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Wednesday, 13 December 1905


Mr BAMFORD (Herbert) - I daresaythat I shall be pardoned by honorable members if I occupy the attention of the House at some length, since I represent No. 1 and No. 2 districts, in which 70 per cent., if not more, of the sugar produced in Australia is raised. The question is to my constituents, as it is to the whole of Australia, one of very great importance ; and I hope, before I have concluded, to place -upon it a different aspect from that which some of the previous speakers, notably the honorable member for Corinella and the honorable member for New England, have sought to impart to it. The honorable member for Parramatta said that four years ago, when this question was being discussed, we had all the facts before us. That could not have been so.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I referred only to the facts as they affected the other trades.


Mr BAMFORD - I shall deal' later on with that phase of the question. In any case we did not know when the original proposal was before us how it was going to operate; nor what would be its effect upon those industries in which sugar is largely used. Now that we have had some experience, we are able to speak with more assurance on the question. Dr. Maxwell refers to this as a great experiment, and there is no doubt that it; is. I think too that it is being conducted with an amount of success which could hardly have been hoped for when the White Australian legislation was- first proposed in this Parliament. When we take into consideration the fact that this industry, not for years but for centuries, has been one conducted entirely with black labour, and that no one believed it possible to carry it on with anything but black labour, it is very satisfactory to find that now in North Queensland, well up in the tropics, we are conducting the industry on entirely new lines with white labour, and with undoubted success. Not! only in other countries, but in Queensland, it had become a belief that black labour or other coloured, cheap, and servile labour, must be used to carry on the production of sugar successfully. The great experiment in which' we are at! present engaged is proving otherwise. For a generation in Australia, and up to the initiation of the White Australia policy of this Parliament, the industry was carried on by black labour, and in the circumstances Dr. Maxwell, in speaking of this as a great experiment, is speaking by the card. As to the results so far attained by the experiment, I find that in No. 1 district, according to Dr. Maxwell's report, there were, in 1902, only thirty-six white growers cultivating an area of 1,882 acres. The number of white growers gradually increased, and in 1905 the number registered for rebate is 124, cultivating an area of 5,024 acres. No. 2 district is called in the report the "central" district, but! it is not properly so called. It is well up in the tropics also. Its southern boundary is at Cape Palmerston, which is 200 miles north of the tropic of Capricorn., and it extends northwards to Townsville, a distance of 200 miles, roughly speaking. It is. therefore, a purely tropical district. In No. 2 district there were, in 1902, 519 white growers, cultivating anarea of 12,333 acres. This year there are 977 white growers, cultivating an area of 28,552 acres.


Mr McWilliams - Can the honorable member give the increases in relation to sugar grown by black labour?


Mr BAMFORD - Proportionately, there has really been no increase in the case of sugar grown by black labour, though there is an actual increase arising from accidental fluctuations, which cannot be accounted for by statistics. We have continued our experiment now for only four years. The fourth crushing has only just been finished from the time at which we commenced it, and the result, as shown by the figures I have quoted, must be considered highly satisfactory, and one of which the White Australia advocates have reason to be proud. A number of people who have hitherto pinned their faith to black labour, and contended that no other is possible in the production of sugar, are to-day desirous of registering under conditions applicable to the employment of white labour. But many of them are now, as a result of the regulations in force, perpetually disqualified from registering as growers of sugar with white labour. They have registered for bounties, and found that, because of circumstances over which they had no control, they had again to revert to the use of black labour, and, in consequence, their land is penalized under the existing regulations, and it cannot again be registered for the bounty. The Minister has promised to liberalize the regulations in such a way as to enable these men to register again, and he shall certainly have my support. There are others, as has been explained at different times in this House, who are under financial obligations to the mill -owners and large planters. The mill-owners are as a rule, growers, and employers of labour on a large scale, and they have insisted that the boys whom they have indented from the Islands, and for whom they have had no work, shallbe taken on by the farmers who are under obligations to them. These farmers have been compelled to conform to the demand of the mill-owners and large planters in this respect. The result of this is that some of the land has again reverted to cultivation by black labour. Many of these men are now desirous of coming in under the conditions required for the employment of white labour. The most northern district of Australia in which sugar is grown is the Mossman and Port Douglas district. There lis established there a very large and powerful central mill, turning out from 9,000 to 11,000 tons of sugar per annum, and necessarily employing a large number of men,and requiring a large area of cane to keep the rollers going. The directors of that mill were very hostile to the employment of white labour, and discouraged its employment in every way they could. There are, as a consequence of their action, very few white growers registered in that district so far. Latterly, however, the directors of this mill have thought it advisable to change their policy to some extent. Only a few weeks ago they sent a representative to Victoria to engage forty white agricultural labourers to cultivate cane for the mill. I believe that their representative was not quite as successful as he hoped to be. I understand that he engaged thirty-seven men, but how many went north with him I am not prepared to say. This action on the part of the directors of this mill is, however, an indication that they are desirous of altering their policy. It also proves conclusively that persons who have had great experience of the cultivation of sugar in the North are now convinced that it can be grown by white labour, otherwise they would not have altered their policy as they have evidently clone. It must be clear that the experiment in which we have been engaged has proved to be eminently successful, and seeing that it has been only four years in operation. I trust this House will be prepared to continue it. Where in connexion with, the development of the sugar industry other countries have trodden in the same path for generations, and we have in Queensland trodden in that path for at least one generation, it is too much to expect that in the short space of fouryears we should be able entirely to reverse the labour policy hitherto considered necessary.


Mr McWilliams - Does the honorable member favour the reduction of the bonus on a sliding scale?


Mr BAMFORD - I do, but I do not think that the matter should be dealt with in so short a period as proposed by the honorable member for Corinella. I think that the proposal of the Government is worthy of support. and at the expiration of the period which it would cover, I should be prepared to agree to the application of a tapering policy. I remind honorable members that if that course were adopted, the matter would be dealt with in two years more than the honorable member for Corinella proposes. I have no wish to occupy a very great deal of time in discussing the question, but there are certain statistics which I wish to lay before the House in connexion with the cost of the experiment. Several representatives of South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania are under the impression that the experiment involves an enormous cost to the other States of Australia. I wish to say in the first place that Queensland has herself made the greatest sacrifice in this connexion. The honorable member for Corinella, when advocating the adoption of the tapering policy, told the House that Victoria has made a greater sacrifice than has any other State of the Commonwealth. I can prove conclusively that Victoria has made absolutely no sacrifice, and I can also prove by statistics that Tasmania has made no sacrifice.


Mr McWilliams - I wish the honorable member would come over and prove that to my constituents.


Mr BAMFORD - I shall put such figures into the hands of the honorable member as must convince them of the truth of what I saw Some of the States have made sacrifices in connexion with this policy, but not nearly to the extent generally imagined. In New South Wales the duty paid on sugar in 1899 was £122,613. I think it necessary to point out to honorable members that when the Tariff was being discussed in this House, an amendment was proposed that the duty upon sugar should be 50. per cwt. No one proposed that sugar should be free. The Minister proposed that the duty should be 6s. per cwt.,and no one proposed that it should be any leas than 5s. per cwt. The amendment was lost on the voices, and the proposal that the duty should be 6s. per cwt., on being put to the Committee, was carried without a division. The conclusion to be arrived at from that is that the House was unanimously in favour of a duty of 6s. per cwt. I specially refer to the matter because I base my calculation as to cost upon that duty. We are invited to assume that the House was satisfied that for the necessities of the States, and for other reasons, it was desirable to have a duty of 6s. per cwt. on sugar.


Mr Glynn - The difficulty we had was that the matter was tied up with the kanaka policy.


Mr BAMFORD - I admit that, but I point out that no voice was raised against the proposal that the duty should be 6s. per cwt. The duty received on sugar in New South Wales in 1890 was £136,716. In the figures I quote I am taking the calendar and not the financial year. Honorable members may, therefore, discover some slight discrepancy between my figures and those submitted in the Treasurer's Budget table; but other statistics which I wanted were reckonedaccording to the calendar year, and I found it necessary to treat them all in the same way. The revenue from the Customs and Excise duties in New South Wales in 1901 amounted to£220,565 ; in 1902, £205,677; 1903, £217,257 ;1904, £203,827. If we add the amount for bounty in 1904, the total for New South Wales for that year amounted to £259,607. Of course, a section of the population of Queensland and New South Wales have derived a certain benefit from the bounty paid to the sugar-grower.


Mr McWilliams - Those two States have received all the bounty.


Mr BAMFORD - I admit that, but it has not gone into the pockets of the people of those States as a whole, and I therefore treat the Customs and Excise duties as being paid by the people as a whole. If I take the bounty received by New South Wales at £36,107 in 1904. the amount which New South Wales had to pay for the White Australia policy was £24,813 in excess of what would have been paid under the ordinary duty based on the present consumption in that State. The quantity entered for home consumption in New South Wales, in 1904, was 57,974 tons of Australian sugar, and 8,255 tons of foreign sugar. Under the old Tariff, the amount paid in duty would have been £198,687, as against £122,613paid in 1889, so that allowing for the growth of population New South Wales, would have been no better off if there had been no bounty. If the Commonwealth Tariff had operated without a bounty, the duty paid in 1904 would have been£1 73,922 on 57,974 tons, at £3 a ton; and £49,530 on 8,255 tons, at £6 a ton, a total of £223,452, or £20,000 in excess of the amount actually paid on the consumption of 1904. If a duty of £6 per ton had been imposed and there had been no excise, the position would have been as follows: - 66,229 tons en~tered for home consumption, from which would have had to be deducted 19,468 tons, the production of New South Wales, leaving a balance of 46,761 tons, which, at £6 per ton, would have produced £280,566, or £30,959 more than is now paid for duty, excise, and bounty. Therefore, New South Wales has no cause of complaint, and the statement that she is suffering immensely under the Tariff is not substantiated by facts or statistics. I come now to Victoria. In that State, the duty collected in 1899 was £312,795; 53>567 tons of sugar being entered for home consumption, of which about 70 per cent., or 37,757 tons, were refined in bond. In 1900, the duty collected was £316.227 ; and, in 1901, the duty and excise combined were £331,180; in 1:902, £274,674; in 1903, .£333,330; and, in 1:904, £326,900. In 1904, 63,995 tons were entered for home consumption. Taking the same proportion as was refined within the State in. 1899 - 70 per cent. - the duty would have amounted to £373,130, that is, 20,995 tons refined at £6 per ton makes a total of £125,970; and 43,000 tons refined1 in bond at £5 i5Si a ton, makes a total of £247,250. These were the old Victorian rates. If we add the contribution to the bounty - £38,932 - to the total of Excise and Customs duties actually paid in 1904, we get a total of £365,832, or £7,298 less than would have been paid in duty alone under the Tariff of 1.899. Upon the quantity of sugar entered for home consumption' in that year, therefore, Victoria has not suffered ; and the contention of the honorable and learned member for Corinella that s.he is making a sacrifice cannot be substantiated. Victoria is actually better off in that respect now than she was prior to Federation. One hears about the sufferings of the jam-makers, but how can they be suffering, seeing that "they have not to pay higher duties than they had to pay in 1899? The change in the Tariff has affected the jam-making industry only beneficially. Coming now to Queensland. I shall be able to show that that State has made a greater sacrifice than has any of the other States. She practically supplies herself with sugar, and, therefore, prior to Federation, paid no tax on sugar, the duty paid in 1899 being only £92; in 1900, £160; and, in 1901, £73, and £3,888 in

Excise,, there being a certain amount of loaf-sugar and icing-sugar imported, while duty was also paid on surplus ship's stores sold in bond. In 1902, the duty was £290 ; and the excise, £39,285. Prior to 1901. there was no excise on sugar in Queensland. In 1903 the import duty yielded £186, and the Excise duty £54,771. In 1904 the import duty yielded £241, and the Excise duty £80,341. So that in the latter year we had to pay on our sugar £80,582 in excess of what we paid in 1899. In addition to that sum, Queensland had to pay £16,779 in bounty, which brought our contribution up to £97,361. That sum was taken out of the pockets of its people for the benefit of the sugar industry. When 'honorable members say that the State has benefited very greatly by the sugar industry, I point out that the people, as a whole, are not benefiting to any extent, but, in point of fact, are suffering. Certainly, one section is benefiting to some extent, but that is for a purpose' which, I am sure, every one here has at heart, and that is the maintenance of our White Australia policy. After the bounty was paid, the Treasurer of Queensland received from these sources a sum which he had never received before, and equal to £63.803. I now come to the case of South Australia. 'In 1899 the import duty yielded £48,721 ; in 1900, £47i97T ; and in 1901, £52,456. The Excise duty in 1901 amounted to only £135, so that the revenue from both sources was £52>59i-


Mr Glynn - That was the fault of the Minister who arranged the Rebate Bill. In one year, through his bungle, we got £^50,000 more than we ought to have done.


Mr BAMFORD - There was no rebate on a great quantity of the sugar.


Mr Glynn - The whole of our sugar was imported!, and the Customs duty was £6 per ton until a few years ago.


Mr BAMFORD - In 1902 the import duty yielded £97,81.7, and the Excise duty £1,141, making a total of £98,958 ; in f.903 the import duty yielded' £io2.,282, and the Excise duty: £1.229. making a total of &°3>5i:i- I" T904 the import duty vielded £74,085, showing a considerable falling off, and the Excise duty £27,883, making a total of £101.968. If we add the bounty paid by South Australia in 1904, which was £11,988, we get a total of £113,956 for that year. In 1904, there were entered for home consumption, 16,104 tons. On the old Tariff basis of £3 a ton, the quantity would have yielded £48,312; but supposing that the import duty was £6 a ton, that there was no Excise duty, and that there was no bounty to pay, the amount paid by South Australia would have been £96,624, or a disadvantage of £17,332. That is what that State contributed in the year to the maintenance of the White Australia policy, and as a set-off against that I propose to show the value of produce which Queensland took from her. If we take the quantity of sugar entered for home consumption in South Australia in 1904, that is, 5,049 tons of Australian sugar at £3 a ton, it gives a total revenue of £15,147 ; and if we take 11,055 tons of foreign sugar at £6 a ton, it yields a. revenue of £66,330, or a total revenue of £81,477. The net revenue was £101,968, and the State's share of the bounty came to £11,988, so that the Treasurer received £89,980. I appeal to the representatives of South Australia to say whether that sum was not necessary to her financial stability. Financially, she is no better off than any other State. She cannot afford to do without this addition to her revenue. Her total contribution to the maintenance of the White Australia policy in this connexion was £17,332. I now come to the position of Western Australia. Certainly, as compared with other States, she has made a considerable sacrifice, because prior to Federation, sugar was duty free in that State, just as it was in Queensland. What the people have to pay now on their sugar may be looked upon as additional taxation, and judging by the Western Australian Budget, which I read this morning, the revenue from this source will be a very considerable and acceptable item to the Treasurer. In1901, the import and Excise duties yielded £8,126; in 1902, £44,572 ; in1903, £50,738; and in 1904, £38,680, the latter year showing a considerable falling off. It may be that this is attributable to the fact that very often the amount entered for home consumption does not actually indicate the amount consumed. Sometimes sugar is stored up in bond as a reserve, and large quantities for consumption are drawn, while in the other cases, more sugar may be entered for home consumption than is actually consumed, and the balance is carried forward to next year,

If we add £7,794 as the bounty for 1904, we get £46,474, as the amount of the new taxation, and the net revenue of £30,886 was a very acceptable addition to its finances. The amount of new taxation is not very excessive when it is spread over a large population. The comments which the representatives of Western Australia make as to what) that State is suffering owing to the import and Excise duties in comparison with Victoria and other States, are not substantiated by the figures in the Customs returns. Western Australia produces no sugar. In 1904, there were entered for home consumption, 9,362 tons of Australian, and 2,182 tons of foreign sugar. Under the Commonwealth Tariff, that quantity would yield £40,178. The representatives of Western Australia, who expressed themselves as 'hostile to this policy, and indicated that Western Australia would suffer very considerably, did not pursue their protest to the point of calling for a division when this matter was previously before the House.


Mr Glynn - That was because they had no chance of success.


Mr BAMFORD - Now we come to Tasmania. In 1899 the sugar duty in Tasmania realized £46,290, and in 1900 £47,066. In 1901 the Customs duty amounted to £41,983, and the Excise duty to £1,940, making a total of £43,923. In 1902 the Customs duty amounted to only £8,125,whereas the Excise duty represented £16,894, making a total of £25,019. In 1903 the Customs duty amounted to £11,626, and the Excise duty to £13,440, making a total of £25,066. In 1904 the Customs duty represented £10,415, and the Excise duty £13,426, or a total of £23,841.


Mr McWilliams - The figures quoted by the honorable member are at variance with those supplied by the Government Statistician of Tasmania. He shows that there hasbeen a loss of over £15,000.


Mr BAMFORD - I obtained my figures from the Customs Department. As I previously explained, there is a slight discrepancy between them and those published in connexion with the Budget papers, which is due to the fact that, whereas the figures quoted by me relate to the calendar year, those quoted in the Budget papers are made up for each financial year. The bounty paid by Tasmania, in 1904, amounted to £5,797, which, added to receipts from the Customs and Excise duties,, makes up a total of £29,638. The quantity of sugar entered for home consumption, in 1904, was 8,158 tons, and, if the duty levied under the State Tariff had been paid upon this quantity, the revenue would have benefited to the extent of £48,948; whereas the amount actually paid by the public in that year in bounty, Customs duty, and Excise duty, amounted to only £29,638. Under the State Customs Tariff, in Tasmania, a duty of £6 per ton. was levied upon some classes of sugar, and1d. per lb. upon other classes.


Mr McWilliams - The duty of1d. per lb., or £9 6s. 8d. per ton, was levied upon icing-sugar.


Mr BAMFORD - I did not make any allowance for that, because I thought that the quantity of sugar subjectto the higher duty would not be worth considering. I have shown that the people of Tasmania were, in 1904, called upon to pay £19,000 less than they would have paid upon the amount entered for home consumption in that year at the old rates of duty. Therefore, Tasmania has nothing to complain of.


Mr Poynton - Tasmania has lost that amount of revenue.


Mr BAMFORD - And the people as a whole have gained to that extent. The sugar consumption, in 1899, amounted to 7,704 tons, whereas, in 1904, 8,158 tons were entered for home consumption. Those figures show a slight increase. I admit that the Tasmanian Treasurer has received £19,000 less than he would have done under the State Tariff, but the people have had that much less to pay. In other States, the Treasury has benefited, because the people have had to pay more to the revenue. If we adopted the figures for 1900, which were the highest for six years, namely, £47,066, the gainto Tasmania would amount to £7,699, and, if the bounty were added, the gain would still be £2,902. The particulars which I have procured show that the apparent increase in the consumption of sugar in Australia is about 7,500 tons per annum. In the year 1904, the quantity of Australian sugar consumed was 192,048 tons. If we add 7,500 tons to that we have a total of 199,975 tons. If it were in the same proportion as during last year,, there would be 142,988 tons at £4, and 57,087 tons of foreign sugar at £6 per ton. The Australian sugar, paying £4 per ton, will return to the revenue £571,952,and the foreign sugar, paying £6 per ton, will return £342,522 ; so that on this basis the total revenue for 1905 will be £914,474. The total duty and excise for all Australia in 1904 was £762,960. That leaves us additional taxation to the amount of £151,514. I may as well take this, opportunity of saying, so far as I am personally concerned, I am not in favour of increasing the excise, nor of increasing the bounty. I think the present conditions are fair and reasonable. I have heard no complaints from the growers who are interested in the matter, as to the present conditions being unfavorable to them, nor have they requested that those conditions shall be altered in the directions indicated. I am personally acquainted with a large number of growers in Northern Queensland, and the matter was never mentioned to me by them when I was up there, so late as last J une.


Mr McWilliams - Are they satisfied with the present bounty?


Mr BAMFORD - They are, so far as I am able to judge. I am not concerned as to the producers of black-grown sugar being more unfavorably dealt with than they are under present circumstances; but my fear is that the £2 protection- after the £4 excise is collected - will not be sufficient to keep out foreign sugar. I am quite aware that many who have studied the subject do not agree with me, but that is my opinion. I do not think there is any necessity for altering, the present conditions, and I am afraid that if they are altered they will be disadvantageous to those who are growing sugar under white labour conditions. Now, I have something to say relating to the other side of the question - that is, the consumption of Australian produce in Northern Queensland. Northern Queensland practically produces no agricultural commodities except sugar, tropical fruits, and a few sweet potatoes for the kanakas. Perhaps a little maize is produced here and there, but very little. No potatoes and onions are grown. We may say that nearly the whole ofthe agricultural commodities consumed by people in Northern Queensland are produced in the southern States. Consequently the people there are large consumers of the produce of the rest of Australia. I have here a list, prepared for me by the Department of Trade and Customs, showing the quantities of purely Australian produce consumed in Queensland. The commodities of which particulars are given are flour, wheat, hay, chaff, butter, cheese, onions, potatoes, and hops. The hops are, I understand, purely Tasmanian products. The statement with which I am now dealing does not include jams and jellies, for which I have separate particulars. In 1899 North Queensland imported from New South Wales flour to the value of £114,815. From New South Wales we imported, in 1899, £203,336 worth of goods of the kinds I have enumerated, and in 1900 £286,747 worth. From Victoria, in 1899, we imported £241,846 worth, and in 1900, £168,466 worth. In 1899, from South Australia we imported £57,455 worth, and an 1900,£74,843 worth. From Tasmania, in 1899, we imported £11,272 worth, and in 1900 £9,165 worth. From Tasmania in 1899 our imports were principally potatoes. The same was the case in 1900. But in the latter year we imported hops to the value of £1,718, as against £525 in 1899. In 1901, we imported hops from Tasmania to the value of £2,245; in 1902, to the value of £2,796; in 1903, to the value of £4,566; and in 1904, to the value of £4,009. So that we have been consistent in the increase of our consumption of Tasmanian hops. I infer that those hops are principally Tasmaniangrown, and are not re-importations. In the four years 1901-2-3-4, we imported from New South Wales £533,699 worth of flour, £82,431 worth of wheat, and hay and chaff to the value of about £40,000. We also imported butter from New South Wales to the value of £95,971. Nearly all that butter goes into North Queensland, because the southern parts of the State supply their own requirements in that respect.


Mr Hutchison - Queensland is exporting more butter than ever before. She had a record shipment last month.


Mr BAMFORD - That is so. But that butter is shipped from Pinkenba, and is all southern produce. Northern Queensland cannot produce nearly sufficient butter to meet its own requirements.

Mr. Hutchison.Still, Queensland turned out a record shipment a month ago.


Mr BAMFORD - In 1901, Queensland imported from New South Wales £1,247 worth of cheese, £48,633 worth of potatoes, and £5,935 worth of onions. In 1902, the values were - Cheese, £8,788;potatoes, £44,307; and onions, £3,349. In 1903, we imported from New South Wales cheese to the value of £4,189; potatoes, £20,531; and onions, £831. In 1904 the figures were- Cheese, £705; potatoes, £6,752; and onions, £561. From Victoria during the four years 1901, '02, '03, and '04 we took flour valued at £228,064;. wheat, £15,670; hay, including chaff, £196,065; butter, £129,062; cheese, £25,791 potatoes, £120,223; and onions, £10,676. From these statistics it will be seen that Queensland has been a very good customer of the other States in the matter of these products. I have here one very significant table, which I am sure will surprise many honorable members. It relates to jams and jellies. We have been repeatedly told in this House that owing to the increased price of sugar caused by the operation of the excise and the bounty, the jam-making industry has suffered severely. I contend that it has not suffered at all. I have seen the

Statistical Registerfor New South Wales, and I find that the same increase that has occurred in Victoria in regard to this item has taken place there. In this State the increase has been very large indeed. Upon page 606 of the Victorian Year-Book for 1904, under the heading of " Interchange," Part X., appear the values of the principal articles of Victorian produce exported between the years 1900 and 1904. From these figures, I find that during 1900 the export of jamsand jellies was valued at £49,994, and in the following year at £46,178. Honorable members will note that in 1900 the Federal Tariff was not in operation, and that it was only in force for a few months during 1901. But in 1902, afterthe imposition of the Commonwealth Tariff, an enormous increase took place in the quantity of jams and jellies exported from this State. Their values rose in that year to £111,178; in 1903 they were £82,755; and in 1904, £71,941. In each of the three years mentioned, there was a great expansion in the export of these products from Victoria. That increase, however, was not confined to this State, I hold in my hand a return showing the quantity of jams and jellies exported to Queensland alone during 1904-5. The figures are most significant and instructive, and I shall be pleased to hand them over to the honorable member for Franklin if he desires to peruse them.


Mr McWilliams - Has the honorable member any figures showing either the increase or the decrease which has taken place in the number of aliens employed in the sugar industry in Queensland?


Mr BAMFORD - I will deal with that matter presently. In 1899 Queensland imported from New South Wales 30,828 lbs. of jam ; from Victoria, 1,728 lbs. ; from South Australia, 18,708 lbs. ; and from Tasmania, 26,856 lbs. ; making a total of 78,120 lbs. Of course, theconsumption of jam is always considerable in Queensland, and' in the northern portion particularly, because, owing to the climatic conditions which prevail there, butter does notkeep well. In 1900, Queensland imported from New South Wales 30,828 lbs. of jam, and in 1904 the quantity had increased to 1,089,605 lbs. In 1899 Queensland imported from Victoria 1,728 lbs., and in 1904 the amount had risen to 1,543,324 lbs. From South Australia, the northern State imported 18,708 lbs. in 1899, and 249,408 lbs. in 1904. Similarly, Queensland imported from Tasmania 26,866 lbs. in 1899, and 977,217 lbs. in 1904. This makes a total in the one item of 3,859,654 lbs. That represents an increase of fiftyfold. and shows that so far as Queensland is concerned, the consumption of Australian produce has been very considerable indeed. Under these circumstances, the contention that the jam industry has suffered cannot be sustained. In reply to the question which was asked by the honorable member for Franklin a few minutes ago, I admit that there has been an increase in the quantity of alien labour in the northern portion of Queensland. When the Pacific Island Labourers Bill was under consideration, I foresaw that unless we could provide for the gradual deportation of the kanakas as their agreements expired, they would almost certainly be reengaged. My apprehensions were well founded. When I spoke to the Minister in regard to the matter, he said, "I acknowledge that it is very probable they will be re-engaged; but I am afraid we have no power to deal with the matter, as it is purely a State concern. We can legislate for the importation or deportation of the kanakas, but so far as their agreements are concerned, that is purely a State matter, with which I am sorry I am unable to interfere." In some instances

I regret to say that unfair means have been adoptedto induce the kanakas to reengage. Consequently the men who should have been returned to their homes are still in Queensland.


Mr Fisher - Hope was also entertained by some that this legislation would not be persisted in.


Mr BAMFORD - There is no doubt about it. There was always a latent hope entertained by some planters that something would turn up which would cause us to reverse our legislation.


Mr McWilliams - That was because Queensland played with the question for thirty years.


Mr BAMFORD - It is quite true that Queensland " dilly-dallied " with the question for, at any rate, twenty-five years, and, doubtless, it was expected that the same policy would be pursued by the Federal Government. All the pressure possible was brought to bear, and attempts made to raise a scare as to the ruin of the industry. Some most absurd) statements were made, even in this House, to the effect that if the kanakas were deported, grass would grow in the streets of Melbourne.


Mr Higgins - All legislation we do not like will ruin the country.


Mr BAMFORD - Exactly. It is perfectly childish to suppose that a State with a population of half-a-million, and immense territory and resources, could be ruined by the removal of 8,000 blackfellows.


Mr Hutchison - Even if the industry were wiped out, Queensland would be all right.


Mr BAMFORD - That is so; her resources are so great that if the rest of the Commonwealth were submerged in the Pacific, Queensland would continue to flourish. I am sorry to have to admit that there has been an increase in the number of the coloured men employed, but that does not militate against the fact, as shown by Dr. Maxwell, that the white growers have increased to a still greater extent. Dr. Maxwell says in his report that if the kanakas be deported. 5,000 extra farm labourers will be required. A little while ago, all Australia was somewhat excited by the proposition of General Booth to introduce 5,000 families from England into some part of the Commonwealth. There is no doubt that in Queensland, on the coast as far as Townsville, the population is sufficient to give no justification for a proposal to settle the country on the ground that it is unoccupied. North of Townsville, however, the population is much sparser, and to a considerable extent alien - yellow, black, and brown. It has been argued that the country being so thinly populated, other countries may cast upon it covetous eyes ; and in my opinion the settlement of 5,000 families there would be even more important than a similar settlement in the southern parts of the State. In my opinion, everything possible should be done to populate this country, even if somewhat extraordinary inducements be offered ; and the popular feeling in Queensland is turning to that view. Those who have been hostile to a white population hitherto are now coming to the conclusion that settlement of the kind would be best in the interests, not only of the State, but of the Commonwealth generally. Indeed, I may appeal to the selfishness of the, southern States, because the settlement of 5,000 families in Queensland would mean so many extra consumers of southern produce. The wages earned in Queensland are still on a scale to enable people to live comfortably, and this means that the increased consumption would be considerable. On the other hand, aliens are not, to a great extent, consumers of Australian produce, most of their requirements being supplied direct from China, Java, Japan, or Manilla, with the result of only a small contribution to the Customs revenue. On this ground I appeal to representatives of the southern States, who are somewhat hostile to the proposal before us, to lend it their support.


Mr McWilliams - We are not hostile to the proposal if it does not affect other industries.


Mr BAMFORD - The figures I have quoted dispose of that fear. The industry of jam-making, for instance, has been promoted rather than retarded ; and, in any case, there is practically little or no difference in the duties in Tasmania and Victoria, as compared with those imposed prior to Federation. In Victoria there is a difference of 5s. on refined sugar as against raw, while in Tasmania the duty is just about the same.


Mr McWilliams - Tasmania has lost over £100,000 during the last four years.


Mr BAMFORD - In the first place, that does not affectthe industry of jammaking ; and, in the secondplace, it is simply revenue which has not gone into the Treasury.


Mr Thomas - It is in the pockets of the people.


Mr BAMFORD - When, in Queensland, £83,000 goes into the Treasury, it is said to be bad for the people, but when £100,000 does not go into the Treasury of Tasmania, it is said to be bad for the State. Before I sit down, I should like to refer to my statement that none of the representatives of the other States took exception to this duty being imposed. On looking over the Hansard reports, I find that there was no division, and that no Western Australian member raised his voice against the proposal. The honorable and learned member for Angas wasthe only one who objected.


Mr Glynn - The honorable member for Dalley also objected. I tabled an amendment twice, and he did so once.


Mr BAMFORD - The principal objectors were from New South Wales; and I should like to read what Sir William McMillan said on that occasion. He spoke as follows : -

While there has been no absolute understanding in regard to the sugar duties during the whole discussion upon the white-labour question, ithas been assumed that a duty of this kind would be agreed to, and, therefore, we on this side of the Chamber do not intend to propose a reduction.

The honorable member for Werriwa did propose a reduction, but it was rejected on the voices -

We do not, however, desire it to be thought that we approve of this high import duty, nor that we approve of an excise duty which will disappear after a certain number of years, and leave a practically prohibitive import duty.

I may say at once that I am not in favour of the Excise duty disappearing after a certain number of years, because I realize that our Treasurers will require some duty upon sugar to help them to balance their finances. Sir William McMillan continued -

We intend to support the duty as amatter of high public policy, in view of the legislation which the Commonwealth has passed affecting the position of Queensland.

He, therefore, clearly indicated that the proposal was designed to some extent to compensate those who would suffer from the loss of black labour. That is our attitude. I freely admit that those who were engaged in theindustry when the Federal law was passed were empowered, under the State law, to employ black labour; but whilst I condemn such a , system, I rarely blame an individual for doing that which the law permits. On behalf of Northern Queensland, I support the Government proposal, although I am not in favour of the bounty being fixed at £3 per ton, and the excise being paid at the rate of £4 per ton. I would rather see a continuation of the present system,and if an opportunity be afforded me to vote for its maintenance, I shall avail myself of it.







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