6 February 1908

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session

The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

page 7841



Senator STEWART:

– Will the VicePresident of the Executive Council ascertain whether it is true, as has been alleged, that the late King of Portugal (1) dissolved Parliament and usurped despotic power ; (2) taxed the people by decree, and compelled them to pay by force of arms; (3) prevented the public discussion of his acts by prohibiting free speech, and suppressing such newspapers as criticised his conduct; (4) proclaimed military law ?

Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · VICTORIA · Protectionist

– The Government will not seek to obtain the information asked for. They wished by their cablegram merely to express indignation at, and abhorrence of, the assassination of the late King and Crown Prince of Portugal.

page 7841



Senator BEST:

– Yes. I can best do so by reading the following telegram sent to the Prime Minister by the ConsulGeneral for Germany -

In face of misleading cablegram that German Government propose establishment of penal settlements in thePacific, I am instructed to inform you that this matter has been only spontaneously mentioned by a member of the Reichstag - neither were my Government in the least way concerned in that suggestion, nor do they intend to give it any consideration whatever. It might further be observed that the casual mentioning of the subject in Parliament passed entirely unnoticed by German public opinion. While thanking you for the reserved way in which you- pronounced your views, I should feel obliged if you would give publicity to this official communication. Viewing the great interest which your country naturally takes in the matter, this would certainly have a reassuring effect throughout Australia.

page 7841



Senator FINDLEY:

– As the Berringa Rifle Club has been endeavouring for more than twelve months to obtain a rifle range, I ask the Minister of Home Affairs whether it may hope to obtain from the Department a definite reply in regard to the matter within the next twelve months? The club wishes to know whether the Department can or cannot secure for it a range suitable for rifle practice.

Senator KEATING:
Minister for Home Affairs · TASMANIA · Protectionist

– The proposed range is to be a rifle club range, that is to say, a range for a rifle club, not a range authorized in the first instance for. use by the Militia Forces generally. In all such cases the rifle club interested chooses the site, and constructs the range, subject to the approval and supervision of the Rifle Range Branch of the Defence Department. As soon as a club has chosen its’ site, the Inspector of Rifle Ranges reports upon it, and the construction of the range depends upon the nature of his report. In this 7842 Painting of [SENATE.] Telegraph Poles. instance, several sites have been under consideration by the club, and more than one has been inspected, opinions having favored first one site and then another. The Departments of Home Affairs and of Defence did all they could to assist the club in obtaining from the State Department permission to use the Crown lands comprised in some of the sites, and on the 29th of last month the Defence Department informed the captain of the club that the site finally selected had been approved, and that the construction of the rifle range might be proceeded with. The captain was also asked to report when the construction was completed, so that an officer might be sent to pass the work, preparatory to giving to the club the usual grant in aid.

page 7842



Senator STORY:

– Is the Minister of Home Affairs yet in possession of the information for which I asked last week, and again yesterday, in reference to the’ painting of telegraph poles?

Senator KEATING:

– On the 30th January the honorable senator asked me, without notice, arising out of a reply which. I had given to a question on notice, whether the information supplied to me had been received from Adelaide since he asked the question, and, if not, would. I cause inquiries to be made as to whether a man was being employed by the Department at less than the trade rate of wages ? My answer to that question was in these terms-

The reply whichI read was furnished to me by the Postmaster-General’s Department after 2 o’clock to-day. When I first read it, I assumed from its terms that it was a copy of a telegram which had been received to-day by ‘the Postmaster-General. I will, however, make inquiry into the matter, and, later on, will furnish the honorablesenator with the information which he seeks.

I find, on inquiry, that the information from theDeputyPostmaster-General at Adelaide was furnished after the honorable senator had given notice of his question, and was sent in reply to a telegram which was forwarded by the central office of the Department, and in which the question was quoted.

Senator STORY:

– The Minister will notice that my question was really a doublebarrelled one, and that only one part of it has been replied to. The inquiry as to whether a man is being employed by the

Department at less than the trade rates of wages has been evaded. Will the Ministerobtain a reply to that question ?

Senator KEATING:

– I can only repeat the answer to the honorable senator’s question, which read as follows -

Whether the instruction recently issued by the Postmaster-General, that when men were employed at any trade the standard rate of wages for that trade should be paid by the Department, is being observed in Adelaide as regards the painting of telegraph poles.

That question was sent forward to Adelaide in a telegram, and the reply received thereto was as follows -

We have only one painter, andhe is paid standard rate. Painting poles forms part of the work of permanent linemen, who arc paid salaries fixed by Public Service Commissioner, ranging from£114 to £126 a year.

The latter part of that reply was really not asked for, but it was given to explain why it was that there was only one painter employed by the Department. The question of the honorable senator, it seems to me, has been answered, and further information given.

Senator STORY:

– I must again ask the Minister whether he will obtain a reply to my question. His first reply was, I am satisfied, . evasive.


-The honorable senator cannot debate the matter.

Senator STORY:

– In order to make my question clear, sir, I wish to mention that I have information that a man, who is not a painter, is being employed at painting, and I want the Minister to ascertain if that statement is a fact or otherwise. The Deputy Postmaster-General inSouth Australia is apparently endeavouring to evade replying tomy inquiry. All I wish to ask the Minister is whether he will procure a straightforwardanswer ?


– Order ! It is not in order for the honorable senator to debate the matter in that way. The Minister has given the replywith which he hasbeen furnished, and which he believes is absolutely correct. If thehonorable senator de sires to ask a further question in tonnexicn with the subject he may do so; buthe mustnot commenton the reply which has been given.

Senator STORY:

-That is my desire, sir, and I merely passed the comment in order to make the question clear.


– The honorable senator is not in order in making any comment.

Senator STORY:

-Apparently the ques- tion has not been made clear, and certainly

*Weather Reports.* [6 February, 1908.] *Printing Committee.* 7843 the answer is not clear. My inquiry now is, will the Minister endeavour to obtain from the Postmaster-General a clear answer to the question I asked, and that is whether a man is being employed by the Postal Department at the work of painting at less than the trade rate of wages ordinarily given to painters. That ought to be a clear request. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- Of course I can not be expected to reply now to the honorable senator's question, but I will bring his remarks under the notice of the Poitmaster-General. It seems perfectly clear to me that the question asked in the first instance was replied to categorically, and that further information was supplied. That further information appears to have caused the complication. {: .page-start } page 7843 {:#debate-4} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-4-0} #### INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE, MILDURA Duty on Dried Fruits. {: #subdebate-4-0-s0 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Protectionist -- The Senate determined yesterday that the consideration of that particular item should be postponed until the last item in the schedule had been dealt with. When that time arrives no doubt it will come on for consideration. {: .page-start } page 7843 {:#debate-5} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-5-0} #### WEATHER REPORTS {: #subdebate-5-0-s0 .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator MACFARLANE:
TASMANIA -- I desire to ask the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government have arranged with the Post and Telegraph Department for correct information as regards the weather to be given to the public? I may be permitted to mention that I referred to this matter last week. On Tuesday last I Hooked at the glass case in which weather reports are exhibited at Launceston for the information of the public, and the last report I found there was dated Thursday last. I ask that an arrangement may be made with the Department for correct information as to the weather to be given to the public at once. {: #subdebate-5-0-s1 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Protectionist -- I do not know what the exact circumstances are to which the honorable senator refers, but I will bring his remarks under the notice of the Commonwealth Meteorologist. {: .page-start } page 7843 {:#debate-6} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-6-s0 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
WESTERN AUSTRALIA -- I desire to make a personal explanation in reference to an incident which occurred at yesterday's sitting. While **Senator Stewart** was asking some interesting questions, I inquired if I could move an addition to the message of condolence which had been sent to Portugal by the Government on behalf of the Commonwealth. . The *Argus* report of my remarks has placed me in a false position. It reads as follows : - {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- I wish to add an expression of sympathy with the people of Portugal, who have been robbed of their constitutional rights. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Why not send sympathy to the assassins? ' {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- They are no more assassins than you are. The last words, in effect, make me charge either the people of Portugal or **Senator Millen** with being assassins. It is scarcely necessary for me to say that that is about the farthest thing from my mind. I desire to contradict that part of the report. {: .page-start } page 7843 {:#debate-7} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-7-0} #### PRINTING COMMITTEE Report presented by **Senator Henderson,** and read by the Acting Clerk of the Parliaments. Motion (by. **Senator Henderson)** proposed - >That the report be adopted. {: #subdebate-7-0-s0 .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS:
Queensland -- I put some questions on 30th January to the Minister representing the Minister of Defence in reference to the breaking down of transport waggons. I understood from him then that the report of the Committee of inquiry would be printed. I see, however, that the Printing Committee have refused to recommend the printing of the paper. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- I did not say that it would be printed. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- I may have been under a misapprehension, but I understood the Minister to say so. I asked that the paper should be printed, but it now seems that the Printing Committee have refused to make a recommendation to that effect. I have some further information regarding the breakdown of the waggons at recent manoeuvres. {: #subdebate-7-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- The Printing Committee make no recommendation with reference to the report in question, and it is still open to the Senate to order the paper to be printed. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- I have an extract before' me which I will read to the Senate to show that it is really necessary that the paper should be printed. There is a great deal of feeling on the subject amongst the men in the service. There is certainly something wrong, and if a war broke out it seems probable that, as regards this particular equipment, we should be left in the. lurch. The extract from a letter which I shall read was published in the Melbourne *Herald.* It was written by a military man, who appears to know what he is talking about - >I am glad you have taken up the question of the broken-down transport waggon, because it is another example of how, whenever the system is tested, it breaks down. > >I was present at the moving camp on Foundation Day, and it was a good example of how the department seems quite unable to provide transport for about 250 men. What it would do it a war broke out, the mother ot confusion only knows. > >There is one fact, though, that has at present been concealed. When it was found that the spare wheel sent out to the broken-down waggon would not fit, and the troops had consequently to go without their tea and equipment, a departmental waggon was sent along. It is a deplorable fact that this waggon was. short of bolts, and so much in danger of falling to pieces that it had to be tied together wilh ropes, whilst the nut of the wheel, which needed oiling, in order to get the men to drag it along, could not he unscrewed. > >The Minister has promised an inquiry. He will probably get reports from the State Commandant, 'who is hardly likely to adversely criticise his own arrangements, but no whitewashing inquiry should satisfy the Parliamentary questioner who inquired into this scandalous slate of things. The camp was held largely to lest fitness and efficiency. The men showed themselves all right, but the little part which the men are permanently paid to prepare broke down. As was said in the Crimean war, " Someone wants hanging." I have had my attention directed to this matter by an authority in another place who is a military nian, and who has served his country for a number of years in that capacity. The public at large will think that there is something to hide if the report iS not published. Therefore I beg to move, by way of amendment - >That the following words be added, "and that the report in reference to transport services - manoeuvres near Heidelberg - be printed." **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South ment, and take the opportunity to call attention briefly to . the unnecessary and undesirable method of rushing through the reports of the Printing Committee without affording time for the least consideration of them. I again urge that the Chairman of the Committee, instead of seeking and obtaining the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable these reports to be adopted forthwith, should pursue the usual course of giving notice of motion and moving on the next day. I 'do not desire to delay the' adoption of the report, but I quite agree with the amendment that has been moved, and which I am now seconding. I think that the matter is of far too grave a character, even though it may be only the breakdown of a waggon, to pass without further notice. The breakdown of a waggon may have the most' serious consequences even in peace manoeuvres, and still more so in time of war. If the papers in question are not to be printed, what shall we know about them ? {: #subdebate-7-0-s2 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- I have only risen for the purpose of dealing with some remarks made by **Senator Sayers** when first addressing himself to this question. The honorable senator said that he was under the impression that I had promised that the report on the breakdown of transport waggons should be printed. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator Sayers: -- That was mv idea. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- I quite understand that the honorable senator has made a mistake, but I would draw attention to the questions which he put, and my replies as published in the *Journals* of the Senate of the 30th January. The first question was - >Have the Government had brought under their notice the breakdown of transport waggons? The answer to that question was "Yes." The second question was - >If so, will an inquiry be made as to the defects? The. answer was - >An inquiry is already being made in the matter. The third question was - >In the event of an inquiry being made, will a report be laid on the table of the Senate? The answer was - >There will be no objection to this being done. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator Sayers: -- That is' quite correct, but I interjected " Let it be printed," and I understood the Minister to say that it would be. *Pinting* [6 February, 1908.] *Committee.* 7845 {: #subdebate-7-0-s3 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Protectionist -- Oh, no; I did not say that, I am sure. Honorable senators will probably recollect that on the previous day I tabled a very important document - the annual report of the Public Service Commissioner - and in doing so stated that some supplemental correspondence would followthat report, which was already in print. I said then that I statedthat by way of explanation, because I intended, later on, to depart from the usual course of. leaving these matters to the Printing Committee by moving, when I tabled the supplemental document, that it be printed. I think that the Chairman of the Printing Committee will bear me out when I say that when I moved that the later document be printed, I expressly explained to the Senate that I did so, not out of any disrespect to the Committee, but because it had to be read in conjunction with the one just previously tabled and already in print. The Senate some time since decided that in all matters of this kind the Printing Committee shall determine whether or not a paper should be printed, and except in a case of special urgency, or where a particularly good reason for departing from the practice commended itself to the Minister presenting a paper, that course has generally been followed. I rose to make this statement lest any one should think that there was an objection on the part of the Government to this document being printed. I do not think that there is any objection. The honorable senator being seized, perhaps more fully than are other honorable senators, with the importance of this document, has moved that it be printed, and is well within his rights in doing so. {: #subdebate-7-0-s4 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- As I understand that several honorable senators desire to move an amendment relating to another paper which has not been ordered to. be printed, I should like to ask **Mr.. President** whether, after the amendment has been put. we shall have an opportunity to move a further amendment relating to the printing of another paper. {: #subdebate-7-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- Any honorable senator may move that the amendment be amended by the addition of further words. {: #subdebate-7-0-s6 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia .- If that be so, I should like to move. - >That the amendment be amended by adding the words, " and that the Papua ordinances - 1907, Nos. 9 and 10 - be printed." If these ordinances were gazetted, or such publicity were given to them that they would be at the command of honorable senators, there would be no necessity to take this step ; but since the Commonwealth Parliament is responsible for the administration of Papua, it is desirable that all ordinances relating to the territory should be printed. Some which, when presented, may seem to be of no great importance, may hereafter be of great interest, and if the further amendment be carried the Printing Committee will see to it that in future all ordinances are printed, so as to be available in the event of any discussion arising. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- As it has been indicated that further amendments will probably be submitted, I would draw your attention, **Mr. President,** to standing order 139, which provides that - >An amendment proposed shall be disposed of before another amendment to the original question can be moved. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- But **Senator McGregor's** proposal is an amendment of an amendment. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- It may be, but I understood that **Senator McGregor's** proposal was an amendment of the original motion, having no special reference to the amendment proposed by **Senator Sayers.** {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- It is an amendment of the amendment. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- I thought it was an amendment of the original motion, and that therefore, under standing order 139, the amendment moved by **Senator Sayers** should first of all be disposed of. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- I would direct the honorable senator's attention to standing order 141, which provides that - >Amendments may be proposed to a proposed amendment as if such proposed amendment were an original question. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- Might I point out that **Senator McGregor's** proposal appears to be not an amendment of the amendment moved by **Senator Sayers,** but an amendment of the original motion. It is entirely independent of, and does not qualify in any way **Senator Sayers'** amendment. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- It is true that it does not qualify the amendment proposed by **Senator Sayers,** which is an amendment to the original motion, but the original motion refers to Papua ordinances as well as to the report relating to the breakdown of transport waggons at Heidelberg. The words proposed by **Senator McGregor** could, therefore, be added to the original motion whether amended or not, after **Senator Savers'** amendment had been disposed of. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- Hear, hear ! {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- I shall, therefore, refrain from putting the amendment submitted by **Senator McGregor** until after that moved by **Senator Sayers** has been dealt with. It will then be open to honorable senators to move further amendments to the motion. {: .speaker-KLZ} ##### Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913 **-Colonel CAMERON** (Tasmania) [3.8]. - Whilst **Senator Sayers** was well advised in bringing this matter before the Senate, I would urge him to withdraw his proposal that the country should be put to the expense of printing a report of such a trivial character as that to which he has referred. It is simply making a mountain out of a mole-hill. The whole matter is not worth the consideration and time already wasted upon it. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator Sayers: -- Did the honorable senator see the letter that I read ? {: .speaker-KLZ} ##### Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913 -Colonel CAMERON. - I heard it read. {: #subdebate-7-0-s7 .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON:
Western Australia .- The Printing Committee were really influenced by the statement made a few days ago by the Minister with reference to this matter, and by the belief that the paper ordered to be printed on the motion of the Minister was in the hands of the printer, and was being circulated. Not being a military man, I cannot perhaps grasp the full significance of the report relating to the breakdown of the transport service near Heidelberg, but if any military or non-military man, after reading it, can convince me or any intelligent person that it is worth printing, I shall have nothing further to say. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- I did not move that the paper be printed. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia)' [3.10]. - After the remarks made by **Senator Cameron** and the Chairman of the Printing Committee, we must all feel that it is our duty, if we can, to support the Printing Committee. They have considered the propriety of printing these documents, and we certainly cannot complain that they have not given time and attention to the question. If, as **Senator Cameron** said, we have in this case an attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill, it is hardly worth while authorizing the printing of the document,from which no beneficial result will follow. I shall certainly support the Printing Committee. Question - That the words proposed to be added fee added (Senator Sayers' amendment) - put. The Senate divided. AYES: 14 NOES: 0 Majority ...2 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. {: #subdebate-7-0-s8 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- As I have already stated, the Legislative Council in Papua is really subordinate to this Parliament, which is responsible for whatever ordinances it may pass. Now the ordinances which have been presented to the Printing Committee may be of no consequence at the present moment, but in their relation to future- ordinances they may be of very great importance, I hope, therefore, that the Printing Committee will take no offence at an attempt on the part of any honorable senator to have these ordinances printed. I am sure that its members will not do so, because the printing of the ordinances is in the interests of good government. **Senator HENDERSON** (Western Australia) [3.17). - I am sure that not a single member of the Printing Committee wall have any objection to the amendment being carried. But I would point out that these ordinances have been tabled time and again. They have passed through the hands of the Printing Committee, and have been dealt with in its reports from time to time. As hithertono wish for their printing has been expressed, the Committee has dealt with them just as it has dealt with other matters, such as regulations under Statute, which come before it. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [3.18]. - I am sure that nobody can question the feeling- which animates the Printing Committee in regard to this matter. Although its members do not think that these ordinances ought to be printed,, I suppose they do not object to that course being adopted if any strong desire in its favour is expressed. I think that the Committee acted rightly in this matter. These ordinances are not proper subjects for printing as papers of the Senate. They are the acts of the Legislative Council of Papua. They fall exactly in the same category as Acts of Parliament. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- And they have the force of law. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- Yes, they have the force of law. They are printed each year in a bound volume. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- In Papua. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- Exactly. But we can gain access to them in our Parliamentary Library just as .we can gain access to the Acts of Parliament of any State. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- But we cannot get access to them until the end of the session. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I have no doubt that if the desire were expressed, the authorities of Papua would have no objection to forwarding copies of these ordinances for circulation amongst the members of this Parliament. That courtesy and. civility is always extended to us. If we ask for a loose copy of an Act of any of the States, we get it. We ought not to interfere with the Printing Committee in a matter of this kind. We might just as well ask that the Acts of Parliament of the States should be printed as parliamentary papers for our convenience. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- There is no analogy. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- It is unprecedented that printed Acts of Council, like printed Acts of Parliament, should, whether they -are laid -upon the table or not, be printed as parliamentary papers. Nothing so convinces me of the wise discretion exercised' by the Printing Committee in the discharge of their duties as the decision they have come to in this case. In the other case it was a question of whether it was worth while. In this case it seems to be altogether unnecessary, and a waste of money, to print these documents. They are Acts of Council made under the authority of the Papua Act. They have to be laid before Parliament, and we can see them. If any honorable senator wishes for an additional copy, I suppose that there will be no difficulty in getting it. When they are bound at the end of the year they are to be obtained in the Library, like the Acts of Parliaments of the States. It is interesting to us to see them, and proper that we should familiarize ourselves with them, but we can do so without having them printed as parliamentary papers. {: #subdebate-7-0-s9 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- Whether or not this action should have been taken earlier does not affect the question of the advisability of laying down a rule for the future. The question we have to consider now is : Is ft not advisable to follow precisely the same course in relation to these ordinances as we do in the case of an ordinary Public Service Regulation ? **Senator Symon** said that it would be just as reasonable to ask that the Acts of the Parliaments of the States should be printed and circulated, but. where is the analogy? In the one case we are utterly powerless, as the States are sovereign, but in this case there is a body of our own creation, for whose acts and ordinances we are responsible. If those ordinances with, the subjects with which they are empowered to deal in a way that would reflect discredit, that discredit would be reflected upon this Parliament. If, for instance, in an ordinance dealing with the natives - a question which before now has brought the name of Australia into question in other parts of the world - anything were done that could be called in question, not the obscure Legislative Council of Papua, but this Parliament, would be discussed in other parts of the world, and' have to bear the odium, of ' that legislation. We are responsible for the ordinary departmental regulations of the Public Service, as they are the product of persons who are the creation of this Parliament, and therefore those regulations are printed immediately and .circulated among us as a matter of course. They are not even submitted to the Printing Committee before they are printed. They are frequently referred to in the Committee's report as "already in print." For the same reason these ordinances ought to be printed, because we are responsible for their effect. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Are they not already in print? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- They are already in print in Papua ; but they should be printed here by order of the Printing Committee. When they are promulgated and put into force, the members of this Parliament shouldbe supplied with copies of them, in order that they may take any necessary action before damage is done. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- Can we veto them? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- Yes, they can be vetoed by Order in Council. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- But we cannot veto them. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- If any injustice were being done, this Senate would soon make its voice heard. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- Certainly. "Under our system of responsible government, the Ministers responsible for Orders in Council are answerable to this Parliament. The ordinances should be furnished as a matter of course to honorable senators, so that they may study them and come to conclusions as to their probable effect. The amendment is no reflection on the Printing Committee, who have simply done as has been done before. It simply occurredto some of us that it was time a change was made in this respect. The particular ordinances now in question may have no bad effect, but there might come a time when they, with others, might have an effect detrimental to the good name of Australia, which effect this Parliament, if it had had an opportunity of supervising them, might have checked at once. I agree with **Senator McGregor** that they should all be printed and circulated among honorable senators as they are promulgated. It is absolutely impossible to do as **Senator Symon** suggests. At' the end of a session we might go into a long recess. Before we got the ordinances twelve' months might elapse. "Unless papers of this sort are circulated, honorable senators will never go and inquire for them. They have sufficient to do now to keep in touch with the papers which are issued to them without looking for more trouble, or hunting for more papers in the library. Under present conditions, the harm would be done and the scandal out before we heard of it. It would be too late then to do anything. What is wanted is to give honorable senators power to check any trouble that might be imminent. {: #subdebate-7-0-s10 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
VicePresident of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist . -I quite agree as to the desirability of these ordinances being printed, but since the debate started I have had the opportunity of inquiring into the matter, and will, I think, be able to make a suggestion that will meet the views of both sides. It is most desirable that the documents should be printed and circulated amongst honorable senators. As a matter of fact, they are printed by the Government Printer. I propose to consult the Prime Minister, and request that he should have them circulated amongst honorable senators when they are printed in the ordinary way, under the direction of the Department of External Affairs. That will meet the object which honorable senators have in view, and with that understanding perhaps **Senator McGregor** will withdraw the amendment. . {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Certainly. I desired only to make certain that every honorable senator should have an opportunity of seeing them. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- Is it competent for me to move a further amendment on another point ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- No; the honor able senator, having already spoken is not in a position to move another amendment. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 7848 {:#debate-8} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-8-0} #### LAUNCESTON POST OFFICE {: #subdebate-8-0-s0 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I desire to ask the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral whether the latter will have an inquiry made into the sufficiency or otherwise for the proper conduct of its business of the staff employed at the Launceston Post Office; and, if so, after such inquiry has been made he will cause the report to be tabled. {: #subdebate-8-0-s1 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Protectionist -- I shall bring the honorable senator's request under the notice of the Postmaster-General, and I have good reason to believe that it will be acceded to. {: .page-start } page 7848 {:#debate-9} ### PAPER: PUBLIC SERVICE CLASSIFICATION AND PROMOTION {: #debate-9-s0 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- I beg to lay upon the table the following paper - >Promotion of **Mr. E.** A. Blakney, PostmasterGeneral's Department, Hobart. - Memorandum of Public Service Commissioner. Dated 5 th February, 1908 . This is the report which was promised in response to a request by **Senator Clemons.** I may say, by way of explanation, that yesterday, in reply to **Senator Mulcahy,** I promised to draw the attention of the Public Service Commissioner to that hon- orable senator's request that certain correspondence relating to this case should also be laid on the table. I communicated with the Public Service Commissioner this morning, and found that he had received a petition or protest from a number of public officers in Tasmania in reference to this matter, but that the communication had reached his Department only yesterday, and had not yet been considered or dealtwith by him. The Commissioner, however, said that when he had considered and dealt with the communication he thought there would be no objection to placing copies of the correspondence on the table. He pointed out, however, that the correspondence could not be produced until probably a couple of weeks hence, but I thought it desirable not to delay placing this report on the table. {: .page-start } page 7849 {:#debate-10} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-10-0} #### FRUIT EXPORT: REGULATIONS {: #subdebate-10-0-s0 .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator MACFARLANE: asked the Minister representing the Minister of Trade and Customs, *upon notice -* If his attention has been directed to the resolution recently passed by the Tasmanian Fruitgrowers' Union - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. To the effect that it is necessary to have twelve months' notice given if a uniform sized fruit case is required for export? 1. That the description of contents as required by the regulations is unnecessary and of no value in the unanimous opinion of both buyers and sellers in the United Kingdom and Germany? 2. The description " soundness " is not advisable, and at times misleading and contrary to fact on arrival, at the port of destination ? In view of this practical opinion arrived at on the experience of last season, do the Government still intend to enforce the regulations this season regarding fruit exports with greater severity ? {: #subdebate-10-0-s1 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Protectionist -- The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes; but it is not proposed at present to require a uniform size of case. If, however, such is contemplated, due notice will be given. 2 and 3. Experience has shown that the necessity to correctly describe goods has caused exporters to exercise greater care in the selection and packing of their goods. It is not therefore considered desirable to make any alteration in the requirements in this respect. It is anticipated that a careful and closer observance by exporters of the salutary provisions of the Commerce Regulations will render unnecessary any severe steps to compel a rigid enforcement of the law. {: .page-start } page 7849 {:#debate-11} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-11-0} #### N1MROD POLAR EXPEDITION {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Was any application, other than that of Professor David, made to the Commonwealth Government regarding a grant of public money to the *Nimrod* South Pole expedition? 1. If so, what? 2. Did the Government make any inquiries into the nature or character of the said expedition ? 3. If so, what? 4. When making a grant of£5,000 to the said expedition, was the Government aware that if was a speculative advertising venture in the sole interests of a London newspaper proprietary. 5. Has the Commonwealth Government ever at any time subsidized any other private speculative undertaking? 6. If so, what and when? 7. Has the Government any Knowledge of how the Government of New Zealand exercised, or professed to possess, authority to establish a post office in the Antarctic regions in connexion' with the said expedition ? 8. Is the Government aware that consequent upon the payment of£1,000 to the said expedition, the New Zealand Government secured a world-wide advertisement for that country by the sale of New Zealand postage stamps, impressed with words and letters indicating the connexion of that country with an alleged proprietorship of the South Pole? 9. Did the Government of the Commonwealth obtain any similar or other concession or advantage from the promoters of the expedition in return for the grant of public money handed over to them without the consent of Parliament? {: #subdebate-11-0-s0 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Protectionist -- The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow - 1 and 2. Representations were made to the Government from various sources, and, in addition, Lieutenant Shackleton personally laid before the Prime Minister the character, resources, and purposes of the expedition. 3 and 4. The Government were aware, from notices in the press and from information supplied by Lieutenant Shackleton, Professor David, and others, of the natureand character of the expedition. They understand, further, that a considerable proportion of the *personnel* consists of Australians. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. The Government were not, at the time of making the grant, nor are they now, aware that the expedition is of the character indicated in the question. The Royal recognition of the enterprise at the time of the departure of the *Nimrod* from England appears to preclude the possibility of the honorable senator's suggestion being correct. Moreover, the Prime Minister was informed by Lieutenant Shackleton that the bulk of the funds had been subscribed by himself, his relations, and personal friends. 6 and 7. The Government have not at any time regarded Lieutenant Shackleton's courageous enterprise in any other light than that of an attempt to add to the scientific knowledge of the world by the exploration of a region in which, owing to our comparative proximity, Australians naturally take special interest. 8 and9. The Government are aware that the New Zealand Government have assisted the expedition financially, and presume that they were equally satisfied of the scientific character of the expedition before doing so. The Government are not aware of the action said to have been taken by New Zealand in regard to postal arrangements, excepting from the particulars published in the press. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The matter was laid before the House of Representatives, the only House sitting at the time, by the Prime Minister, on the 13th December last. It was then stated that a considerable share of the scientific specimens collected would be given to Australian museums. It is also understood that special attention will be paid to the scientific problems which particularly interest Australia, especially those connected with the study of meteorology. {: .page-start } page 7850 {:#debate-12} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-12-0} #### ALLEGED CUSTOMS LEAKAGE, TASMANIA {: #subdebate-12-0-s0 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, *upon notice -* In reference to the claim of the State of Tasmania for a refund for alleged loss of revenue caused by the transfer of dutiable goods, has the claim of Tasmania been brought under the notice of the Premiers of all the other States? {: #subdebate-12-0-s1 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Protectionist -The answer to the honorable senator's question is as follows - No. The claim of Tasmania has been made in connexion only with imports from New South Wales and Victoria. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- In view of the reply just given, may I direct the attention of the "Vice-President of the Executive Council to the question I have asked ? This matter affects all the other States. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- No, it does not, and I have said so. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- What I desire to know is whether the claim made by Tasmania has been brought under the notice of the other States, in order to ascertain whether similar claims are not being made by them ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I have answered that in the negative. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP; NAT from 1917; UAP from 1931 -President of the Executive Council now says that this matter affects only Tasmania. My question was whether the other States had been approached, in order to find out whether they were not also affected. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I have said that the other States have not been approached. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- On the ground that only Victoria and New South Wales are affected ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Yes. {: #subdebate-12-0-s2 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Is the fact not that the only two States of the Commonwealth which could be asked to make a refund to Tasmania are Victoria and New South Wales? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I have explained on two orthree occasions that these are the only States affected. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- Is the VicePresident of the Executive Council not aware that, in Western. Australia, precisely the same conditions prevail - that goods are purchased in Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales, and consumed in Western Australia, and that the duty, therefore, is not credited to the latter? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- That has nothing to do with the present matter. I suggest that, if the fact be as stated by **Senator Pearce,** it is the duty of Western Australia to make a claim similar to that of Tasmania. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- My question was whether the Government would point out to the other States that Tasmania was making this claim, and the Minister promised that that should be done. {: #subdebate-12-0-s3 .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- The question of the honorable senator is in black and white, and he cannot go beyond it now. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Tasmania did not wait to be invited before she made the claim. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- The question has been very cleverly evaded. {: .page-start } page 7850 {:#debate-13} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF BILL *In Committee* (Consideration resumed from 5th February, *vide* page 7841) : Schedule. Division IV.- Agricultural Products and Groceries. Item 59. Bananas, per cental,1s. Upon which **Senator Colonel Neild** had moved - That the House of Representatives be requested to make item 59 free. {: #debate-13-s0 .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator CHATAWAY:
Queensland -- When progress' was reported last night I was drawing attention to the fact that the decrease in the banana production in Queensland, and the increased imports from Fiji, synchronized with the cyclone of 1906, which largely destroyed the crops in the northern State. **Senator Neild** last night interjected that I was quoting only the figures which suited my purpose, and' in order that there may be no mistake I should like to show honorable senators that in 1902 the production in Queensland calculated in bunches was 1,160,000; in 1903, it was 1,112,000.; in 1904, it was 1,976,000; in 1905, it was 2,509,000; and in 1906, the cyclone year, it was 1,343,009. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Was the cyclone the sole reason for the falling-off ? {: .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator CHATAWAY: -- Yes. I have not been able to ascertain the quantity of bananas imported in 1002, but the importation in 1903 was 47.641 centals, in 1904 12,290 centals, in 1905 11,732 centals, and in 1906 - the year of the cyclone - 146,250 centals. Except for a decrease of 1,549 bunches in the Logan district, in 1906 the whole decrease occurred in the northern parts of the State affected by the cyclone. Had the northern districts- produced in 1906 as much as they produced in 1905, the total output of the year, owing to an increase in banana production in other parts of the State, would have been 2,615,000 bunches, an increase of 106,000 bunches. These figures disprove the statement that banana growing is a miserable industry. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- No one said that it is. {: .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator CHATAWAY: -- The honorable senator is not the only member of the Committee. **Senator de** Largie referred to the industry as- a miserable little one, owned by a few Chinese. It is impossible to say what proportion of the production of bananas is due to Chinese industry, though it may be admitted that in the northern parts of Queensland banana growing is chiefly in the hands of Chinese, and in the southern districts chiefly in the hands of white persons, 33.5 per cent, of the total acreage under bananas being situated in the south. Honorable senators who have visited Cleveland Bay and other districts in the vicinity of Brisbane know that bananas are cultivated there in large quanties, the industry' being a. profitable one, enabling the white men engaged in it to bring up their children in comfort. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- **Senator Neild** admitted last night that the industry gives employment to a large amount of white labour. {: .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator CHATAWAY: -- Yes ; but while he was willing to admit that a certain proportion of the bananas produced in Queensland is grown by white labour, he would hot admit that the same proportion of the bananas exported is grown by white lat)our. If the Brisbane market were not supplied with bananas grown at " Cleve land Bay, and in the southern parts of Queensland, the demand would be met with the bananas grown in the northern districts, before any would be sent to other parts of Australia. The production of bananas is gradually passing out of the hands of Chinese. The Queensland RegistrarGeneral of Pastoral and Agricultural Statistics in a recent report says that - >Subsequent to the destruction of the plantations by the cyclone in 1906, a considerable number of Chinese deserted their old holdings, and either left the locality altogether, or for some reason delayed replanting. Some recovery from the catastrophe has, however, been made in the affected districts; whilst taking advantage of circumstances, an increased area was planted under this crop in the Maroochy and Redcliffe districts. The Maroochy and Redcliffe districts are in the south of Queensland.- If the growing of bananas were wholly in the hands of Chinese, the industry would still be of great importance to Australia, because of the large number of white persons to whom it gives employment. During the year ended 30th June, 1906, the bananas shipped from the northern ports of Queensland amounted to 1,350,000 - bunches, on which the freight actually paid to shipping companies was no less than £56,250. This money, of course, contributed to the .upkeep of a number of vessels, and found employment for the crews connected with them, as well as for lumpers, agents, and others engaged in the distribution of the fruit. A number of local authorities are also concerned in the maintenance of the banana industry. According to a recent Queensland Treasury return, the balances due on loans "borrowed for the construction of tramways, for the transport of sugar and bananas to northern ports were as follow : - Johnstone ShireCouncil, £49,000 ; Cairns Shire Council, £95,000 ; Douglas Shire Council, £34,000; total, £178,000. In connexion with the visit of the Colonial Secretary of Fiji to Australia last year, I received from the secretary to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce the following telegram, dated 26th July, 1907 - >Press reports stale efforts being made admit Fiji bananas to Commonwealth free ; meeting this Chamber resolved strongly protest against such proposal as being detrimental to banana industry in North Queensland ; am instructed urge duty Fiji bananas be maintained. The clerk to the Johnstone Shire Council telegraphed about the same date - >Banana growers understand Colonial Secretary from Fiji now visiting Melbourne with object having duty removed off bananas imported from Island. Please inquire into matter, and protest against such alteration in fairness to Queensland growers, and those councils that have borrowed from the Government to build tram line to bring produce to port. Whilst some honorable senators may think that they are doing something very clever in bitting at the Chinese, I would impress upon the Committee that the Chinese employed in banana growing will, probably, continue to get along very well if the duty is removed. But as one-third of the acreage under bananas is in the hands of white persons, they, together, with many other white persons engaged in the transport and distribution of the fruit, as well as the local authorities which have borrowed money partly for the furtherance of the industry, will be seriously injured. It is admitted that the abolition of the duty would not be likely to reduce the price of bananas. Banana growing is an industry which is helping to settle people in the northern parts of Queensland, where the number of white employes is increasing every day, and a blow aimed at the industry will therefore recoil upon, not merely a few Chinese, but many of our own race and colour. . {: #debate-13-s1 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -As **Senator Chataway** has practically exhausted the subject, I cannot profitably add much to what he has said ; but my personal observation enables me to indorse his remarks in regard to the banana industry of Southern Queensland, with which I am acquainted. The evidence that banana growing is passing more and more into the hands of white persons, especially in the south, of Queensland, is conclusive. The importation of bananas from Fiji will tend to make it unprofitable to white persons to grow bananas in Queensland. But if the industry is encouraged, it will, in the course of time, become wholly a white man's industry. The Chinese are gradually becoming fewer. According to the Commonwealth Statistician, the excess of departure's of Chinese over arrivals was 369 in 1904, 813 in 1905, 1.036 in 1906, and 754 in eleven months of 1907, making a total decrease of 2,962. If to that we add the natural death rate, which may be averaged at about 500 a year, we have a further decrease of 2,000, making, roughly speaking, a total decrease of 5,000 Chinese. The estimated number of Chinese in the Commonwealth in1901 was about 30,000. In the course of six years the Chinese population has decreased by about 5,000, being equal to between 16 and 17 per cent. The Chinese, therefore, may be taken to be gradually decreasing in number in Queensland, as well as in other parts of the Commonwealth, and an industry which was said once to have been in their hands - though I do not admit that it was - must under the operation of our legislation inevitably be controlled by white men. That is a strong reason for hoping that, with the very slight assistance which is asked for, a special Queensland industry, which produces a most useful and agreeable form of fruit, will gradually pass into the hands of white labour. We may ask for this smallduty very confidently. I think that our request ought to be received most cordially by all the protectionists in the chamber. {: #debate-13-s2 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- [ desire to intimate to you, sir, that when the request of **Senator Neild** has been disposedof I intend to move that the other House be requested to raise the duty to1s. 6d. per cental, for the reason that the duty of1s. does not seem high enough.. I am informed from a reliable source that it amounts approximately to 20 per cent. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- No ; to 40 per cent. What about the weight of the stalks? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- In that case it is insufficient, because bananas are coming into the Commonwealth from Fiji and other places. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- They cannot grow bananas at Footscray and Collingwood. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- Later on they might be able to grow bananas at the Capital Site. It is an absolute fact that bananas of excellent quality are grown in Queensland, and that the industry to-day is largely in the hands of Chinese. I am no great lover of the Chinese in Australia; but we must face the position as it is presented to us. The Chinese are with us, and in all probability will remain here for a considerable period. Suppose that we were to strangle this industry, and wipe out the number of Chinese engaged therein to-day. I do not think it is at all likely that they would immediatelymake their way to the land of their birth. The probability is that they would seek a means of livelihood in other directions. But apart from the Chinese who are engaged in the banana industry, there is, as previous speakers have stated, an armyof white folks employed and largely interested in the industry; and the fact that last year 146,250 centals of bananas found their way into the Commonwealth is sufficient warrant to me for moving, asI will move later on, for the imposition of an increased duty. "If we are to have protection," all protectionists here have said, "let us have effective and complete protection." Evidently those engaged in this industry to-day are not getting effective protection. Personally, I do not believe in a revenue Tariff. I would sooner see bananas coming in free than have a duty that is merely imposed for revenue purposes. ' Last year we derived a revenue of about , £7,000 from foreign bananas. Evidently the duty has had a revenue effect. That kind of revenue is not acceptable to me. I want to stop the importation of bananas, and instead of Fiji and other bananas being imported to that extent, I wish to see our people consume the bananas which are grown in the Commonwealth, particularly in Queensland. {: #debate-13-s3 .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON:
Tasmania .- I should like very much to vote for free bananas, but I have to consider what is my duty with regard to the Tariff. It appears to methat, whether I like it or not, I am here to fix up the Tariff on protectionist lines. It is of no use to kick against the pricks, or to try to make a Tariff full of anomalies. We have to recognise the fact that a protectionist Tariff - I think of a moderate description, and others think of an ultra protectionist description - has in some way to be fixed up. If that is so, the more the free-traders try to free articles from a protective duty the more anomalies they will create. They will create inconsistencies, and do what I think may be termed an injustice. The reason why I should like to vote for **Senator Neild's** request is in order to give the great working and poorer classes a cheap fruit. But I have come to the conclusion that the removal of the duty would not appreciablylessen the price of the article. In my opinion, it is more a Question of crops, cyclones, droughts, and markets than a question of a small duty. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- What does the honorable senator think of apreference to Fiji, which is part of the British do minions ? {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON: -- I am not talking about that now. When I am told that the banana industry in the Commonwealth is chiefly carried on by Chinese, Iask myself, What about the owners of the land, and the innumerable white people who are mixed up in the industry? What right have we, if we desire to be consistent, to give protection to every other product of the soil and refuse it to bananas? I shall be very glad to hear what **Senator Symon** may have to say. He tells us at one moment that he is in favour of preference or a low duty on foods- {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- I said I was not in favour of preference. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON: -- But when he gets a chance of voting for it he walks out of the Chamber. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- The honorable senator voted against it.. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON: -- What the honorable senatoris going to do on the question of bananas remains to be seen. I want to deal with a statement which fell from the lips of **Senator de** Largie, who may have the credit of determining the direction of my vote. He said that because this industry was carried on chiefly by Chinamen he wanted bananas to be allowed to come in free, and urged that we ought not to protect the industry. That, I think, would be a gross wrong to our Chinese friends. It would be fixing up the Tariff on a basis which would not stand. I take it that these Chinamen are here by virtue of the law. Many of them have been naturalized ; some of them have paid£100 to come into Victoria, and probably they are growing bananas at the present moment. I cannot understand any set of statesmen, or men calling themselves just and true men, who will invite a number of Chinese to come here under their laws, and persecute and boycott them when they are here. The Chinese in the ' Commonwealth are dying out by degrees. Very few Chinamen can own the land on which bananas are grown. What right have we to give protection in regard to every animal, every cereal, every product which is grown by white men and refuse it to the white owners of the banana land simply because . 60 per cent. of the tenants are Chinamen ? That does not appear to be a just or fair thing to do. If honorable senators vote for the motion of **Senator Neild,** as I should like to do for several reasons, they will create an anomaly in the Tariff, because they will be making an exception of the Chinamen and treating the owners of the banana fields unjustly. Therefore, although rather reluctantly, I "shall feel bound to vote for the duty as it stands. . **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [4.6]. - I rise to reply to **Senator Chataway,** who has attempted to create a wrong impression with reference to my remarks last night. 'Not one word that he has said to-day in reference to the banana industry was anything more than a paraphrase of what I said then. In no single way did he bring forward an additional fact. Every statement he has made today, as if it were something which utterly disproved all .1 had alleged yesterday, was only a repetition of my remarks. I acknowledged that there was a growth of bananas about Brisbane, but for local consumption and not for export to other States. I happen to Wave in my hand the *Hansard* proof report of what I said with reference to white labour occupied in connexion with the industry about Cairns. As it occupies only a line or two perhaps I may be permitted to .quote it - >The trade is of importance to a very large number of white men connected with the shipping trade" on our coast. It is a valuable trade even if it is in the first instance chiefly earned on by Chinese. What' was there in **Senator Chataway's** utterance - which was delivered with the air of refuting all I had said - that went further in acknowledgment of the amount of labour that the banana industry afforded to white men about Cairns than the words I had uttered yesterday ? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- The question is, Where are bananas grown by white men ? {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- They are all consumed locally - about Brisbane. They are not shipped, and no one pretends that they are shipped to the southern markets. Let them grow as many bananas as they like about Brisbane, thev will not be able to compete with the duty-paid banana from Fiji, because the banana is a truly tropical plant. The vicinity of Brisbane is not tropical, and the banana grown there cannot compete with the tropicgrown banana of Fiji and North Queensland. Let any honorable senator investigate the window of every fruit-shop in Melbourne, and I defy him to find in one single instance a label saying that the bananas were grown in Queensland. In every case they are labelled " Fiji bananas." Why? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Nothing of the sort. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- If the honorable senator would hold his peace sometimes he would be a valuable member of the Chamber, but he is intolerable in hisinterruptions as the big brother of the Ministry, who can get on very well with-' out his continual nagging at every one who speaks. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- The honorable senator was making an incorrect statement, and that was why I interrupted. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- I was not.. If one sees a label on a bunch of bananas in a fruit-shop in Melbourne it is ticketed "Fiji bananas," and not "Queensland! bananas. ' ' {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- And most of them come from Queensland. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- Of course they do. . {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- Is it not something in their favour? {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- - Let me finish my sentence. What is the sense in interrupting a sentence in the middle so as to make a perfectly useless chatter of a speech which is being made to show that because of the more valuable character of .the Fiji banana the term " Fiji " or " Fijian " ; is applied to the Queensland banana? {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- Is it not in their favour that they are taken as equal in. quality to Fiji bananas? {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- Yes, in the same way as artificial. butter is sold in London as best Australian butter. I have seen in London Australian meat labelled as " New Zealand mutton," and New Zealand mutton sold in the shops as best English or Welsh. The whole course of trade is to represent the article to be sold as being the best of its kind. That is why the term " Fijian " is applied to Fiji bananas. It is not the fault of the white men who are growing bananas about Brisbane, but that the climate and soil are not suitable for the production of the same high-class tropical. fruit as is produced in Fiji, and North Queensland. **Senator Chataway** was. pressed by **Senator Clemons** to say whether there was any other reason than the hurricane a year and a-half ago to account for the falling off by materially more than 50 per cent, in the exportation of Queensland bananas, notwithstanding the new crop of southern-grown bananas to which reference has been made. The honorable senator would not answer that question. **Senator** Clemons had not **Senator Chataway** in the box, and therefore could not,' as an examining counsel, press the question unduly. But it is notorious that in addition to the hurricane of 1906 there has been, as was stated1 last night and admitted to-day, a falling off in the number of Chinese engaged in the industry. It is well known that a quantity of the land previously occupied for banana growing is now occupied for the growth of sugar. The figures I gave last night are more effective than mere declaration or special pleading. I showed conclusively by official figures that the area of land under crop for bananas in Queensland had in one year fallen bv over 1,000 acres. The hurricane did not cause a change in the occupation of the land. The fact that' bananas were blown down by a hurricane did not cause the land to cease to be used for banana! orchards. In T905, there were 6,198 acres under bananas in Queensland, and in the next year, the year of the hurricane, the acreage had fallen to 5,163 - that is, a drop of no less than 1,035 acres. The fact that there was a devastating hurricane in the district, which 'destroyed the crop, did not alter the occupation of the soil to the extent of over 1,000 acres. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- The honorable senator is really arguing for more protection. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- The honorable senator's observation shows, I suppose, a desire for protection against hurricanes. I do not know what other meaning it has. The enthusiasm of **Senator Dobson** for the Chinese who have paid £100 to enter Victoria, and who are supposed to be growing bananas in Victoria, is really amusing. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- He did not say that; he said that they might be growing bananas - a very different thing from saying that they were growing them in Victoria. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- Probably they are engaged in hawking bananas or eating them, but they are not growing them in Victoria. **Senator Findley's** enthusiasm on the subject is really very interesting from the strictly protectionist point of view. In view of the fact that hitherto the efforts he has made in reference to the imposition of heavy duties have in every single instance been designed to benefit Victorian industries, it is quite- a new phase to find him seeking to benefit, as is alleged; an industry outside Victoria. {: #debate-13-s4 .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS:
Queensland -- We have heard a great deal during this debate from various speakers and from the honorable senator who has moved the request, about the growth 'of bananas in Queensland. With all due deference to **Senator Neild,** I do not think that he knows as much about the subject as he tried to make the Committee think he knew. Bananas grow in Brisbane and all along the Queensland coast, but when you get to the far north they are grown to perfection. I do not know whether **Senator Neild** has ever been in Geraldton, but that is the home of the banana in Queensland. Before the white man came bananas grew wild in the scrub there, and they can be grown for ten months in the year. About eighteen months ago, however, there was a great hurricane, which did a large amount of damage. The growers could not be expected to get over that damage in a day or two. Furthermore, it has to be remembered that the banana is a plant which rapidly exhausts the soil. The best of scrub land devoted to banana growing will be impoverished in ten years. So that the growers have continually to lie clearing heavy jungle. I admit that a very large number of bananas are grown by Chinese, but it must not be forgotten, at the same time, that in Cairns, Port Douglas, Geraldton, and also, I believe, on land a little south of Geraldton, on the Russell River, quantities of bananas have been put in by white men. I have lived in the north for the last thirty-five years. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Does the honorable senator say that white men are going to enter into competition with the Chinese in this industry ? {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- White men are taking up land on the Russell River now. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- To compete with Chinese? {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- Unfortunately they have to. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Tell that to the marines ! {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- Of course the honorable senator knows everything. He is the one member of the Senate who, no matter what subject may be under discussion, knows all about it.' Therefore I will pass by his remarks as not worth replying to. I say again, that a number of white men are now employed in growing bananas. According to the statistics", 33 per cent, of the bananas grown in Queensland are produced by white labour. But I suppose that **Senator de** Largie knows better than the people who live there. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Then the white men are employed by Chinamen. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- I am very sorry to hear the honorable senator, as a labour man, say that. I suppose he will say that white men do not handle the bananas when they are put on board the boats. At Townsville hundreds of men are getting a living in connexion with shipping. The bananagrowing industry causes a great deal of trade. Of course, the fruit has to be transhipped into southern boats. I take no account of the labour employed in connexion with Queensland bananas in Sydney and Melbourne, because I suppose the same labour would be employed if the fruit came from Fiji. I have beard protectionists say in this chamber that if only forty or fifty men were engaged in an industry it ought to be protected. No one can dispute the fact that more than 1,000 white men are employed in the banana industry of Queensland. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Not 100. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- The honorable senator is persistent in his interjections. I cannot say any more than I am now saying. The honorable senator has stated what is not true. He poses as a labour man, and if he doubts my word and can prove that my statement is wrong I will publicly withdraw it. He has only to send a wire to the Labour Union in Townsville. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Iknow that what the honorable senator is saying is not true. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- The honorable senator does not know what he is talking about. He is simply interjecting for the sake of causing interruption. I have stated that nearly 1,000 white men are employed in the banana industry in Queensland. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Untrue. {: #debate-13-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- The honorable senator must withdraw that remark ; he must not say that the statement of another honorable senator is untrue. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- I withdraw it. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- I rise to order. A few moments ago **Senator Savers'** said that a statement of **Senator de** Largie's was untrue. Should he not be called upon to withdraw that? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I did not hear **Senator Savers** use the word. I under stood him to say that **Senator de** Largie's statement was not correct. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- What I am saying cannot be palatable to the honorable senator. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- Did **Senator Sayers** withdraw the word of which I complained ? {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- What I said was that **Senator de** Largie's statement was not correct. I say that he has not sufficient knowledge. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- The honorable senator said that the interjection made by **Senator de** Largie was untrue. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I did not hear him say that. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- But I did. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I understood **Senator Sayers** to say that **Senator de** Largie's statement was not. correct. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- That is what I meant to say. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- I differ from the honorable senatoras to what he actually did say. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- We have had a great outcry about imposing a duty of1s. per cental. If I thought that the duty would be in any way against thebest interests of the Commonwealth I should vote against it. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- I only hope that the honorable senator will stick to that policy. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- When a previous item was being discussed, I was under the impression that the article was not produced in the Commonwealth, and was prepared to vote against the proposed duty; but when I was assured that the article was produced here, I voted in favour of the item. Under similar circumstances, I should do the same again. Even when the division was about to take place, I took the word of the honorable senator who assured me that the article in question was produced in this country. In my opinion, the word of an honorable senator who makes a statement of that sort ought to be taken. I believe that the proposed duty on bananas is in the best interests of the Commonwealth. We ought not to allow bananas grown byblack labour and handled by black labour in the Pacific Islands to come into competition with the locally-grown fruit. I am very sorry to say that in Queenslandbananas are grown very largely by Chinese. I should like to see the industry carried on only by white men, and would be prepared to increase the duty by1s. per cental, if I thought that such an increase would bring about that change. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- If the Chinese were not growing bananas, they would be doing something else. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- I suppose so. When we reach other items relating to the products of Chinese, we shall find that some' honorable senators who are now raising an outcry against the imposition of this duty, on the ground that it merely encourages a Chinese industry, will have nothing to say. I intend to support the duty. When I was before the electors,I said that I should not be a party to a reduction of the duties prevailing under the first Federal Tariff, and 1 intend to adhere to that promise. {: #debate-13-s6 .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART:
Queensland -- The principal argument that has been advanced by the opponents of this duty is that the industry is chiefly in the hands of the Chinese. Unfortunately, that is so; but if the duty be removed, the industry - whatever is left of it - will continue in the hands of the Chinese. That appears to me to be so clear, that there is really no room for discussion on the point. I deplore, as much as does any one, the fact that bananas are so largely grown in Queensland by Chinese. The people of the Commonwealth are not responsible for that. The policy of the 'Commonwealth, as I understand it, is to encouragethe production of anything that can be grown or manufactured here. High-class bananas - bananas togood that when they are sent down here they arc labelled " Fiji bananas " - grow luxuriantly along the whole coast of Queensland, from Rockhampton northwards. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Then, why arethey not labelled" Queensland bananas"? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I believe that at one time, Sydney-made boots were labelled Made inParis," and Melbourne-made boots "Made in Germany." The people of the Commonwealth have hitherto had a prejudice against anything and everything either grown or manufactured in their own country. Happily, that prejudice is disappearing. We can grow in Queensland bananas as good as any that can be produced in Fiji or anywhere else. It is only a question of time, when the industry will be wholly in the hands of white men. As we know, under our White Australia legislation, there can be no fresh arrivals of Chinese, and that being the case, it is only a matter of a fewyears when those who are with us will be reduced to a minimum. During the whole of that period, this Industry, together with others, I hope, will be drifting more and more into the hands of the people of Australia, **Senator Neild,** in, a bumptious speech, which was very loud, so far as volume of voice was concerned, but particularly weak in argument, in his opposition to the duty relied principally on the contention that the production of bananas in Queensland is decreasing with very great rapidity. He seemed to doubt the statement of **Senator Chataway** that a cyclone was responsible for the destruction of a great portion of the crop of 1906. I have before me the annual report of the Department of Agriculture and Stock for the year 1906-7, published by the Queensland Government, in which it is stated, at page 152, that - >The result of the cyclone is plainly seen in the following table, where the districts of Cairns, Card well, and Mourilyan suffered most severely. InCairns the number of acres put out of cultivation was 591:, and there was a falling off of 156,663 bunches in the crop. In Mourilyan, another great banana-producing centre, the falling off in area was 666 acres, and the reduction in production 1,028,900 bunches. In all the other centres of the State, with the exception of Cardwell, production increased, although not at a very great rate. Cairns and Mourilyan, together with Cardwell, are the districts where bananas are principally produced in Queensland, and they undoubtedly suffered very severely from the cyclone. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- And all the bananas were produced by Chinese. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- That is the honorable senator's refrain to every syllable that is uttered on this subject. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- It is true. Why should I not repeat it? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Is it worth repeating? We admit the fact and we deplore it. We are trying to point out to the honorable senator and others that if they wish this industry to pass into the hands of white men, instead of abolishing the duty, and inevitably driving the white man out of the industry, they should not only support it but be prepared to vote for an increase. I mean to move later on that the duty be increased to1s. 6d. per cental, and if **Senator de** Largie and others who seem to agree with him are really sincere in their desire to see white men capture the cultivation of bananas they will support me. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- I shall test the honorable senator's sincerity on this question by moving a request that an Excise duty be imposed on bananas the product of Chinese. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I shall be prepared to agree to anything in reason so far as that is concerned. 1 may tell the honorable senator that when I was in the Queensland Parliament attempts were made - more especially by **Senator Givens** - to prevent the leasing of land, for any purpose whatever, to Chinese or other aliens. If we abolish this duty the industry will remain, I believe, entirely in the hands of Chinamen or else it will disappear altogether. If the Queensland Parliament carries out a resolution which, I believe, was passedseveral years ago, that no land be leased to Chinamen or other aliens, then, with the abolition of the duty, white men who engage in the industry will be brought into direct competition with the cheap coloured labour of Fiji. Does the honorable senator desire that? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Why did the Queensland Parliament never impose a duty on bananas when it had the power to do so? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I do not know whether it did or did not do so. It does not influence me in the slightest whether the Queensland Parliament did or did not place a duty on bananas. All that I am concerned about Is this.: In Queensland, from Rockhampton northwards, bananas of a very high quality grow luxuriantly, and that being so, in carrying out a general policy of protection for the Commonwealth we ought not to exclude them. Every one of us is anxious to see the Chinese driven out of this and every other industry in Australia, and the way to arrive at that point is not to cut off the present duty but to increase it if it be found insufficient. The report of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock sets forth that - >In the Northern districts, the cultivation of bananas is mainly in the hands of Chinese, on lands leased by them. They rarely adopt the careful methods of cultivation employed by them in connexion with market gardening, but crop until the soil is exhausted, and then desert that area, taking up a fresh lease somewhere in the vicinity. Subsequent to the destruction of the plantations by the cyclone in 1906, a considerable number of Chinese deserted their old holdings, and either left the locality alto- gether, or for some reason delayed replanting. Some recovery from the catastrophe has, how ever, been made in the affected districts; whilst taking an advantage of circumstances, an increased area was planted under this crop in the Maroochy and Redcliffe districts. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Which are in the southern portion of the State. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Yes. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Are all bananas grown there by white men? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Yes. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- They may not all be produced by white men, but we are trying to make this a white man's industry, and I repeat that the only method by which we can do that is by increasing the duty and endeavouring to persuade the Queensland Government to carry out the resolution passed, I believe, some years a.go, that leasing of land to aliens be prohibited. If the duty be retained, or increased, as I hope it will be, there will be some encouragement for white men to engage in the industry ; but if the duty be swept away, and the bananas of Fiji are allowed to come in without let or hindrance, there will not be very much encouragement for any white man to engage in it. I take it that our object in framing this Tariff is, if we can, to create industries in Australia. Here is an industry which is native to the Continent.' It needs only a little encouragement to place it on such a footing that importations from Fiji will be entirely stopped and this nutritious and healthful fruit will be placed at a very cheap rate upon the tables of a large section of the people. That is our whole policy. If, instead of endeavouring to secure the abolition of the duty upon bananas, our friends would only assist us to increase it, they would be doing something to establish another Australian industry upon a substantial basis. If the duty be swept away, banana-growing will either languish and die out, or it will fall wholly into the hands of the Chinese. {: #debate-13-s7 .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON:
Western Australia -- It is unfortunate that I should be obliged to take up an opposite attitude to that of my Queensland friends in respect of the very important industry of banana-growing. I admit that I was almost convertedby the intense and heartreaching appeal made by **Senator St.** Ledger on behalf of this struggling industry. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Did it reach the honorable senator's heart? {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- Very nearly. The pathos which he employed, and the depth of his appeal were almost more than I could withstand. He has been followed by **Senator Stewart,** who is always an earnest advocate of high protection. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Where Queensland is concerned. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -I am satisfied that he would place a protective duty upon black beetles and cockroaches if they were in any way associated with a Queensland industry. But I do not think "that we ought to be influenced by the appeals which have been made on behalf of the banana industry. After all, we have to recollect the general public of the Commonwealth. I am not one of those protectionists who feel that because some inconsistency upon my part is likely to be trotted out against me in the future- {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- The honorable senator is not afraid to do justice for fear that at a later stage he may be charged with" political inconsistency. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- No. I will not hesitate to do what is just for fear that I may be regarded as an inconsistent protectionist.I am quite prepared to vote for high protective duties in cases where the industries concerned are worthy of them. I am willing to go as far as anybody in this chamber in endeavouring to "entirely blot out the Chinaman from our skilled industries. But I am a freetrader upon this item, because I have no desire to give the Chinaman any protection. To me bananas appear to constitute an article of food which is worthy of our consideration. There are many children in Australian homes who make a very excellent meal of bananas when they can obtain them. Everybody will admit that the banana is an intensely nutritious fruit. Why then should we not obtain the very best procurable? Every Queensland representative has admitted - and the evidence tendered to the Tariff Commission also proves - that the banana grown in Fiji is superior to anything that Queensland has produced or is likely to produce. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Upon what authority does the honorable senator base that statement? {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- I say that in the matter of perishable fruits, Queensland does not enjoy the climatic influences which are peculiar to Fiji. In Queensland, if bananas are ripe to-day, they will be absolutely rotten to-morrow. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St LEDGER:
QUEENSLAND · ANTI-SOC -- I do not admit that. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- It is a fact; but I do not expect **Senator St.** Ledger to admit anything that is to the detriment of Queensland. From the evidence given before the Tariff Commission it is clear that owing to the climatic conditions which obtain in Fiji, bananas produced there will continue in a ripe and edible state for about ten days. That is one reason why we should obtain them. We want the best possible banana at the cheapest possible rate. **Senator Dobson** has urged some strange arguments in defence of the position which he has taken up - as has also **Senator Findley** - but I do not intendto seriously notice **Senator Findley's** statements, because of a reply which he gave to me some time ago. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- He has to be consistent. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- At times his consistency approaches so closely the line of protective lunacy, that I am really astonished at him. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- The honorable senator has to say whether he is a protectionist or a revenue tariffist in respect of bananas. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- I am a protectionist in respect of those commodities upon which I ought to be a protectionist. If to be a protectionist a man has to vote for absurdities, I should not like to be one. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- I believe in encouraging a Commonwealth industry as against a Fijian industry. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- I believe in encouraging industries which are likely to produce good results. **Senator Dobson** has stated that if we abolish the duty upon bananas we shall not in any way interfere with their price. The same kind of reasoning might be applied by the other side, and if pressed to its logical concl usion. the position of the banana under a. high duty would be exactly the same as its position under a low duty. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I did not notice any bananas growing in Western Australia. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- We have not troubled to produce them there, but we pay for them at a most uncanny rate. In some parts of the western State people have had to pay as much as 2s. 6d. per dozen for bananas, which were not of the best quality. Purely from the stand-point of the public interest we ought to admit this fruit free. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [4.53]. -I did not intend to say anything upon this subject, and I rise chiefly to commiserate with my old and honorable friend **Senator Dobson** upon the attitude that he has taken up in regard to this question. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- He is adjusting his mental horizon. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- He is endeavouring to adjust it. I did not rise to address the Committee immediately **Senator Dobson** had concluded his remarks, because he fled from the Chamber like a little boy who has thrown a pebble, and then clears out. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- He must have seen the honorable senator. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I invited him to remain ; but I merely wished to extend my sympathy to him upon the attitude which he has taken up in regard to this item. There is no sadder sight in the world than that of a brave man struggling with adversity, and there is no more pathetic spectacle than that of a good man struggling with his political conscience. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- **Senator Dobson** has seen the error of his ways. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- No doubt his ways are erroneous. I felt - as 1 am sure we all must have felt - profound sympathy with the honorable senator in his effort to reconcile his absolutely considered judgment that bananas form a food of the poor, and that they are a food which ought to be relieved from all unnecessary taxation, with his statement that, no doubt, with the very greatest reluctance he intended to vote for the retention of the duty. I am sure that the spectacle which he presented was sad in the extreme. His face betokened his distress. It grieved me to see my old friend in such a plight. What he said was, in effect, that on one side he felt bound to vote for freeing this most useful fruit, this food of the poor, from duty, but that, on the other hand, there were other protectionist duties in the Tariff upon natural products, and he thought he would be a protectionist on this occasion, and vote for1s. per cental on bananas. When I reminded him, by' a humble interjection, of his great proclamation of faith in preference, and that Fiji was a part of the British Empire --a fact which any genuine preferentialist might take into consideration- {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- No ; we do not. We seek only preference with the United Kingdom. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- Then the honorable senator's Imperialism is very limited. It is a kind of limited liability preference that he indulges in. But **Senator Dobson,** inhis saner moments, is an Imperialist of a very different character, as we of this Senate know. He is an Imperialist from one end of the British Empire to the other. The only answer he could offer to my interjection was to. refer to the course I was pursuing, in an utterly mistaken way. What did he do, and what is he going to do now ? He voted against lowering the duties on confectionery and biscuits. I wonder if the little kiddies of Tasmania will remember **Senator Dobson** as the member of this Chamber who defeated a proposal to reduce the price of their sweets? **Senator Dobson's** remarks ought to convince any who are in doubt, that the proper course to pursue is to make bananas free The evidence given before the Tariff Commission is, in effect, that we are called upon to put a shilling duty on bananas because bananas said to be of an inferior quality are grown in Queensland. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- What evidence is there of that ? {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- That is the evidence given before the Commission, if the honorable senator will read it. It was that trie Queensland bananas were inferior tothe Fijian, and we are asked to impose this duty in order to encourage their production. We are told that the duty does not make a great deal of difference in the price, but it does make a difference. Whatever difference it makes' ought to be removed if it is against the consumer, but if it makes little or no difference in the price, as **Senator Henderson** said, what on earth is the good of retaining it as a protective duty ? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Hear, hear ! Increase it. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- There is logic in that argument, but none in the demand that we should retain this shilling duty, which tends to exclude the Fijian banana, and gives an excuse for every retailer in Australia to charge more for his bananas than he would otherwise do. **Senator Dobson** corroborated the testimony given before the Commission that bananas are the people's fruit. It is the children's fruit, and is most wholesome also for grown-ups. It is often the only fruit procurable at a certain period of the year. If there is one importation more than another which should be encouraged, itis that of bananas. The figures show that we are not merely protecting what is described in the evidence as an inferior fruit, but are attempting to protect a supply that is intermittent and liable to be reduced or destroyed not merely by a cyclone but by diseases described by the witnesses. The proof of that is as plain as evidence can make it. During all the years up to 1906 there was practically an absence of importation. At any rate it was reduced to about 11,000 centals, but in 3906 it jumped up to 146,000 centals, all from Fiji. That shows that in addition to the quality being inferior the supply from Queensland is intermittent and irregular. We imported, in face of the duty, that quantity in 1906. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Because our banana crop was destroyed by a cyclone. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- That was not the only reason. The evidence shows that the Queensland plant is subject to diseases. That testimony is entirely unquestioned. The protectionist section of the Commission in their report say - >Another witness, commenting upon the relative value of Queensland and Fijian bananas, said that the former would be ripe to-day and rotten to-morrow, whilst the latter would keep ten or twelve days after arrival. The effect of the duty upon bananas had been to practically destroy the tradefrom Fiji, and the public were now obtaining an inferior article at the same price as that paid prior to Federation. The Queensland article had to be consumed immediately; its export was impossible. Prior to imposition of the Commonwealth Tariff, the Fijian banana could be distributed as far west as Fremantle, and there was no comparison between its quality and that of the Queensland fruit. . . . One witness said that there was a possibility of the failure of the Queensland banana crop, owing to drought and fruit fly, and it would be lamentable if, under these circumstances, the fruit merchants were debarred from receiving supplies from Fiji. What could be more conclusive? - >It was stated that the banana business had passed out of the hands of the British into the hands of the Chinese. The Queensland banana trade was absolutely in the possession of the latter, who were both the producers and sellers. I attach no importance to that argument. So long as the Chinamen, as one honorable senator said, are cultivating bananas, they have a right to the same consideration as white men have. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- But that is no reason why we should tax ourselves for their benefit. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- That aspect of the question appeals to my honorable friend, but I do not want to deal with it further. If the evidence given before the Commission is correct - and it is unchallenged {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Does not the honorable senator think it overdrawn ? {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I have no reason to think so. I have no knowledge on the subject, and have no right to question these witnesses. I am reading from the report of the protectionist half of the Commission. What I quoted was their statement regarding the evidence given before the Commission, and therefore, in so far as it is a condensed statement of the evidence, it has filtered through the minds of the protectionist side of that body. On that account I should undoubtedly accept it as bearing the inference I have put. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- A judicial finding on the evidence. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- That is a very good way of putting it. It is the finding of the protectionist section on the. evidence. I do not say that Queensland should not be considered. I am not one of those recently described as geographical protectionists. But if the argument that Queensland should be considered is put forward, I say that Queensland has been sufficiently considered in many cases. The figures given to-day show that Queensland has had nearly half-a-million pounds expended within her borders in return for a small contribution, and the greater portion of it has come out of the Treasuries of the other States. South Australia contributed £61,000 as against an expenditure within her own borders of £800 or£900. Of course, we know that the greater portion of the money was for the sugar bounty. When we passed the Sugar Bounties Act- {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- The honorable senator helped to make that policy, and now he is howling over it. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- What is the matter with this inflamed gentleman ? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- He is on the honorable senator's side. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- He is none the less suffering from an inflamed mental condition when he makes that ejaculation. I did not help to make that policy, but I opposed it all I knew and shall oppose it to the bitter end. I shall endeavour to take it away from Queensland if I can. But if the argument, " Oh, this is for Queensland," is used, then, although I disbelieve in these geographical considerations, I say that Queensland ought to remember how well she has been helped by the Commonwealth ever since she has been a member of it. Only the other day a Bill was passed for bounties, the greater part of which are for the benefit of Queensland production. The inclusion of coffee, cotton, jute, and other things was advocated. I am not blaming the representatives of Queensland. They are perfectly entitled to do what they can, but it is an idle and vain piece of nonsense to make an appeal on behalf of Queensland in respect of banana-growing. **Senator Dobson** clamours for preference, and I say to him " There is Fiji, which is a part of the British Empire." {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The preference offered is to Great Britain. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It ought to be to the. British Empire. Let us begin our preference nearer our own doors. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- No. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- The honorable senator does not agree with that. Talk about patriotism and preference ! It is, in this case, the greatest possible sham. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the honorable senator not to pursue the subject. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I am using the argument as a reason for making bananas free. If there is one thing more than another that ought to appeal to these clamouring preferentialists, it is the position of Fiji at our own doors. We have an opportunity of giving . a real preference, although a very small one, to her, and yet those gentlemen bang and Bar the door. They say "We will not admit the Fijian banana free, because it will interfere with a Queensland industry." {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The honorable senator would not give a preference to New Zealand fish yesterday, but walked out. {: #debate-13-s8 .speaker-K7V} ##### Sir JOSIAH SYMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- Because it would have played into the hands of the protectionists. The proposal was not to free the article for the consumer, but to free it for the protectionist smoker. I want bananas free to the consumer. I wish to extend the hand of friendliness to our neighbours and brethren and comembers of the Empire in Fiji. Why will not honorable senators who support the duty do that? Is there any sense or substance in their opposition to it? On the grounds that, as **Senator Dobson** says, this is the fruit of the poor, that, according to the protectionists' own argument, a duty of1s. is of no value, because it does not increase the price, and that, by the removal of the duty, we shall be extending a slight preference to the Fijian product - which is the better article - I shall support the request that this item be made free. {: #debate-13-s9 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -- Some statements have been made in regard to the Queensland banana industry which ought not to go unchallenged. The argument has been used that a duty of1s. doss not, perhaps, operate much either way . But I happen to know that this duty has often been a determining factor in deciding the continuance of some small plantation in both North and South Queensland. Indeed, I may say that one grower told me that the duty of1s. alone paid him, if he were freed from the competition of importation. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- What the grower said was that the duty of1s. enabled him to put up the price. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I do not dispute that the duty, to some extent, does increase the price. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- That is the only reason why the grower wanted the duty. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- Exactly ; and I have never disguised the fact. One of the objects of protection is to put up the price as against outsiders. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Is the honorable senator admitting that as a protectionist or as a free-trader? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I decline to argue the abstract question of free-trade or protection ; my desire is to deal with the Tariff as it arises under present circumstances and conditions. I emphasize the point that protection can be soundly and usefully applied only to primary industries ; and in my opinion, protection under present conditions, is a supreme need, not only in fee banana industry, but in agricultural industries generally. Protection is necessary to help the people who grow bananas, oranges, and so forth ; and though we may have to pay a little more for our South Australian oranges, or for our bananas, a policy which encourages a development of the kind I have indicated is worth paying for. It has been suggested that the quality of the Queensland bananas is inferior to that of the Fiji bananas. Senatorde Largie. - The Queensland growers cry "stinking fish," seeing that they advertise their fruits as Fiji bananas. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I am not responsible for either the sins or virtues of the people of Queensland ; I only pretend to be an ordinary every-day representative, who is doing his best for his constituents. So far ns the evidence is concerned in regard to bananas, I do noc think that the Tariff Commission went much beyond Brisbane. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- The Tariff Commission could not travel to every small place ! {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- Of course not ; J. am merely pointing out the fact. So far as I understand, only two witnesses were examined, one of whom was **Mr. Jessep,** who, I believe, is the Secretary of the Sydney Fruit-growers' Association. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- And also a large importer. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- Quite so. If the Tariff Commission desired authoritative and conclusive evidence as to the quality of bananas, they ought to have gone to the places where the bananas are grown - they could not expect the banana-growers to travel to Brisbane. Under the circumstances, I view the evidence with a great deal of suspicion, because, if it were desired to have reliable statements as to quality, growers and other experts ought to have been examined in the places where fruit is grown. It may be that Queensland bananas are not up to the standard of selected Fiji bananas; but I make bold to say that,' under ordinary circumstances, and for ordinary purposes, the Queensland banana is a very agreeable and nutritive fruit. It is possible that in Queensland the growers have not cultivated the banana with that closeness and scientific precision which obtains in Fiji, but, as a matter of fact, the Queensland people are fairlywell satisfied with the fruit as they produce it. I do not know whether the taste of Victorians and others is so superior that they can detect at once the difference between a Queensland and a -Fiji banana, but, although I am strongly opposed to all forms of gambling, I should not mind wagering **Senator Symon** that I could place before him two bananas of such quality that he would find it difficult to determine which was which. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- The report of the Tariff Commission casts no reflection on the Queensland banana, but merely suggests that it will not keep. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I have travelled on boats which have carried bananas from Cairns to Sydney, and I have also seen the Fiji fruit landed, at the latter city; and, from all outside appearance, there is not much difference between them. I think we may take it on the whole that the Queensland' fruit is not much inferior, if at all, to that of the fruit from Fiji. I do not care to say much about the counter stroke delivered by **Senator Symon** in his contention that Queensland has' had so much from the Commonwealth that it is time to stop the demand for any more. I regard the honorable senator's remarks as, so to speak, an appeal to provincial jealousy. I desire to urge, however, that there is incontestable evidence that the banana industry in Queensland is surely, though it may be slowly, passing from the hands of Chinese into the hands of white men. I have no desire to urge a prohibitive Tariff, but merely one that I think may rightly be regarded as fair. The duty now enjoyed elates from the inauguration of Federation, and the question whether it is deserved or undeserved is not worth discussing. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Is the honorable senator speaking as a protectionist or as a revenue tariffist? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I do not care two straws about definitions of that kind. I know this to be a Queensland primary industry which is passing into the hands of white men. Of course, if the Senate thinks that such an industry is not worth the duty proposed, let us say so. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- As we shall. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- My attitude, in regard to this item is reflective of my attitude towards the Tariff generally - I have endeavoured to be fair anc! reasonable all round. What we have to consider is whether the duty proposed is too much to pay for an industry with such hopeful prospects. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- It is too little. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- If I were as strongly provincial, as some honorable senators seem to think I am,- I should be sorely tempted to go the whole hog. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Go it. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- No, I shall adhere to what I think is a reasonable proposal. I think that my attitude is a fair one, and I ask honorable senators who have voted for protection for industries such as biscuit, starch, and candle making, to vote for a duty of is. *per* cental on bananas. {: #debate-13-s10 .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY:
New South Wales -- I congratulate Queensland upon having six real, good geographical senators. Her representatives may disagree on social and labour questions, but they are solid as a rock in regard to her industrial interests, being uninfluenced by arguments based on the interests of other States. They are above all else Queensland senators. It is admitted that bananas are a useful fruit food, and, in my opinion, there is an opening in the Australian markets for both Queensland and Fiji fruit. But there is another point of view from which we might well regard this question. Fiji is our nearest neighbour, and the future of the Commonwealth may be largely affected by the extent of her influence over the Pacific islands. The late **Mr. Richard** Seddon endeavoured to bring about a federation between Fiji and New Zealand, Australia doing all she could to prevent it. Under these circumstances it would be well to have regard to the views of the Fijians on the subject of trade with Australia. I propose, therefore, to read to the Committee some statements which have been furnished to me, with the request that I should make them known to honorable senators. On the 25th July, 1905, the President of the Suva Chamber of Commerce, addressing the Prime Minister, said - My Council, viewing wilh alarm the very serious effect to the trade of Fiji due to the Commonwealth Customs Tariff, respectfully resolved to present evidence thereof before the Tariff Commission. Owing to the change of Government, we now resolve to pass on to you a copy of all correspondence to date. The most vital concern to us is the duty on green fruits and peanuts, and we respectfully urge that the evidence given before the Tariff Commission by the fruit-growers in Svdney places on record the fact that our bananas possess rare excellence, and are asked for by the consumer. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Sydney, from its geographical position, has been, and is, the natural entrepot of the island trade. 1. The total trade of Fiji is approximately ^1,000,000. 2. The value of imports into Fiji from the Commonwealth is 70 per cent, of the whole, whilst our exports to the same source are only 19 per cent. Honorable senators should give serious consideration to that statement. The figures show that the development of Fiji is in nosense clue to the Commonwealth - {: type="1" start="4"} 0. The value of imports into Fiji from New Zealand is 13 per cent, of the whole, "whilst our exports to the same source are 73 per cent. 1. The . total trade of New South Wales with Fiji in tlie year 1903 was ^333,820. 2. Before the Federal Tariff our shipments of bananas to Sydney were large; now they are practically nil. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Fiji bananas are being carted through the streets of Sydney every day. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- These statements were absolutely correct at the time they were made. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- In 1905 the export of bananas from Fiji to Australia was valued at only ,£2,736. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- The report continues - {: type="1" start="7"} 0. Bananas are largely an article of diet with the working classes. 1. Many of our white planters have invested largely in banana plantations. 2. We most respectfully point out that the Queensland grower is principally the Chinaman. 3. The products of Fiji are sugar, coffee, tea, tobacco, maize, cocoanuts, peanuts, cocoa, bananas, pine-apples, cotton, *&c.* 4. We respectfully beg that you will take into your consideration the trade of the Commonwealth with Fiji, and remove such duties as in effect are fatal to our export trade, for unless we sell we cannot buy. With no thought of suggesting a threat, I may mention that there is a daily increasing inclination on the. part of our planters to urge the Government to establish reciprocal trade with New Zealand, which takes virtually all our exports and supplies us with so little. This feeling is being fanned under the smarting influence of self-defence, as the probability is forced upon us that New Zealand will put a duty on our fruit to favour the Cook and Raratonga Groups, which are planting up. It is not surprising that the public sentiment of Fiji was much more favorable to New Zealand than to the Commonwealth. The statements which I have read furnish a strong indictment of the Commonwealth for want of interest in Fiji's development. There has been a great deal of correspondence on this subject, from which I take the following passage - >A question of vital importance is the trade facilities. What had seemed a natural reciprocity between the Commonwealth and Fiji existed a few years ago. Vessels laden with Australian merchandise went monthly fom Melbourne to Fiji, and returned freighted with the best bananas known in the markets of the world, as well as other tropical products. But this very satisfactory state of affairs is ended. Australia has almost annihilated the trade in bananas by Tariff regulations, practically shutting out the Fiji fruit. No direct boatsnow run to and from Melbourne, and theSydney steamers have other ports of call, thus, delaying the delivery of the fruit. New Zealand by her open door policy has captured agood deal of the Fiji trade, and received thebulk of the bananas grown during the last tenyears. Other portions of the trade, refused by Australia, have been diverted to England, Canada, or America, notwithstanding the greater- time taken in transit, and tha fact that a large proportion of Fiji's white settlers are exAustralians, take their holidays in Australia, and? regard the Commonwealth as the natural controlling power in the Pacific. > >No H. G. Well's imagination is necessary to foretell that, with the completion of the Panama Canal the present importance of Fiji as a port of call connected to the rest of the world by cable will be doubled ; aye, trebled and quadrupled ; that her trade (already not to be despised) will assume gigantic proportions; and that her general value will be vastly- increased. Speaking commercially, and without reference to political prejudice, who is to control and benefit by this increased trade? Is the Commonwealth, by a continuation of indifference to -the interests of Fiji, going to abandon her claim of superiority in these waters, and allow the new Dominion of New Zealand to carry off the plums of the' position ? That England will, at some future time, delegate her control of the islands in the Pacific to one or the other of the larger colonies is almost certain. The preponderance of trade relations will be one of the largest factors in deciding to which colony such control shall be given, and present conditions indicate that New Zealand lias every chance of being selected. If Australia desires to have it, she must wake up to the true condition of affairs, and take active measures to regain the ground she has lost. There is no question of her ability to gain, keep, and perpetuate the sovereignty over these seas, but her inclination for such an- honour is still a matter of doubt. Scattered articles tn this subject have been appearing occasionally in various papers, both in New Zealand and the Commonwealth, and this indicates an awakening of public interest at the least. Should that awakening become sufficient to cause an investigation, the- British resident in Fiji hf.s great faith in the Australian's power of discernment, and will await with little or no apprehension the ultimate result. {: .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator Macfarlane: -- We ought to have more senators here. *[Quorum* *formed.]* {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- The article continues^ - To the lover of statistics and the man who wants accurate figures for his facts, there are quite a number of books setting forth the present prosperity of the trade in the Pacific Islands generally, and Fiji in particular. During the year 1905-6, the total imports to Australia . from the Islands amounted to over ^200,000, and- in 1906-7 this had increased to £300,000. On the face of things this would seem to guarantee that trade between the Commonwealth and these Islands was on a sufficiently firm basis to dispense with further bolstering, hut deeper investigation will show that while the total products imported have increased so largely, the percentage of the total amount produced in the Islands, finding its way to the Australian States, is much smaller than it was fifteen years ago. The trade returns for Fiji - everywhere recognised as the most important of the Islands of the Pacific - show an actual decrease of more than ,£10,000 in the produce sent to Australia during the last vear alone. The shutting out policy adopted by the Commonwealth Tariff lias driven Island residents to seek for other markets with friendlier intentions, and where 99 per cent, of the Islands' produce used to go to Australia, New Zealand now gets more than half, and Canada is already receiving an appreciable quantity. **Mr. J.** S. Larke, the resident Canadian Commercial agent at Sydney, reporting trade matters to his Government, among other things, stales : - " The .Colonial Secretary of Fiji has been for some time in Melbourne in order to secure a reduction of the duties on bananas and some other productions of Fiji. He has offered a preferential treatment of imports into Fiji from Australia in return for the concession which he asks. It is not likely that the Australian Government will at present meet the request. Canada ought to be able to do so, as bananas ought to carry safely from Fiji to Canada, as might pineapples and other productions of the Island." The same thing applies to exports from Australia to the Islands. In 1905-6, the Islands look ,£760,000 of Australian exports, and in 1906-7 the amount was ,£840,000. But, again, this seeming increase is an actual loss in Proportion to the Islands' purchases for the respective year. In Fiji alone the increase of import values was over ,£300,000 during the last five years. And if we compare the prospects then and now the future of Fiji is looking very bright indeed. Up to 1906, only 73,000 out of the total 4,800,000 acres of land in Fiji were under cultivation. By far the larger portion of this being cane lands on the Rewa, Navua, Ba, Labasa, Penang, and Lautoka Sugar Estates. The balance was cocoanut producing, with a mere handful of planters growing bananas, and some three or four persons interested in stock. During the year 1906-7, something like 80,000 acres of the uncultivated lands have been either bought or leased on long lease, and sheep, cocoa, fibre, cattle and rubber are soon to be reckoned among the principal products!. In fact, every indication points to a speedy increase of the number of articles of export, as well as the quantity of those already being shipped. Every business man in Australia must ask : - " Why should we let this growing trade go elsewhere? Shall we sit inertly by and see New Zealand and Canada pocket the profit of transactions which we could and should negotiate?" Immediately following the visit of the late **Mr. Seddon** to these Islands, some eight years ago, the New Zealand party in Fiji all but succeeded in getting some sort of annexation to New Zealand. But the Australian element predominated, and prevented the consummation of the scheme. It is very questionable whether, should the subject again become a "live" one, the sequel 'would be the same. Fiji has protested long and loudly against Australia's heavy taxation of her products. Leading merchants have used their trade influence ; the Planters' Association and Chambers of .Commerce have forwarded protests ; and the Government has sent its Colonial Secretary to personally represent the injustice^ of the procedure - all in vain. Australia is injuring herself as well as her trade bv this Tariff on bananas. It is more and more recognised that the banana is one of the most wholesome, useful, and universally acceptable vegetable fruits existent, and in driving the trade of Fiji from her shores Australia is also depriving her citizens of the best banana to be obtained at the present time in any of the world's markets. It is but a question of time when the demand for bananas will exceed the supply. Already the Queenslanders find it impossible to keep the Melbourne market alone adequately supplied (and, merely by the way, with an inferior fruit), with fresh bananas, and to argue that the trade, under such circumstances, needs protection, is absurd. It does not need protection from Fiji to-day - (1) Because of the greater distance the Fiji fruit has to be carried, and the primitive method of. carrying it in vessels that make no attempt to retard maturing ; and (2) the non-organization of growers in Fiji, and the very indifferent facilities for cutting, packing, loading and unloading. These reasons cause a very large per cent. of loss on each Fiji shipment, and, while the markets on the sea board may be full for a few days after the arrival of a steamer, it is impossible to reach inland cities or towns, or keep the fruit in a marketable condition until the next boatload arrives. There will be no need for protection of the Queensland market to-morrow, when these things are overcome, because the enlargement of the market will mean that there is room for all. The installation of proper fruit carrying vessels will insure a minimum of loss to planter and shipper, and greatly prolong the edible life of the Fiji banana in Australian markets. The rapidity with which a banana market enlarges itself when a controlled and steady supply can be obtained has been illustrated in America and England. During the last ten years the number of bananas shipped into America has been almost doubled yearly, and with an elaborate system of handling and packing in Cuba, and the employment of boats which arrest the maturing process, and land bananas at the port of discharge in exactly the same condition as when they are received over the ship's side, the losses from all causes do not amount to more than1 per cent. per annum. The same is true to a lesser degree of the trade between the West Indies and London. Capital, co-operation, and some degree of consideration from the larger to the lesser, will make the same conditions possible between the Commonwealth and Fiji. Should a mother discriminate between her children? Should one be crippled that another may grow more comely? The Commonwealth stands in the place of a mother to all these little struggling South Sea Islands, and were the proper balance arrived at, Queensland would hold the position of elder sister only to the rest of the family, and be given no more than an elder sister is privileged to get. To continue the somewhat homely simile, if the mother wishes to retain the confidence and affection of her children she must consider their wants and distribute her gifts as wisely as she knows how, and so must Australia listen to the desires of the Island daughters, and distribute her justice in decisions that cannot be questioned. Her supremacy cannot continue if she persists in enforcing prohibitive Tariff rates on all the Islands produce merely because they happen to be obtainable also within the boundaries of the Confederated States. Neither may she hope to retain her power if the present policy of indifference as to where the Islanders purchase their supplies. One argument that should appeal to every Australian sentiment in support of the fact that Australia should foster Fiji trade, is that the biggest business concern in the colony - a concern so large that it is often said locally that the Fiji Government merely exists for the convenience of the C.S.R. Co. - is owned and entirely controlled by absentee landlords - Australians resident in Australia. Fiji's coal bill for her mills, her boats, her engines of all kinds, is paid to Australians. Australian insurance companies carry the risks of buildings and citizens in Fiji. The manager of the Fiji branch of the Bank of NewSouth Wales - McRae, a Victorian - is an elected member of the Legislative Council, and one of the most forcible speakers therein. The entire colony is honeycombed with Australian energy and Australian interests. It goes on to show the advantages from the agricultural point of view. I will not trespass upon the patience of honorable senators by reading any more passages from the document. I think I have read sufficient to indicate to every honorable senator the extent of the trade with Fiji, her prospects as regards development, and to point out that the trade of the Pacific Islands is of very great importance to the people of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The Pacific Islands are not of more importance to theC ommonwealth than Queensland. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- Queensland is part and parcel of the Commonwealth. Not for one moment do I think that a single senatorbe he ardent protectionist or ardent f ree-tra der, would help to pass a measure which would in any way do harm to any State in the Federation. Surely my honorable friend will recognise that if there is oneState more than another whose interests are solidly defended' by a block vote it is Queensland ! {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The same remark applies to the interests of New South. Wales. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- The honorable senator need not be afraid that the Commonwealth will do an injustice to Queensland or any other State. The question to be considered is, What is to be the policy of Australia towards the Pacific Islands? Do we all realize the importance of the islands' trade to her for the next twenty or thirty years ? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The question is. What is the policy of Australia towards Australians ? {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- I am not speaking from personal knowledge of the developments which have taken place in the Pacific Islands, but I am stating the conclusions which have been arrived at by certain writers after thoughtful consideration. He would be a foolish and vain man who would not admit the vast interest which Australia has in the development of the Pacific Islands, and in binding them to her side by all the ties which she can possibly establish. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- But we must not bind them by ties which will loosen parts of Australia. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- I feel almost ashamed to entertain the idea that a gentleman so cultured and experienced as is **Senator Trenwith** would suggest for a moment that the imposition of a duty upon a product of Fiji is likely to affect the prosperity or development of Australia. Surely he must recognise that the Pacific Islands and the Commonwealth should have one indivisible interest. I am one of those who regretted that New Zealand did not enter the Federation. Perhaps she acted selfishly. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the honorable senator not to pursue that subject. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- I realize that this question, looked at through Fijian eyes, far transcends the question of either free-trade or protection in relation to bananas. The question is, Do we want to exercise all the power we can to foster friendly and business relations between the Pacific Islands and ourselves? Do honorable senators attach more importance to the imposition of a duty of1s. per cental on a few bananas which are necessary for the people than to the question of doing all in our power to draw the Pacific Islands into the Australian fold? To' my mind, the latter should be the dominant consideration, and even if I were the strongest protectionist in the Chamber I would vote in the direction of cultivating business and social relations with all the native races in the Pacific Ocean. With the desire to promote the best interests of the Commonwealth, not only for to-day, but in the future, I for one will vote for the amendment to make bananas free. {: #debate-13-s11 .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH:
Western Australia -- I intend to support the item as it stands. I am anxious to know why the question of a confederation of the Commonwealth with the South Sea Islands should be raised by the last speaker. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Does not the honorable senator know that we subsidize a line of steamers to the South Sea Islands ? {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- It would be foolish to suggest that the authorities in the Crown Colony of Fiji expect the Commonwealth to frame its Tariff for their special benefit. So far as the management of native affairs is concerned, they keep in mind only the interest of the Colony, and act quite regardless of what the outside world may think. They indent coolie labour, and allow the white man, whenever the policeman is out of the way, to flail his niggers as long as he can stand over them. While that condition of things is considered right and proper by the governing authorities in Fiji, it would be as sensible to say that oil and' water willmix as to say that we should keep our minds fixed on any possible association of interest between the Commonwealth and that Crown Colony. They will manage their own affairs, and it is for the people of Australia to look after theirs. Coming to the matter of the imposition of a duty of1s. per cental on bananas, I wish to say that the figures given to the Senate by **Senator. Chataway** are highly instructive. They go to show that after the date when the banana industry in Queensland received the benefit of protection - that is from 1 901. until the cyclone happened in 1906 - the increase in production was something in the neighbourhood of 100 per cent. If we remove this solitary shield that has in the past enabled the banana industry in Queensland to live and prosper, it simply means that it will be at the mercy of competitors in the South Sea Islands. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- There isno harm in that. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- If it is a question of choosing between considering the interests of the Chinamen we have in Australia and those of coolies living under a distant Government, I am prepared to give the preference to theChinaman. But I am not satisfied that the Chinaman is solely in possession of the industry or is conducting it to the disadvantage of Australia. 1 believe that some white men are engaged in it. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Where? {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- I am speaking, I admit, from second-hand information and not from actual experience. I will satisfy myself by saying that certainly there are some white men in the industry, and while there are some engaged in it i am not going to place it at the mercy of Indians in the South Sea Islands where the conditions of production are farmore favorable than they are in this country. The Chinese argument has been the principal one brought forward against the duty. But I wish to remind honorable senators that we are already protecting other industries which are carried on by Chinese to a greater or lesser degree. Take the furniture and cabinetmaking industries of Australia. Under this Tariff it is proposed to protect the cabinet-making industry by duties of 35 per cent, and 25 per cent. But although there are many Chinese engaged in that industry I am not going to allow that consideration to influence me to force duties down to such a level that none but Chinese. will be able to be employed. Take the vegetable industry. We propose tei' impose a duty of as. per cental on vegetables. The vegetable growing industry is one in which a large number of Chinese are and will continue to be employed. When honorable senators speak of the Chinese employed in banana growing they should not forget the other industries in which Chinese are engaged. It is quite plain to me that if we reduce the duty the trade will to a very large extent go to Fiji, and that means that a corresponding area of land will be thrown out of cultivation in the tropical portions of Australia. Now, one of the great problems that will confront the Cpm- monwealth Legislature both now and in the future is - What is the best and easiest means of encouraging our white population to settle in the tropical areas? We have that problem to solve. If we remove this duty on bananas we shall certainly be taking a step which will induce white men to look less favorably upon the tropical areas fis places in which to find a living. We shall throw the trade into the hands of banana growers in Fiji and the South Seas. It is also to be remembered that land in the South Sea Islands is much easier to bring into cultivation than is land in North Queensland, which is in the nature of jungle. We have there a dense jungle which has to be cleared before it can be made to produce bananas, whereas so far as ray experience goes - and it has not been a small one - land in the South Sea Islands is comparatively easy to bring under cultivation. Along the river flats there is nothing like the dense jungle that we have in North Queensland. It is easily made to produce a rich crop of bananas. Moreover, in the South Sea Islands there is plenty of' cheap coloured labour. The coolie labour of India has been largely intro.duced and much of the land there is owned by Indians. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- No. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- If the honorable senator looks up the *State s man's Year-Book* he will find that British Indians and Bri tishers hold something like 3,000 acres of banana plantations in Fiji. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I think the land is not held in fee simple. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- I will not dispute that point. But if British- Indians do not own the land they use it as tenants. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- That may be right. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator LYNCH: -- If the issue is narrowed down to choosing between encouraging Indians in Fiji and Chinamen in North Queensland I shall certainly give a vote which will protect the occupation of people in our own country. However, there does not seem to be any reason why banana cultivation should not be successfully .undertaken by white workers. The land is plentiful and the cultivation is easy. . The sprouts around the trees are sufficient to keep the crop growing perennially, and the cultivation does not involve any great amount of labour. On that ground alone I would urge that this is a most desirable industry to perpetuate in the tropical areas of Australia. Without delaying matters unnecessarily I wish to state that I shall support the item as it stands, in the belief that the duty is necessary to keep in cultivation as large an " area of tropical Australia as possible ; secondly in the belief that this industry will later on develop into a white man's industry; and, in the third place, because it is necessary to keep the trade as far as possible in the hands of Australians. * {: #debate-13-s12 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
Western Australia -- I am amazed to see how unsophisticated some of our Labour senators are becoming. **Senator Lynch** has appeared for the time being as the champion of the Chinaman. But I cannot forget the White Australia principles that both he and **Senator Stewart** were elected to maintain, nor can I forget that so long as we encourage the Chinaman in Australia we run the risk of endangering the White Australia policy. There can b'e no denying the fact that the more encouragement we give to the Chinaman, whether as a vendor of fruit or as a grower, we are running directly opposite to those principles of ours. We have been assured that if we grant the protection asked for to the Queensland /banana industry it will eventually fall into the hands of white men. But I have heard **Senator Stewart** and other Labour senators over and over again in this chamber, argue in the very opposite direction, and say that so long as the kanaka or the Chinaman, or the coloured man of any kind, is engaged in any particular industry there is no. hope for the white man entering into it. No man in this chamber has urged that argument more strongly than **Senator McGregor;** but he is now prepared to vote to keep the Chinaman in the banana industry. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- The honorable senator's remarks are absolutely incorrect. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am surprised to notice how short **Senator McGregor's** memory is. I remember him when he has been so virtuous in insisting upon his White Australia principles as to say that he would refuse even to occupy a room in an hotel where a Chinese cook was employed. But he is quite prepared to tax the people of Australia to compel them to eat bananas grown by Chinamen. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- Let the honorable senator tell us something about his Fiji coolie. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am not asking the electors of Australia to tax themselves for the benefit of any Fiji coolie, who is, at all events, no burden upon our people. Furthermore, we can certainly say that the production of the Fijian is a much superior article to that of the Queensland Chinaman. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Even with the blood that is on it ? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- There is no more blood on the banana produced by the kanaka or the coolie in his own home in the Islands, than there is upon the productions of Chinamen in Australia. As to the Chinese engaged in the furniture trade in Melbourne, or any other part of Australia, as far as I am concerned, I hope that something will be done to insure that no protection is given tothem. The Chinaman can receive no benefit from our protective duties, if we choose to take proper steps. Why should we not impose an Excise duty on the productions of the Chinese, just as we have imposed an Excise duty upon the sugar produced by kanakas in Queensland ? {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- How are they to live? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Let them go to their own country to live. We have a national principle to uphold, and it is our duty to maintain it before any other principle. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- By unjust means. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- There is nothing unjust about it.I would give to the Queensland Chinamen just about the same amount of protection as I would give to' the coloured labour of any other country. Indeed, I would let them produce under free-trade conditions. I do not want to see the principle of protection made 'ridiculous by extending it to' coloured people. But that is what is being done in this instance. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- I do not think the honorable senator realizes where his argument takes him. He should be consistent. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I know where it takes me perfectly well. I am consistent with my White Australia principles. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Justice comes before consistency. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am just to the people of Australia. I do not want to give them bananas grown by Chinamen, nor do I want them to be taxed to uphold the Chinese who are the only persons concerned in this industry in Australia. The attitude taken up by some honorable senators upon this question is inconsistent with the stand they made when that of old-age pensions was under consideration. **Senator Stewart** opposed the imposition of a duty on tea, by which it was proposed to provide a fund for a Commonwealth system of old-age pensions. At that time, the consumers of Australia were the only care of **Senator Stewart** and others ;. they lost sight of the fact that it was the poor of Australia who were to benefit. They could not get away from the principle of free-trade, and insisted that we should have free tea, even if it meant the sacrifice of an old-age pensions system. They seem now to have forgotten the attitude which they then took up, and are quite prepared to tax one of the foods of the people, not to provide for an old-age pensions scheme, but to protect the Chinamen. I hope that **Senator McGregor** and **Senator Lynch** will tell their constituents what manner of protectionists they are - that they believe in protection for the Chinamen of North Queensland. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- The honorable senator is running that Chinaman to death. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Judging by the remarks of **Senator Lynch,** this phase of the question needs to be well ventilated. The honorable senator will not tell the people of Western Australia that he supported a tax on bananas. **Senator Gray** has put the position very clearly, so far as the encouragement of the islands' trade is concerned, and from his stand-point, has taken up a consistent attitude. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- From a free-trade stand-point he has. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Other honorable senators could logically follow his example, so far as our trade with Fiji is concerned. We have agreed to subsidize a line of steamers to promote trade between the islands of the Pacific and Australia. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- In respect of the things that we want. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Honorable senators who agreed to that subsidy are now proposing to shut out of Australia, by means of a tax, one of the products of Fiji. Is this not a curious illustration of the consistency shown in connexion with some of our legislation ? Some honorable senators were prepared to vote a subsidy to encourage trade between Australia and the Pacific Islands, and yet they now propose to support & tax on bananas from one of the islands of the Pacific, on the ground that thev are grown by kanakas, and must not be allowed to enter Australia to compete with those grown by Chinese. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- We shut out Fijian sugar. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I agree with that policy, because sugar is grown by white men in Australia. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- Thirty-five per cent, of the bananas produced in Queensland are grown by white men. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- There is no getting away from the fact that the banana *is* an every-day food. In my own home, bananas appear on the table as often, perhaps, as does a loaf of bread. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Bananas grown by Chinamen ! {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Chinamen whom **Senator McGregor** wishes to protect. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -There is no necessity for the honorable senator to eat bananas. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Why does not **Senator de** Largie be consistent? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am trying to be; and I hope that **Senator Dobson** will, in this matter, act a little more in accord with the principles of free-trade which he has so often advocated. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Then the honorable senator has joined him? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I have on this question. I am opposed to a proposal to bring protection into ridicule by extending it to a Chinese industry. Have honorable senators considered what is the measure of protection which this duty represents? I was a member of the parliamentary party which visited Geraldton, one of the districts where bananas are produced, and was told there that a duty of is. per cental was equal to between 25 per rent, and 30 per cent. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- Twenty per cent. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Is that too high for a protectionist duty? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- It is too high a - duty to impose for the protection of Chinese, and in any event it is far in advance of the average of this Tariff. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That is a misfortune. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- It is, and the honorable senator is partly responsible for it. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Does the honorable senator know how many Chinamen are naturalized British subjects and how many Chinese banana growers paid a poll tax of £100 to be allowed to enter Australia? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am sorry that there are any Chinese here. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Have they no rights of citizenship? {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- They have no right to expect the white people of Australia to tax themselves in order to assist one of their industries. If this duty amounts to something like 25 per cent. . and there are three or four bunches to the cental, it must be admitted that it is a veryheavy impost. Yet I was told last night that it was not protective. To my mind it has a very considerable protective incidence. The production of bananas in Australia is now greater than it was before the duty was imposed. My contention is that by imposing this duty we shall undermine the great principle of a White Australia, and I wish to warn honorable- senators so that they cannot say hereafter that no protest was raised. Certainly no protest was raised when other items affecting industries in which Chinese are engaged were under consideration. I am sorry ; but even if any had been raised some, honorable senators would probably have said that it was a mere waste of time, because the items were considered by another place and we should not challenge them. At the outset we proceeded on those lines, but we made no progress. We have placed an embargo on sugar grown in Australia by coloured labour, and have granted a measure of preference to white-grown sugar. Why should we not extend the. same principle to the production of bananas or anything else? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- We' shall not begin by abolishing the duty. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I hope that this duty will not be agreed to. Later on I shall move a request that an Excise duty be imposed on bananas grown by Chinamen, so that by that means we shall have freetrade in respect of this particular commodity. {: #debate-13-s13 .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH:
Victoria -- I am really shocked at the attitude taken up by the honorable senator who has just resumed his seat. I think that I am as ardent a supporter of the policy of a White Australia as it is possible to find, but I hope that we shall secure a White Australia by humane and fair means. We have decided to abolish the kanaka, so far as Australia is concerned, by means that are not cruel. We have said that we do not want him, and have made provision for his deportation. But **Senator de** Largie desires that we shall neither deport the Chinaman nor permit him to live. We are to murder him by starvation. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator Henderson: -- The Chinese came here of their own accord. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- Under conditions which we created. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator Henderson: -- Then let them go away again. They paid a tax of £100 in order that they might come here. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- We imposed conditions under which they might come here; we have now conditions under which no more may come. But if we are fairminded we shall either provide for the humane deportation of those who are here or permit them to live under conditions that are fair and reasonable. So much for the extraordinary attitude of **Senator de** Largie. If it is defensible in that connexion, it is indefensible on another ground, and that is the granting of protection to Australian industries. The honorable senator claims to be, and I believe in the main is, a protectionist. This industry, if developed, will continue under the conditions that developed it; but the Chinaman cannot continue here, because we have already made provision that renders his continuance impossible. Thus from a protectionist point of view, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the honorable senator's first proposition with reference to the treatment of the Chinaman is defensible, it is indefensible to prevent the development of an industry which will go on when the Chinaman is extinct in Australia. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Will the honorable senator say that there are fewer Chinese in the banana industry to-day than there were six years ago. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I say that there are fewer Chinese in Australia than there were six years ago. If the Chinaman is forced out of the banana industry he will have to go into some other or die. I am not so determined to have a White Australia as to be prepared to secure it by means of an act of cruelty of that character. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- Does not the honorable senator think that the Chinaman would go if we paid him to do so ? {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- Perhaps so; but it is not proposed to provide means for him to go elsewhere. On the other hand it is proposed to establish conditions under which he must either starve or enter into some other avenue of competition with white labour. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- That takes place every day. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I know that it does. Consequently, **Senator de** Largie will not achieve his object by forcing the Chinaman out of the banana industry. The only way in which we can get rid of the Chinese fairly is by determining that no more shall be admitted. Those who came here under laws enacted by our ancestors came under conditions which were formerly permitted, and, therefore, are no more offenders than were the authors of those laws. We have decreed that no more shall come. But surely we are not prepared to act brutally towards those whoare already in ou r midst ? {: .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator Macfarlane: -- Oh ! {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I know that **Senator Macfarlane** ridicules that idea, and I can understand the position which he takes up in regard to this question. He is a freetrader, and holds that all commodities should be admitted free. Consequently, he thinks that bananas should be admitted free. He welcomes a desertion of principle on the part of a protectionist, just as we should welcome any departure from the principles of free-trade by a free-trader. I do not blame him, nor do I condemn **Senator de** Largie. I am sorry that the latter has such an extraordinary obliquity of mental vision upon this question. I am almost forced to the conclusion that it is due to what **Senator Millen** the other day described as a new economic doctrine - that of geographical protection. I think that it is unfortunate from that point of view. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- It is unfortunate that you should have such a cross-eyed way of looking at matters. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- . But we have a right to assume that honorable senators vote according to their consciences, and we are not justified inretorting that they voted upon geographical lines. What I rose chiefly to say was that to treat the Chinaman in the manner suggested is inhuman, whilst to treat protectionist principles in the manner suggested is extremely illogical. Question - That the House of Representatives he requested to make item 59 " Bananas," free (Senator Colonel Neild's request) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 8 NOES: 19 Majority ... ...11 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. *Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.45 p.m.* **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [7.45].- The matter of the banana trade and production has been sufficiently threshed out during the preceding debate. In moving - That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty on item 59 6d. per cental, I shall rely on the good sense and excellent memories of honorable senators who have Already participated in, and listened to, the discussion upon the burning question of banana production and consumption. I beg that no honorable senator will charge me with want of enthusiasm in the proposal because I refrain from making a speech upon a subject which has already been sufficiently threshed out. {: #debate-13-s14 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- It was about this time last night that we began the discussion on bananas, and it was moved that the House of Representatives be requested to make them free. I asked the Committee then to adhere to the duty. I again ask the Committee to agree to the duty as it stands in the schedule, and not to request to make it higher or lower. Request negatived. {: #debate-13-s15 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- Earlier in the sitting, I intimated my intention of moving for an increase of the duty to1s. 6d., but, in view of the divisions that have been taken, I see that it will be only wasting the time of the Committee to move in that direction. Item agreed to. Item 60. Vegetables, n.e.i., per cental, 2s. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [7.48]. - The duty in the old Tariff was1s. per cental. Can the Minister inform the Committee why it has been doubled ? This is one of those duties that ought not to exist at all. I am sure that the duty has not been doubled for the purpose of encouraging the production of vegetables in Australia. I have not looked at the figures as to importations ; but I should say that there was none at all. {: #debate-13-s16 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- The increased duty is proposed simply for the purpose of giving additional protection. There have been imports of vegetables into the Commonwealth to the extent, in 1903, of 4,451 centals; 1904, 4,101 centals; 1905, 4,145 centals; and 1906, 4,483 centals. The bulk of these importations came from China, andit is thought desirable to increase the production of vegetables for our requirements by Australians in Australia. The extra duty is proposed for that reason. {: #debate-13-s17 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- This is really not an item which demands the attention that **Senator Keating** has given to it, nor is his explanation worthy of the subject. The total duty paid in 1906 was £246. That was about the same amount as was paid in previous years. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- And this duty is to stimulate Australian industry ! {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I suppose that **Senator Keating** did not notice those figures, or he would not have talked about stimulating the production of Australian vegetables. It was a slip. He was probably caught unawares when he spoke, because this duty is ridiculously trivial. We had previously a duty of1s., which was ornamental - or something else - and now, with a total collection of£246 under that duty, the. rate is to be increased in the interests of protection to 2s. It is absolutely farcical. {: #debate-13-s18 .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS:
Queensland .- Most of the duty must have been paid on green vegetables coming from New Zealand at certain times of the year. The Tariff Commission recommended that the duty should be1s. It looks a very small item for the Government to impose an extra1s. upon without rhyme or reason. If the Tariff Commission had recommended the increase, or shown some grounds for it, there might have been something in it. The duty is absurd, considering that the whole amount collected last year from the Commonwealth with a population of 4,000,000 people, was £246. If the Tariff Commission had looked at the matter in the right light, they would have recommended striking the duty out altogether. I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duly on item 60,1s. per cental. {: #debate-13-s19 .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY:
New South Wales -- I support **Senator Saver's** motion. During the severe drought in New South Wales, we had to pay as much as from1s. to1s. 6d. for a cauliflower or cabbage. When we have a visitation of Providence causing such a state of affairs, there should beno duty to prevent the people being supplied with vegetables, which are an absolute necessity to health. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Where did the vegetables imported last year come from? {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- From New Zealand, and from the honorable senator's friends, the Chinese, for whom he voted just now. **Senator ST.** LEDGER (Queensland; [7.56]. - I intend to vote for a duty of1s - to vote on the side of Providence. Question put.. The Committee divided. AYES: 8 NOES: 16 Majority ... ... 8 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. Item agreed to. Item 61. Vegetables, dried, drysalted, concentrated compressed, or powdered, herbs dried not medicinal, ad val., 20 per cent. {: #debate-13-s20 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia. -- I desire to move that the House of Representatives be requested to insert the words "20 per cent." after the word " powdered," which will have the effect of leaving " herbs dried not medicinal " out of the item. There is a great deal of difference between dried vegetables and dried herbs, and there is no country in the world so well adapted as Australia is for the drying and preparation generally of culinary herbs. In South Australia and other States people have settled on small blocks of a character scarcely suitable for any other industry. These blocks were cleared and put into cultivation, even before the inauguration of the Commonwealth, with the idea that the then protection would encourage the industry. Evidence was given before the Tariff Commission by one grower, representing others in South Australia, and he was very emphatic in his request that the duty on dried herbs should be 4d. per lb. That evidence and other information induced the protectionist section of the Commission to make a recommendation to that effect. I do not know how it happened, but another place, by inadvertence or otherwise, included dried herbs in the same item as dried vegetables. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I have a prior amendment to that suggested by the honorable senator. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR: -- I do not desire to discuss this matter at any great length, though I could describe the trouble and difficulty which these settlers have had to undergo in the preparation of their land, and the hard work involved in the cultivation, hand-rubbing and so forth of the herbs. It has been shown that it is absolutely necessary to have protection to the extent of 4d. per lb. in order that the industry may be established and flourish. As **Senator Millen** has indicated that he has a prior amendment, I shall leave honorable senators now to think the matter over. They will see, however, that if they refuse to confine the item exclusively to dried vegetables, it will be an indication that they are not willing to impose a duty of 4d per lb. on dried herbs. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- Will the honorable senator inform the Committee what he regards as dried vegetables and what as dried herbs? {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR: -- Dried vegetables are dried turnips, carrots, parsnips, cabbages, and so forth, whereas dried herbs are altogether different. {: #debate-13-s21 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- It is necessary to make a purely formal amendment, of which notice has been given. The authorities in another place hold that, unlike the practice which obtains in this Chamber, they must not interfere with any punctuation that appears in the schedule. Consequently I have to move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by inserting a comma after the word "concentrated." Request agreed to. {: #debate-13-s22 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- If I understand **Senator McGregor,** he desires to insert " 20 per cent." after the word " powdered," and', therefore, my request is a prior one, seeing that I desire to make the duty the same as in the old Tariff, and as recommended by the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission, namely, 15 per cent. Dried vegetables are used only where fresh vegetables are not obtainable, and there is no possibility of this duty having a protectionist incidence in any way. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- The free-trade section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of 20 per cent. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN: -- I have looked through the schedule carefully, and in addition to the error we saw in reference to citrus fruits there are other serious errors. I suggest to honorable senators that if they wish to be perfectly certain they should refer to the reports of the Tariff Commission, because, while the recommendations as they appear in the schedule may in most instances be technically right, there is very frequently some qualification or modification which takes away from the effect of the recommendation. It is. not correct to call my proposal a reduction of the duty, because it is rather a proposal that there shall be no increase. The effect of the duty is not to call into existence any industry, and it will not help the market gardener, but it will make the man who has to use dried vegetables, and whose lot is sufficiently hard, pay more for the things he requires. Seeing that there is no advantage to any Australian industry, I ask the Committee to support a proposal that the duty shall be 15 per cent. {: #debate-13-s23 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- I point out that if **Senator Millen** 's request be adopted I shall have no opportunity to move the request I have indicated in reference to dried herbs. I suggest that I should first be permitted to move that dried herbs shall bear a duty of 4d. per lb., and if that request be adopted dried herbs will simply drop out of the item, when it will be open to **Senator Millen** to submit his proposal. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I suggest a better way would be for **Senator McGregor** to move that the words " herbs dried not medicinal" be omitted with a view to placing them in a separate item. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR: -- But if **Senator** Millen's request be adopted I shall not be able to go back to a previous part of the item. {: #debate-13-s24 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- There is no desire to prevent any honorable senator proposing any request he desires, and I submit that the suggestion I have made is the proper one, because the Committee would then be able to vote on the question whether or not herbs should be included with vegetables. I understand that **Senator McGregor** proposes to insert 20 per cent. after the word " powdered." {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- I have altered that. If the motion I have indicated be carried dried herbs will naturally fall out of the item, and then it will be open to **Senator Millen** to move that the duty be 15 per cent. {: #debate-13-s25 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- The request indicated by **Senator McGregor** deals with that portion of the item which comes before the duty mentioned in the first column, and, therefore, if it be carried, there will be nothing to prevent **Senator Millen** from submitting the request he desires to move. {: #debate-13-s26 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania . - **Senator McGregor** desires to do something - for the purposes of argument it does not matter what - and where he desires to begin is at the word " herbs." If that be so, then the amendment would preclude any request in reference to any preceding words; and **Senator Millen';,** request has reference to all the words which precede '" herbs. " {: #debate-13-s27 .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH:
Victoria -- I would point out that we can deal with the words of the item and then proceed to amend the figures, but that, having dealt with the figures, we cannot go back to the words, it being laid down by standing order that, a Committee having made an amendment cannot go back. Even if **Senator McGregor's** request were agreed to, we should still be at liberty to- deal with **Senator Millen's** proposal. {: #debate-13-s28 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- There is no limitation upon the nature of the requests we may make to the other House, and on the motion of **Senator Clemons** we have already agreed to request that body to make a new item with regard to confectionery containing glucose. That being so, we hare surely the right to ask it to divide an item into two, and I suggest that **Senator McGregor** should submit his proposal in the form of a request that " Herbs dried, not medicinal " be taken out of item 61 with a view to being made a separate item, or attached to another already in the Tariff. {: #debate-13-s29 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator MCGREGOR:
South Australia -- Another alternative would be to request the House of Representatives to insert after the word " powdered " the words "20 per cent.," upon which **Senator Millen** could move to make the rate 15 per cent. However, I am willing to agree to the suggestion that " Herbs dried, not medicinal " be a separate sub-item, and when the proper time comes I shall move that they be dutiable at 4d. per lb. Bequest (by **Senator McGregor)** agreed to- >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by leaving out the words " Herbs dried, not medicinal." {: #debate-13-s30 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- For the reasons I have given I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty on item 61 15 per <;ent. I ask honorable senators to give a passing, thought to the settlers outback, who can get vegetable diet only in the form of preserved vegetables. {: #debate-13-s31 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania. · Protectionist -- I hope that the Committee will not agree to the request. It is thought that the Commonwealth should be able to successfully carry out the operations necessary to convert fresh vegetables into " vegetables dried, drysalted, concentrated, compressed, or powdered," and therefore the duty has been increased from 15 to 20 per cent. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- The protectionist section of the Tariff Commission did not think that this should be done. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- The free-trade section thought that the Tariff anomalies with regard to vegetables would be best dealt with by imposing an all-round duty of 20 per cent. Its report says - >The rates on the fresh and on the dried or concentrated vegetables are nearly alike. The anomalies would, in our opinion, be removed if a uniform ad val. duty of 20 per cent, were imposed on all fruits and vegetables other than bananas, which should be free. It is thought that a duty of 20 per cent, mav encourage the preserving of vegetables within the Commonwealth. {: #debate-13-s32 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- On various occasions during the Tariff debates, reference has been made to a misleading statement of the recommendations of two sections of the Commission which has been made public. **Senator Needham** has said that he has gathered from that publication that the free-trade section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of 20 per cent, on the vegetables included in this item. . The extract from its report read by **Senator Keating** has furnished half an explanation of the position. I intend to give the other half. The report of the free-trade section - page 156 - is that - >After consideration of existing duties in relation to import values of these goods, we are of opinion that the rates are excessive on. some and out of proportion generally. It went on to show that the *ad valorem* rates on fruits and vegetables ranged from 136 to 15 per cent., and it recommended that, for the sake of simplicity, there should be imposed a uniform duty of 20 per cent., except on bananas, which it was thought should be free. I should consider an all-round duty of 20 per cent, a vast improvement upon the present arrangement, though, of course, no duty can be too low for me. I suggest to **Senator Needham** that in future he should compare statements about the recommendations of the Tariff Commission with the original reports. {: #debate-13-s33 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia .- I hold in my hand a document issued by the Government, purporting to give reliable information about the recommendations of the Tariff Commission. **Senator Clemons** has just shown that it is incorrect, so far as item 61 is concerned, and that it contains many more incorrect statements. That being so, I suggest that it be withdrawn, and a correct statement substituted. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- It would be impossible to set forth, in concise . tabulated form, every recommendation of the Tariff Commission. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- The statement that the free- trade section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of 20 per cent, on the vegetables included in item 61, is misleading. The document is valueless. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- What did they recommend ? {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- I care not what they recommended. We have had placed in our hands a document which is supposed to give reliable information on all items. But it is evident that some of the information given about certain items is misleading. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- They recommended a duty of 20 per cent., subject to certain conditions. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- And that makes all the difference in the world. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- The sooner the leader of the Senate withdraws the document and issues another one the better it will be for us. If it is correct that the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission recommended a duty of 15 per cent. - and T do not know whether it is or not - I feel inclined to support the request of **Senator Millen.** I plead to a certain amount of ignorance as to the possibilities of this item. I notice that in 1906 we imported .£5,777 worth of dried vegetables yielding a revenue of £887. Tn view of the fact that the protectionist' section of the Tariff Commission had an opportunity to travel to all parts of the Commonwealth, and to obtain the fullest information on the subject, I am quite prepared to support their recommendation that the duty should be fixed at 15 per cent. **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South item directly, but to take advantage of the present position of the business to point to the sickening hypocrisy that is evidenced in the proceedings of the Government. They take every opportunity to persecute the cap- tain of every- ship from which a Chinese sailor surreptitiously makes his way ashore. It is not too much to fine an unfortunate ship's captain £100 because a Chinaman has been caught ashore, and here we have the Government barracking for protective duties for Chinese growers of bananas and cabbages. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- No. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- Vegetables have to be grown before they can be dried. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- But not by Chinamen. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- They are grown by Chinese as everybody knows. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- No. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- If the honorable senator does not know that, let him travel round Australia and make himself acquainted with the circumstances of the country which he presumes to represent. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- A Minister of State for the Commonwealth grew cabbages and he was not a Chinaman. I refer to exSenator Playford-. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- One swallow does not make a summer. It is preposterous to find a Ministry that is everlastingly howling about aliens and a White Australia deliberately asking us to enact a Tariff in the interests of alien agriculturists or market gardeners. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- That is only in New South Wales. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- It is only in Sydney that Chinamen grow cabbages **Senator. Colonel NEILD.** - I draw attention to the fact that my speech, amounts to an occasional interjection amidst the eloquence of **.Senator Guthrie;** and having pointed out the enormity of the hypocrisy of which I hold the Government guilty in these matters, I will, say no more. {: #debate-13-s34 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -- -I rise to support the request of **Senator Millen.** Recently, I travelled for about 140 miles through country where there was no herbage. I dare say that Victorians like **Senator Findley,** who have remained in the shadow of this great city, cannot possibly appreciate the hardships which "are endured in such districts: The whole countryside, so far as I travelled, was as bare of vegetation as is the carpet on this floor. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- And the honorable senator got cabbages all the same. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- No; it was a very rare thing indeed to get them. In those places one gets a few preserved vegetables, but not often. If the duty on the article is increased, its price will certainly , be raised. My leader is only asking for attention to be given to the position of the settlers in the way-back districts. I contend that a little consideration ought to be extended to them. Undoubtedly an increased duty will only increase the hardships of persons in the very places where ' we wish to make life as easy as possible. I ask honorable senators not to listen to the cry of Victorians who have not been outside the shadow of Melbourne, but to extend some consideration to the hardy pioneers of the continent. {: #debate-13-s35 .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH:
Victoria -- The last speaker has spoken about the unwisdom of honorable senators listening to Victorians who have never been outside Melbourne. I think it is a very unfair assumption that every Victorian has been confined to Melbourne.I remind **Senator St.** Ledger that in a very recent division some Victorians proved their knowledge ofwhat was done in the farthermost point of Queensland. They gave a vote which showed that they had sympathy for Queensland as well as for Victoria. They recognised that they were Australians first, and that is the attitude which we ought always to take. We cannot conserve more effectively the interests of the far-back settler, who seldom gets vegetables, than by adopting means which will lead to their production in great Quantities here. At present, if this duty has any effect, these vegetables are imported from distant parts. If we could do anything which would lead to the preservation of vegetables - which, it must be admitted, can be grown in some parts of Australia as varied and as excellent as they can be grown in any part of the world - we should. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- The honorable senator does not affirm that they are being preserved here now? {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I am not in a position to say ; but I know that in Victoria we have spent a large sum of money in teaching the processes of preserving and drying fruits, and I should say. that the processes of preserving vegetables are not very much different. This duty is designed to encourage the drying of green vege- ables, which we produce in very great abundance at times. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- The question is not a duty *versus* no duty, but why the duty should be increased. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- The honorable senator has suggested the reason, because, in an interjection, he said," You do not affirm that vegetables are being dried here now." I think it must be in the minds of everybody that they could be dried here. All other things being equal, it is desirable that they should be dried here, because they would be more, easily accessible to the far-back settler, who, owing to the peculiar circumstances of his settlement, is unable to grow them for his own use. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- But the honorable senator wants to make him pay more for them. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- No; the honorable senator altogether misrepresents me. I want to induce the local production of them which all experience teaches will lead to a lesser rather than a higher price. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Let the honorable senator ask a cap manufacturer if the imposition of a duty on tweed will make the article cheaper to him. SenatorTRENWITH. - I am not now engaged in answering questions, nor do I propose to ask any. I have some considerable knowledge of the effect of duties. I have watched their operation withvery great closeness for many years, and therefore I am in a position to say, and, if it were necessary, to prove from many instances, that the immediate effect of the imposition of a duty is to induce local production, and the subsequent effect is for the local competition to materially reduce the price, not merely of the local article, but also of the article that is imported and used to be sold at a higher price. That has been the effect, not in one, but in many instances, of the imposition of a duty. I simply urge that in Australia there are times when vegetables are grown in immense abundance, and that any means which would provide an opportunity to dry the surplus, or otherwise make it a useful article for future consumption, would be an advantage both to the settler, and sometimes the somewhat distant settler, who is growing for the markets, and to the settler who has not yet achieved the possibility of growing. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- Did the honorable senator say that settlers in the back country grow vegetables for the market? {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I did not. The object of every settler is to grow some form of vegetable for' the market. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- Evidently the honorable senator does not know anything about the interior of Australia. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I venture to say that, as a matter of actual observation, I know as much of Australia - not merelyone part of it - as do most, honorable senators. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- And the result of the honorable senator's knowledge is that every settler is trying to grow some form of vegetable for the market. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- Well, every agricultural settler is. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Oh ! {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- We ' had agriculturists in our minds. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I had not, when I spoke. I was speaking of men in the back country. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I know my honorable friend's extreme .smartness, and his readiness to take up a very slight slip. What I urge is that this duty is capable of developing an industry in the drying and preserving of vegetables for1 the use of those who are unable to grow them or obtain them in the green state. Therefore, * it will create employment for some settlers to make easier the lives of some other settlers in far distant parts of the country. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [8.46].. - I find that there was a duty of 1:5 per cent, under the old Tariff. When I am in doubt I always look to the recommendations of the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission. In this instance I find that they have recommended a duty of 15 per cent. I think that that ought to be satisfactory to the Committee. {: #debate-13-s36 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator MCGREGOR:
South Australia -- I am sorry that I cannot adhere to the recommendation of the protectionist section of the -Tariff Commission in this instance. I have seen in Victoria a load of cauliflowers, 32 dozen, sold for 2s. 6d. If the industry of drying vegetables was more fully established in this State and the other States, it would be better for the " poor producer " of whom we hear so much. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- Would he dry his cauliflowers? {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator MCGREGOR: -- They can be compressed. I have seen and . actually used compressed vegetables, and so has **Senator Guthrie.** {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- So have I, but I have never seen compressed cauliflowers all the same. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR: -- There are different kinds of compressed vegetables to suit the tastes of all sorts of people. I have another reason for voting for the proposed duty. **Senator St.** Ledger is very anxious to know why some of us depart from the recommendations of the Tariff Commission. I am doing so in this instance because **Senator Symon** is so anxious to stick to our recommendation. He is an avowed free-trader. I like to be on the other side from him, and therefore I shall vote for the recommendation of the free-trade section of the Commission. I am actually afraid of myself when I am on the same side as the honorable senator. The free-trade section's recommendation is 20 per cent. They must have had very good reasons when they -went to such extremes in the direction of protection. So little sympathy has been extended by honorable Senators to- the recommendations of the free-trade section that I am glad to have an opportunity of supporting one of them. {: #debate-13-s37 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- We have heard a most determined plea by **Senator Trenwith** for encouraging the industry of preserving and compressing vegetables. One might imagine from 'his enthusiasm that a very important industry was at stake. But the duty paid under the old Tariff for 1906 amounted to only £887. We shall surely not be able to plume ourselves that we have made an important difference to a local industry by the simple addition of 5. per cent, to the duty. The amount received by the Customs represents duty on all sorts of compressed and dried vegetables in every kind of preparation. As far as it is necessary to import these goods it is desirable to have them sold cheaply, because there are some remote parts of the Commonwealth to which fresh vegetables never go. Even in mv own State, which ought to be able to supply vegetables *o* every part of the country, there are plenty of people, living at mines and far away from railway stations, who are unable to get fresh vegetables. The form in which these goods are mostly imported is that of prepared potatoes, which are a fair substitute for fresh vegetables when none other can be obtained. This is a revenue duty imposed on a very limited class of persons. In my opinion, what we really ought to do is to make the item free. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- That would be something worth talking about. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I should infinitely prefer to have it made free. If **Senator Millen** will withdraw his request I will submit another one. Request, by leave, withdrawn. Request (by **Senator Clemons)** proposed - >That the House of Representatives be requested to make item *61* free. {: #debate-13-s38 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- I should not have spoken on this item had not **Senator Clemons** submitted this request. In. fact, I do not know that I should have even taken the trouble to vote, because it seems to me to be ridiculous to take up time in debating a difference of 5 per cent. in what must in any case be a revenue duty. It is absolutely idle to talk of this being anything else. The bulk of the goods affected are preserved potatoes. At one time I had the experience of having to spend nine months in the interior of Western Australia, where we could get no fresh vegetables. We had to face the question of what we were going to do for vegetable food, and the wholesale grocer whom we consulted said, " The best form in which you can take them is that of preserved potatoes." These goods are all imported. What is the use of talking about a local industry in such a line as this, when the number of people so situated as to require dried vegetables are so few that if all the preserved potatoes consumed in Australiawere put up in the country it would not keep one factory going ? It is simply a waste of time to argue about the difference between15 per cent. and 20 per cent. Let us either make the duty prohibitive or make the item free. I would rather vote for 30 per cent. than 15 per cent., but I welcome the opportunity of voting to make the item free, because if that be agreed to it will have the effect of reducing the price. {: #debate-13-s39 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
Western Australia -- It is very difficult to act consistently in framing a Tariff when we find some honorable senators so zig-zag in their voting. In this instance we are dealing with goods which are at all events produced by white men. - It is now proposed that they shall come in free. . {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- I voted for bananas to be free. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I am not reflecting upon the vote which my honorable friend intends to give. But we have already decided to tax bananas, which in this country are wholly produced by Chinamen, and now we are asked to make dried or preserved vegetables free. I know that the preserving of these goods is done by white men. But though it is hard to vote consistently, yet, as these goods are a food, consumed by a very small section of the community, I think that any consideration we can extend to them would be proper. I shall vote to place the item on the free list. Question - That the House of Representatives be requested to make item 61, " Vegetables, dried, &c," free - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 12 NOES: 0 Majority ... ... 2 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. Request (by **Senator Millen)** proposed - That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by making the duty ad val. 15 per cent. **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [9.1]. - I draw attention to the fact that a great deal of time is being occupied by clamorous demands on the part of a silent Government. The Government are silent, but have put up other honorable senators to clamour, and time is being wasted over an attempt on the part of Ministers to increase the annual revenue by the momentous sum of something less than £360. I offer my honorable friend opposite my congratulations on being so perfect an adept in the art of wasting public time. Question put. The Committee divided. AYES: 11 NOES: 15 Majority ... ... 4 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [9.5]. - I move - That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty on item 61 (imports from the United Kingdom), ad val. 15 per cent. **Senator** Guthrie. - In Holland. Question put. The Committee divided. AYES: 8 NOES: 19 Majority ... ... 11 AYES NOES Question resolved in the negative. Request negatived. {: #debate-13-s40 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by adding the following new paragraph: - "a. Herbs dried, not medicinal, per lb., 4d." I have already explained my object in proposing to remove this line from the paragraph relating to dried vegetables, and shall not delay the Committee by making any further observations on the subject. {: #debate-13-s41 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- This appears to be **Senator McGregor's** special little bantling. He introduced it to the Committee in a comparatively offhand way as a proposal he expected us to carry straightaway, but I think we ought to know a little of the history of the proposal. Had it not come before the Tariff Commission I suppose that the Government would not have embodied it in the Tariff. It represents the request of one decent man, against whom I have nothing to say, who was working on a block" of about 10 acres on One Tree Hill, near Adelaide. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- One Tree Hill is the name of a district. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I learned that the block was on One. Tree Hill, because of the following question which **Senator McGregor** put to this man when he appeared before the Commission - >Is it a workman's block that you hold on One Tree Hill? - Yes; it is all wild bush country. 1 want to premise that I sympathize with this little chap, so to speak, but I desire to point out the circumstances under which we are asked to impose this ditty of 4d. per lib. Dried herbs are used chiefly in the manufacture of sausages, and probably by all skilled cooks. The introduction of herbs doubtless improves many things that we eat, but that is hardly the question before us. The following questions were put to the witness - > >The price at which you sell your produce is 4d. ner lb. ? - The price varies according to the cost. > >Do you sell much at 4d. per lb.? - Yes; I sell ton lots at that price. > >Do you sell many ton lots? - No. > >How. many tons does your farm producer - Last year was a good year, and I harvested a little over two tons. That was the production for the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- These honorable senators who are so much amused are the friends of the small producers ! {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I do not wish to be hard upon this little man. But are we seriously to be asked to levy a duty of 4d. per lb. upon the herbs which he produces and sells at that price, seeing that his total production for the year was only 2 tons? I expect to hear, shortly, that a vast amount of labour is employed in the industry, so I propose to read **Mr. Westley's** evidence upon that point. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- Is he the only man who is engaged in the industry ? {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- He told us that the labour which he employed consisted of his two little boys, and his one little girl. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- Does he pay proper wages ? {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- As they are his own children, he is not called upon to pay them. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- They are not very little, seeing that -they are over seventeen years of age. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- But when they were first employed in the industry, they were little toddlers. The witness further stated that he might be able to employ two boys, and possibly three, if he had to pay them 15s. per week each. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- That is the labour which he could employ upon a 10-acre block. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- This case seemed to be regarded as so important that, at some trouble, I have looked up the digest of the evidence tendered to the Commission. This witness, for whom I feel sorry- {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- The honorable senator's sorrow is not very deep. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: **- Senator McGregor** must not make nasty remarks of that kind. My point is that there is a ridiculous want of proportion in his proposition. If we. are expected to expend our sympathy upon every little man in the Commonwealth, where shall we land ourselves? The thing will degenerate into a huge farce. We are asked to give a protection of 100 per cent, upon the production of dried herbs, notwithstanding that there is not the faintest chance of any of these herbs being imported irrespective of whether or not any duty is imposed upon them. I suppose that nine out of every ten householders in the Commonwealth ' grow their own herbs. If the intention of **Senator McGregor** is to establish an industry by means of this duty, his proposal is a ridiculous one, whereas, if his desire is to levy a duty upon cooks, it goes too far. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- One hundred per cent, ought to be sufficient to start an industry. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Exactly ; but the question is whether an industry exists at all, and, if so, whether we ought to de,velop it. The value of **Mr. Westley's** output, at the prices ait which he sold it, was *£60.* Yet we are asked to levy a duty of 100 per cent, upon these dried herbs. {: #debate-13-s42 .speaker-K7L} ##### Senator STORY:
South Australia **.- Senator Clemons** has not dealt quite fairly with the grower- with the " nice little man " - to whom he has referred. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- Does the honorable senator call this an industry? {: .speaker-K7L} ##### Senator STORY: -- In addition to the " nice little man " to whom **Senator Clemons** has referred, there are quite a number of small-block holders, not. only in the. district of One-Tree Hill, but in the Adelaide Hills, who derive n> considerable proportion of their livelihood from the growing and drying of herbs. Quite a number of market-gardeners depend for a good portion of their livelihood upon the cultivation of herbs. I should like to read to the Committee the letter written by **Mr. Westley** to the Tariff Commission; in which he stated his case. Honorable senators will then be able to see what induced the protectionist section of that body to recommend the imposition of a duty of 4d. per lb. upon dried herbs. **Mr. Westley's** letter reads - {: .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator Mulcahy: -- Whose statement did **Senator Clemons** read ? {: .speaker-K7L} ##### Senator STORY: -- He quoted some of the evidence given by **Mr. Westley,** but he did not quote it fairly as I shall presently show. He merely selected one or two paragraphs for the purpose of ridiculing the proposal to levy a duty of 4d. perlb. upon dried herbs. **Mr. Westley's** letter is dated 9th March, 1905, and reads- >One-Tree Hill, S.A., 9th March, 1905. > > *The Royal Commission on the Commonwealth Tariff* > >Dear Sirs, > >Some twelve years since I was induced by our Government appealing to our people to settle on the land. I accordingly invested my bit of capital, and took land up at One Tree Hill- > >After clearing and planting my land with the help of my family, I went in extensively for the growing of herbs (thyme, sage, *&c.).'* At this time I was assisted in my venture by a protective duty of 2d. per lb., which just enabled us to make both ends meet, but on the Federal Government rearranging the Tariff this duty was abandoned, and as a consequence we are now unable to grow the stuff to compete with the imported article, the result being that my years of labour money, together with the labour of my family, have been absolutely thrown away, and now instead of having something to depend upon, I have to find work away from home, besides either abandoning my block or trying to replant with something else in place of herbs which means further expense and labour, and which I am notin a position to do, as we would have to wait too long for results. > >I would respectfully suggest to the Commission that by the imposing of, say, a 4d. duty per lb.on this article they would be helping to keep myself and others on the land, and this commodity not being used heavily the duty would not press on the consumer.I do not propose calling any evidence, asI cannot afford to lose the time it would entail, but leave my case in the hands of the Commission and trust to the favorable consideration of this matter at their hands. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Would this industry come under' the new protection ? {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- The honorable senator ought to be fair to the witness and to say that he did not write that statement himself. A friend of his wrote it for him. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- That is playing it low down. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Many a person has had to write a letter for me, and there is no disgrace in that. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- **Senator McGregor** knows perfectly well that I did not make the statement in any hostile spirit. {: .speaker-K7L} ##### Senator STORY: -The letter continues - >The Commission must fully see the injustice to us workers being compelled to look for fresh fields of labour after putting the best years of self and family in, by having the markets' for our growing commodities taken from us. The idea that **Senator Clemons** has attempted to convey to the Committee is that dried herbs can be sold for 4d. per lb., when as a matter of fact **Mr. Westley** told the Commission that it is worth 3d. per lb. merely to dry them. His complaint is that there is no possible chance of his obtaining a living from the production and drying of herbs without a sufficient protection. He further pointed out that his land having been used for the cultivation of herbs is altogether unfit for grazing purposes. He embarked upon the enterprise with the aid of a protective duty under the old South Australian Tariff, and now that that duty has been abolished he asks that it shall be re-imposed. A number of honorable senators ridicule the idea that a small industry should be protected. I contend that a. small industry, if native to the country, is just as deserving of protection as is a large industry. If we take a number of small industries, each of which may seem scarcely worthy of protecting, we shall find that in the aggregate they employ a large amount of labour. Each of the persons engaged in them is a customer of other manufacturers, and it is not fair, therefore, to ridicule this industry merely because it is of small dimensions. I hope that the Committee will not laugh out **Senator McGregor's** proposition, but will consider the interests of the small man on the land as well as those of the large city manufacturer. {: #debate-13-s43 .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator MACFARLANE:
TASMANIA · FT -- I should like to explain the reason why a duty of 20 per cent. was imposed upon this item in another place in lieu of 4d. per lb. The statement was made that these dried herbs were the raw material of butchers and sausage manufacturers, and consequently the item was allowed to pass upon the voices. To urge that the industry is a struggling one is a farce. Herbs can be grown in any State in Australia without the least difficulty, and any cook in the community can dry them sufficiently for ordinary purposes. Question - That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by adding the following new paragraph " a, Herbs, dried, not medicinal, per lb., 4d." (Senator McGregor's request) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 16 NOES: 12 Majority....... 4 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Request agreed to. Request (by **Senator Gray)** put - That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 61 by making the duty on "Herbs dried" (imports from the United Kingdom), 3d. per lb. The Committee divided. AYES: 3 NOES: 22 Majority....... 19 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. Item 62. Onions in their natural state, per cwt., is. {: #debate-13-s44 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- - I move- >That the House of Representatives be requested to make item 62 free. The duty will be operative only in time of drought. The official statistics show that the years when we had the big importation, of onions were the drought years, when the crops failed in Australia. This is a duty on food, and will press hardly' on the people at a time when food is scarce. It is of no advantage to the producer when onions are plentiful, because then the price goes down to zero. {: #debate-13-s45 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- There is no proposition to alter the old rate of duty in this case. The argument used by **Senator Pearce** has been advanced and replied to here and in another place, not on onions, but on other items such as wheat, hay, and various other products which it has been the policy of the Commonwealth, since we have had a Commonwealth Tariff, to protect. In times of drought, the drought is not general throughout the whole of the Commonwealth, and there are parts which can produce what Other parts lack. An illustration was given to-day in connexion with one of the staple products of Queensland, honorable senators from which State told us that there have been shortages due to cyclones, but that under the normal conditions of Australia) they can produce bananas enough to meet the requirements of Australia. So, under normal conditions, the onions required in Australia can be produced if not in one State then in another. The largest importation of onions from any single country last year came from Japan. **Senator Pearce's** proposition is to' throw open to Japan a greater market in Australia for its onions. During the last few years important cases have come before the Courts in New South Wales in connexion with contracts arising out of the supply of onions from Japan. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- Unfortunately. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- It is unfortunate, when the buyers might have gone to other parts of the Commonwealth and obtained equally good onions, but apparently they had a prejudice against Australian onions. I Hope the Committee will retain the old duty. The argument used by **Senator** Pearce might be applied with equal force to other items that will come later, and I trust that the Committee will deal with all these items in the same way. {: #debate-13-s46 .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY:
New South Wales '. - I have the misfortune to know a little about .the practical part of onion growing. Theoretically, the Minister of Home Affairs may imagine that when there is a dearth in one part of Australia there is plenty in another, but in practice that is not so, so far as the public arc concerned. The public appear to " be considered very little in this Chamber. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- That is unfair. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY: -- It is absolutely correct. Here is a case in point with regard to onions. The Minister of Home Affairs knows absolutely nothing of the subject, when he says that at a time of dearth in one part there is a sufficiency in another, part of Australia. I was at one time perhaps the largest grower of onions in New South Wales, and I know something of the subject. Last year and the year before onions went up to ^28 per ton, and the public -had to pay extraordinary prices. Onions are used very largely by the working classes ; and, but for those imported from Japan at the time mentioned, there would have been none on the market. Onion-growing is principally a Victorian industry, a>nd the market is rigged by those interested in their cultivation in that State. **Senator Pearce** is doing good work in showing what protection run mad will do for the working classes of Australia in times of drought and adversity. Onions are a, necessary and healthy food of the people ; and, in face of the facts, it is absolute hypocrisy to say that, in all circumstances, there is a sufficient supply for the people at a reasonable price. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [9.47].- This is a duty which operates only in time of scarcity, and increases the price to the consumer; and **Senator Pearce** has not presented the matter too Strongly. The argument, as the Minister says, applies to a great many other items; and, to my mind, it applies very strongly to the duty on cattle, sheep, and so forth, and most obviously to onions. This is not a protective duty in any sense of the term, because it does not encourage the production of one onion more. The supply, except in bad seasons, is amply sufficient to meet the consumption ; and we ought to regard the duty from the point of view of what its effect will be. In 1903, which was the first year of .the full operation of the finally revised Tariff, 1,190 cwt. of onions were imported, as compared with 1,248 cwt. in 1904, and 50,348 cwt. in 1905, when there was a 'shortage owing to bad seasons. The latter was the year in which the price of onions rose to an abnormal figure; and no duty of *£1* per ton would have kept out onions at such a time, though, of course, the impost would add that amount to the price. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- Even in drought years onions are exported. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- The honorable senator anticipates me. Of course, it paid J apan, . the United States, and other places, to send onions here when the price was from £2 5 to £30 per ton, and the impost of a duty of is. per cwt, merely added to the price. As I have been reminded, it suits our own people, even in times of drought, to make little shipments of onions to places which are no doubt less favored than Australia. **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [9.51]. - This is another attempt of this White Australia-hypocritical . Government to support, as far as possible, with a protective duty, a Chinese industry. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- It is not a Chinese industry. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel NEILD: -- I say that it is ; and I know .what I am talking about. In the Wellington district of New South Wales, for instance, the Chinese cultivation of onions is a great flourishing industry, just as is" the Chinese cultivation of bananas in Queensland. This may be described as the Chinese Customs Duties Government, because they are falsifying all their professions, both as to. a White Australia and as to British preference. The Government are dragging themselves, or being dragged, through mud of the most pestilential character, in a way that no set of gentlemen, with any self-respect or honour, would permit. Bananas, vegetables, and onions all represent Chinese industries which are being supported and protected by the champions of a White Australia. {: #debate-13-s47 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- - I cannot understand the Minister of Home Affairs objecting to my argument on the ground that it has been used before. Of course, the argument has been used before, and has probably been presented in a much better fashion than I can present it. The honorable gentleman has tried to raise the bogy of Japan as a possible competitor., but he cannot have paid very close attention to the statistics, or he would have seen that Australia, so far from being an importer, is a huge exporter. In 1904 the exportation was represented by 105,000 cwt. of onions, and in 1906, which the Minister of Home Affairs has instanced as a time when there were some importations, I find that the latter were represented by 13,000 cwt., while the exports amounted to 52,000 cwt. It would be as sensible to impose a duty on wool. {: #debate-13-s48 .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator MULCAHY:
Tasmania -- If we adopt the suggestion of **Senator Pearce** we must logically follow the same course in regard to other food items. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Have all free ! {: .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator MULCAHY: -- I remind **Senator Clemons** that the farmers of. Tasmania entered Federation because they were assured of the Federal market on advantageous terms. If we make onions free we ought also to make potatoes free. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- Quite so. {: .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator MULCAHY: -- All I can say is that, from my knowledge of the farmers of Tasmania, a great many of them consented to Federation only because they thought the Australian markets would be open to them without competition or interference from outside. Tasmanian farmers last year accepted as low as *£1* 5s. per ton for potatoes because there was a plentiful crop, and yet it is now sought to deprive them of the market at times when there is an opportunity to obtain a better price. I happened to be Minister of Lands in Tasmania when the first Tariff was being discussed in this Chamber, and I know that strong pressure was brought to bear, by myself amongst others, on honorable senators in this connexion. {: .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator Gray: -- Can the honorable sena tor give an instance of potatoes being imported ? {: .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator MULCAHY: -- It is quite understandable that there may be a time of medium production in Tasmania and Victoria, and of large production in New Zealand ; and yet, if **Senator Pearce's** proposal be adopted, the growers of Australia will be brought into competition with the producers of a State which refused to join the Union. {: #debate-13-s49 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria **.- Senator Neild** a few moments ago worked himself into a frenzy, and made the sweep ing assertion that onion growing is a Chinese industry. In that,. I think the honorable senator did an injustice to his own State, in which there are many oniongrowers other than Chinese. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -- Who said there were not? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- The honorable senator has said that this is essentially a Chinese industry, but in doing that he libelled a. number of deserving citizens of his own State. However, it is only one of those wild sweeping assertions made simply for the purpose of saying something on a subject of which the honorable senator knows nothing. *The* onion industry is' a big one, not only" in Victoria, but in almost every other State of the Commonwealth, and, as the electors Happen to have proclaimed in favour of a protective policy, onion-growers are entitled to a measure of protection. In the Portarlington and western districts of Victoria there are numbers of white men growing onions, and they have asked for a duty of 5s. per. cwt. to protect them from the competition of Italy and Japan, where labourers work longer hours and receive lower wages than are customary in Australia. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- Does the honorable senator regard the duty as protective? If a duty of 5s. per cwt. were imposed it would only add to the price of onions. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- There is no like lihood of Australia being without onions if encouragement is given to our farmers. It would not be logical to wipe out the local onion industry on the ground that those engaged in it aremostly Chinamen - thoughI do not admit that that is so - and allow onions to be imported free from Japan. Those who are consistent protectionists should see that consideration is given to onion growers as well asto other primary producers. {: #debate-13-s50 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania . -This item - and there are others likeit - shows how the ordinary member of Parliament fears his constituents. Nothing could be more illusory than this duty. But it is astonishing- what effect the statement that we ought to consider the farmers has upon honorable senators generally. In my opinion, a number of honorable senators regard this as a useless duty, and yet are afraid to allow onions to be admitted free. Of course, I do not refer to protectionists like **Senator Findley,** though I am surprised that he is content with as low a duty as is. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- I cannot get more. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Would the honorable senator vote for a duty of 10s. ? {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- No, though I do not think that such a duty would have much effect, except perhaps in times when there was a failure of the crops. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- When the oniongrowers would be onion buyers. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Yes. I do not propose to try to gull the farmers by telling them that I have voted for duties on onions, potatoes, and other produce. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Surely the honorable senator will take notice of the requests on the part of the growers for a higher duty ? {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I know nothing about that. For years past Australia has been exporting large quantities of onions. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- One man has done well by buying up the Victorian crop, exporting the surplus to New Zealand, and realizing higher prices on what remained. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- No doubt. Victoria is the home of such practices. . More than one attempt has been made here to increase the price of onions in that way. I have sat on the Opposition side of the chamber almost as long as I have been in this Parliament; but. although 1 and a few others may be regarded as insane freetraders, I did not expect that my insanity would be pointed out by an honorable senator sitting on these benches. We have been told that at the inauguration of Federation there was a sort of agreement with Tasmania that_ there should be a duty on onions, but I never heard of it before. It is a common protectionist gag to tell" the electors that Australia needs Inter-State free-trade and protection against the outer world. Protectionists who use it try to induce the poor fool of a farmer to believe that th'y are actively engaged in bringing about Inter-State free-trade. 1 am not going to tell the farmers of Tasmania that, although I believe in freetrade, I shall take precious good care "that their onions and apples are protected. I have said to them that I believe that freetrade is good for all, and I shall apply it whenever and wherever I can. I am not going to make an opportunity to vote to place every item on the free list; but I shall certainly do what I can to make articles of food free. I shall therefore vote te remove the duty on onions. {: #debate-13-s51 .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH:
Victoria -- The last speaker has spoken of the poor fool, the farmer, having been gulled. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- He is gulled too often. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- I have never discovered that the farmer, poor or rich, was a greater fool than the average citizen surrounding him. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- He is a busy man who is making money for the Commonwealth, and he has no time to spare for the study of politics. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- Usually the farmer is a busy man, and therefore may be assumed to know his business-. Experience teaches us that wherever he gets a duty imposed on a product he desires to maintain that protection. It is said' that because Australia is an exporter of onions the duty must necessarily be inoperative. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- No;"" ornamental also. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- The farmers themselves do not agree with that doctrine. We export a great deal more wheat than onions. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Does the honorable senator want a duty on wheat? {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator TRENWITH: -- There is a duty on wheat, and when it was proposed not very long ago to remit that duty there was an outcry from the farmers against its remission. That shows that the farmers felt the protection to be operative and to be an advantage to them, and therefore they clamoured for its maintenance. **Senator Neild** has said that onion growing is a Chinaman's industry. It is quite obvious that he does not know anything about onion growing in Australia, except in one little portion of it. He has proved that in . that part of New South Wales which he mentioned it is a Chinaman's industry, but certainly in Australia it is not. It is not a Chinaman's industry in Victoria, where a great many more onions are grown than in New South Wales. Nor is it a Chinaman's industry in South Australia, where also a great many more onions are grown than in New South Wales: one district alone - Mount Gambier - grows more onions than are grown in New South Wales, and grows them with white men, too. {: #debate-13-s52 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- Since I addressed the Committee reference has been made to the fact that during last year and at other times the Commonwealth has been an exporter of onions. What would be the possible position of the Commonwealth if the request of **Senator Pearce** were agreed to? Since 1902 - in fact since 1901 - there has been a duty of 20s. a ton on onions coming into the Commonwealth, and what has taken' place has been governed by that as well as by other conditions. Prior to Federation, there was a duty levied in each State excepting New South Wales, where onions were admitted free. In Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia tlie duty was 20s. a ton, while in South Australia it was 40s. a ton. In 1899 New South Wales imported from the other colonies in the group and from other countries 180,655 cwts. of onions, of which 46.215 cwts. came from New Zealand. The total importation of onions in the six States last year amounted to only 13,155 cwts. When New South Wales had no duty she imported fourteen times the quantity of onions that the whole Commonwealth now imports under a duty of is. a cwt. If the duty were taken off, New South Wales, instead of getting, as she does now, so many onions "from the other States, would turn again to New Zealand, Italy, Japan, and the United States, and of course other parts of the Commonwealth would do the same. It is a reasonable and fair thing that we should protect these industries. **Senator Clemons** stated just now that, to a certain extent, to impose this duty as a protection to the farmer as to gull the farmer. I do not share his view, nor do I think that the farmers as a rule do. Apart altogether from candidates standing for the Federal Parliament, I know that when Tasmania was asked in- 1899 to enter the Commonwealth one of the strongest arguments used by the farmers who doubted the wisdom of their colony taking that step was that they would lose their own protective duties. They were told, "Never mind that; you will get free-trade within the Commonwealth and protection against the world." That was said to them, not by candidates, because no elections were pending then, but by federalists, including even the ordinary' free-trade newspaper. I have' in my possession an article in which one of the most important free-trade newspapers in Tasmania told the farmers that they would get free-trade within the Commonwealth and protection against the world, and that they need not fear to enter the Federation, and that, I think, is what the farmers believed in. Since then candidates have gone before them to advocate protection or free-trade, as the case may be. But to say that they have been gulled by those candidates is, I think, wrong. As regards this item, it is a fair thing to extend to the farmers throughout the Commonwealth the measure of protection which the duty on onions has afforded to them since 1901. ' If we opened our markets to New Zealand, Japan, the Straits Settlements, and the United States, and allowed their producers to compete here on even terms with our own farmers, I do not think that there can be any doubt in the mind of any reasonable mail that our own growers would suffer prejudice and disadvantage. {: #debate-13-s53 .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON:
Tasmania .- I find that fixing up a Tariff is a very wearying and irritating task." I am hear,tily sick of it. I have listened over and over again to arguments which I heard six years ago. When I found that certain items affecting the agriculturists were proposed to and passed by another place very much in the form in which they were settled in the Tariff of 1902, I thought that they would be adopted here without much debate, but I find that such is not the case; and that we are listening to identically the same arguments couched in exactly the same words as we listened to for nine months s:x years ago. I have just listened to two speeches about Tasmania from Senators Clemons and Mulcahy, and I believe that the latter has given us the. true version of the case. If **Senator Clemons** were here I would remind him that before we had Federal electors to deal with we each had to face State citizens and persuade them to accept the Constitution Bill. I do not know very much of what took place in the north of my State, but I. can state that in the south, without exception, every candidate and every newspaper, in order to induce, the farmers to accept the Constitution Bill and thereby fix up what **Senator Mulcahy** called a compact, assured them that they would have protection against the outside world, although they would have to face free-trade within the Commonwealth. **Senator Clemons** ought to know that the people of Tasmania are particularly frightened about the farmers of New Zealandand very properly so. The man in New Zealand has better soil, he has more of it, and there are in that country a very large number of educated farmers from Great Britain. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- But the cheap labour argument cannot apply to New Zealand. The New Zealand farmer pays higher wages than the Tasmanian farmer does. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator DOBSON: -- The New Zealand farmer is, as a rule, better educated, is accustomed to high farming, and makes his land exceedingly productive. It is for these reasons that the farmers of Tasmania are particularly afraid of their New Zealand competitors. Given equal terms, the New Zealand farmer would be able, as to some items, to knock us out. That being the case, and we having debated month after month what these duties ought to be, by what principle of continuity of policyare we to strike out the duty in this instance? Why not give a moderate amount of protection to our farmers ? It is true that the duty could not operate in five years out of six. But it 'can operate in some years, and by retaining it we shall carry out the compact under which the farmers entered into federation. Every argument used by **Senator Clemons** applies equally well to potatoes, wheat, and barley. If we are going to knock out this duty, are we going to negative the duties on a score of other items to which the House of Representatives have agreed? Personally, I believe that when we have done with the Tariff it will be a worse Tariff than the old- one ; but at the same time the principle running through it is more protection. We have to bow to the majority in both Houses. According to my understanding of my duty, and of what my constituents expect of me, I must vote against the request. Question - That the House of Representatives be requested to make item 62, " Onions," free (Senator Pearce's request) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 7 NOES: 20 Majority ... 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. Item agreed to. Item 63. Potatoes in their natural state, per cwt., is. {: #debate-13-s54 .speaker-KMT} ##### Senator GRAY:
New South Wales -- I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to make item 63 free. I need not take up time in advocating this request. The same arguments apply to potatoes as to onions. Question put. The Committee divided. AYES: 8 NOES: 19 Majority ... ... 11 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Request negatived. Item agreed to. Item 64. C.Tain andPulse, not prepared or manufactured - **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [10.32]. - The duty on barley under the first Federal Tariff has been increased from1s. 6d. to 2s. per cental. I should like to know whether there is any reason why such an increase should be made. {: #debate-13-s55 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -- The Government sometimes stand very strongly bv the recommendations of the Tariff Commission, and it would be well for them to indicate their attitude on this question. On both sides there appears to be an air of sensible compromise, and it might be well to throw out the suggestion to the Government that they should make it clear what they intend to do. If they are going to stand obstinately by some proposals thev may possibly give rise to a fight ! {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Is this a threat? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- By no means. I think too much of the dignity and power of the Senate and of the Government to believe that either would be influenced by a threat of any kind. It is a hint. Although we ought to expedite the consideration of the Tariff, we are not making much progress. The whole of the commercial world desires to have it settled. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Then let us divide now and save a lot of time. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I am simply throwing out a hint, and I think that it is worthy of the consideration of the Government with a view to expediting- business. {: #debate-13-s56 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Minister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- The reason for the increased duty on barley is that one section of the Tariff Commission recommended that the "duty of is. 6d. under the first Federal Tariff should be raised to 2s. per cental. The printed document circulated amongst honorable senators shows that the other section of the Commission made no specific recommendation with regard to the item. A large quantity of barley is imported chiefly from the United States and England, and is used for malting. An excellent, bright barley is produced to a large extent in Tasmania, as well as in other parts of the Commonwealth, and it is thought that, an increased duty may induce our brewers' to direct more attention than they have done to the local production. I hope that honorable senators will adopt the recommendation of the protectionist section of the Tariff Commission. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [10.38]. - I should like to know whether paragraph b includes maize. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- It includes oats, and wheat. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- And every other kind of grain except barley. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- Then I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 64, by inserting the following new paragraph - "aa - Maize grown by British settlers in the New Hebrides, free." I should have preferred to move a request that maize generally be free for a reason 'that I have already given, and which I do not propose to repeat. I have not done so since the result of a number of divisions on such items as onions and potatoes, which are articles of food, leads me to believe that it would probably be unsuccessful. I put my request upon the broad ground that it will enable honorable senators who are preferentialists to vote for a preference near at hand, and one that is demanded by the interests of British settlers in the New Hebrides, which are of great concern to us, and in respect of which, in relation to the joint French occupation, a very great deal of discussion has taken place: There is no doubt that the mind of Australia has been very much exercised in regard to British interests in the New Hebrides. Unquestionably, our Tariff in relation to maize has had a serious effect in retarding its production in those islands - to the extent, indeed, of seriously injuring British interests there. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Our Tariff can do that only by having the maize produced in Australia instead. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- To what extent will the admission of maize grown by British settlers in the New Hebrides, free of duty, injure Australia ? {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- To the extent that it is imported. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- What a. hollow sham is all this talk about the New Hebrides, if we are not willing to assist our own settlers there. Let us assist them in the direction in which they say that we can assist them effectually. It is a remarkable circumstance that a great proportion of the maize entering the Commonwealth from outside our own borders comes from the New Hebrides. It is imported, despite the duty which is operative, and which is a distinct disadvantage to the British residents in those islands. Unless we are prepared to assist them by admitting their product free, we ought for ever to hold our peace in regard to the set back which British interests have already sustained in the New Hebrides. I propose to read two or three sentences from the report of the High Commissioner in those islands, bearing upon this point, and there I shall leave the matter, because no observations of mine on Behalf of the British settlers in those islands, who are crying- out to us for assistance, can have greater force. In his despatch upon the subject, the High Commissioner says - >The British Solomon Islands have recently greatly developed, in spite of the Australian Tariff.' We must recollect that all these Pacific Islands, which constitute a fringe outside our front door, are greatly dependent for their future success upon what Australia will do for them. {: .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator Chataway: -- Are we not giving a special grant to the British settlers in the New -Hebrides for the production of maize ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Yes. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I am very much obliged to **Senator Chataway** for his interjection. It appears that we are. giving a grant to these settlers for the production of maize, and at the same time excluding that maize from its nearest market. The High Commissioner continues - >More distant islands seem little harmed by that Tariff, but it is precisely in the New Hebrides, in a sense the nearest to Australia, the effect of this Tariff is obvious to any one who visits the place, and, as shown by the Resident Commissioner, has been disastrous to the British settler, especially in comparison to the greater prosperity of the French settler under more liberal conditions offered by French New Caledonia. The Australian Tariff was framed in accordance with the protective policy of the Government, with no direct reference to any of the Pacific islands except that copra, one of the chief and most promising of these exports, was, and is, admitted to the Commonwealth free of duty. But comparatively little copra is as yet produced in the New Hebrides, greatly differing' in this respect from the British Solomon Islands, and the freedom from Australian duty from this article is as yet little if any alleviation of the exceptionally bad position of the New Hebrides. I think I am right in saying that the principal products of the New Hebrides which have been affected by the Australian Tariff are maize and coffee. For the moment, the most important product of British settlers in the New Hebrides is maize, which has been adopted as a catch crop to tide over the time till cocoanuts can be planted, and come into bearing. **Mr. Deakin** recognises that the Australian duty has had a retarding influence on the expansion of maize cultivation in the New Hebrides. After pointing to the advent of French subsidies and of F'rench companies in the islands, as the explanation of the fostering of French as against British interests, the High Commissioner continues - >I venture to think that if Australia, or perhaps as regards that period I should say New South Wales, had similarly and successfully devised *a* means of financially assisting Australian enterprise in the islands, it would have been a more effective way of sustaining the relative importance of British as against French interests in those parts than the mere stirring up from time to time of the Imperial authorities to do something. We must all agree with that statement of the case. Instead of writing long despatches relating to grievances against the Imperial authorities, it would be better for us to secure for these people the market which the French are ready to secure to their own settlers. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- France does not admit maize from the New Hebrides free of duty. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- It allows maize to be admitted into New Caledonia free of duty, with 'the result - as thedespatches show - that British residents inthe New Hebrides who are excluded fromenjoying similar concessions at the hands-- of the Commonwealth are desirous of coming under the aegis of the French. Referring to **Mr. Deakin's** fear that any preference extended to British settlers in the New Hebrides might be taken advantage of by French settlers, **Sir Everard** says - >But I note that the French authorities have found no difficulty in making such concessions to French settlers in the islands. At the risk of going beyond my business, I .would suggest that British grown produce from the New Hebrides might be admitted into Australia under special Tariff conditions, under a certificate of origin from the Resident Commissioner or other suitable official. Of course we know the possibilities of. any preference extended to British settlers in the New Hebrides being taken advantage of by French settlers there. But the remedy for that sort of thing is that which was suggested by **Senator McGregor** in relation to the difficulty of detecting deleterious substances, such as' glucose, in confectionery. We must provide regulations to insure that the privilege is not extended to those to whom it is not intended to apply. Upon these grounds I submit my motion. {: #debate-13-s57 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I have only a few words to say upon this proposition. I ask the Committee not to entertain it, because this is not the place t for it. I submit that an important proposal of this kind should be dealt with in a separate measure. I would point out that the Government have already placed upon -the Estimates the sum of .£500 as a subsidy to British settlers in the New Hebrides on the maize which they grow. In dealing with the subject on a former occasion I said - >There was last year on the Estimates a sum of *£v30,* of which only £73 was expended. That amount was granted to British settlers in the New Hebrides by way of subsidy on their maize to the extent of 6s. a bag. That only involved an expenditure in 1906-7 of ^73. Consequently the British settlers there are encouraged to grow as much maize as they choose, and get this special treatment from us. {: .speaker-K6L} ##### Senator Chataway: -- They do not have to grow it by white labour, do they ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- We make no stipulation in that regard at all, so that we endeavour to subsidize and encourage them in every way. In the circumstances it is unwise to hamper our Tariff with proposals of the kind now put forward. {: #debate-13-s58 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- It is interesting to hear from the VicePresident of the Executive Council the method in which a bounty ought to be applied and what its proper concomitant is. When we give a bounty for the production of articles in Australia we are immediately met with the almost universal cry that to it must be superadded a heavy protective duty. We have solemnly voted a bounty to British settlers in the New Hebrides, and also imposed against them a duty of is. 6d. per cental. We have not only nol enabled them to send their maize in free, but after giving them a grant of £500 in order to induce them to grow it, we impose a. positive penalty of is. 6d. on every cental which they send into the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- And that penalty amounts on the imports of 1906 to ^320 more than the bounty. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Let me translate that into conditions as they would apply in Australia if we treated Australians in "the same way. It is precisely as if we said to the growers of coffee in Australia, " We will give you a bounty of ,£5,000, but for every 1 lb. of coffee that you produce you shall pav an ' Excise duty of 2d. per lb." ' ' {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That is not a parallel. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- It is a precise parallel if we are to regard them as British settlers. Why do we pay them a bounty at all? I suppose **Senator Trenwith** and others will vote for it on some serious ground, which must be that we desire to encourage British settlement in the New Hebrides. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- And help them to look for other markets than our own. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- If we vote £500 as a bounty we shall have to say that we are doing it in order to promote British settlement in the New Hebrides, and to encourage those British settlers in the pur suit of agriculture. Then the very least we can do is to let 'their maize in free. Where else are they to find a market for it? Folly could not proceed further than to subsidize them to grow maize and then impose a duty on it if thev- send it here. I could understand the policy of the Government, although I should not approve of it, if they proposed to exclude from Australia all maize coming from the New Hebrides. That would be rational, but their present position is . incomprehensible; What are we asked to sacrifice? Assuming that we are asked to sacrifice something, the total quantity' that came in last year from the New Hebrides was 8,000 centals. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- And the honorable senator, as a member of the Tariff Commission, recommended a duty of is. 6d. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I did nothing of the sort. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- It appears in this tabulated statement. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- That has been proved incorrect half-a-dozen times. I did not recommend that duty, nor do I believe that any member of the free-trade section of the Commission did so. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- They recommended no alteration of the existing Tariff. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- We simply let the subject entirely alone. Is the sacrifice of ,-£832 worth of duty such an enormous one? All that we are asked to sacrifice,, if it can be called a sacrifice, is that pitiable sum. But, by so doing, we may encourage British settlement in the New Hebrides - an object which is almost equally as important as this protectionist Tariff. I shall support the amendment. {: #debate-13-s59 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- This is another of those items on which I find myself unable to agree with some of my honorable friends on this side. I yield to no one in mY desire to increase the trade connexion between Australia and the Islands of the Pacific. But we must ask what is a fair price to pay, and to what extent we are entitled' to assist the British settlers in the New Hebrides. We are paying a bounty of is. 6d. on every bushel of maize grown by the British settlers in the New Hebrides and imported here. That means a bounty of 2s. 8d. a cental. If they send their maize here, we give them that bounty with the one hand, but we send a Customs officer to take is. 6d. from them with the other. That means that the net bounty which we give them is is. 2d. per cental of their maize landed here. Ordinarily speaking, that would be about 40 per cent, of the value of the article. If we subsidize maize grown in the New Hebrides - which the British settlers have the option of growing by coloured labour - to the extent of 40 per cent., then Australia has done as much in that particular as she can reasonably be asked to do. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- The honorable senator's facts are not correct. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN: -- There is a qualification to which my attention has been directed, and it is that the ,£506 may not be sufficient if the settlers produce larger quantities of maize. Up to the present, however, claimants have found all the money available to which they are entitled. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- How can we expect the bonus to operate in face of the Tariff? {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN: -- Because the bonus is more than the Tariff. Let me divide the maize crop into two portions - that portion which would be sufficient to .absorb the bonus, and that portion which may be in excess. Up to the present enough has hot been produced to absorb the bonus, and it is obvious that we have only that portion to deal with now. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- That shows that the bonus is no temptation in the face of the Tariff. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN: -- If we place maize on the free list, and, at the same time, destroy the bonus, we shall leave the growers is. 2d. per cental worse off than they are at present. We gave a bonus of 2s. 8d. per cental. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- We gave £500, and do not describe it as so much 'per cental. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN: -- Then I say that we have made provision of an amount which it was assumed would be sufficient to meet all claims, and if the claims involve a greater amount it will become the duty of Parliament to consider the propriety of making a larger sum available. At any rate, the settlers at present know that there is now waiting for them here a bonus of- 2s. 8d. per cental, but, in order not to disturb the Tariff, we collect is. 6d., so that there remains a bonus of is. 2d. percental. When we have done that we have done as much as Australia ought to be expected to do for the development of this industry in the New Hebrides. {: #debate-13-s60 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- The position is that the Commonwealth Parliament has granted */I500* as a bonus on the production of maize in the New Hebrides, but that amount has no reference whatever to the total quantity of maize grown there. **Senator Millen,** however, in a sum in arithmetic, arrives at the conclusion that this bonus represents 2s. 8d. per cental, the bonus paid in one year amounting to ^73- {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- The claims made totalled £73. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- But **Senator Millen** mentioned the bonus as 2s. 8d. per cental, and he must have arrived at that by. ascertaining the total amount of the bonus paid. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I arrived at my conclusion on the statement that the payment amounted to 6s. a bag. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- It. comes to precisely the same thing. Supposing the British settlers produced 1,000,000, bags, what would become of the bonus? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- We should have toget some more money ; but we knew that in voting£500 we were over-estimating the amount. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -The Government, with **Senator Millen** joining in with them - which has not been an uncommon occurrence lately - estimated that the sum of £500 would be sufficient to pay a bonus based on 6s. a bag. The bonus, no matter what the amount of it is, is given to encourage the production of maize by British settlers, and not with the intention of limiting the production. It surely is not hoped that the £500 will cause production to absorb that amount and no more, but rather that production will be promoted to the fullest extent? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- That is shown by the vote of£500, when only£73 was claimed. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- What is the position of the settlers, and the limitation which the Government are desirous of imposing upon them? I may be told that the delibe rate desire is to prevent the producers earning more than £500. At any rate we sayto the settlers, " Grow maize and earn the bonus, but you must sell it under our terms and conditions, which involve a duty of1s. 6d. per cental, as soon as you desire to get rid of it." {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- As soon as they desire to get rid of it in Australia. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Where else could they get rid of the maize? Obviously, in some part of Australia. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- New Zealand is just as good. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I do not think that any other country offers a better market for New Hebrides produce than Australia. {: .speaker-KVD} ##### Senator Mulcahy: -- We gave the bounty after the duty had been imposed. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- I am not parti- cularly concerned as to which came first. We are now revising the Tariff, and can make the duty what we like, and it seems the height of folly to give a bounty of £500 to the growers in the New Hebrides, and then prevent them from taking advantage of it. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- They will still have an advantage of1s. 2d. per cental. They get a bounty of 2 s. 8d., from which must be deducted the duty of1s. 6d. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Will they get a bounty of 2s. 8d. if they grow 1,000,000 bushels ? {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- When they grow 1,000,000 bushels, they will not need the bounty . {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Will they get a bounty of 2s. 8d. if they grow 50,000 bushels ? {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Let us deal with things as they are. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS: -- Why should we assume that the small quantity of maize which they are growing to-day is all that they will grow in the future? Are honorable senators prepared to increase the bounty from . £500 to £5,000, if the production in the New Hebrides warrants it? If they do, in the face of this hostile duty, it. will be only wasting so much more money. Request negatived. Item agreed to. Item 65. Grain and Pulse, prepared or manufactured, viz. : - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Bran, Pollard, and Sharps, per cental, is. 1. Wheaten Flour, per cental, 2s. 6d. 2. Corn. Flour, per lb.,2d. 3. N.E.I., including Phosphorized Wheat. per lb.,1/2d. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- Surely the VicePresident of the Executive Council will agree to report progress now. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Let us get as far as item 67. There is practically no alteration proposed. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- These are very debatable items. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Every item seems debatable ; and **Senator Clemons** has occupied half the time in. debating them. **Senator** Clemons.I have only Spoken since dinner. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I have found it impossible to secure an opportunity to speak. If honorable senators are determined to waste time, I shall support the Government in sitting day and night to get the work done expeditiously. Request (by **Senator Clemons)** negatived - >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 65 by making Bian, Pollard, and Sharps free. {: #debate-13-s61 .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator CLEMONS:
Tasmania -- I move - >That the House of Representatives be requested to amend item 65 by making Corn Flour free. The duty on corn flour in the previous Tariff was £d. per. lb., which was regarded by the framers of that Tariff as a revenue duty. As I do not believe in revenue duties on articles of food, I wish to make this item free. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- If the request is negatived, I shall move to reduce the' duty. {: #debate-13-s62 .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING:
Min.ister of Home Affairs · Tasmania · Protectionist -- I am given to understand that corn flour is essentially an Australian product, and one which we, in accordance with the general policy of the Tariff, ought to properly protect. The increase in the duty is due to the fact that the duty on starch flours - of which corn flour is either one or very like one - is proposed in item 104 at 2 1/2d per lb. in the general Tariff, and at 2d. in .the preferential Tariff. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- But starch flour is not an article of food in the same sense as is corn flour, if at all- {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- It is very difficult to distinguish between starch flour and corn flour. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- One is eaten, but the other is not. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator KEATING: -- Apart from the question of food, corn flour and starch flour are used for starching purposes, and are indistinguishable.. It was for that reason that it was thought necessary to bring this item, which is a purely Australian production, info line with item 104. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia) [11.22]. - The Minister of Home Affairs is certainly mistaken in trying to establish any resemblance between corn flour, which is described in the statistics as maizena and corn flour, an article of food, and what is known as starch- flour. I think that he is also mistaken in- saying that corn flour is essentially an article of Australian production. I find that so far as imports are concerned, it is supplied mainly by the United Kingdom. If" we are desirous of establishing some kind of trade favour towards the United Kingdom, the way to do it is by making that article free. I find that it supplies within a comparatively small proportionate quantity the bulk of the maizena and corn flour imported into Australia. It supplies us with I>557»4°3 lbs., and the next largest supply - under 300,000 lbs. - comes from the United States of America. There are two grounds on which this article might be made free, namely, first that it is a food, and secondly to establish some kind of real preference in favour of the United Kingdom. {: #debate-13-s63 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia -- One feeis somewhat diffident at this hour in rising to discuss any item. But in view of the statement by **Senator Cl:mons.** that this is simply a revenue duty, I feel inclined to speak. Under the old duty of £d. per lb. we imported 1,857,937 lbs. of corn flour, and I agree with **Senator Clemons** that it was a revenue duty. It is now proposed to increase the duty to 2d. per lb. {: .speaker-K6M} ##### Senator Clemons: -- That is to make it a heavier revenue duty. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- No, 1 think it means something like prohibition. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- The Customs officers are unable to say how much of the quantity which the honorable senator quoted just now was corn flour and how much of it was starch flour. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- I do not want to enter into a discussion. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- May I be permitted to suggest to the Vice-President of the Executive Council that inasmuch as the last trains will be leaving within a very few minutes, and as I am sure he does not . desire, for the sake of passing one item, that many honorable senators should lose their trains, he should adjourn the consideration of this item, on which I may tell him there will be a long debate? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I recognise that I must either ask honorable senators to sit all night or agree to their going at once. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- It is too late to catch our trams. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- It is not too late. I do not wish to be unfair to honorable senators, and therefore I consent to progress being reported. Progress reported. Senate adjourned at 11.27 P-m-

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 6 February 1908, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.