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Wednesday, 13 August 1902


Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) - I desire to state with reference to the boot I exhibited that Mr. A. E. Pizzey has sworn an affirmation to the effect that he bought it in George-street, Sydney, at the Cooperative Boot Shop. He gives the date, and my honorable friends opposite can see the affirmation. I can add that the magistrate, before whom the affirmation was sworn, is Mr. John McM'ahon, J.P., of Brunswickstreet, Fitzroy. Under the' circumstances, for honorable members to say that the boot was not bought in Sydney is only beating the air.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Co-operative Boot Company say that they never turned out a boot like it.

Mr. CONROY(Werriwa).- This matter has not yet been discussed from the point of view of revenue, and it must not be forgotten that by imposing a duty of 30 per cent, we are depriving the Commonwealth of a tremendous amount of revenue, because that duty is almost prohibitive. This view of the question is one which should influence honorable members coming from the smaller States, because in so far as their supplies are drawn from Melbourne and Sydney, the people 'of the smaller States will have to bear this taxation, while their States will lose the revenue. I think I am well within the mark when I say that a 15 per cent, duty will return from £100,000 to £120,000 more revenue than a 30 per cent, duty, and that is a very large sum to vote away in a light-hearted manner. It cannot be said "that this duty is proposed solely for protective purposes, because, as has been well shown, New South Wales, without a duty at all, had only 500 less hands employed in the boot trade than Victoria, and even that difference was steadily diminishing. The reason for that was that the industry there was conducted upon solid lines, and the manufacturer was not drawing from anybody any more than he was entitled to as the reward of his skill and industry. In Victoria the position was totally different. In that State the manufacturer was hedged round by a ring fence of protective duties, and was drawing money from the rest of the people. It must be remembered that the people of New South Wales constitute onethird of the population of Australia, and I ask honorable members opposite whether they really think that it is fair that a 30 per cent, duty should suddenly be imposed upon so large a section of the people of the Commonwealth * We are now a Federation, and, whatever our individual opinions may be, we ought not to try to force them upon large sections of the population who do not agree with them. The request of the Senate in this instance, that the duty should be reduced to 20 per cent., is one which I think this committee might well agree to. Ministers have referred to the fact that upon similar lines, in connexion with which in our opinion the duties ought also to have been reduced, no request for a reduction of duty has been made by the Senate. But they will remember that that is due to the absolute

I departure from election pledges of one honorable senator, who has since become rather renowned in South Australia.







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