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Monday, 18 December 1905

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) - I do not know that any one can fairly oppose the amendment. We have been inclined to soften down our expressions, and, therefore, why should we use the term " black labour " which does not apply to all nations, when the phrase "coloured" could be used?

Senator GIVENS(Queensland). - I would urge the 'Minister to accept the amendment, because after the end of 1906. when all the kanakas shall have returned to their islands, the coloured labour in the industry will not be so much black labour as copper or other coloured labour. As the amendment does not affect a vital principle of the Bill, and expresses the views of honorable senators on the other side, it might be accepted.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - I always like to call a thing by its proper name. I really think that the term " black labour " is better than the term "coloured labour," because when we get to coloured labour conditions, it will then mean coloured labour. The point is not worth fighting about, and under the circumstances, I am willing to accept the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - I move -

That all the words from the word " in," line 14, to the word " manufacture," line 17, inclusive, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " (c) in the case of cane cut in the year 1906, after the expiration of one month after the commencement of this Act."

The only principle involved in this amendment, which otherwise is a drafting one, is that we propose to insert words to give the sugar-growers a month's grace in which to decide whether they will produce their cane by white labour or not.

Senator Fraser - Is a month's grace sufficient ?

Senator PLAYFORD - The Minister of Trade and Customs, who has studied this question, thinks that it is quite sufficient.

Senator Givens - They will really have eighteen months' grace, because the Act will not come into force until the end of 1906.

Senator PULSFORD(New South Wales). - I shall be glad if Senator Playford can tell us whether it is clearly, arranged that wherever the new bounty is paid, the new Excise duty shall be paid.

Senator Playford - When the Act comes into operation, in 1907, the new Excise duty will come into operation.

Senator PULSFORD - That does not quite answer my question. In 1906 there will be a quantity of sugar grown which will be consumed in 1907, and I wish to know whether in regard to that sugar when the bounty of is paid, the Excise duty of £4. will be paid?

Senator PLAYFORD(South AustraliaMinister of Defence). - I understand Senator Pulsford to say that in 1906. a certain quantity of sugar will be produced, and that the Bill will not come into force until 1907. The present bounty willbe paid until then. After 1907, the new Excise duty will be charged, and the increased bounty paid; but certainly not on the previous crop.

Senator GIVENS(Queensland). - I can give Senator Pulsford the assurance that he requires. All the sugar produced in 1:906, although it may not have paid Excise during the year 1906, will pay only the Excise payable in that year. That is to say, that sugar will be in bond and will be allowed to go into consumption on payment of per ton. This Bill does not come into force till 1907. Therefore, the effect will be that on any cane delivered at the mills in 1906 the bounty will be paid at the old rate. There is not the slightest danger that the increased bounty will be paid on sugar which has paid the old Excise.

Senator .PULSFORD (New South Wales). - I direct attention to the words which Senator Playford proposes to insert : " after the commencement of this Act." I assume that the measure comes into force when the Governor-General gives his assent. It is possible that the amendment proposed will cause trouble. The

Bill will be in force in January next year. It appears to me that, in order to avoid risk, we should put in the words, "on the expiration of one month after this Act comes into operation." It is, of course, entirely a legal point, and if the legal members of the Senate are quite satisfied, I shall not persist.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - I cannot see what Senator Pulsford is driving at. This clause defines what white-grown cane or beet shall mean. In addition to that, we give the growers a month' after the commencement of the measure to get readv.

Senator PULSFORD(New South Wales). - I am satisfied that the wording I Have suggested would be an improvement, but 'I shall not occupy further time over the matter.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3-

After the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and seven there shall be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund, which is hereby appropriated accordingly, to every grower of white-grown cane or beet within the Commonwealth a bounty at the rates provided by this Act on all such cane or beet delivered for manufacture after that date and before the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and twelve.

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