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Wednesday, 15 August 1906


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The honorable member for Wide

Bay appears to think that because the late Government appointed the Tariff Commission thev should not make any recommendations to the present Government.


Mr Fisher - I did not say anything of the kind.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is how I understood the honorable member. I would point cut that the Tariff Commission which reported to the Victorian Parliament in 1894 adopted exactly the same course that has been followed in this case. The Victorian Commission were asked to inquire into the effect of the Tariff upon local industries, and they made fifty or SixtY recommendations, in each case mentioning the rate of duty that they considered should be imposed. The honorable member contended that there was no precedent in this Parliament for the- action of the Commission. There could not very well be a precedent for their action, for the reason that this is the first occasion upon which a Commission has been called upon to report to this Parliament on the subject of the Tariff. Of what use would be a Commission if it could not give us the benefit of its conclusions in. a specific form? The report before us cannot be regarded as being framed in the interests of any particular party. The Commission comprises members sitting on both sides of the Chamber, who have presented a unanimous report with regard to the question before us. I think that the Commission would have failed in their duty if. after having taken such a large amount of evidence, and having worked so hard for man v months, thev had not made a definite recommendation.' We are not bound to carry out their suggestions, and, as a matter of fact, the Government have not accepted them without modification. We have every reason to be thankful to the Commission for having expressed themselves so definitely upon the important question now under discussion, and I hope that the honorable member for Wide Bay will recognise that his contention is not borne out bv the practice followed in other Parliaments.







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