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Tuesday, 12 December 1905


Mr KING O'MALLEY (Darwin) - I should like the Minister to explain how this measure will help the encouragement of manufactures. At Penguin, in Tasmania, Mr. Ellis, formerly a member of the New South Wales Parliament, has been producing raw iron for many years. He is the first producer of raw iron in this country. What I wish to know is how the Bill will help him.


Mr Watson - It will not come into operation until both Houses have passed a resolution.


Mr KING O'MALLEY - When it does come' into operation, it will only impose a small duty of about 10 per cent., when it ought to impose a dutv of 15 or 25 per cent., or whatever amount may be sufficient to help such a man to carry on his. business.

Sir WILLIAMLYNE (Hume- Minister of Trade and Customs). - Except by means of a bonus, there is no way in which to effectively help industries of this kind up to a certain period, when they get a protective duty. The honorable member knows that he opposed the Iron Bonus Bill:


Mr King O'Malley - I opposed the appropriation of the enormous sum which the Minister was proposing to give away as aprize.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The majority of the House opposed the Iron Bonus Bill and the granting of bonuses.


Mr King O'Malley - If a small amount be offered to a man like Mr. Ellis, I shall vote for the proposal, because he has the works going.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have been acquainted with Mr. Ellis for a great many years. I know that he is quarrying iron stone near the Penguin, but I am not aware that he is smelting iron for raw material.


Mr King O'Malley - He is producing raw iron.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Mr. Ellis is producing iron ore, but not raw iron.


Mr King O'Malley - If the Minister will offer some encouragement, he will produce raw iron.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the honorable member had helped me to pass the Iron. Bonus Bill, as I think he should have done-


Mr King O'Malley - No, because the Minister was going to help the big "boodleiers."


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable member is quite mistaken. What was intended under that measure was to allow any one, no matter whether he was a big or small producer, to gain the advantage of the bonus. I am, and always have been, strongly in favour of giving a bonus. But when I find that it is absolutely impossible to pass that measure, I must try to get as much as I can. What willtake place under this Bill, at any rate, if I have an opportunity to administer it, is that if any one were producing sufficient ore to manufacture one item of importance-


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A bucket?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If, for instance, sufficient iron were being produced from our raw material to manufacture the whole of our wire netting at a price at which it would commandthe market here, I should be quite prepared to come down and move an address in order to bring the duty on that line, into operation.


Mr Page - Suppose that the iron made from Australian ore was not satisfactory, and that the ironmaster had to put in Swedish or American ore, what would the Minister do?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That would not be true Australian iron ore, and it would receive no consideration.


Mr Hutchison - We have the best iron ore in the world.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Iknow that there is plenty of good ore in Australia - and it is not of one particular class either - for flux, and also for giving strength and malleability.


Mr King O'Malley - A Yankee sailor told me that we have better ore than they have at Pittsburg.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I think so, but the honorable member and others would not support the Government, and that is the reason why the ore is not being converted into iron and steel.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - In this Bill there is nothing to support or oppose.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am glad that the honorable member agrees with the Bill, but before a year is passed I think he will find that there is something in it. I have referred to the itemofwire netting; but there are many other articles to be considered. Last night I said that if the steel or iron used in the manufacture of reapers and binders were all made from Australian ore I should submit an address to the House, with a view to bringing into force the duty of 15 per cent. I could instance many other items which could be considered. The Bill is worded in such a way that we can take any particular item, and propose an address in favour of bringing into operation the duty imposed thereon in Division VIa. of the Tariff. It has been worded in this way in order that it may not be necessary for the industry to wait for protection until the whole of the pig iron required to produce all the iron of Australia is being produced. Under this Bill, when 'the two Houses adopt an address, in respect of one, two, three, or four items, protection will be given to the industry.


Mr Mcwilliams - Why not allow the Bill to come into operation at once? Why make it necessary for each House to pass a resolution?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The object is to allow those who desire to invest their capital in the development of this industry to know what is in the mind of Parliament, and to understand that, not an Act, but merely an address will have to be passed in order to give them a part of the protection which they require. Because I do not believe in this as a protectionist measure, considered as such, and having regard to the duties which could be imposed under Division VI.a, I think it is only a make-believe. I hope that the geese on the other side will not cackle so much. The duties which are prescribed in Division VI. a of the Tariff are not what I call protective. I am only applying that division as far as I can at the present time.


Mr Mcwilliams - What does the Minister think would be a fair protection ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE -I should impose a duty of 25 per cent. on reapers and binders, and aduty of 15 per cent. on iron. That is what I should call something like protection. It is not my fault, however, that this Bill will not give the protection which I should like to give. I have to do the best I can in the interest of our industry, and the only course I can take now, without giving an opportunity to the Opposition to raise a hue and cry, and say that we are interfering with the Tariff, and raising the fiscal question, is to take the duties as they are prescribed in Division VIa., and make the best of them. Last night it was stated by either the deputy leader of the Opposition or the honorable member for Macquarie that in New South Wales a duty of 10 per cent. had not been imposed on pig iron. In my second-reading speech, I said that a duty of 10 per cent. had been imposed by the Dibbs Tariff, but on reference to that Tariff this morning, I found that a duty of 10s. per ton was imposed, to come into operation a vear afterwards.







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