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Friday, 27 July 1906


Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) (Minister of Trade and Customs) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This is a measure of importance, especially to those who are making their living upon the land, and I hope that very few honorable members will object to the course which the Government propose to take. Our proposals are by no means new. Prior to Federation, Victoria had inaugurated a very 'extensive system of bounties.


Mr Lonsdale - The Bounties Commission has told us all about their results.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I ask honorable members not to interrupt, because I have a great deal of interesting matter to put before the House, and do not wish to unduly prolong my remarks. One of the objects of this measure is to offer inducements to a large number of our people to leave the cities and go upon the land. There is a tendency on the part of the population in Australia, as in other parts of the world, to gravitate to the large centres, and we hope that we shall be able to encourage the owners of land, either to make use of it themselves, or to afford others an opportunity of doing so. The present population of the Commonwealth is 4,052.000, the number resident in the capital cities being 1,435.000, whilst our urban population is 1,944,000. Therefore, in our capitals there are nearly as many people as are resident in the country districts. If we can do anything to bring about a change in this respect we shall confer great benefit upon the whole community.


Mr Johnson - Are we ever going to get rid of this practice of State coddling?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It will always be necessary for the State to help its people. The honorable member, and those who are associated with him, would allow everything to drift. They would allow blackfellows to come here, and would do nothing to help our people. If the honorable member will look at past legislation in other countries as well as in the Commonwealth, he will see that it is necessary for us to encourage primary production. I regret very much that we have not been able to apply the principle of bounties to the development of our iron industry. If the majority of the people had been of the same way of thinking as myself, we should now be producing our own iron, instead of importing it. All over the world the system of assisting industry by the payment of bounties is adopted. In the Argentine Republic exporters of sterilized milk are allowed a refund of duty on cases, packing paper, and tins. For cotton weaving an exemption from duty is allowed oh machinery, accessories, and materials necessary for the installation and working of the factory for a period of ten years. This is to be suspended if, within three years of installation, native-grown cotton is not wholly employed in the factory. The factory, its capital, and its products are exempted from national taxation for ten years. In Hungary the bounty system is confined to preferential railway rates on certain agricultural products. In Brazil the same procedure obtains. In Bulgaria the manufacture of yarn, and certain other articles, is encouraged by the factories being exempted for fifteen years from licensing, land, and stamp taxation, by reduced railway rates, and by a proviso that -

The produce of these factories is to be preferred to foreign goods in all Stales and municipal contracts, even though it be 15 per cent, dearer than the latter, including the Customs duties paid by them.

In Chili bounties are allowed on the exportation of wines and spirits, and the manufacture of beet sugar and sulphuric acid. In France, in order to encourage the cultivation of hemp and flax, a law, dated the 8th April, 1898, provides that for a period of six years an annual expenditure of £100,000 shall be allowed for bounties to growers of hemp and flax. No bounty is paid unless the surface cultivated is more than 956 square yards in extent, and the rate of bounty is fixed by Ministerial decree. For 1902 it was fixed at about £1 3s. per acre. The expenditure for bounties since 1808 has been -

 

Bounties to encourage cod fishing are granted to the crews of French vessels engaged in the industry. These bounties range from 12s. to £2 per head, according to the location of the fishery. A bounty on dried cod from French fisheries is also allowed, ranging from 4s.10d. to 8s.1d. per cwt., according to port of shipment and country of destination. From 1899 to 1903 £1,037,000 has been expended in this manner. A system of preferential railway rates is also in force in connexion with French products. In Germany no bounties are given for agricultural products, but in the case of goods manufactured from imported or excisable material, and afterwards exported, a drawback is allowed of the duty involved. In Italy there are no bounties, but preferential railway rates are allowed in a few unimportant cases. In Japan the Government granted a subsidy of £7,000 per annum in 1893, for a period of ten years, to advertise and promote the com merce in Japanese tea. The Ministry of Finance are reported to be satisfied with the results obtained. In Portugal an effort was made by the Government in 1892 to encourage the consumption of native wines by the grant of a bounty to a company called the " Companhia Vinicola de Norte." This association, in return for a bounty of , £3,330 annually, bound itself to display exhibits and establish depots at various foreign cities, one of which was Berlin. The term fixed for the continuance of the subsidy was fifteen years, with the proviso that should the company's profits attain to a certain magnitude at the close of tenyears, a corresponding reduction in the grant should be made for the ensuing five. In Russia, in addition to the drawback of excise duty paid on the exportation of spirits, corn-brandy, and preparations of the same (infusions), the exporter receives a bounty. This bounty is fixed at the rate of 31/2 per cent, for spirits of every strength, both rectified and unrectified ; for rectified spirit not lower than 951/2 per cent, proof, and satisfying the standard fixed for purity ;11/2 per cent, is additionally payable to the exporter. The latter is, moreover, allowed a bounty for leakage or loss during the carriage of the spirit from the distillery to the Custom House - 31/2 per cent, for the first month of transit, 2 per cent, for the second, and 1 per cent, for the third. On rectified corn-brandy, and preparations of the same the bounty is fixed at51/2 per cent. Payment of the drawback and bounty is effected in " instalment notes," calculated at the rate of 2d. per degree - the actual excise rate being21/2d. The allowance, however, on spirits extracted from fruit and grapes is reckoned at15/8d. ; the actual excise being13/4d., with a like addition to the rate according to the increase of the excise duty. If the excise duty has been actual ly paid, the drawback is payable in full at13/4d. per degree. On hemp and flax goods exported from Russia the following bounties are given : -

Onyarn and thread, unbleached, 71/2d. per 36 lbs.

On yarn and thread, bleached,1s. 51/2d. per 36 lbs.

On tissues, unbleached,1s. 63/4d. per 36 lbs. On tissues, bleached, 2s. 43/4d. per 36 lbs. On tissues, dyed, &c, 3s.01/4d. per 36 lbs.


Mr Johnson - The fact that other countries have acted unwisely affords no reason why we should follow their bad example.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There is every reason why we should follow a good example when we have one set for us, and I think we shall do well to adopt methods similar to those I have indicated. It would not foe wise to follow in the footsteps of Russia in every respect, but we should take a note of what is being done in that country in order to increase production.


Mr Johnson - The examples quoted by the Minister are shocking ones.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I hope that the honorable member will be quiet, and not continue to exhibit 'his mad antagonism to even,thing that is good for the country. The Bill does not deal with as many, industries as some honorable member might desire.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Or as the Minister would like.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If I had thought it desirable to deal with other industries, my colleagues would doubtless have agreed with me. I wish to quote a statement made by the honorable member for Gippsland at the Hobart Conference. In reference to bounties, he said -

These are matters which would naturally fall under the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture. Another is, of course, the Federal Government have sole power to encourage production and export by means of bounties or bonuses; then, naturally, the Federal Agricultural Department should do what it could to encourage the establishment of new and valuable industries. There are many industries which are being successfully carried on in other parts of the world, and which to all appearances might be very successfully established here; but the transplanting of a new industry to a new country always involves new conditions of production. For instance, we would have to find the best seasons for planting, and the best seasons for harvesting, and many other things which involve a certain amount of risk ; and therefore people are very slow to undertake that risk unless the State as a whole will give some encouragement during the first few years. I think we should be very careful about encourag ing the establishment of any industry, unless we are tolerably sure that it could be successfully and profitably carried on, after it had 1 fair start, without any State advantage whatever in the future, and become a profitable industry to the whole Commonwealth.

I quite agree with the statement of the honorable member, but at present we have not a Federal Department of Agriculture. My colleagues agree with me that the time is not very far distant when we shall have to establish a department of that kind. At present, however, the Slates have organised such departments, and perhaps it would-be better for us for some years to come to work in co-operation with them, instead of duplicating expense. If the Bill be passed, we shall probably enter into negotiations with the States Governments with a view to securing their co-operation in giving effect to our intentions. In the same way I am applying to the States to practically work the Commerce Act with the machinery at their disposal, reserving tothe Commonwealth merely the supreme power of control. In Victoria, I may mention that many years ago a bounty was offered in connexion with the planting of vines. The payment, I think, was based upon ihe acreage put under vines, and I am told that in a great many instances that bounty was practically wasted because sufficient inducement was not offered to the planters to obtain the best possible stock with a view to making substantial profit's at a later period.


Mr Batchelor - Surely, there was the ordinary business incentive?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not know why that incentive was lacking, but I am informed that after the planters had received the bounty, they did not proceed with the cultivation of their vines.


Mr Fisher - The bounty must have been too high.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Probably. Under this Bill we do not propose to pay any bounty for the cultivation of the soil, or for planting operations. We intend to pay upon results only.


Mr Batchelor - Who will get the bounty - the grower or the manufacturer?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The grower.


Mr Batchelor - The Bill does noi' say so.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the measure be faulty in that direction, I am quite prepared to amend it. Its object is that the grower shall obtain the bounty. In connexion with the payment of the sugar bounty, I am aware that in some instances ihe growers do not get it.


Mr Fisher - It must be handed to the grower in the first instance.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is so. But I have, seen some of the agreements with the growers - agreements under which the bounty is not secured to them in the way that it should be. Whenever we discover a weak spot in that respect, we should endeavour to provide against it. The' Bill is so framed that no bounty will be payable in respect of the articles enumerated in the schedule unless they have been produced by white labour. That provision is in accord with the declared policy of this

Parliament and of the country. It is further proposed that the bounty shall become operative only when the plants are sufficiently matured to produce the particular commodity required. Just now I heard an interjection in reference to chicory. That leads me ito say that I have received information from one or two persons in Sydney who have been dealing in that article. From them I gather that the granting of a bounty upon the production of chicory is not a very important' matter. I learn that a great deal of chicory - almost sufficient to supply the requirements of Australia - is grown in the neighbourhood of Western Port. Consequently, when we come to deal with that item, I shall move that it be omitted. I was not aware until a few weeks ago that so much chicory was produced in the locality indicated. I hold in my hand a list of articles which is interesting from the standpoint of showing how much employment might' be afforded to our own people if we produced them in sufficient quantities to provide for our own requirements. Take the article cocoa as an instance in point. I find that the value of the raw cocoa imported into the Commonwealth in 1904 was .£17)037 ; in 1905 it was £19,441, whereas the value of the manufactured cocoa imported in those years was £157,527 and ,£185,686 respectively.


Mr Bamford - We ought to produce the whole of that ourselves.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE -Exactly. Last year the importations of flax and hemp were valued at £128,383; of preserved milk, at £194,658; of concentrated preserved milk, at ,£1,813; °f °ils> a* £174,501 ; of rice, uncleaned, at £1:I3>554; of rubber, crude, which is not dutiable, at £1.02,983, and of rubber manufactures, n.e.i., at ,£1 29,482.


Mr Skene - Pounds sterling?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes. At the present stage I do not intend to deal in detail with the various articles in respect of which I have information. I propose to have that information printed, and copies of it distributed amongst honorable members. In this connexion, I may say that a great deal of very valuable data has been placed in my hands by the Vice-President of the Executive Council, who has gone to considerable trouble to supply it. I mayinform honorable members that the Government have had under consideration the advisableness of granting- a bounty upon the production of a number of other articles, but, after discussing the matter very carefully, it was not deemed desirable to go further than we have gone in this Bill.


Mr Poynton - There is no provision made in the measure for the grower.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the honorable member is of opinion that the Bill is weak in that respect we are quite prepared to amend it. It is intended to benefit the grower. If honorable members will defer raising objections to it until the measure reaches Committee, they will enable me to get along much faster than I can do if I am called upon to reply to a running fire of interjections


Mr Batchelor - But the Bill should make it perfectly clear whether the bounty is to be paid upon the finished article or to the grower.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - At the end of the Bill the honorable member will see that certain powers are vested in the Minister to make regulations. I can assure him that the bulk of the money is intended to go to the grower. The Bill is designed .to prevent the manufacturer from fleecing him.


Mr Hutchison - The Bill says that the "owner of the land shall be deemed to have been employed in the production of the goods," although, as a matter of fact, he may have nothing to do with it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The principle is that the bounty shall be paid to the grower. In some cases in which it must be paid upon the finished article, I wish so to frame the measure that it shall provide that the producer shall get the larger share of it.


Mr Hutchison - Then this is a very ill-considered Bill.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If that be so, the honorable member must blame the draftsman. Under the Bill a bounty of id. per lb. will be paid upon manufactured cocoa. I have already mentioned the importations of raw and manufactured cocoa. I think tha't the quantity of cocoa imported into the Commonwealth is sufficiently large to warrant us straining every nerve to produce that article for ourselves. I quite admit that it cannot be grown in the south of Australia. I recognise that it can only be successfully cultivated in the northern parts of the Commonwealth. In dealing with that question we might well consider the prospects of the successful cultivation of cocoa in the Northern Territory. That Territory - if transferred to the Commonwealth - would be very much benefited if a stimulus were imparted to the production of cocoa by the granting of a bounty.


Mr Hutchison - Then send Dr. Holtze up to the Territory. He will grow it successfully.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the Minister think that a bounty of id. per lb. will be sufficient ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - - Before the honorable member entered the Chamber I referred to an experiment which was undertaken in Victoria some years ago, and which provided for the payment of a bounty upon the acreage put under vines. I stated that that experiment was a failure, and the honorable member for Wide Bay at once interjected that probably that result was due to the fact that the bounty was too large.


Mr Kennedy - That was not the cause of the failure.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am not sufficiently acquainted with all that took place upon that occasion to say definitely what was the direct cause of the failure. No doubt we shall hear what it was from the honorable member for Moira.


Mr Batchelor - What is the maximum amount of bounties to be paid each year?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The maximum s j£5°>0°°- Under the heading of " Fish - canned or tinned," I notice a typographical error. The amount payable in respect of that item should be £t 1,000 - not £l,°°°> as it appears in the Bill. I do not wish to enter into details, but I may inform honorable members that I have a mass of information in mv possession which I regard as of sufficient importance to warrant its printing and distribution amongst them. Consequently, I content myself at the present stage with dealing merely with summaries. Instead of having the details published in Hansard I intend to get them printed and circulated in a handy form.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why not hand them to Hansard for publication?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The Prime Minister reminds me that twelve months have been absorbed in securing this information.


Mr Fisher - Put it in Hansard.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not propose to read the whole of it, but I intend to have it printed. The quantity of information T have would probably be found to occupy too much space in Hansard, and can be conveniently published in' the form of a paper. It is proposed to give a bounty -of id. per lb. on dried beans. I do not know whether the honorable member for Boothby was referring to this item when he said the grower, and not the manufacturer, would receive the bounty.


Mr Hutchison - Under the Bill the owner of the land mav secure it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the Bill is defective in any respect we can amend it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is . a case of "just say what your war.t."


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I say that the principle of the Bill is sound, and that, although some honorable members occasionally accuse rae of obstinacy, I am quite prepared to vary the wording should it appear to be wrong. This bounty is to extend over a period of nine years. The cocoa plant takes from four to five years to mature. It is said that in some cases it does not reach maturity for a period of nine years, but that is the exception to the rule. Under our proposal, therefore, assuming that the plants reach .maturity in four years, the producers of the dried beans would participate in the bonus for five years. The life of the cocoa plant I am informed is about thirty years. I come now to our proposal in regard to the production of coffee. A duty of 3d. per lb. is imposed on raw coffee, and of 5d. per lb. on roasted or ground coffee. In 1904 the imports of raw coffee comprised - 1,291,114 lbs. valued at .£37.668, whilst the imports of coffee ground, &c, consisted of 403,529 lbs. valued at ,-£20,523. In 1905, 1,754,866 lbs. of raw coffee valued at £54,482 were imported, whilst 324,558 lbs. weight of ground, &c, were imported, the value being ,£16.028. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the production in Australia totals 83,632 lbs. per annum.


Mr Poynton - Has the honorable gentleman made any inquiry as to whether the producers prepare the article?


Mr Bamford - We have had Queensland coffee in this House.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I know that a number of gentlemen established coffee plantations on Norfolk Island, and that the soil and climate there are most suitable for the purpose. Whether or not an arrangement can be made to allow coffee produced there to enter Australia free of duty, I cannot say, but at present it is being grown on Norfolk Island under very great difficulties. I believe that, as a rule, the growers there send the berry somewhere else to be ground, but we all know that any one can grind coffee beans.


Mr Poynton - In those circumstances, the growers would not secure the bounty ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The grower will receive the bounty. It is proposed to give a bounty of id. per lb. on dried coffee beans, and that that bounty shall extend over a period of eight years. In no case is more than .£2,500 to be paid away in any one year irc respect of the production of coffee beans. I do not know how long the coffee plant takes to reach maturity, but I am advised that it is about three years. If that statement be correct the bounty will be payable during a period of five years.


Mr Bamford - It takes from three to four years.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - My information is that it takes three years, but probably the honorable member's statement is correct. There are very large areas, not only in Norfolk Island, but in certain parts of New South Wales and Queensland, and the northern parts of South Australia and Western Australia, where coffee can be produced, and the industry is one that certainly ought to be well advanced. It should not be necessary for us to import as much as we do at the present time. There is ample room for a rapid increase in its production here.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What about the bounty on chicory ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I stated before the honorable member entered the Chamber that I did not intend to proceed with that proposal .


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I should think not.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - As the honorable member is in agreement with me in regard to that matter, we ought not to quarrel about it. The next item in the list relates to cotton, to the production of which the northern parts of Australia are peculiarly adapted. When I was in Queensland about 1864. I saw, on the Logan River, a cotton plantation where the plants were growing very well indeed. Several attempts have since been made to establish the industry there, but they have not been altogether successful. For the information of the House I shall quote the statistics as to our imports of cotton, which is free. In 1904 we imported 537,793 lbs., valued at £11,844, and in 1905, 1,049,306 lbs., valued at ,£20,962.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Raw cotton.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The statement from which I am quoting does not indicate whether it was or was not raw cotton. The word " cotton " is used. The quantity of cotton produced in Australia is very small. In 1904, 30 acres were grown in Queensland, and cotton in seed netted 1 4-5ths of a penny per lb. f.o.b. Brisbane, whilst ginned cotton realized 6Jd. to 4fd. f.o.b. there. It is proposed that the bounty shall extend over a period of five years, and. that it shall be 10 per cent, on the market value, payable in respect of quantities of not less than one bale of 300 lbs. The reason we have decided that this bounty shall be payable for only five years is that the time occupied by this plant in reaching maturity is not as long as in the case of other plants to which I have referred. The producers of this cotton will enjoy the bounty for, at all events, four years. I need hardly remind honorable members that whilst we have refrained from proposing to grant the bounty for an extended period, it is always open to the Parliament to readjust the bounty, and, if necessary, to extend the period during which it shall be payable. We should be able to grow in Queensland and the northern parts of South Australia and Western Australia, a great deal, 'if not all, the cotton we require.


Mr Liddell - Who would pick it?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have before me a statement that it has been discovered that cotton can be grown in other parts of the world by means of white labour. If that be so, why could not white labour be employed in its production here? The idea so firmly entertained by Australian producers a few years ago that white labour could not be substituted for black labour-in certain industries is rapidly dying away. It was said, for instance, to be impossible to grow sugar by white labour, but that objection is vanishing into thin air. I feel that that will be our experience in regard to other industries.


Mr R EDWARDS (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - Do the Government provide a bounty for the manufacture of cotton piece-goods?


Mr Deakin - Not under this Bill. We must first obtain our raw material.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - r come now to a very important proposal in relation to the production of fibres. Our proposition is that for ten years a bounty of 10 per cent. on the fair value shall be payable on the production of fibres, but that the total sum so paid away shall not exceed £6,000 in any one year. Under the heading of fibres we have flax, ramie, sisal hemp, hemp, New Zealand flax, pandanus, and other approved fibres. Flax, hemp fibre, and coir, and other fibre are allowed to come in free of duty ; on manufactured articles there is a duty of 20 per cent-, whilst reaper and binder twine is subject to a duty of 5s. per cwt. In 1904 our imports of flax and hemp were of the value of ,£145,925, and comprised 85,049 cwts. Of this amount, £73,993 represents the value of importations of New Zealand flax. During the same year, 7,459 cwts. of coir, valued at ;£3>535> a110* 4,462 cwts. of jute, valued at £4,354, were imported; whilst in 1905 the imports were as follows: - Coir, 9,885 cwts., valued at £3,303; flax and hemp, 74,186 cwts., valued at .£128,383; and jute, 3,622 cwts., valued at ,£2,671. The import value of cordage and twines in 1904 was ,£91,436, and of twine and yarn ;£54>578. I have no record of the imports of other fibres in 1904; but in 1905 they comprised 3,500 cwts., of the value of £5,146. It was at first proposed that a bounty of £3 per ton should be granted, but since the values of the different species vary so materially, it was considered that it would be better to give a bounty of 10 per cent, on fair value for a period of ten years. On such fibres as New Zealand flax, ramie, and sisal hemp, the first crop of which is not available until three or four years after planting, the bounty would be payable for only six or seven years. These were very large importations. It is remarkable that a country possessing every description of soil and climate should not grow all these kinds of fibre, and thus give employment to a large number of its own people, instead of obtaining its requirements from abroad to such an extent as at present.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How long does it take to produce coir ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - My information is that it takes from three to four years to produce the raw material. That will leave six or seven years in which to take advantage of the bounties.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The cocoa tree takes seven years to bear.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not wish to make the bounty period too long; but we can easily extend it in amy case in which that is seen to be desirable. Nothing will be paid in the first few years. We havefixed the period at ten years, and propose to pay 10 per cent, on the market value of the article produced, or about £3 per ton. We also propose to offer a bounty for the production of tinned and canned fish.


Mr Hutchison - We cannot get enough: fresh fish, because of the monopolies which, prevail. I know that that is so in Adelaide.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - We should beable to put an end to these monopolies. It has happened in Melbourne, and I believein Sydney, too, that, when there has been a surplus of fish caught, a large quantity has been destroyed, in order that the prices, may not be reduced. Such action is disgraceful, and should be dealt with very stringently. Notwithstanding the largequantity of fish in the waters which surround our coasts, honorable members may be surprised to learn that Australia imported! last year 13,463,838 lbs. of tinned fish, valued at ,£288,371, and 1,275,175 lbs.. of .fish, smoked or preserved by cold process, valued at ,£16,505.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How much oi that was salmon?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not know. Fish suitable for canning is to be found inAustralian seas. Even' year myriads of pilchards, for example, come towards our coast from the south-east, and proceed northward as far as Queensland, when they turn off to the north-east.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Do they comeevery year ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I think so-/ though in some years they are more numerous than in other years. I think that the honorable member will find, if he reads a> report made to the Government of New South Wales by the Fisheries Commissionof that State, that these fish travel along our coast every year, and practically none of them are caught. Thev could, if sufficient inducements were offered to attract the necessary energy and capital, be used' to establish an industry almost equalling the herring industry. It is proposed to give a bounty of Jd. per lb. on all canned' and tinned' fish produced within a period of five years, the payments mot to exceed1 £1,000 a year.


Mr Hutchison - We need a bounty for the production of fresh fish.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the task is. not undertaken by private persons, the Go- vernment should endeavour to discover trawling grounds, and to find out what fish can be obtained by trawling. An attempt to obtain such information was made some years ago by the Government of New South Wales, but it was practically a failure, because neither the proper, appliances nor the right kind of steamer were used. I think that honorable members will find that the Treasurer, when delivering his Budget speech, will have something to say about the fishing industry, and I do not wish to forestall him. The Government will not shut their eves to the importance of the industry, but it cannot be dealt with in a Bill of this character.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Minister ascertain, and inform the House, what quantity of salmon is annually imported?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I shall try to get the information. . But why should we not use our own fish in preference to imported fish?


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have no salmon.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - We have fish just as good, if we care to use it. "We propose to give a bounty of Jd. per lb. for ;the production of condensed milk. That bounty is to be paid during a period of five years, but the payments made in any one year are not to exceed £5,000.


Mr Thomas - Condensed milk is now being made in Australia.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable and learned member for Illawarra can inform honorable members as to what happened in connexion with the industry in the electoral division which he represents.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Condensed milk is being made in Victoria.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Not to any extent


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All that is made is sold.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Condensed milk is being_ made in Sydney also ; but, notwithstanding, the quantity imported, is very large. The duty on sweetened condensed milk is id. per lb., but in 1904 11,196,882 lbs., or £197.253 worth were imported; the importation in 1905 being 10,895,469 lbs., valued at ,£194,658. The exports for 1904 were only £4,0.18. The local production is valued at between £20,000 and £30,000 per annum, while the importations are worth about ,£200,000 per annum.


Mr Hutchison - Our producers cannot compete against the rubbish which comes in.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - We are trying to assist them to do so.


Mr Hutchison - To assist them we must shut out the rubbish, so that they may manufacture a good article.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Our proposals will give a fillip to the industry, and, perhaps, we may do something else in another way later on. We propose to treat powdered milk in the same way as condensed milk, but the rate of bounty will be fd. per lb. One hundred pounds of milk yield about 36 lbs. of sweetened condensed milk, or about 13 lbs. of powdered milk.


Mr Thomas - There is a big importation of eggs into New South Wales. Is a bounty to be paid for the production of eggs?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There is a big importation of Chinese eggs. We cannot give a bounty to hens to induce them to lay more eggs.


Mr Thomas - We could give a bounty to those who keep fowls. I know that at present I cannot make fowl-keeping pay.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - When at Mildura I was very much struck with the statement that it is intended to dig up all the olive -trees there, because they are not profitable.. I think that that is a great pity, in view of the proportions which the olive oil. industry might reach in this country if it were properly fostered. The duty on olive oil is is. 4d. per gallon. In 1904 28,420 gallons were imported, valued at £6,518. In addition, .£38,857 worth of castor oil, and £17, 597 worth of China oil which comes in duty free, were imported. On linseed there is a duty of 6d. per gallon, and its importation was valued at .£108, 147 while £2,160 worth of colza oil was imported. We propose to give a bounty on the production of "oils extending over a period of ten years, and amounting to 10 per cent, on the market value, the payments not to exceed £6,500 in anyone year. It has been objected that these bounties may not go to the producers; but I hope that they will go partly to the producers and partly to the manufacturers. No doubt, if the industry flourishes, and production is increased, growers will be able to supply the manufacturers at more reasonable rates than are now charged. That, however, is a detail to be dealt with afterwards. In 1905 1 6, 330 gallons, or £3,512 worth of olive oil, £21,784 worth of China oil, £80,235 worth of linseed oil, £9,453 worth of cotton seed oil, and .£25,969 worth of essential oils were imported. As the olive tree flourishes in Australia, we might reasonably be expected to supply our own requirements in the matter of olive oil. Very little rice is grown in the Commonwealth.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Some is grown in Queensland.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The Prime Minister has reminded me that in other parts of the world it is being produced by white labour, and there must be large areas suitable for its cultivation on the Gulf of Carpentaria, and elsewhere in Northern Queensland, and, perhaps, Western Australia.


Mr Kennedy - An experiment in growing rice has just been commenced on the Murray.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - An article which appeared in the American Review of Reviews, written by Robert S. Lanier, shows what is being done in this matter in America. The article is headed " The Revolution in Rice Farming," and is as follows : -

Now, the settlers have seen labour saving implements make wheat fortunes in the Dakotas and California. Why could not they themselves make these Gulf prairies blossom- with rice at a profit? Accordingly, they brought on the wheat machinery they were used to, they adapted it to the new crop, they worked out irrigation methods, and with Government help found the best seed varieties. Here is one result of their labours : before the Civil War, South Carolina produced about three-fourths of our home rice ; North Carolina and Georgia most of the rest. To-day, it is Louisiana and Texas that produce three-fourths of the whole.

However, the greatest result is that, for the first time in history, a labour-saving method of rice-production has been demonstrated. The American farmer, although he pays a higher price for labour than any rice grower in the world, may eventually find himself in control of the world's markets. The patient Chinaman with his mud-rake and his twenty-five dollars a year profit, the Punjab ryot's women wielding their slow hand-sickles, the toiling fellah of the Nile delta, the Japanese mattocking his plot, too tiny for a flow to turn - all will be undersold by the progressive American driving his four mule twine binder to his power cultivated fields, past the steam plant where a battery of clanking pumps, impelled by eight hundred horse-power, has sucked up to his growing crop its seventy-day bath of vital, fresh river water.

Down on the Gulf coast, one farmer, one helper, and good teams can prepare and plant to rice two hundred or three hundred acres.

In general, rice can be profitably grown by the new methods wherever there is land so level that large single fields can be uniformly flooded by fresh water, and possessing enough clay, either in soil or subsoil, to hold water and quickly to drain the fields dry enough for the support of heavy terms.

This shows what can be done by the employment of machinery, and indicates to us how we might carry on the cultivation of rice in Australia. At present we levy a duty of 3s. 46. per cental upon uncleaned rice. Starch rice is free, But rice n.e.i. is subject to a duty of 6s. per cental. In 1904 we imported 232,611 centals of uncleaned rice, valued at £107,070, and 267,574 centals df rice n.e.i., valued at ,£129,465. In j 905 we imported 259,004 centals of uncleaned rice, valued1 at £113,554, whilst of rice n.e.i. we imported 253,319 centals, valued at £112,939. Rice is worth 2 1/2 d per lb. The local production is very small indeed; in fact, we cannot ascertain that any is produced.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All rice is not worth 2jd. per lb.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is the information given to me. We pro.pose to grant a bounty of ,£1 per ton of unhusked rice for five years. Now we come to the last item in the schedule, namely, rubber. Last night, I had an interview with the manager of the Dunlop Tyre Company, who told me that if we could produce rubber in the northern parts of Australia - and there is, no doubt that it could be produced, because we have a native rubber tree which is capable of being cultivated with advantage - 'his company would purchase £10,000 worth of rubber per month. In view of this large local demand, every encouragement should be offered to planters to engage in the enterprise. It is proposed to give a bounty which will not exceed £7,000 per annum for a period of ten years, under conditions to be prescribed by regulation. We have not been able to fix the rate at which the bounty shall be payable, because the matter is a difficult one to deal with. At present, crude rubber is admitted free of duty, but we levy 15 per cent, upon rubber manufactured n.e.i. In 1904 our importations of rubber manufactures, including crude rubber, which were admitted free, were valued at £100,389, whilst the imports of rubber manufactures n.e.i. were valued at £100,275. In 1905 the imports free of dutv were valued at £102.983, whilst the rubber manufactures n.e.i. introduced were valued at £129,482. At present the rubber used bv the Dunlop Company comes from Ja.va, or South America, and their consumption is very large. Thev offer to take rubber to the value of ;£ 10,000 per month, or in all, £120,000 worth per annum. I have referred seriatim to the matters dealt with in the Bill, and I hope I have sufficiently explained them to honorable members. I trust that they will have no hesitation in passing the Bill, because if we can merely meet our own requirements, to say nothing of exporting the commodities mentioned, we shall confer a great benefit on the community generally. We should have preferred to bring forward this measure at an earlier stage, but it was impracticable to do so. We should! also have liked to embrace a much larger number of items, but we did' not think it wise to submit any more comprehensive programme at the present time. We have endeavoured to make' provision for the encouragement of those industries which can most readily be developed, and which will conduce in the greatest degree to the settlement of our territory.







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