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Wednesday, 9 November 1904

Mr ROBINSON (Wannon) - I trust that the Government will not make any definite pronouncement upon the subject, of the sugar bounty at this stage. I should like to direct attention to the fact that in pre-Federation days, Victoria used to derive ah annual revenue of ^280,000' from sugar. Under the present policy of the Commonwealth, however, the whole of that revenue is lost to this State, and, inaddition, we are asked to continue to pay a bonus of £2 per ton upon all sugar produced in Queensland bv white labour. The payment of that bonus will swell' Victoria's loss to something like ,£340,000 per annum. The States in which the sugar is grown derive all the- advantage of the bonus. I trust that the Government will pause before they involve -the Victorian revenue in a loss of £340,000, in addition to imposing large burdens upon the other States, because New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania will be called upon to sustain considerable losses. My allegiance to the Government would be very severely strained if I thought that under a policy of this character they were prepared to sacrifice, not merely the whole of the Customs and Excise revenue upon sugar, but were also willing to sanction the payment of a bonus upon its production.

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