff Commission. I I findthat in respect to some of these items both sections agreed that certain duties be imposed, and -I fail to understand why the Minister should have taken the extreme course of imposing duties, 50 per cent., and, in some cases,100per cent. , in excess of the increasesrecommended even by the protectionist section of the Commission. The confectioners of this State, who appeared before the Commission, showed that they were able to thrive under the Victorian Tariff, and the Commission,recognising that a considerable sum had been invested in the industry arid that it was worth preserving, after a careful consideration of evidence put before it by trade experts, made certain recommendations, the adoption of which by the Parliament would it believed do justice to the industry. Surely those recommendations ought to have some weight with the Committee. The free-trade and protectionist sections of the Commission agreed that on the ordinary class of cheap confectionery in respect of which there is no competition worth mentioning a duty of 2d. per lb. should be imposed. The Government, however, have proposed aduty of 3¾ d. per lb.On orna mental confectionery the 'Government pro pose a duty of 25 per cent., whilst the protectionist section of the Commission recommend a duty of 2d. per lb. On cocoa and chocolate the Government propose a duty of 2¼d. per lb. ; the free-trade section of the Commission recommended that a duty of1d. per lb. should be imposed, whilst the protectionistsection recommended a duty of 2d. perlb. Both sections of the Commission recommended that cocoabeans should be free, and that recommendation has been adopted. But on cocoa shells and nibs a dutyi of¾d. per1b has been imposed, although the Commission agreed that they should be free. Cocoa butter, caramel, caramel paste, andcaramel butter have been made dutiable at1¾d., whereas the Commission recommended a dutyof1d per lb. The outlook forthe industry seems to be good, and the Minister shows a want of respect for the Committee in submitting these increased 'duties without offering any explanation in regard to them. As to the existence of a combine, to which reference hasbeen made, I consider that that is a question which should be dealt with when the amending Anti-Trust Bill is before us, and that to deal with it now wouldbe only to confuse the issue. Will the Minister now give some reason for imposing duties much higher than those recommended even by the protectionist section of the Commission. {: #subdebate-9-0-s3 .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER:
Perth .- Whilst I was speaking a few minutes ago the honorable member for Yarra challenged a quotationwhich I made from appendix A in the report of the Chief Inspector of F actories for Victoria for the year ending 1906. The honorable member contended that I should have quoted from appendix B. Having since had an opportunity to examine the two appendicesI find that I was quite correct in quoting from appendix A,andthat to have quoted from appendix B would have been to put before the Committee imperfect and therefore misleading information. The first appendix is a return of factories registered during 1905 and 1906, whilst the second - appendix B - is a - >Return for the year Iq06, showing the average weekly wages paid in the various trades for which special boards have been appointed compiled from information supplied- by manufacturers. Then comes the statement - >In a few instances returns were not received. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Will the honorable member quote appendix B for 1905 as well as for 1906? {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr FOWLER: -- The honorable member desired me to quote from a return which, according to the heading, is obviously imperfect. {: #subdebate-9-0-s4 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
West Sydney .- This item seems to require revision. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- There is not a quorum present. *[Quorum formed.]* {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Whilst I do not say for a moment that the old duty was entirely satisfactory I certainly think that the proposal made by the Government is still more, unsatisfactory. I take it that the argument for the imposition of protective duties generally is that they -give' our own people an opportunity to compete under more favourable conditions than would otherwise prevail. Two phases of this question have to be considered in this connexion ; one is the conditions under which men engaged, say, in the chocolate manufactories of Great Britain and elsewhere work, and the other the conditions under which the industry is carried on here. Whilst I shall not say that ' the rate of wages paid in Great Britain is as good as that prevailing here, I do say that the conditions under which men and women are engaged in chocolate factories there are on the whole as good as those prevailing here or elsewhere. It has been asserted that there is in this State a combine comprising practically the whole of those engaged in the manufacture of confectionery. That, however, does not affect in the slightest degree my. judgment in this case. A number of honorable members are inclined to allow their decision to be influenced by the statement that there is a trust in existence, .but I am disposed to agree with the honorable member for Robertson that that is' a matter which cannot properly be considered in connexion with this item. Nor do I think that it is a matter with which those who believe in individualism should concern themselves, because they favour conditions which render the creation of trusts and combines inevitable. Yet, when these combinations arise, they propose to exercise remedies which are not only drastic, but which, in some cases, are grossly unjust. What I propose in regard to trusts is what I should propose in regard to individuals. Both are entitled to absolute fair play. The mere fact that a combine regulates the conditions attached to an industry ought not to prevent justice being meted out to it. A combine *qua* combine ought not to be .treated differently from an ordinary individual carrying on his business. But the mere fact that a number of persons are driven together by the inexorable consequences of a competition ruthless in its results, and in its methods, is sufficient to induce a number of honorable members to promulgate all sorts of schemes for dealing with them. After all our chief consideration should be the consumer, who certainly seems to have been overlooked in this matter. I say that the persons who eat chocolates - and their name is legion - have not received their fair share of attention. Personally, I think that the consumption of boiled lollies, chocolates, and, indeed, of sugar in any form, is very healthy. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- What about plaster of paris? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I decline to be sidetracked by any such wretched suggestion. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- The report of the Tariff Commission shows that plaster of paris enters largely into the manufacture of many lines. of confectionery. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- When' I speak of confectionery, I must be understood to refer only to that class of confectionery which can be consumed with a certain degree of enjoyment and safety. I am sufficiently ignorant of the ingredients of sweetmeats to pin my faith to. pure sugar with such an admixture of colouring matter as will render it pleasant to the eye, and harmless to the stomach. The preference which it is proposed to grant to such firms as Fry's, Rowntree's, and Cadbury's - a preference of only *A.* per- lb. - is simply absurd. It does " not appeal to me either as a representative of the people or as the father of .children who consume a good deal of chocolate. T suggest that the duty under paragraph *a* should be 2½d. per lb. under the general Tariff, and that it should be *Tariff* [25 October, 1907.](Item 45). 5217 2d. per lb. in the case of the United Kingdom. These rates of duty would constitute a fair compromise, and would allow the manufacturers of the United Kingdom a reasonable preference. The increase which has taken place in the importations of confectionery during the past few years is due to the increased spending power of the people, which, during that period, has been very marked. Not only did the largest manufacturer of confectionery in New South Wales not ask for the present high duty, but he actually wrote to the Minister of Trade and Customs before the Tariff was 'introduced, suggesting that no higher rate than 2d. per lb. should be imposed. Consequently, I suggest that a duty of 2½d. per lb. under the gengral Tariff would represent an appropriate adjustment of the rate. {: #subdebate-9-0-s5 .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX:
Kooyong .- My own feeling is that a case has not been made out for the extreme duty proposed by the Government. It is quite clear from the evidence tendered to theTariff Commission that the large manufacturers engaged in the confectionery industry are doing very well. An analysis of the cost of production - particularly in connexion with sugar - justifies the belief that the honorable member for West Sydney has suggested a fair compromise. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer would be delighted to get a duty of 2½d. per lb. under the general Tariff. He told us last week, in Sydney, that he had put all the duties up with a view to being enabled to take them off. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That is not correct. {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX: -- If we cannot accept the statements made by the Treasurer we have arrived at a very pretty pass indeed. I had a suspicion that there was an element of bargaining in the treatment accorded to one or two items of the Tariff, and that a high duty had been proposed in respect of them under the belief that the Committee would reduce it. If the Treasurer has made any declaration of the character attributed to him by the honorable member for Paramatta,the sooner the public learn how he is leading the Committee in this matter the better. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The statement is absolutely incorrect. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Seeing that the industry has been doing very well under the old rate of duty, and that the price of sugar has not changed, why should we place it in a better position? {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX: -- Statistics show that the imports of sweets from places other than the United Kingdom are very small indeed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Will the honorable member read this statement? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- What is the name of the newspaper in which it is published? The statement which the honorable member for Parramatta has attributed to me is absolutely untrue. I shall show how true it is before we have completed the consideration of this item. {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX: -- It is important that we should not be asked to sanction the imposition of duties which the Government conscientiously believe will not be agreed to. {: #subdebate-9-0-s6 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not intend to speak on the main question at present, but simply to respond to the challenge of the Treasurer in regard to my statement that in Sydney he declared, in a newspaper interview, that he had proposed certain duties in the Tariff in order that they might be reduced, and that he would be very well satisfied if they were reduced. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- To which newspaper is the honorable member referring? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- To the Sydney *Daily Telegraph.* {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Good gracious ! Does the honorable member quote that newspaper as an authority? The honorable member must think I am a fool if he believes that I said anything of the kind. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Does the Treasurer mean to say that when he gives an interview to a representative of the Sydney *Daily Telegraph* the interview is doctored ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Always. I have had to write statements that I desired to make, and to refuse to express opinions in any other way. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Then it is a pity that the Treasurer did not correct this very important statement at the time it was made. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I never bother my head about what the Sydney *Daily Telegraph* says; I never read that newspaper when I am down here. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer is thus reported in the newspaper interview - >I am very well satisfied with the way in which things have gone so far. The result has been very much as I anticipated, except in one respect. ... **Sir William** denied that there had been any " back-down " in respect of the 5218 *Tariff.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Confectionery, &c).* duty on candles. " I put the duty at 2½d. ; the House decided that it should be 2d. Well, that is what I expected to get. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That is not true. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The report proceeds - >And I will feel very satisfied with having the duties proportionately lowered. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That is not what I said. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Here is a deliberate statement to an Australian newspaper. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Not at all. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer is reported as saying that he proposed the duties in the Tariff in order that they might foe reduced. {: #subdebate-9-0-s7 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist -- The statement of the honorable member for Parramatta is not correct ; he is quoting from a newspaper that never tells the truth. One part of the report of the interview is fairly correct, but the latter part is absolutely untrue. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The report puts the remarks of the Treasurer in inverted commas. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The newspaper is inverting itself all the time. As a matter of fact, I was asked a question by a representative of the *Daily Telegraph* about the reduction in the duty on candles, and I said to him that if there were no other items reduced in larger proportion, as the consideration of the Tariff went on, I should not have very much to complain of. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is that not the same thing? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- No, it is not the same thing. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It means that the Treasurer proposed duties in order that they might be reduced. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That is not so. I have said, from the first submission of the Tariff, that alterations must take place - that suggestions were sure to be made that could not be made before the public knew what the Tariff proposals were. I anticipated that some very good information might be given, and suggestions made, to the Government, whereby anomalies would be removed ; and that is what I referred to in the newspaper interview. If, from persons outside, or from honorable members, there should come any reliable information pointing to the necessity for making alterations, I shall take notice of it and will adopt.the consequent sugges tions if they appeal to me. Not one word that I ever gave to any newspaper interviewer can be interpreted as meaning that I proposed the duties set forth in the Tariffwith a view to their being reduced. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer has just admitted that he did do so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have not; I said I would be satisfied if no duties were reduced in greater proportion than had beer the duty on candles, meaning any particular duty, but not the duties generally. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Hear, hear; that bears out what I say. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr Salmon: -- I rise to a point of order. Is it not the custom, which has existed for many years in Parliament, that when art honorable member denies the truth of any expression or observation attributed to him, his denial must at once be accepted? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It is a rule that when a statement is denied that denial! shall be accepted. But what has happened here this morning is that the Treasurer has made a statement repudiating; what I read from the report of a newspaper interview, and has, in the next breath, repeated the statements contained! in that interview. That is the position. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I have done nothing of the kind. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr Salmon: -- I ask your ruling, **Mr. Chairman.** {: #subdebate-9-0-s8 .speaker-JWG} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Fowler:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA -- Of course, honorable members must accept a statement made by another honorable member in correction. But, at the same time, what appears to have transpired up to the present is merely a matter of opinion. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- No, it is a matter of fact. {: #subdebate-9-0-s9 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- The Minister has expressed his opinion, and I fail to see that I couldtake the matter any further. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I only take notice of the reference to the newspaper interview, because thereby the deputy leader of the Opposition desires to impregnate the minds of honorable members, and of the public, with the idea that I submitted the duties in the Tariff schedule with no anticipation of their being adopted. I shall allow neither the honorable member for Parramatta nor any one else to create a false impression in that way. I have just stated that I shall generally stand by the duties as proposed, but, at the same time, I cannot expect to carry the whole of them. I think I can say that, up to the present, I have not done badly in submitting a fairly acceptable Tariff. As I am now on my feet, though I do not make long speeches as each item is submitted- {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer does not make any speeches. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do wish the honorable member would be quiet. If I were to talk in the most convincing way for an hour or two, I should only give rise to a flood of debate on the part of those who are never satisfied with anything. Under; the circumstances, I control myself, and say no more than I can possibly avoid ; a Minister who desires expedition must not speak too often or too long. While I am on my feet, however, I wish to urge upon honorable members that the existence of a combine has nothing whatever to do with the Government proposal. I may say that I have information which leads me to suppose that there is a combine; and I think I am at liberty to go 61 so far as to say that the matter has been inquired into by the Crown Law Officers, who have some very important information, on which action is likely to be taken. I am not prepared to say more at present because the case may be regarded as *sub judice.* At present, I contend that the proposed duty ought not to be imperilled because there happens to be a combine. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It is the strength of the protection which enables a combine to be formed. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That has been said so often that, really, one ceases to take notice of the statement. If protection tends to create a combine, the reply is that we can better deal with a combine here than we can deal with a combine elsewhere. Honorable members opposite are always supporting the foreigner - the poor unfortunate foreigner ! - to the detriment of our own people. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Now we shall have a debate. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That may be; but, in any case, my silence would not restrain honorable members opposite. Such statements as those to which I refer have been so frequently repeated that the Government may be forced to adopt some means of getting business through more quickly. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The Treasurer will not expedite business by making personal remarks. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I cannot sit still while misstatements are made and re?peated {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I quoted a newspaper, and the Treasurer confirmed the report this morning. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That is a repe"tition of an untruth. It has been contended that the .Government proposal means a large increase of the duty. I take it that before Federation the States may be taken to have known something of their own business in regard to fiscal matters. I have here figures which show that before Federation the duty on confectionery in New South Wales - owing to the same influence which is felt on the benches opposite - was onlyid. per lb. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- And the industry was flourishing. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Flourishing? In Victoria, prior to Federation, the duty was 2d. per lb., or 25 per cent. ; in Queensland, 4-d. per lb. ; in South Australia, 3d. per lb. ; in Tasmania, 2d per lb. ; and in Western Australia, 4d per lb. In Canada, at the same period, the duty was £d. per lb., and 35 per cent., which worked out at an average of 3jd. per lb. This information has just been handed to me by the Comptroller-General. The duty that was first proposed on this particular item in 1.002 for the Commonwealth,, was 2d. per lb., and 15 per cent. ; but that was reduced to id. The duty, which was fixed in 1902, on cocoa and chocolate, was id. per lb., and on other confectionery 2d., with 20 per cent, on ornamental confectionery and so forth - the duties varied. The Government proposal now practically strikes an average of the duties imposed by the States prior to Federation; and one reason which causes me to submit the proposed duty is that, for some three or four years, importations, instead of decreasing, have been increasing. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- But local production has been increasing still more. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member has repeated that statement two or three times, but it is not correct. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Let the honorable member prove the statement. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- There is no attempt at proof; only the bald statement is made. Last year, the importations of confectionery amounted to 3,184,000 lbs., of a value of .£116,000. In 1903 the value of the imports was £89,000 odd, so that there has been an increase of about 5220 *Tariff* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *(Confectionery, &c).* £30,000. That cannot be good for the industry in Australia. I am just as opposed as any one to undue combination, but the fact that there is a combine should not dissuade honorable members from imposing a fair and proper duty. I should, perhaps, have liked to see a little more preference given to Great Britain, whence come about two- thirds of the importations, the remainder being from the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Hong Kong, and other foreign countries. For the reasons that I have stated, I do not wish to dwell on this subject, but I have given shortly the grounds on which the Government have proposed to increase the rates, which, undoubtedly, were too greatly reduceby the Tariff of 1902. I wish to see the making of confectionery in Australia increase; we should not import any. If there is a nettle in the shape of a combine, we should grasp it. firmly. I feel strongly about combines, and have been urging certain action in connexion with this and with others. Something should be done, and when the Bill which is in the other House is passed, I think that pretty drastic action will be taken, which will show that we mean business. {: #subdebate-9-0-s10 .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON:
Lang .- Perhaps it is well that the Minister does not often address the Committee in explanation of the items of the Tariff, because he seems unable to get on his feet without making personal and offensive references to those who sit in Opposition. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Not at all. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- If the Minister cannot give us the information we ask for, he should at least set an example of courtesy. Ministers are the worst offenders, they are the most discourteous men in the Chamber. But they are mistaken if they think that they can bullock the Tariff through, and silence honorable members. I, for one, refuse to forego my right of speech under the influence of Ministerial threatenings or the boorish behaviour of Ministerial supporters, and intend to say what I have to say completely and without curtailment. The Tariff Commission unanimously recommended that the duty on confectionery should not exceed 2d., and yet the Government, without rhyme or reason, propose to make the rate 3¾d. The Treasurer has not said a word in justification of the proposal. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Because it does not need it. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- If there is one item in the schedule which needs explanation more than any other, it. is this. If the Minister will not give an explanation, the item"' will not be passed as quickly as he may think. We shall insist on getting an explanation from some quarter. The facts which have been laid before the Committee show that there is a combine among the manufacturers of confectionery in Australia whose operations are injuriously affecting both retailers and consumers, their object being to restrict trade and to increase prices. In spite of the denials made last night, a price list was read, which shows that increases have been made in a large number of lines - I think over fifty. In view of this fact, will the Minister say that the effect of the duties is not to raise prices? {: .speaker-KQT} ##### Mr McDougall: -- That is not their intention. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- It may not be the intention of those who are foolish enough to vote for them, but it is the intention of those who ask for them, and it is the effect of voting for them. {: .speaker-KQT} ##### Mr McDougall: -- The . same things occur under free-trade. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- That is a silly reply. If they occurred under free-trade, it would be none the less absurd to support propositions which will have the same effect. {: .speaker-KQT} ##### Mr McDougall: -- We can restrict the operations of combines. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- But why assist to create them?. Not only is the confectionery combine dealing unfairly with retailers, and raising prices, but it has even resorted to methods of cheating. That is shown by a series of complaints set out in a letter in my possession, in which the writer, a well-known retail confectioner, says, after referring to several grounds of complaint - >This shows that the public of Australia are already very heavily handicapped and the shopkeepers here are in a worse position than those in England, for we have not got the population to work on, our rents are higher, cost of gas over 100 per cent. more, and many other things are in keeping with those mentioned. > >The following are also some of the troubles' that I have had to contend with : - > >Short weight in the boxes. That is cheating {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- Rubbish ! {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- From the protectionist standard of commercial morality, perhaps it is regarded as honest to give short weight. I do not expect that any argument would take effect upon the mind of a confirmed and unreasoning protectionist. Such minds have become unreceptive, and impervious to reason . or argument. But there are less hardened members on the Government side of the Chamber, whose minds have not yet become fossilized, and whose brains are still receptive. It' is for their benefit that I am speaking, The writer whose letter I am reading, complains, first, of short weight in boxes. He says - >This was so glaringly rampant that though I complained to the traveller about it, and he to the firm, it still went on, and I then brought into the shop my large scales, and weighed the boxes in front of the carters, and required them to put the gross weigh: on the boxes, and initial them, and when empty I again weighed the boxes to ascertain the nett weight received. The traveller told me there was trouble about my delaying the carters, and that I was to weigh them myself, and what was short he would always (and did) allow me for. (I pity the shop-keeper who was not sharp enough to find out the above.) Those who have been shrewd enough to weigh their boxes, and thus to discover that they were getting short weight, have been able to demand that it shall Le made up, but those who have not suspected trickery have been, and probably still are, the victims of it. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr Maloney: -- Let us make the law strong enough to punish those who do these things. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I do not know that that is necessary. We have passed legislation to punish those who act in restraint of trade, but when we ask the Minister to put it into operation, he says that the Act is ineffective. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr Maloney: -- The Opposition did not want it, and criticised it, and tried to destroy lt. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -We tried to make it better; but every suggestion we made was pooh-poohed as unnecessary, and our amendments were not accepted. We were assured that the measures were perfect, and could therefore not be improved. The letter continues - >Another grievance - A friend of mine was paying 7d. per lb. for a line. I was being charged 8d. per lb. for the same line, same quality, and by the same traveller. In another case I was paying is. id. per lb. for a line, but another friend of mine was being charged is. 5d. per" lb. for the same line, from the same firm, but not the same traveller. Another unfair practice - Certain lines of toffy at 8d. per lb. are put up in tins, which tins weigh about a lb. The gross weight is charged, but only 6d. is allowed for the empty tin ; thus the shopkeepers lose 2d. or more on every tin, if they have not discovered this trick. These poor unfortunate shopkeepers - mostly widows and old people, who depend upon the trade for a scanty livelihood - lose 2d. on every tin. Then again, the discount has been (and I have every reason to believe is still) a source, of great complaint. I have been getting 5 per cent., but I find some have been getting 10 per cent., and 15 per cent., whilst one lady who signed our petition to Parliament showed me invoices (two of which I now hold as evidence) on which she received no discount at all ; yet we, as retail confectioners, are asked to trust these firms who are craving for more protection, which will, if carried, injure us still further, and penalize the public. As to the Combine amongst manufacturers of confectionery, in my opinion it not only exists, but is very detrimental to the shopkeepers, and in a lesser degree to the public. One manufacturer who refused to join has been debarred from handling the goods of those in the Combine, and the middleman had to, and did, close their account with the manufacturer because he refused to join the Combine ; and he told me in confidence that he had good reason to believe the Combine has tried to Stop his supplies of sugar. I 'respectfully submit that there is need for a Government inquiry, and I honestly believe, if instituted, we can procure, evidence that would be the means of showing that a great attempt has been made to introduce the muchdreaded American combine or trust system. I agree with that contention. The writer makes allegations, which I understand he is prepared to substantiate, showing that there is ample reason for making an inquiry as to the composition and operations of this Combine, and others which are said to be carrying on business in the Commonwealth - and more particularly in Victoria - and whose monopolies we are asked to bolster up by increased duties. This item ought to be postponed until an inquiry has been held, and Parliament has been placed in possession of full information as to the effect upon trade of the operations of these trusts. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- Is it competent for the honorable member to quote a letter without placing it on the table of the House for the information of honorable members? {: #subdebate-9-0-s11 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I have not had time to consult *May,* but if *I* remember rightly there is some authority for the contention that if a letter be read in the course of a debate it becomes the property of the House. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I do not wish to disclose the name of the writer, because if I did the Combine might supply some one else with goods to undersell him. I am prepared to give his name if I am required by the forms of the House to. do so. but surely the honorable member for Corio, who professes to have the interests of the small man at heart, will recognise that this man would be likely to suffer by the disclosure of his name. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- A man who makes a charge of cheating against a body of otherwise reputable men should be prepared to give his name. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- He is prepared to come forward if the Government institute an inquiry. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- I desire the letter to be laid on the table, and I ask you, **Mr. Chairman,** to direct that it shall become the property of the House. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I think that such a ruling would be an entirely new one. During debates in this House communications are frequently read, and no request is made, that they shall be laid on the table. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- It is laid down by *May* that if a Minister reads from a State document, or from any document that is likely to be published, he may be asked to lay it on the table of the House. But, so far as a quotation from a purely private letter is concerned, it is for the honorable member who makes it to determine whether or not he should disclose the name of the writer. There is nothing in the Standing Orders requiring an honorable member to give the name of the writer of a private letter which he quotes, nor is it definitely laid down by *May* that he can be compelled to do so. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- We can take the let,ter for what it is worth. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Quite so. But the letter bears the signature of a well-known and reputable shopkeeper in this city. Several letters were read yesterday, but no honorable member on this side of the Committee asked that the names of the writers should be disclosed. I have refrained from disclosing the name of the writer of this letter simply because I do not wish to do him an injury bv exposing him to the relentless persecution of this powerful Combine which honorable members of the Labour Party are bolstering up. Three of the largest manufacturers in New South Wales - among them one of the most highly-respected and best-known manufacturers of confectionery in Australia - have admitted that they do not want any increased duty, and that an allround duty of 2d. per lb. is amply sufficient. If honorable members really desire to grant a genuine preference to the Mother Country, they have a splendid opportunity to do so in this case, seeing that, according to the Treasurer, two-thirds of our importations of confectionery and chocolate come from Great Britain. We should be prepared all the more readily to grant a preference in this case since the labour conditions obtaining in the manufacture of British confectionery are all that could be desired. I have here some illustrated pamphlets illustrating the conditions of labour and rates of pay. prevailing in connexion with Cadbury's establishment. Cadbury's not only provide the finest possible accommodation for their employes and grant them the best working conditions and high wages, but attend to their social and physical welfare outside their, factory. They provide for them gardens, tennis courts, cricket and football kits, and various other means of taking health-giving exercises. They have also a pension fund arid a scheme for the general improvement of the conditions of their workers. In order that the employes may not have to live under the unhealthy conditions of crowded cities, they have built upon a trust estate some splendid up-to-date dwellings, replete with the most approved hygienic and sanitary conveniences. In short, they have done all they can to advance the physical, mental, and moral welfare of their employes. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Does the honorable member know of any firm outside Cadbury's and Fry's who do that? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I. am told that there are reputable firms which, although perhaps not coming up to the standard of Cadbury's, observe more than reasonable conditions of labour and pay wages that are in the highest degree satisfactory. It will be seen that in this case the workers in the industry in Australia are not called upon to compete against cheap Continental labour. The proposed duties are almost prohibitive of the importation of the highest class of confectionery, produced by British labour under the conditions I have described. I do not wish it to be inferred that I desire in any way to detract from the conditions which obtain in the industry in Australia. As a matter of fact, in company with a number of honorable members, I visited a local factory some time ago, and I was extremely pleased with the conditions under which the employe's labour. But I would point out that under the operation of the old Tariff, which represented a reduction in the duty previously operative in Victoria, employment in this industry has been nearly doubled, and wages have increased by more than 50 per cent. There is no justification, therefore, for the increased duty proposed. Upon the occasion of my visit to the local factory, the proprietor commented upon the satisfactory conditions which obtained in the industry, and pointed with pride to its growth. But there is one item of information which he suppressed. He did not inform us of the extent to which his profits had increased since the imposition of the first Commonwealth Tariff. {: .speaker-KDR} ##### Mr Ewing: -- Does Cadbury tell us that? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Cadbury is not asking for a monopoly or the privilege of dipping his hands into the public Treasury to increase the profits of his business. The Victorian manufacturers are demanding an increase of 275 per cent, on the old rate-, and we have a right to know what are the reasons underlying their demand. The fact is that during the past ten years their profits, must have considerably increased. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- What is the highest duty for which the honorable member will vote? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I say that even if we admitted British confectionery free, the sales of Australian confectionery would not be affected. In spite of the natural disadvantages under which British confectionery labours in Australia, by cost and length of time in transit, there is a steady demand for it on account of its superior quality. Our manufacturers have not the experience necessary to enable them to produce such a good article, nor have they, the same wide market to cater for. British and Continental manufacturers have the benefit of the markets of the world. They have to compete against the world. But our local manufacturers are restricted to the Australian market. They cannot hope *to compete* with firms like that of Cadbury in the markets of the world, and therefore thev cannot afford to purchase the .up-to-date machinery necessary for the production of the highest class of goods. I acknow- ledge that they produce goods of very excellent quality, .tut I do not think that any body will contend that their production of chocolates is equal in quality to that of Cadbury's and other well-known British firms. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- They admit it themselves. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Exactly. It has been . urged that the wages paid in the industry here are very much higher than those which are paid in Great Britain. But as a matter of fact the average British wage is higher than the average Australian wage. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- -Averages are very misleading. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Then they are misleading upon both sides. Probably what the honorable member says is correct. Still, we must accept them as fairly correct averages after making proper allowance for differences, to which I need not refer. The average wage paid in Australia to male operatives in the confectionery industry, is. 30s. 5d., as against the average in Great Britain of 3JS. In the case of females, the average wage in. Great Britain is 18s. 6d.,. as against 13s. in Australia. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Those figures apply to Victoria, I think. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- It will thus be seen, that our manufacturers are not called uponto compete against lower-paid labour ir* Great Britain. I would point out to some of my labour friends that not only is the firm of Cadbury's working uponphilanthropic lines, but it is intensely sympathetic with the aims of labour. As evidencing this fact,* I. may mention that **Mr. George** Cadbury, during the recent strike of engineers, contributed *£50* weekly to the union funds, and during Christmasweek, he increased his donation to £100. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Is it not true that theConfectionery Combine here contributed to the bakers' strike? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- It is very probable. But it does not detract from the action; of **Mr. Cadbury,** against whom this: duty is mainly directed. I have nodesire to handicap any local industry. It is the greatest fallacy in theworld to suppose that free-traders wish toharm anybody. All that we desire is toprevent manufacturers from injuring others, and if we grant them a monopoly, they will be in a position to injure the retailers who purchase from them, and the consumerswho have to pay the piper. {: .speaker-JWC} ##### Mr Carr: -- Is not Cadbury going tostart operations here? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I should not be surprised if he did. I submit that it would' be very much better for our manufacturers-- *to* »be called upon to face the competition of such a rival when he was 16,000 miles away, than to be called upon to face it at our own doors. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Oh, no; we want to employ our own people. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Under the old Tariff, which - as I have previously remarked - was lower than the Victorian Tariff, the number of confectionery factories in the Commonwealth has increased from seventyone to seventy-nine, and the number Df hands from 1,845 to 2,418. Of the total number of hands engaged in the industry in Victoria, 800 are employed by one firm - that of MacRobertson. So that we are asked to grant this increased measure of protection in the interests chiefly of one firm. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- What about the Sydney manufacturers ? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I understand they do not desire any increased protection. They have declared themselves satisfied with a duty of 2ti. per lb. all round - one of the largest manufacturers in Australia has said so. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- When did he say so? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I cannot give the honorable member the date, but I make it on the authority of a statement (published by the Chamber of Commerce. *Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.* {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I regret. that the necessity arises to combat as vigorously as I have the attempt to impose this duty. At the same time, it must be admitted that no more time has been occupied in this debate than is necessary to place the case clearly before the Committee. It has been stated by at least one retail confectioner in Melbourne, in a letter to the press recently, that, so great is the demand for imported confectionery, as compared with the demand for the local article, that forty-nine boxes of imported milk chocolate can be sold for one of local manufacture. This is evidence that the public taste inclines for the imported article, so far as this particular class of confectionery is concerned. No doubt there are other branches of the trade in which the local product can command a ready sale, and hold its own against competition from any source. Chocolate and cocoa should not be regarded as ordinary confectionery, seeing that they are the staple food of the sick room and the nursery, containing as they do very valuable nutritive properties. A duty such as that proposed by the Government really places an embargo on the best classes of chocolate and cocoa; and we ought to discriminate between such articles and confectionery which is used simply for pleasure. Under free-trade conditions in New South Wales, Messrs. Griffiths Brothers were able, not only to manufacture cocoa, but to successfully compete with the Victorian manufacturers, who were protected by a duty of 3d. per lb. ; and one of the first actions of the Victorian Combine was to endeavour to prevent New South Wales manufacturers from doing business in that State. **Mr. Robertson** himself, in his evidence given before the Tariff Commission, admits that there is no justification for the proposed duty. He says that the continental competition does not seriously affect his business ; and he added that he did not think that, so far as some of "the continental manufacturers were concerned, he was placed at a disadvantage, because he had been told that the men who made the higher classes of goods were tolerably well paid, receiving *£2,* £3, £4, and in some cases as high as *£5* per week. That furnishes the best proof, if proof be needed, that the proposed 'duty is unnecessary. The average wage in Great Britain " pans out " really higher than the average wage paid in Australia; and, in addition, we have **Mr. Robertson's** admission that there is nothing to fear from continental competition. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr Fowler: -- It is only fair to **Mr. Robertson** to point out that he was instancing exceptional cases. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I am speaking of high class goods. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr Fowler: -- Even in that connexion, these were special rates of wages for specially skilled men. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- And I have no doubt that, in the case of the higher classes of goods, **Mr. Robertson** himself pays special rates of wages. **Mr. F.** Geddes, the representative of the Operatives' Association, when before the Tariff Commission, said that the. wages question did not seriously affect the cost of production; so that both employers and employed agree that they are not called upon to compete against low wages. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- **Mr. Geddes** pleaded hard for the extra duty. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I do not blame either employers or operatives for asking for a higher duty, if by that means they can secure a monopoly. If they find a *G&vernment* pliant enough to give them anything they like to ask for, they would be foolish not to ask; but I certainly would blame any Parliament which consented to a Government conceding such terms, in face of the overwhelming evidence that we have, and in the full knowledge that thereby there may be created a dangerous, monopoly, injurious to a large section of the public. The Treasurer seems a little restive because this debate has proceeded for a time. I do not think, however, that the debate has been unreasonably protracted by honorable members on either side; and if the Treasurer is so anxious to get the Tariff disposed of , as I am sure honorable members are- {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Let him apply the closure. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The Government may do as they please in that respect, and, perhaps, the honorable member would like the closure applied to himself. No doubt the Government have the power to apply the closure as suggested, not only by the honorable member for Wimmera, but by others. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- It must not be forgotten that the Government must have the support of twenty-four members before the closure can be applied. {: .speaker-JX7} ##### Mr Austin Chapman: -- What are honorable members talking about? They seem to be dreaming, or, perhaps, they think they deserve the closure. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The Treasurer himself is mainly responsible for any debate that may have taken place. If he did not introduce, such unreasonable proposals there would not be the same necessity for hostile criticism. The Treasurer is not satisfied .to accept even the recommendations of the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission. How, then, can he expect honorable members, whether protectionists or free-traders, who profess to represent the people, to let his extravagant proposals pass without discussion? If the Treasurer desires a short debate his best plan would be to so revise the Tariff that it will appeal to the common-sense of the Committee. {: #subdebate-9-0-s12 .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr FAIRBAIRN:
Fawkner .- I rise merely to say that if the amendment now before the Committee is defeated, I intend to move that the duty be 3d. per lb. as against foreign nations, and 2½d. per lb. in the case of confectionery from Great Britain. {: #subdebate-9-0-s13 .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON:
Batman .- Yesterday afternoon the honorable member for Grey stated that a certain Melbourne firm was sending out goods under weight. The firm referred to is that of MacRobertson, and, in reply, I desire to say that every box of goods which leaves their works contains a slip of paper bearing the following words : - " Should you find the weight or count incorrect please return this slip." {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- I bought two boxes of MacRobertson' s sweets this morning, and there was no such slip in them. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I visited the MacRobertson factory this morning in connexion with this matter, and I was requested to go into the shop and take down a box. The box was not given to me, but T took it down myself in the presence of the honorable member for Grey, and inside I found this slip. Further, a Victorian. Act which was passed last year provides that every article shall carry a tag giving information as to weight and so forth, so that MacRobertsons, if this slip were not included in their boxes of confectionery, would be breaking the law. This, I think, is sufficient to show that the firm referred to is not doing the class of business suggested by the honorable member for Grey ; indeed, the firm has no need to do so. The only argument that the honorable member for Grey can find in opposition to the proposed increase of duty is the fact' that there is a combine in the confectionery trade. We are not dealing with combines now, but with the Tariff. When the time comes for us to deal with combines, we shall, of course, deal with them. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- Did I not say something about increased prices? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Yes ; but out of 300 varieties of goods turned out by the confectioners of Victoria, in only thirty instances have prices been raised. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- From £4 to *£20* per ton. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The most startling statement made to the Committee was that of the honorable member for North Sydney, who said that he would vote against the Government proposals because one of the leading manufacturers of Australia had gone before a Tariff Commission and said that the increases were not necessary. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I did not say that that was my reason for voting against these proposals; but I mentioned the fac! 5226 *Tariff* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *(Confectionery,&c.).* as evidence that an increase in the rates is not required. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The point I wish to make is that **Mr. Stedman** - the manufacturer referred to - did not go before the Tariff Commission, although he instructed **Mr. Robertson** to represent him there, and to ask for increased duties. **Mr. Stedman** is one of the largest importers in Australia, rather than a manufacturer; his price list containing 419 foreign lines. Then the honorable member for Dalley told us that he was going to stick to the evidence of the Tariff Commission, and would not take the statements which have been circulated on flimsies throughout the chamber. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- What I said was that one of the biggest manufacturers of confectionery in Australia did not go before the Tariff Commission. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- **Mr. Stedman** employs only about 120 men. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- MacRobertson is also a big importer. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- That is not correct. I have been charged with misrepresentation ; but I am now showing how the Committee has been misled by the members of the Opposition. The honorable member for Lang, in a very long speech, told us what Cadbury does in the old country. As a protectionist, I think we should increase our duties so as to compel that firm to come here to carry on its operations. The Australian manufacturers do not fear such competition. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWILLIAMS:
FRANKLIN, TASMANIA · REV TAR; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; CP from 1920; IND from 1928 -- They think that they would soon get any new competitors into the Combine. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I am not now dealing with combines. The. evidence given before the Tariff Commission shows that higher rates are necessary ; some of the strongest statements being made by **Mr. AlfredWoodhill,** of Sydney, who said - >Owing to the higher prices paid in the trade here, and the much higher prices charged for raw material, the present rate of 2d. per lb. is rendered worthless as an aid to local manufacture, and is only a revenue tax. He also stated that - >The present Tariff is a blood-sucking one. It takes everything, and gives us nothing in return. **Mr. Robertson,,** who represented MacRobertson and Co., and every manufacturer in Australia, with the exception of some in Western Australia, went before the Tariff Commission and asked for higher duties. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Are manufacturers to be given higher duties simply because they ask for them? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- When what is asked for is fair and just, and will bring about better conditions, it should be given.. Representatives of the workers also went before the Commission and testified that there are scores of men out of employment, but that, if the duties were increased, work would be given to 500 more men. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- Does the honorable member believe that? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- A short time ago, the members of the Opposition insisted that we should accept the sworn evidence presented by the Tariff Commission. I ask them to accept this sworn evidence. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr Liddell: -- That was only a statement of opinion. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- It was given on oath. I ask those who recently visited MacRobertson's factory here whether it is not equal to any in the Commonwealth, if not in the world. The firm treats its men well. The honorable member for Lang praised Cadbury as a liberal employer, who gives freely to one organization and another. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- I mentioned that only incidentally. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- That an employer 16,000 miles away is liberal is no reason for not putting up our Tariff. The honorable member did not say anything about combines in England. Under the Victorian Factories Act, the boys employed in the confectionery industry must be paid 10s. a week; but one of the boys employed by MacRobertson earns on piece work£111s. 6d. a week, another *£1* 45.10d., another *£1* 12s. 3d., and another *£1* 8s. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr Liddell: -- Perhaps they get more than they are worth. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Those figures show what a splendid employer MacRobertson is. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr Liddell: -- They may show that he is charging too much for his wares. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- One of the girls employed on piece work earns *£1* 6s. 6d. a week, another *£1* 8s., another *£1* 10s. 9d., and and another *£1* 7 s. 6d. Those figures show what good wages are paid in this industry. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr Liddell: -- If it can pay such good wages, why are higher duties needed? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Honorable members opposite, a few days ago, spoke of an industry as not being worth encouraging, because the conditions of employment were not too good. The honorable member for Grey urged that. The confectionery industry, at any rate, should be encouraged, because of the good wages which it pays. I have shown that the statements of the honorable members for Dalley and North Sydney were incorrect, and that the honorable member for Grey objected to the proposals of the Government merely on the ground that there is a combine. But the manufacturers and workers of Australia haying asked for extra protection, I appeal to the Committee to grant it to them, and to keep out importations which, last year, were valued at j£i 20,000. We can make our own confectionery. Even the honorable member for Parkes has admitted that Australian confectionery is nearly as good as the imported. He could hardly be expected to say quite as good ; but, twelve months hence, he will find it equally good. I shall have much pleasure in supporting the proposals of the Government. I hope that Ministers will stick to their guns, and carry the rates set down in the schedule. {: #subdebate-9-0-s14 .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera -- I regret that the debate is not proceeding more rapidly. If second-reading speeches are to be made on every item, it seems to me that we shall not dispose of the Tariff for another two years ; but if the Government are prepared to adopt reasonable measures to expedite the discussion of the duties I shall be very glad to assist them. My desire is that we shall push on with the business of the House in order that the affairs of the Commonwealth may be attended to in the way that the people expect. I have listened to this debate with a good deal of interest, and although I do not profess to have an expert knowledge of the manufacture of confectionery, I think that a case has been made out for an increased duty. Under the States Tariffs the duties on confectionery were as follows.: - Victoria, 2d. per lb. ; New South Wales and Queensland, 4d. per lb. ; South, Australia, 3d. per lb. ; Tasmania and, I understand, Western Australia, 4d. per lb. Under the Victorian Tariff certain drawbacks were allowed in respect to sugar and glucose used in the manufacture of confectionery, the effect of which was to place the manufacturers in a much better position than the mere imposition of a duty of 2d. per lb. would suggest. Under the first Federal Tariff the duties were reduced to id. and 2d. per. lb., with the result that the value of our importations of confectionery increased from ^71,575 in 1902 to £110,281 in 1906. There was a steady increase of imports under the old Tariff. I am prepared to admit that the conditions of labour in the old country are in certain respects very reasonable. There is no occasion in this connexion to talk about the existence of sweating in Great Britain. We know that most of the manufactures imported from the old land are made under very favorable circumstances. But it is our duty to look first of all to the industries of Australia. Older nations have to compete with exportations from Great Britain, and although they should be able to carry on their industries under a much lower Tariff than Australia can do, we find that they are not doing so. I have in mind Canada, the United States of America, and Germany, which are not exposed to the same dangers that confront us, and do not need population as we do. The industries of Germany and the United States, and their sources of production, are well developed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But they are alongside their most formidable competitors. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- That opens up another phase of the question. I am not greatly impressed with the argument that is con,stantly advanced that our importers labour under special disadvantages owing to the long distance freights which they have to bear. Ocean freights at present are extremely low, and I feel satisfied that if we were to calculate the amount of freightage required to distribute goods from Melbourne or Sydney to every other part of the Commonwealth we should find that the manufacturers in those cities have no advantage over the manufacturers of Great Britain, who are distributing their goods throughout Australia. I shall probably be met with the reply_ that the Melbourne manufacturer should confine the distribution of his goods to Victoria ; but .1 would remind the Committee that our intention in establishing Inter-State free-trade was that manufactories indigenous to the different States should be able to distribute their goods and wares, all over the Commonwealth. Taking that fact into consideration, I fail to understand in what respect the manufacturer in Melbourne or in Sydney is in a better position in regard to the distribution of his goods over the Commonwealth than is the manufacturer in Great Britain who exports to Australia. The argument as to the natural protection enjoyed by our producers is one which if properly sifted will be found to have very little force. According to the Customs returns, the percentage of duty on confectionery under the old Tariff was about 25 5228 . *Tariff* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *(Confectionery, &c).* per cent. The Canadian duty is equal to about 40 per cent. ; the duties under the United States Tariff range from 50 to 100 per cent. ; and those under the German Tariff from about 40 to 50 per cent. I think that the duty proposed by the Government is rather high, and my present intention is to support the amendment foreshadowed by the honorable member for Fawkner, that the general duty be reduced to 3d. per lb. and that against imports from Great Britain to 2½d. per lb. The duty of 3d. per lb. would be equal to about 37½ per cent., or less than those imposed on confectionery by the well-established nations to which I have referred. I hope that the Government will take into consideration the possibility of being able to meet the honorable member for Fawkner, whose proposal I shall have much pleasure in supporting. {: #subdebate-9-0-s15 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I congratulate my honorable friends in the Opposition corner on their extreme generosity and moderation. They are prepared to stretch their fiscal conscience to the extent of giving the manufacturers in Melbourne all that they have ever asked for. The Tariff Commission, having sifted their statements, recommended a duty of 2d. instead of the 3d. per lb. for which they asked. When **Mr. Robertson** appeared before the Commission, the Chairman put to him the following question - >It has been suggested by one firm that a duty of 3d. or 4d. per lb. should be placed upon confectionery in order to remove your grievances. What do you say to that proposal? The witness replied - >My own suggestion, which has been indorsed by the Victorian Manufacturing Confectioners' Association, is that the duty should be increased to 3d. per lb. My honorable friends in the Opposition corner will therefore see that in the generosity of their hearts, and after analyzing the whole situation, they are falling into the position prepared for them by the Protectionist Association of Victoria.. It is evident as we proceed with the consideration of these duties that the schedule has been specially prepared for the purpose of enabling the Government to make concessions to the Committee. The statement made by the Minister and published in the *Daily Telegraph* on Monday last is quite correct ; he expected that reductions would be made, and, in framing the schedule, provided for them. This is one of the duties which have been specially set up in order that they may again be removed by the Minister with a show of apparent generosity and fairness. All that the manufacturing confectioners of Victoria have ever asked for is a duty of 3d. per lb., and the Minister simply imposed a duty of 3¾d., in order that he should be able to take off the extra ¾d. when pressed to do so and still reach the point for which he set out - giving the manufacturing confectioners of Victoria the duties they want or expect. It seems that the industry has been suffering from the imposition of duties on its raw materials. That is made clear by the evidence given by **Mr. Robertson** when before the Commission. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I understand that the duty on some of the raw materials used by confectioners has been increased by½d. per lb. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And I suppose that the honorable member will vote for that increased duty. He is about as strong a protectionist as I have met in this Chamber. So far as the policy of protection is concerned he is much stronger than the man he displaced. In our efforts to reduce the duties, we could get a little help from his predecessor, but I look in vain to the honorable member for any fiscal moderation. When before the Commission, **Mr. Robertson** said that his industry had developed and prospered, that his Inter-State trade had expanded, and that everything that could assist to make him a rich and prosperous manufacturing confectioner was really taking place under the old duties. All that he urged before the Commission was that he should be relieved of some of the duties on his raw materials. If that were done, he said, he would be perfectly content. He was examined by **Senator Clemons** as follows - >Your chief trouble is the cost of your raw material? - That is a very serious infliction. > >Your principal difficulty arises not from the operation of a low Tariff but from that of a high Tariff ? - It cuts both ways. There is a high duty upon our raw material which did not previously exist, and a lower duty upon confectionery. > >Which of the two hurts you most? - I am inclined to think that it is the increased Tariff upon the raw materials. > >You are more concerned in obtaining a reduction of the duties at present operative than an increase of them ? - The confectioners seek both a decrease upon their raw materials and an increase in the duty upon imported confectionery. > >But you chiefly seek a decrease of duty? - Of course, it is a matter of calculation ; but from a superficial view I would prefer to have the duty removed from the raw material. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- What did he say later on ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- He proceeded to give particulars about the cost of glucose. Glucose has not been increased in price. It is quite clear that **Mr. Robertson** was prospering under the operation of the old Tariff, and all ;that he asked was that he should be relieved of some of the duties which were imposed upon his raw materials. If those duties were retained, he desired that the duty should be increased to 3d. per lb. 'The Government, in their generosity, propose to make it 3§d. per lb. It seems to me that Victorian manufacturers have merely to prefer a request in order to have it granted. Why should this Parliament, which represents, not only the manufacturers, but also the consumers, accept the statement of any manufacturer who chooses to come along ? We do not act in that way in connexion with ordinary business bargains. So far as I am able to ascertain, we have every reason to be proud of the position which our manufacturers occupy. I only hope that they will continue to grow and prosper. Should the time ever arise when they are able to supply all the requirements of the Commonwealth in the matter of confectionery, none will rejoice more than I will, so long as they supply them upon reasonable conditions. I believe that **Mr. Robertson** conducts an establishment which is a credit to him in every way. I have tasted his confectionery, and I pronounce it to be excellent. I only hope that great prosperity will attend the efforts of those who have embarked their capital in this enterprise. But it seems to me that they have already attained a fair measure of success, and that there is no justification for piling the proposed duties upon the consumers. Statistics show that last year, in Victoria alone, there was ah increase in the number of hands employed in this industry of 248. The honorable member for Yarra stated last evening that the importations of confectionery have materially increased during the past few years. But even he had to admit that there has been a large increase in the local manufacture of confectionery. The fact is that the increased importation is the best possible index to the increased prosperity of Australia.. In good seasons our importation of confectionery must necessarily increase to a greater extent than the local product, because that importation consists largely of particular brands of confectionery which have not yet attained to their proper development in the Commonwealth. Seeing that the industry is doing well - that it is prospering in every way - we ought to let well alone, instead of imposing upon these articles higher duties, which will most assuredly be passed on to the consumer. The honorable member for Batman has made a statement in reference to **Mr. Stedman,** of Sydney. It is almost a pity that the names of individuals have been mentioned during this debate. It would have been far better if the names of **Mr. Robertson** and **Mr. Stedman** had been kept out of the discussion, and if we had debated this question in an impersonal way. I do not know any of these gentlemen personally, but I believe that they are men of high repute and of strict integrity. Referencehas been made to the fact that **Mr. Stedman** did not appear before- the Tariff Commission to ask for an increased duty. But his absence has been explained by the honorable member for Batman, who has declared that he deputed **Mr. Robertson** to make the request for him. Why should **Mr. Stedman,** who is almost solely an importer of confectionery, depute **Mr. Robertson,** who is interested in its manufacture, to represent him before the Tariff Commission? The fact that he did so is conclusive evidence, to. my mind, that **Mr. Stedman** is a member of the Confectionery Combine, which! has now reached Inter-State proportions, and whose operations, I venture to say, will have to be investigated very shortly. Everybody knows that this Combine is spreading all over Australia, and that it not only controls the manufacture of confectionery here, but that it virtually controls the importation of chocolate as well. I think that the Treasurer ought to promise to have a strict inquiry made into the conditions surrounding this industry. If what is alleged be true, the Confectionery Combine is already beginning to act in restraint of trade. We are told that a higher duty is required upon confectionery. Why? {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Because there is too much imported. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable member has not answered my question, but has merely put it a stage further back. Why is an increased duty required? {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Because the .industry is not sufficiently protected. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- In the old days all roads were supposed to lead to Rome, and, with the honorable member, all roads lead to protection. Why should an increased impost be needed? What are the ingredients which enter into the composition of confectionery? One of its constituents is milk. But I have been informed that all the milk consumed upon MacRobertson's premises is Nestles imported milk. It is really wonderful how these manufacturers prefer an imported raw product to a locally-manufactured article. Another ingredient is sugar, upon which there is a high duty, and which, therefore, according to the dictum of the Government Whip, ought to be cheap. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- But there is a combine in sugar. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I find that milk, sugar, dried fruit, and paraffine wax, all of which enter into the composition of confectionery, are dutiable to-day. Consequently, according to the doctrine of protectionists, these articles ought to be very much cheaper than they would be otherwise. There should be an abundance of these cheap raw products for the manufacture of confectionery in Australia. Yet **Mr. Robertson** had to cut right across that theory when he was giving evidence before the Tariff Commission. He had to complain that, because of the duties imposed upon his raw products, they were dearer than they otherwise would have been. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Why " stone-wall ' ' ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think that I have spoken for a whole ten minutes today. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Will the honorable member tell us the duty which is levied in Great Britain? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have never made any reference to the duty operating in that country. All that I have read about Cadbury's leads me to believe that its establishments are# conducted upon excellent lines. They -do well by their employes ; and I should like to see more of the same spirit prevailing in Australia, as well as in other parts of the world. But' why drag in these names ? I . am now dealing with the evidence which was given before the Tariff Commission; anu all the figures show that the industry was flourishing and prosperous in every . way. In 1905 there were 797 hands employed in Victoria, whereas last year the number was 1,043. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Three times over those figures have been corrected. In 1905 the number of employes was 987. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It is marvellous how some honorable members are able to correct the figures of official statisticians who devote their lives to the work. It would appear that the figures have' to be turned' round until they express entirely what some honorable members desire them to express. . The wages paid seem to be fair and reasonable ; and I point out that the Australian manufacturers are competing not against cheap or pauper labour abroad, but against the best paid labour in the world. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- That- labour is protected. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Would the honorable member accept the same protection in the case of the Australian industry ? {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- In proportion to the wages paid here, yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If " the same protection, which has made those people the most well-to-do in the world, were accepted for Australia, this argument would end at once. I am not sure, however, that there is such a difference between the wages paid in Australia and the wages paid elsewhere, particularly in Great Britain. I find that in Australia the average wage for apprentices, improvers and full-grown men is 30s. 5d. per week; and I regard that as very fair. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr Maloney: -- There are a lot of girls employed in the industry. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That average wage applies only to men and boys; the average wage for females is 13s. a week. I have been told that the average wage paid by Cadbury is a little higher than that paid in Australia, but I confess that I do not make that statement with any degree of confidence. Whether the wages alleged to be paid by such firms as Cadbury's applies to men only, or includes apprentices and improvers, I am unable to say, and therefore I cannot make a comparison with that confidence I otherwise should feel. The average wage for men at Cadbury's works is said to be 31s. per week and for females 18s. 6d. per week; and I give the figures for what they are worth. Only this morning we were told that in the case of another cocoa manufacturer at Home the average wage is even higher than that paid at Cadbury's factory, being for men over 18 years of age 32s. a. week. I submit that no case has been made out for the high duties proposed. This industry was flourishing and holding its own against the confectionery of the world before the duties *Tariff* [25 October, 1907.] *(Item* 45). 5231 were imposed ; and it should have been allowed to continue in. its prosperous career without imposts which most assuredly are passed on to the consumer. In spite of what the honorable member for Batman says, prices are being increased and passed on to the consumer, all being strictly regulated by means of the Combine. I should like the Government to investigate this matter, and see that the operations of the Combine are legitimate and above board. I. do not object to combines *perse,* because cooperative or associationsal production must always have an economical result. But when combinations begin to act in restraint of trade, and by regulating prices and discounts, make the conditions a great deal worse for the consumer, the law must step in. and control them sternly and strictly. I am quite at one with the dictum laid down by the President of the United States, that we must make our choice between nationalization and the regulating and controlling of combines; and I am for control in a very impartial and, at the same time, stern manner. In my opinion, a case has already been made out for strict inquiry by the Government. Unquestionably there exists an association, entrance to which is governed by a severe entrance fee, and a substantial subscription in proportion to the amount of business done, and the interests to be protected. The Combine regulates prices, and, by forcing the middlemen to deal exclusively with it, causes the latter also to combine. Further the Combine regulates the prices charged by the retailer to the consumer, and, in some instances, takes away, or fixes at a lower rate, the discounts which aforetime were proper to the trade. All this indicates that this Combine, like all others, while entrenching itself, and getting within its grasp the whole ramifications of the retail trade, is ever seeking a little more for itself than was considered fair previously. That is the point at which the Government ought to step in. Abundant proof was furnished last night by the honorable member for Grey that the Combine is extending itsoperations all over Australia; and that very shortly, if it has not now, it will have the control of the whole of the industry. Now and again a manufacturer may stand out; but he is made to suffer. I make no allegation regarding the operations of the Combine except such as have been made to me, and I simply urge that there is a case for inquiry. If it be found that the Combine is conducting its operations in any but a legiti mate way, the Government: ought to apply existing legislation, and if that be found not sufficient, let us. have other legislation, in order that restraint of trade may not be permitted.. 'We cannot complain ' of combines as combines. Manufacturers have every right to associate in order to protect their proper interests, but they have no right to go further, and unduly exploit the public. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- What method would the honorable member propose of controlling combines ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I propose that the honorable member for Parramatta should cease talking. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer's interjections are usually insulting, and his latest is of the same order. I ask you, **Mr. Chairman,** to stop this insulting. Minister. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the Treasurer to cease interjecting. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I ask the honor- . able member for Parramatta to give us. a chance of taking a division. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am not stop ping the taking of a division. I have spoken for only twenty minutes on a most important subject. The Treasurer provokes half the debate in this Chamber by his wooden-headed conduct of the business. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Who is insultingnow ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer may take the insult if he likes; he has been courting it the whole time. It is proposed to increase the duties outrageously, and yet there has not been a word of explanation from the Treasurer. The honorable gentleman says nothing here; but the moment he gets to Sydney he has the effrontery to say that he proposed these duties in the Tariff only in order that they might be taken off. That is the kind of thing we have in this Chamber every day. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The honorable member has repeated that statement several times, and I have told him it is not correct. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Minister has made practically the same statement in this Chamber to-day. He has told us that if he can manage the Tariff in the same way as he managed the candle duties, he will be perfectly satisfied. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I have not said anything of the kind. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Whenever the Minister's statements are repeated, he denies that he made them. He made some outrageous statements in London, and then contradicted the reports when he came back. I ask him, in the interests of Australia, to investigate the charges against the Confectionery Combine. If they are untrue, the Combine should not lie under them any longer than is necessary to disprove them, while, if they are correct, stern action should be taken to repress the practices which have been spoken of. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I have said that proceedings of a very decisive character are on the point of being taken. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am glad to have that statement from the Minister. Would it not be better for him to make explanations now and again, when they are asked for, than to sit there insulting every one? It would certainly facilitate business. In my judgment, no case has been made out for increasing these duties, and therefore I shall vote against the Government proposals. {: #subdebate-9-0-s16 .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL:
Hunter .- As we are now only at item 45, and must deal with 444 items before we can finish the Tariff, I shall make my remarks as short as possible, although I have a good deal that I should like to say, and much, no doubt, that honorable members would be glad to hear. To a certain extent, the discussion of this item has been laboured. It has been said that it is necessary for the protection of the confectionery industry to increase fEe cutties on confectionery ; but, from the statements made from all quarters, I judge that, of all industries in Australia, it least needs assistance. **Mr. Robertson** told the Tariff Commission that, thirteen years ago, when he employed comparatively few hands, he was not satisfied with the Tariff. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- None of us is ever satisfied. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- No protectionist is ever satisfied, however high the duties. Like a' child crying for the moon, he does not know what he wants, half the time. In those days, **Mr. Robertson** had a protective duty of 2d., and was very anxious to exclude the better class of confectionery, such as sells at 2s. and 3s. a lb. To exclude such confectionery, he wished for a duty of 4d. It has been stated in evidence, however, that much of this confectionery cannot be made in Australia, and to make the duties on it very high, would be to increase the taxation of our people, and destroy the revenue by lessening importations. It would furthermore deprive poor children of what may be regarded .by some as luxuries, though they have really become necessaries; because what we regard in the first instance as a luxury, gets to be a necessary when we have become accustomed to it. .The honorable member for Melbourne Ports will find that that remark applies to the possession of a seat in Parliament. Regarding the comparison of wages that has been made, I think that there can be little doubt but that English wages are higher than Australian wages. Furthermore, only eight hours a day are worked in England. The' chairman of Messrs. Cadbury Brothers, whose statements, I presume, can be accepted with the utmost confidence, stated some time ago that the firm's employe's get through more work in eight hours than do continental workers in ten or even twelve, and that although they are paid higher wages, actually less is spent on labour. But the employes of that firm, and of other English firms, enjoy many advantages which are not granted to the operatives of Australian manufacturers. Notwithstanding that there is no protection in Great Britain, wages in this industry are higher there than they have been in Victoria, while on the Continent thev are also very high. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Why does the honorable member say that there is no protection in Great Britain? {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- The protection there is not so high as is asked for by the Government here. **Mr. Robertson,** giving evidence before the Tariff Commission, said - >I do not think that, so far as some of the Continental manufacturers are concerned, we are placed at any disadvantage, because the men who make the higher class of goods are tolerably well paid. I have been Home twice, and have ascertained the wages paid. They pay *£2,* *£3,* *£a.* and, in some cases, £$ a week. Although **Mr. Robertson,** like other protectionist manufacturers, asked for protection for his industry,, he wishes to get his machinery in free. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- I admit that is a gene- . ral failing. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- I thought that the protectionists would not acknowledge that they possess any failing. **Mr. Robertson** has been forced to admit that the prices of his wares are to-day higher than they were, but he told the Tariff Commission that if the duties were raised he *Tariff* [25 October, 1907.] *(Item* 45). 5233 would reduce his prices. That promise was made by a number of other manufacturers, but it is very seldom fulfilled. Although the honorable member for Parramatta spoke for only twenty minutes, he said more in that time, and with more effect, than I could say in three hours. I wish merely to add, in conclusion, my protest against the manner in which members have been taken round in four-horse drags to visit the various Melbourne factories. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- That is quite right.' Honorable members cannot legislate in regard to things about which they know nothing. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Still, we need not go in parliamentary parties. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- I object to being cajoled into joining these expeditions. If a member wishes to know anything, let him find it out for himself. I should like to know who pays for these expeditions. Does the money come from the protectionist fund, or does the manufacturer bear the expense? {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- What do they cost? {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- What does the hire of four horses and a coach cost? I regard the system as an interference with members, and as an attempt to influence votes. I, for one, decline to take part in these visits. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Would the honorable member object to visits being paid to a free-trade factory ? {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- They should not be made at the expense of the manufacturers. Do the Government pay for them? {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr Maloney: -- Of course, they do not. Why ask such a silly question ? {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- I know that one of the chief of the very few supporters which the Government have arranged for these trips as if he were a Cook's tourist manager. In my opinion, these proceedings, to say the least of them, do not look well. {: #subdebate-9-0-s17 .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne .- No doubt the honorable member for Hunter, finding the Committee in a serious mood, wished, for lack of argument, to crack a good joke. Surely one of his kind and generous nature would not accuse honorable members of being bought by the present of a box of sweetmeats, and a ride on a drag. The acting leader of the Opposition has said that in no country in the world is the protection as high as that now suggested. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I did not say that. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY: -- The construction I placed upon the honorable member's remarks was that the proposed rates are much higher than are needed, and that equally high rates are not in force in any other country. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- No. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY: -- Then the honorable member will allow that many countries have equally high duties? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Yes. {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY: -- I propose to put before the Committee a few figures which, I think, will prove of interest. Whilst we have on sugar an import duty of *£6* per ton, I find that Holland has a duty of *£22* per ton, Italy *£38,* Norway *£21,* Sweden *£1712s.* , and even the United States, where a good deal of sugar is produced, a duty of over *£5* 10s. per ton. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I suppose that the honorable member would support prohibition ? {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY: -- I am a prohibitionist, and am prepared to vote for prohibition when I have an opportunity to do so. But where is the free-trader who will vote for absolute free-trade? {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- Is a manufacturer a true protectionist when he desires his machinery to come in free of duty? {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY: -- Not if that machinery could be manufactured here. The Government propose a duty of 3¾d. per lb. on confectionery, which is equal to a duty of *£35* per ton. In Italy there is a duty of *£40* per ton. On cocoa and chocolate a duty of 2¼d., or, roughlyspeaking, *£21* per ton, is proposed by the Government. In Italy there is a duty of *£52* per ton upon that commodity. Cocoa beans, which are admitted free into Australia as one of the raw materials of the manufacturing confectioner, are subjected to a duty of *£40* per ton under the Italian Tariff ; whilst ground paste, upon which we have a duty of¾d. per lb., is dutiable in Italy at £40 per ton. I recognise that there is a good deal of truth in the statements made by the honorable member for Grey. I believe that there is a combine in existence in relation to this industry, but I do not blame the manufacturers for combining. I can understand business men, who are called upon to grant a discount of 15 per cent. in some cases, and of 5 per cent. in others, agreeing upon a fixed rate of discount, so that all their customers shall be placed on an equal footing. When we have submitted to us a Bill to deal with combines, I shall vote for it, so that we may control them, and prevent those who purchase their products from being ruined, as thev might possibly be if these organizations were allowed to go untrammelled. I am not going to say that the Combine in relation to this industry is doing anything ihat is very unjust. I believe that some men have been bought out and paid less than they ought to have received, but I am not going to blame all the manufacturers for that sort of thing. Factory legislation now applies to the industry, and at present the employes are working under fair conditions. I do not suggest that they are as good as those prevailing in Cadbury's establishment, but I hope that they will be. Cadbury's are to be commended for the treatment of their employes. Fry's also treat their employes well, and the same may be said of Rowntree Brothers. The members of these three firms belong to the Society of Friends, but Rowntree Brothers were more loyal than were Cadbury's to the principles of their society when they received the offer of a contract to supply ^30,000 worth of chocolate for the troops in South Africa. As members of a society that is opposed to war, they refused to take that offer, as they did not believe in the wicked South African war, whereas Cadbury's did not hesitate to accept it. I shall vote for the higher duty proposed by the Government, but if the honorable member for Fawkner is prepared to agree to an amendment of his amendment, so as to provide for the imposition of a duty of 3§d. per lb. on imports from foreign countries, and of 2fd. per lb. on British imports - thus granting a preference of id. per lb. to British imports - I shall be happy to support him. {: #subdebate-9-0-s18 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I wish to reply very briefly to a statement that has been made by the honorable member for Batman. I think honorable members will agree that I am usually very careful regarding the substantial accuracy of any information that I put before the Committee, and that if at any time I make a mistake I am perfectly willing to correct it as soon as it is pointed out to me. It is true that I said yesterday that **Mr. Stedman** had made representations to the Tariff Commission in favour- of a lower duty. The honorable member for Batman said that it was on that ground that I opposed the Government proposition. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- I said that that was one of the grounds of the honorable member's opposition to it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I am opposed to the duty on the ground that, even from the protectionist point of view, it is unnecessary, and, in proof of my assertion, I pointed out that **Mr. Stedman** had made the representations in question. The reply of the honorable member for Batman to that is that **Mr. Stedman** favours the higher duty, -that he did not appear before the Commission, and was satisfied to "allow **Mr. MacRobertson** to represent the trade. That is what I understood the honorable member to say. I admit that I was wrong in thinking that **Mr. Stedman** had made his representations to the Tariff Commission. He did not make them to that body, but to the Minister of Trade and Customs. I hold in my hand a document from the Sydney Chamber of Commerce, which states - >That Australian manufacturing confectioners are by no means unanimous in desiring increased duties, three well-known mon ,1facturers in NewSouth Wales (James Stedman Ltd., leading), and one in Queensland, have petitioned the Minister of Customs against any increase beyond an all-round duty of 2d. per lb. That is my authority for the statement which I made, and whilst I was in error in thinking, that **Mr. Stedman** had made his representations to the Tariff Commission, I was absolutely right, so far as the effect of those representations is concerned. {: #subdebate-9-0-s19 .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr STORRER:
Bass .- I am prepared to support the recommendation of the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission in respect of this item. If the amendment be defeated, I shall move that a duty of 2½d. per lb. be imposed under the general Tariff, and that a preference of Jd. per lb. be granted to the manufacturers of the United Kingdom. {: #subdebate-9-0-s20 .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON:
Grey .- I ask the Treasurer whether he intends to report progress ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- No. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- Then I suppose that I shall be compelled to lose my train, but nevertheless I have a duty to perform. To-day I received the following telegram from the firm of Bass and Company, Sydney - >Manufacturing confectioners of Sydney and Newcastle commanding New South Wales trade have been holding two and more weekly meetings for past ten weeks, and under the style of New South Wales Manufacturing Confectioners' Protective Society, have combined to raise prices enormously under penalty. The increase of some leading lines was notified to the shopkeeper Monday, the twenty-first inst., by circular, and printed information is given that lists of further lines are in preparation, and will be issued in a few days. Present printed quotations of the Combine as compared with those in existence prior to the twenty-first instant show the following increase : - Common mixed lollies, from twopence three-farthings to threepence farthing. Conversations, Scotch mixtures, and peppermints from threepence and threepence halfpenny to fourpence halfpenny per pound. London mixtures from threepence farthing and threepence halfpenny to fourpence halfpenny. Jelly jubes, threepence three-farthings to fivepence halfpenny. Caramels, frosted and cream, from sixpence to ninepence. Jelly beans from sixpence halfpenny to ninepence. Chocolate creams and mixtures from sixpence to eightpence. The writer, after thirteen years in the retail confectionery of this city, and holding two of the leading retail shops, exclusively confectionery, aggregating rentals approximating four figures per annum, was told only yesterday by the principal of a firm of over fifty years' standing in this city and a member of Combine,that while in the past the manufacturer waited on the retailer, in future the manufacturer would be master. If leading vendors are plainly told this, what about aged spinsters and widows, by whom this trade is largely conducted outside business centres? Could say a good deal more on information received first hand, but in the absence of documentary evidence desist. The accuracy of the statements which I made last night has been challenged in some quarters. I affirmed that prices had been increased in Victoria, and in support of my allegation I quoted not twenty-five lines - as stated by the honorable member for Batman - but fifty-nine lines upon which an increase had taken place. These increases upon the old rates range from .£4 13s. per ton to ,£37 6s. 8d. per ton. It has been argued that the increases are due to the duties which have been imposed upon the raw materials of the industry, but I venture to say that protectionists will experience a great difficulty in proving that. Last evening I quoted from a letter in which the statement was made, not only that prices had been increased, but that short weights were being delivered. The accuracy of that assertion has been challenged. I have since been informed, not only that short weights have been delivered once, but that they have been delivered repeatedly even after complaints have been made by the parties aggrieved. The honorable member" for Batman has declared that every box of confectionery sent out by a certain firm contains an enclosure intimating that if there is any short weight upon a box it will be made up by the manufacturer upon being informed of it. There- upon, I asked him whether it was the practice of the firm to send out a similar enclosure with every box, and he replied that it was. I then sent down to a very reputable firm in this city, and obtained two boxes qf confectionery, which were opened in the presence of witnesses, who can testify that neither of them contained the enclosure to which reference has been made. If further proof of my statement is necessary I am in a position to supply it. It is generally admitted that a confectionery combine does exist. Indeed, there has been no effort to refute the statements I made last night. Not only is there a combine, but it is so effective that it almost succeeded in confining the trade to a particular State, and it has succeeded in arranging that no goods shall be sold under the price fixed by itself. The idea of the honorable member for Wimmera that under protection competition protects the consumer and the retailer is not borne out by facts. The majority of honorable members seem to concern themselves entirely with the men who are employed in the industry; but we must not forget that there are hundreds of retailers, most of them people of small means, who are equally deserving of consideration. By means' of this Combine retailers may be practically fleeced, whilst at the same time it has been arranged to pay 15 per cent, to the middlemen. The Government propose the magnificent preference to Great Britain of Jd.' out of an increased duty amounting to 1¾d. Of £116,000 worth of imports last year £93,674 worth came from the United Kingdom, as compared with only £1,000 worth from France, and £1,200 worth from Germany. The industry is in such a sound position that last year the exports were valued at £13,781, and in spite of the duty of 2d. per lb. in New Zealand: Australian manufacturers can export to that Dominion and undersell English manufacturers. In my opinion, the proposed duty is most iniquitous, and yet not one word in justification of it have we heard from the' Treasurer. When we ask for fair play and honest trading we are' accused of supporting the foreigner; but surely no one can say that the retailers of Australia are foreigners, or that they are not just as much entitled to consideration as are the manufacturers. In the face of what has been proved in connexion with this Combine, we are told that we must leave it to be dealt with under the new protection scheme. In my opinion. 5236 *Tariff* [REPRESENTATIVES.](Confectionery,&c.). however, this is the time to teach the manufacturers that if they are given the advantage of high duties they mustdeal honestly with others who have as much right to live as they have. While we are waiting for the Government to introduce the new protection legislation, and, probably, to amend legislation already in existence, the retailers are left in the hands of the Combine. It is proposed that when there is clear evidence that prices are unwarrantably' increased, or that there is a combine created to take unfair advantage of the public, duties shall be reduced, and I am only asking honorable members to take that step now. If we are in earnest we have an opportunity to show the manufacturers that they will not be allowed to enter into a cold-blooded combination for the purpose offleecing those with whom they have to do business. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Does the honorable member not think it better to employ 3,000 hands in Australia than to employ none at all? Have those employes no claim on our consideration ? {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- The greater part of my life has been devoted to the protection of the working man, but I recognise that there are many others concerned besides the employes. If only the working men have to be considered here, then the sooner I know the fact the better. I take it that we are sent to Parliament to deal fairly with all concerned - not only with employes but with consumers - and all I am asking is that we should give the retailer a fair opportunity. This Combine should have the slap in the face it deserves, and be taught a lesson. If manufacturers come to Parliament for high duties, they must not be permitted to form themselves into combines for the purpose of robbing the public. Question - That the words " and on and after 25th October, 1907 (General Tariff), per lb., 2d.," proposed to be inserted be so inserted (Mr. Poynton's amendment) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 13 NOES: 31 Majority ... ... 18 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 5236 {:#debate-10} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-10-0} #### Progress of Business {: #subdebate-10-0-s0 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist -- I move - >That the House do now adjourn. I am moving the adjournment now, because I know that honorable members wish to get away to catch trains to other States ; but I desire to point out that we must make better progress in future. If we do not get more business done during the ordinary sittings next week, we shall have to meet earlier or sit later, or, perhaps, do both. I am sure that honorable members will not take umbrage at that proposal, seeing that the Government are anxious to pass the Tariff before Christmas, and that cannot be done unless we apply ourselves steadily to the work. Next week honorable members willbe asked to sit each night until a certain amount of progress has been made. {: #subdebate-10-0-s1 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- In regard to the facilitation of public business, I wish to suggest, in the most courteous way I can, that there might be more progress if the Minister would explain his proposals to the Committee, I do not care how shortly, and would treat honorable members with more courtesy. The last speech to which' we listened in Committee was caused by the action of the {:#subdebate-10-1} #### Tariff (Item 45). [25 October, 1907.] Capital Site. 5237 Minister in snapping at the honorable member who delivered it, when he asked a reasonable question. Courteous treatment will beget courteous treatment.' {: #subdebate-10-1-s0 .speaker-KLM} ##### Mr MALONEY:
Melbourne -- I wish, by way of personal explanation, to say that in Committee I gave credit to the English firm of Messrs. Rowntree for having refused the offer of a large sum of money for the supply of chocolate to the troops in South Africa. {: #subdebate-10-1-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### The DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- The honorable member must make his explanation in Committee of Ways and Means. He cannot now refer to what took place in the Committee. {: #subdebate-10-1-s2 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist -- I cannot help feeling amused at the remarks of the deputy leader of the Opposition, because he is such a very courteous member himself, and *no* one can complain very much of any strong language used up to the present in these debates. I am exceptionally courteous, as the honorable member knows, and so his remarks are out of place. If at any time I say anything which may be considered harsh, it shouldbe remembered that I try to control myself, but it is very tiresome to sit here listening to lengthy speeches and repetitions when I am anxious to get on with business. If I were to give the explanations which the honorable member asks for, they would lead to about four times the discussion we now have. I say as little as possible, in order to shorten the debates. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 4.27 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 25 October 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.