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Thursday, 16 August 1906


Senator PULSFORD - Yes ; and the company say that they think that the statutory declaration quoted by Senator McGregor ought to be laid on the table of the Senate.


Senator Millen - Some action ought to be taken upon it.


Senator PULSFORD - -Some action should, I think, be taken.


Senator Millen - The Government was ready enough to take action on Stone's complaint in reference to the Tobacco Commission.


Senator PULSFORD - Thefollowing is a copy of a letter sent to Marshall and Company : - 9th July,1902.

Messrs. Marshall and Co.,

Degrave-street, Flinders-lane,

Melbourne.

Gentlemen, -

We are handing you, through Mr. Beckman, cheque for£80 in payment of the lease premiums on machines returned as per list attached, together with statement showing debit to you of the difference due us on lease premium and installation charges of strap printing machine, after deducting allowances for the unexpired portion of the year's rental on Consoli dated Laster as paid by you in advance. This, you will understand, is in accordance with the writer's verbal agreement with you at your place of business in Melbourne on 2nd June,1902.

Very truly yours, (Signed) United Shoe Machinery Coy.,

F.   L. Alley,

Assistant Manager.

Appended to the letter is a detailed account as follows: -

Messrs.'\ Marshall and Co., Melbourne, in account with the United Shoe Machinery Co.

 

 

By cheque, 11.7.02, Marshall and Co.


Senator Pearce - There is some hard swearing somewhere.

SenatorPULS FORD.- There is; andI suggest that it is the duty of some one in this chamber - and it ought to be Senator McGregor - to probe to the bottom of the matter.


Senator Pearce - Perhaps it would be as well if the other sworn declaration were placed on the table as well.


Senator PULSFORD - Yes, and I shall be pleased to hand it to Senator Playford.


Senator Pearce - I accept the challenge on behalf of Senator McGregor.


Senator PULSFORD - During this debate we have had a very plentiful supply of "cock and bull" stories. I am sorry that Senator Trenwith has disappeared - that he has " shot his bolt " and fled - because I desire to refer to some statements made by him last night. Senator Trenwith is under the impression that the position of affairs in Victoria is such as to warrant support being given to this Bill. He urged that Victoria generally, owing to her past policy, is in a much superior position financially to that of any of the other States, especially New South Wales. After quoting a number of figures about estates left by deceased persons, Senator Trenwith read as follows from page 517 of Coghlan: -

These figures show a distribution of property not to be paralleled in any other part of the world ; and in a country where so much is said about the poor growing poorer, and the rich richer, it is pleasing to find that in the whole population one in six is the possessor of property, and that the ratio of distribution has been increasing with fair regularity in every province of the group. Victoria has the widest diffusion of wealth of the individual States; South Australia comes next to Victoria; then come New Zealand. . . .

Senator Trenwithstopped at the words "New Zealand," but there followed -

New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania, and, lastly, Queensland.

That statement rs followed up in Coghlan by a sentence which shows that the figures quoted by Senator Trenwith are worth nothing. The sentence is as follows: -

Too must stress, however, may be laid on the apparently wider distribution of wealth in one State than in another, for it is obvious that a province with a stationary or decreasing population will naturally come out of a comparison of this kind more favorably than another with a rapidly-increasing population.

That was the case with regard to Victoria, which had a decreasing population as compared with a rapidly-increasing population in New South Wales. Senator Trenwith should have read the whole of the extract, which clearly shows that the figures he used are not applicable, and create altogether a wrong impression. To prove how wrong that impression is, I may refer to page 514 of Coghlan, where is shown the value of property in the several States. The value of the property in New South Wales is put down at £368,778,000, and in Victoria at £310,074,000. It will be seen from this that New South Wales was an aggregate of £58,000,000 ahead. The figures in Coghlan dealing with the property per inhabitant show that in New South Wales this amounted to £258, and in Victoria to £256; so here, again, New South Wales is slightly ahead. On page 530, Coghlan gives a table containing calculations as to income. The total income of New South Wales is shown at £64,387,000, or £45.2 per inhabitant, as against £54,169,000 in Victoria, or £44.8 per inhabitant. Here, again, Victoria is below New South Wales. Senator Trenwith relied very largely on statements about production, in order to prove the contention he was then upholding. I have no hesitation in saying that Senator Tren- with had not grasped the figures; indeed, I imagine that he had not possession of them, and scarcely knows what he is talking about.


Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Senator Trenwith made a great many errors in his figures last night, some of which he has corrected to-day.


Senator PULSFORD - Senator Trenwithurged that we ought to accept the gross output of the manufacturing industries as sufficient indication of which State is producing most.


Senator Millen - Surely he was joking..


Senator PULSFORD - I think he must have been. But I have in my hand a statement signed by the Statist of Victoria, who gives the gross value of the output for the year 1904. In the case of Victoria, the Statist puts the output at £[23,126,000, and ' in the case of New South Wales at £27,159,000. On Senator Trenwith's own choice of figures, it will be seen that the position in New South Wales is much stronger than in Victoria. But when we look at the whole of the figures, showing, the production of the primary industries and the production of the manufacturing industries, the difference is really remarkable. I am able to give figures which have appeared in the press, showing the relative position of New South Wales and Victoria in this connexion last year. In New South Wales the product of the primary industries reached £36.1 millions, and inVictoria £24.3 millions. The value added by. the manufacturers of New South Wales was £10.6 millions, and in Victoria it was £9.7 millions. The total value in New South Wales was £46.7 millions, or £31 us. 4d. per head; and in Victoria £34,000,000, or £27 19s. 6d. per head. Honorable senators will remember how Senator Trenwith referred to this £27 19s. 6d.as being the largest production per head in the whole world, and how he concluded' generally that the production in Victoria, was enormous in consequence of her past tariff legislation, while New South Wales, comparatively, was " nowhere." Honorable senators will, I think, admit, without much hesitation, that Senator Trenwith's figures are thus fairly upset. On page 1020- of Coghlan, there are some figures which I may quote to complete the honorable senator's discomfiture. These figures show the production in each ten years from 187 1 to 1901, and also for the year 1903. In the last four periods, Victoria, out of the whole six States, shows the lowest per head, except in the year 1901, when she was 6d. per head over the State of Tasmania. These figures are, I think, conclusive, and even Senator Trenwith, if he were here, would feel that he has been " knocked into a cocked hat." I do not thin'k that sufficient prominence is given in Australia to the importance to the Commonwealth of the primary industries. I think I have said before in this Chamber, that there are people in Australia who attach very much more importance to the manufacture of the leg of a chair, worth, perhaps, a shilling, than they do to the production of a whole cargo of wool.







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