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Wednesday, 13 August 1902


Mr BROWN (Canobolas) - With the exception possibly of the duty upon fuel oil, this line represents the high water mark of protection as favoured by the Government. Though the duty of 30 per cent, here proposed is not intended particularly for revenue, but to some extent to discourage importation in the interests of local manufacturers, I notice from the return submitted by the Treasurer giving the amount of revenue collected under the Tariff, from the 9th October to 30th June, that on this line of boots and shoes a revenue of £17,950 was collected in New South Wales, £7,538 in Victoria, £7,190 in Queensland, £3,950 in South Australia, £11,309 in Western Australia, £1,447 in Tasmania, or a total revenue of £49,384 for all the Commonwealth. This revenue has been derived not merely from New South Wales, where there was formerly no duty, but very largely from Victoria, where we were told the boot industry has been built up under the fostering care of a protectionist Tariff to a position of almost absolute perfection. I regret that the Senate, instead of confining its request to men's sizes above 5, did not ask us to review the whole duty, but, no doubt, a large part of the revenue which has been received from this duty has been paid upon importations of men's boots. That is certain to be the case in connexion with the Western Australian revenue. Seeing that the working classes are not able to purchase the best make of boots, and, therefore, require more boots than other people, I think we should not do anything to increase the prices which they have to pay, but while I should like to see the duty made still lower, I feel bound to support the request of the Senate.







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