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Thursday, 6 September 1906


The PRESIDENT - There is no point of order. If an honorable senator is misrepresented, he may call attention to the fact, and correct the statement made.


Senator MILLEN - The evidence which Senator Pearce referred to as that of Mr. Jacobs was, it appears, a translation of an official document. I say. at once that I do not think the honorable senator intentionally meant to mislead the Senate ; but a statement of the kind must have that effect.


Senator Pearce - Do you think that a statement like the following would appear in a Consular report?

As this contains a mass of figures which no one can follow intelligently when it is read out, I trust it will be admitted as evidence without my doing so.


Senator MILLEN - The figures I have given are taken from the report, and my point is that we have no more right to call them the evidence of Mr. Jacobs than we would have the right to describe as evidence any statement taken from Mulhall or any other recognised authority. The figures show that the wages paid in Australia are double those in France, and that the cost price of leaf and imported manufactured tobacco is three times higher here, equalling nearly11d. per lb.


Senator Pearce - I have averaged the wages given there, and I find that they are entirely erroneous - that the figures on which they are based do not bear out the conclusion.


Senator MILLEN - I cannot pretend to have gone through this table, but I take it as a correct translation.


Senator Pearce - Does the honorable senator think that the Consul would analyze the figures, and make a comparison as between Australia and France? It is Mr. jacobs' comparison, and not that of the French Consul.


Senator MILLEN - Senator Pearce may impugn the statement if he likes.


Senator Pearce - I have analyzed it, and found it to be wrong.


Senator MILLEN - When did the honorable senator do that ?


Senator Pearce - When preparing the report ; and I found that the average did not work out correctly.


Senator MILLEN - It is curious that the honorable senator did not draw attention to that fact, either in the report or when he was addressing the Senate.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator would have said that I was biased.


Senator MILLEN - It was the duty of the honorable senator to call attention to the fact.


Senator Pearce - That is the reason I would not accept the witness's evidence, as to wages.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator says that the statement as to wages is wrong: but I shall show that the figures are correct. I undertake to say that the statement I have read, showing that the wages in Australia are double those in France, is correct. I also undertake to show that the cost price of leaf and imported manufactured tobacco in Australia is three times as high as in France, and that nearly ltd. per lb. more is paid here, while the selling price out here is only ] S. 4½d. per lb. more. If we are paying j.rd. ps-r lb. more for material, and the wages are 100 per cent, higher, is it not reasonable to suppose that the selling price of the article should be 5jd. more? I propose to leave the comparison as to Austria and other places out of consideration. Senator Pearce has been careful, in referring to the revenue results, to take admittedly the best example, namely, France. In Austria: the State gets only is. 4d. per lb. for the tobacco manufactured and sold in the country ; and this particular instance shows so little advantage that I can quite understand Senator Pearce omitting to press it as an example. I dismiss the point with the remark that Austria is such a miserable and insufficient example that it cannot be accepted as a fair comparison with Australia ; and all that the facts prove is that a State monopoly is not necessarily beneficial to those employed, or productive of revenue. I now desire to pass on to another statement made by Senator Pearce, who denied the inferiority of French tobacco.


Senator Pearce - Hear, hear !


Senator MILLEN - I take it that Senator Pearce stands by the statement that there is no inferiority in French tobacco. I invite the attention of honorable senators to the fact that the opinion of Senator Pearce is supposed to be based upon the evidence given before the Commission, and the honorable senator's actual words were, as reported in Hansard -

The charge is sometimes made that under a State monopoly an inferior quality of tobacco would be supplied. Now, the people of France, whatever may be their faults, cannot be accused of lacking the organ of taste, because they are supposed to possess the finest palate of any people in the world. After ail, the quality of tobacco i's entirely a question of taste.

In the first portion of the Quotation, Senator Pearce denied the inferiority of the French tobacco, but later on he said -

To a Frenchman French tobacco is the best in the world.


Senator Millen - He cannot get any other.


Senator PEARCE - That old idea has been thoroughly exploded. A Frenchman can get any tobacco he wants, because he is allowed to import it ; in fact, the Government will import it for him if. he likes. There are importers of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes into France, but the imported tobacco cannot be sold in competition with French tobacco, simply because -

I draw attention to the words - the Frenchman has been used to the local tobacco, and, in fact, prefers it.

That is the verdict of Senator Pearce after listening to the evidence I am about to quote. The first point I make is that the price paid in France shows the inferiority of a State-manufactured tobacco; and now I turn to other evidence on the point. In passing, I may say that Senator Pearce's two explanations seem somewhat contradictory. The honorable senator first of all affirmed that the French tobacco is not inferior, and then practically said that it does not matter if it is . inferior - after one gets used to it. If the latter means anything, it is an admission that the French tobacco is inferior, but that the people have been so long familiar with it, that the inferiority does not matter. I propose to inquire whether the French tobacco is, or is not, inferior, and the first thing I find on going through the evidence is an extract from the report of the Tobacco Commission appointed by the German Government to inquire, as was the case in Australia, as to the possibility or desirability of nationalizing the industry.


Senator Pearce - Is the report of that Commission in the evidence


Senator MILLEN - It is on page 285 of the evidence.


Senator Pearce - Then I would draw attention to a letter from Mr. Woodward, to whom the documents were submitted for interpretation, and who informed us that the report was not contained in the documents submitted bv Mr. Jacobs.


Senator MILLEN - May I ask whether that fact was ever disclosed to Mr. Jacobs ?


Senator Pearce - Yes; I think a letter was -sent to Mr. Jacobs.


Senator MILLEN - So far as I can follow the evidence, Mr. Jacobs certainly put the report in, or thought he did; and, if by some inadvertence on the part of any official of the Commission, it was not included, that is a matter of which I have no knowledge.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator misunderstands me. Mr. Jacobs offered to let the Commission have the two volumes which he said contained the report of the German Commission. Mr. Jacobs said he could not read German, but that the report was in the two volumes. Mr. Woodward, who was acting as reporter, was instructed to peruse the volume, anc! he, in a letter which is given on the last page of the report of the Commission, informed us that the volume did not contain any such report, but did contain a copy of a Bill to be submitted to the German Parliament for the taking over of the industry, and the reasons for the action.


Senator MILLEN - All I can say is that whether the document was, or was not, included, I find it on page 284 of the evidence, and it is described as extracts from the German Tobacco Commission report of 1878 on the State Tobacco Monopoly, and other data bearing on the question.


Senator Pearce - That is Mr. Jacobs' evidence.


Senator MILLEN - It is immaterial to me whether the document was properly put in or not ; all I say is that it is included in the evidence and report presented by the Commission. It does not appear to be quite correct, nor indeed relevant, to say that the document was not properly put in evidence. Surely Senator Pearce is not going to impugn a portion of the document presented by the Commission.


Senator Pearce - What I say is "that Mr. Jacobs gave it as an extract from the German Commission's report, but the volumes which he presented did not contain the report to which, he referred.


Senator Clemons - Is it not referred to by the Commission as the report of the German Commission ?


Senator Pearce - Not in the report of the Tobacco Commission.


Senator MILLEN - It is a remarkable state of affairs when, on turning to a document presented to the Commission, I am met with the statement that the portion to which I desire to refer must not be regarded as being in the report. If those who conducted the inquiry did their duty, the document should have been properly put in evidence.


Senator Best - It is part of the evidence on which the Commission's report was founded.


Senator MILLEN - I presume so.


Senator Pearce - I am not disputing that, but only drawing attention to the fact that the two volumes handed in by Mr. Jacobs did not contain the report to which he referred.


Senator MILLEN - However, as to the quality of the French tobacco, the report of the German Commission contained the following : -

It is generally admitted that the quality of French pipe tobacco is inferior. The reasons for this, as specially stated by Dr. Kruekl in the Austrian official report on the Paris Exhibition of 1867, and admitted by all experts, is to be found mainly in defective manufacturing processes - the raw material is excessively wetted and roasted. In spite of wholesale complaints, however, no change has so far been made in a single factory throughout Fiance. All progress in the manufacture of tobacco has thus been originated in countries where it is free, specially in Germany, Belgium, and Holland. Leading officials of tobacco Regies admit that the large private factories of Germany are up to date. These establishments are furnished with the latest machinery and appliances, many of which are not to be found in Regie factories." Regie countries seek to obtain knowledge of progress in tobacco manufacture, bv sending officers to inspect the factories of those free countries, and by engaging workmen who have been trained there. France has even been obliged to transfer to private factories the manufacture of certain specialties in cigars.

Here is a further quotation from the same report : -

The enquiries of the French Committees of 1835 and '8/2 -

I draw attention to the wide difference in the dates, which shows that, although thirty-seven years had elapsed, the conditions were quite similar - reveal the fact that there exists in France a contraband trade of such enormous dimensions that its official description sounds like fairy tales. With regard to frontier districts towards Belgium, the report of the Vicomte de Bourbon, of 1S75, states : -

The contraband trade has taken the place of the Regie. . . . lt is notorious that the great smuggling enterprises now supply from 50 per cent, to 70 per cent, of 'the consumption. . . This smuggle has its capitalists, insurances, and undertakers, who direct the operations.

This smuggle has its capitalists, insurances, and undertakers, who direct the operations. It has its dogs, its vehicles, and armed bands, who transport great quantities of tobacco.' " AH this in spite of the fact that the number of Customs officers in these districts is enormous. In addition, there is the secret manufacture. For instance, the report states that one district, Allauch, having 2,000 inhabitants, has scarcely any other industry than that of the clandestine manufacture of tobacco. The loss of the Regie from these causes, and the sale at reduced prices of its own products in the districts affected, is estimated by the Regie to amount to 20 per cent, of its net revenue."

The points I make upon that are these : That the French tobacco is so inferior that people will incur all the risk of smuggling, and that in order to. get any sale for it at all the practice of the Government is to sell the tobacco on' the border district at a lower price than is charged for it throughout the country generally. There is one other extract which confirms that which I have just rea'd, and it will be found on page 285 of the minutes ' of evidence attached to the report - " ' Tn the provinces bordering on Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland, the French Regie charges specially low rates for common tobaccos, as the only method by which smuggling can be minimized. For instance, the lowest quality made, " Talbac de Cantine," which is sold to retailers at 7.20 francs per kilo, all over France, is sold as low as 2.60 francs per kilo, in the districts immediately adjoining those countries.' "

It appears to me that if the French tobacco were not merely superior but equal to that to be obtained elsewhere, there would be no necessity for the French Government to quote specially low prices for their border districts. There is another source of information which may be resorted to to show the inferiority of French tobacco. I find that the export of tobacco from France, a country of 40,000,000 of people, is 645,000 lbs., valued at ,£93,000. The export from Austria amounts to 451,000 lbs;, valued at £79,000; from Italy, 88,000 lbs., valued at £11,000. The export from Germany, under the stimulus of private enterprise, amounts to 55,615,000 lbs., or something like one hundred times the export from France. Holland is not a big country, but the manufacture of tobacco there is conducted by private enterprise, and the value of the export from that country is given at £1,175,917, as against an export valued at £93,000 from France. The Commonwealth, with its limited community of 4,000,000 of people, or one- tenth of the population of France, exports £40,000 worth of tobacco, or nearly half the value of the export from France. It is well to ask to what countries France exports tobacco. If French tobacco were equal to the other tobaccoes placed on the markets of the world, we might reasonably expect that her exports would correspond to some extent in volume with those of her neighbours, but I have shown that her exports are too insignificant- comparatively to be entitled to the term. A further explanation is that her exports are largely to her own Possessions, and that in the markets of the world French .tobacco is practically unknown.


Senator Playford - It is very bad. I could not smoke it when I was there.


Senator MILLEN - I know that nothing but the honorable senator's grand constitution pulled him through any effort he ever made to smoke it.


Senator Findley - It- all depends on the price you pay for it.


Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Most people who visit France take the tobacco they require with them. >


Senator MILLEN - Let me put these export figures in another way. The total production of France is 83,000,000 lbs., and of that she exports 645,000 lbs., or 7 - roughly, three-quarters of i- per cent. - of the quantity manufactured. Australia exports over 6 per cent, of her production. I present these figures for the consideration of my honorable friends.


Senator Findley - Are they official?


Senator MILLEN - The figures with respect to French production are taken from the Tobacco Commission's report, and the other figures are supplied by the Statistician's Office in Sydney. There is one extract which I wish to give from the official report of the French Regie for 1902. It will be found at page 386 of the Commission's report -

The average wholesale price realized, according to the official report, of the French Regie for 1902 is -

 

The people living in France proper are thus taxed very much higher than those in Algeria and Corsica.

Why ? Because the Regie does not apply there. It is not a monopoly in those countries, although they are French Possessions. In order to get their inferior tobacco into consumption in those places, they have absolutely to sell it at a lower' price than they charge for it in France.


Senator Pearce - Has the honorable senator noticed the significant fact that the French Commission of Inquiry of 1875 referred to the prices in 1902? How were they able to prophesy.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator is quite mistaken. The document from which I have quoted is the official report of the Regie for 1902, and an opinion which found expression in the previous report of 1875 is re-embodied in the report of 1902.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator will find this in the evidence -

On the same subject this Commission further reports (principal report, page ,117) -

The French Commission of Inquiry of 1875 made careful inquiry into the quality of the tobacco furnished by the French Regie.

I should like to add that this is part of Mr. Jacobs' evidence.


Senator MILLEN - The particulars I am giving now are from the last official report of 1902, a report which was before the Tariff Commission. Does Senator Pearce deny that there is in that report evidence that the price at which French tobacco was sold in Corsica and Algeria was less than that at which iti is sold in France itself?


Senator Pearce - I do not deny that.


Senator Playford - It is another case of dumping.


Senator MILLEN - And the unfortunate Algerians have not the benefit of some of Senator Playford's legislation on that subject. I find that on page 286 of the Tobacco Commission's report, that the French Commission's report was taken notice of by the German Commission, who made an extract from it. I quote the extract from the French report, which is given in the report of the German Commission -

It will be seen that complaints hold a larger place than approvals.

The French Commission had been appointed to inquire into the whole business, which apparently in the minds of a good many people, and certainly of the Government of the day, was in an unsatisfactory condition, and" the Commission found that complaints held a larger place than approvals. On that the German Commission add-

This is the judgment of the Regie manufacturers rendered in the best Regie country itself.

I have nothing to add to that. There is evidence from the finding of the French Commissioners, and the confirmation of the German Commission that French tobacco was. and is, inferior, and it was necessary to sell it in border districts at a lower price than in the country generally. It was necessary also to sell it in Corsica and Algeria at a lower price than in France. I have shown that the French export of tobacco, even as compared with that of Australia, is so small as to .show at once that the contention that French tobaccoes are equal to other tobaccoes sold in the markets of the world, is without any foundation. I come now to another statement made by Senator Pearce. The honorable senator said -

A Frenchman can get any tobacco he wants, because he is allowed to import it : in fact, the Government will import it for him if' he likes. There are importers of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes in France.

That was said' in reply to an interjection I made. Having as a lad lived opposite to the coast of France, and having had frequent opportunities to visit that country, I knew something of the conditions under which the tobacco business was carried on, and I felt that that statement was absolutely incorrect.


Senator Pearce - Mr. Ferguson said in his evidence -

Unmanufactured tobacco, cigars, &c, are practically prohibited. But those who can afford something better than the State factories can produce are permitted to import, for personal use only, a quantity up to 22 lbs. per annum, on payment of about 13s. per lb. Foreign made cigars are imported by the Regie to a limited extent.


Senator MILLEN - I ask whether even that statement justifies the honorable senator's statement that a Frenchman can get any tobacco he wants, that in fact the Government will import it for him if he likes, and that there are importers of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes in France? I have here a certificate of the French ConsulGeneral in Sydney, dated 30th August, in which he says -

The following are the rates of duty at present in force in France : -

Leaf, for Regie, direct to a French port, francs (per 100 kilos.), free; via an European port, francs (per 100 kilos.), 6.00.

Leaf for private individuals, prohibited.

Manufactured cigars and cigarettes, for Regie, direct to a French port, francs (per 100 kilos.), free; via an European port, francs (per 100 kilos.),8.00.

Manufactured cigars and cigarettes, for personal use of importers, not more than 10 kilos., per head per annum, direct or otherwise, francs (per 100 kilos.) : -

 

the Regie does not permit the wholesale importation of any class of tobacco, cigars, or cigarettes, and trading in same.

I thus show -

1.   That the Regie does not permit the wholesale importation of or trading in imported tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes.

It follows that (apart from smuggling) there are no importers of these goods in France.

2.   That private persons may import up to 10 kilo. (22 lbs.) of foreign tobacco, cigars, or cigarettes, at the following rates of duty : -

For cigars and cigarettes, 3600 francs per 100 kilo., equal to 13s. 7¾d. per lb.

All smoking tobacco.

From Levant, 2500 francs per 100 kilo., equal to 9s.5¾d. per lb.

From other countries, 1500 francs per kilo., equal to 5s. 8¾d. per lb.

These duties largely exceed the Commonwealth duty, and are prohibitive.

It will then be seen that there is not the slightest justification for Senator Pearce's statement that a Frenchman can get any tobacco he wants, that the Government will import it for him, or that he can import it for himself. It is idle to say that Frenchmen smoke French tobacco because he likes it, although he could get any other tobacco if he chose. The price at which he could get other tobacco is prohibitive, and he is thus compelled to use the local stuff or none at all.


Senator McGregor - I have heard Frenchmen say that our Australian tobacco was rubbish.


Senator MILLEN - I, myself, have had too much experience down the English

Channel of the repute in which French tobacco is held to require any further proof. I have seen the Deal boatmen chase a homecoming ship for miles in the hope of getting a pound or two of tobacco from a tobaccogrowing country. I have never seen them attempt to smuggle French tobacco into England, though they had no compunction about chasing a vessel along the Downs in the hope that they might be able to get tobacco from other parts of the world from the officers or crew. I am surprised, in looking through the evidence of the Commission, to notice that no portion of it justifies the statement which Senator Pearce has made to the Senate that French tobacco is not inferior, and that a Frenchman can get any tobacco that he likes. There is nothing in the evidence, so far as I can see, to justify that statement. In fact, the evidence absolutely disproves it.


Senator Pearce - Several witnesses, Mr. Carter amongst them, said that they were perfectly satisfied that the tobacco in France was satisfactory to the French people.


Senator MILLEN - Mr. Carter is a manufacturer in Melbourne, who gave evidence before the Commission, and who has written a pamphlet on the nationalization of the tobacco industry. But other witnesses told the Commission that they did not know that any French tobacco came here, that French tobacco was inferior, and that if any came out at all, it was in the form of a few cheap cigars for sale in public- houses. The honorable senator has referred me to one of the witnesses.


Senator Pearce - There were several others.


Senator MILLEN - One of them is an avowed advocate of the nationalization of the industry. But should their evidence be allowed to weigh against the official evidence to which I have drawn attention? There is no denying the fact that France is exporting practically no tobacco, and that she has to sell under certain conditions at a lower price than that at which she supplies the bulk of her own people. Facts of this kind outweigh the evidence of a dozen Mr, Carters, whose prejudices on this subject would appear to bear comparison even with those of my honorable friend.


Senator McGregor - Will the honorable senator say that he has no prejudices on this subject ?


Senator MILLEN - No; I will not. I have already said that it is idle to expect politicians who are actively engaged in the arena of party politics to be without bias. 1 admit frankly that I am just as unqualified to sit on a Commission to inquire into the question whether the tobacco business ought to be nationalized as Senator Pearce is. But that does not prevent me from saying that the evidence which he has presented is partial, that it is selected to favour a few, and that the statements he has made are not founded on the evidence itself.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator's own statement is open to the same charge. He is relying solely on Mr. Jacobs' evidence.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator is absolutely wrong. I am not relying upon that evidence, except to this extent - that it was the only evidence on these points put before the Commission.


Senator Pearce - Oh, no.


Senator MILLEN - If there is any other evidence on the subject, I ask the honorable senator to produce it.


Senator Pearce - There is Mr. Carter's.


Senator MILLEN - I am going to deal with Mr. Carter later on. There is the unchallengable fact, however, that France is not exporting tobacco, and that she has to reduce the price of that which she sells at some places along the borders of her own territories.


Senator Findley - The honorable senator has been supplied with wrong informationon that point.


Senator MILLEN - Senator Findley mav dispute it if he can.


Senator Findley - I will dispute it when I have the chance.


Senator MILLEN - I am not pretending that I am presenting both sides to the Senate. What I say is that Senator Pearce only presented one, and that I am presenting the other in order that honorable senators may arrive at a fair judgment. I also complan that the report compiled by Senator Pearce was based upon one side of the evidence.


Senator Findley - He was only one member of the Commission.


Senator MILLEN - But some of the other members of it had made up their minds before they went on the Commission.


Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - That is hardly fair.


Senator MILLEN - They contended that nationalization was a good thing, and that the country ought to commence with this industry. If, instead of dealing with a big industry, and endeavouring to commit this country to a revolutionary proposal of this kind, the members of this Commission had been sworn on a jury to try a case involving a few pounds worth of property, would they have been willing to accept the position? Would they not have said, " We ask to be excused because we have expressed such strong opinions that we do not feel qualified to try the case " ?


Senator Findley - We did feel qualified to serve on this Commission, and the people will agree with us.


Senator MILLEN - But upon a question affecting a few pounds worth of private property, I venture to say that the honorable senator1 would have taken up quite a different attitude. Even if he were not challenged on the ground that he was prejudiced, he would ask the Judge to excuse him, as any right thinking mas would do under the circumstances. I come now to the statement of Senator Pearce that the tobacco combine has strenuously, continuously, and systematically made efforts to crush the growers. I am glad to hear the approving cheer of my honorable friends opposite, because it shows that I have not misunderstood Senator Pearce's statements. In order that the Senate may fully recognise what he has said on the subject, I intend to quote a passage from his speech, pages 3267-8 of Hansard -

There was a time when Australia cultivated a fair acreage, and produced a large quantity of tobacco. The acreage and production reached their highest point in this country in1388, when 6,641 acres produced 7,868,112 lbs. of leaf. Since 1888 there has been a gradual drawing together of the factories, which have become fewer and fewer, until in the last three years we have seen the monopoly hy the tobacco combine.


Senator Lt Col Gould .- Had the Excise nothing to do with the decrease of production?


Senator Gray - Had change of taste nothing to do with it?


Senator PEARCE - In 1903, in Australia, 1,323 acres produced 802,237 lbs. of leaf, a decrease of 5,419 acres and of 7,065,875 lbs. of leaf. I recommend these figures to our farmer friends as an example of what is happening in Italy and France under State Socialism, as compared with the position of the grower in Australia under private enterprise.


Senator Gray - I suppose the, honorable senator acknowledges that the quantity of tobacco produced was reduced very considerably before the combine came into existence?


Senator PEARCE - Certainly. I say that the reduction has been going on since 1888.


Senator Gray - Then the combine has nothing to do with it.


Senator PEARCE - The combine has a great deal to do with the reduction.


Senator Gray - What ! Before it came into existence ?


Senator PEARCE - The honorable senator does not seem to grasp the fact that since 1888 the factories have been becoming fewer, and that buyers have been disappearing and competition lessening, until, in 1900, the latter practically disappeared because there was only one buyer. Ever since 1888 there have been two movements in the tobacco trade of Australia - a gradual diminution of competition in the manufacture, and the elimination of the tobacco grower from amongst our farmers.

There is a statement which I may condense into a few words - that since 1888 there has been a gradual diminution of buyers, and that, corresponding with that reduction, there has been a decrease in the acreage cultivated for tobacco leaf. I should like to point out, before passing on to give the exact figures, that before October, 1901, each Colony of Australia was an absolutely independent country, and must, therefore, be regarded separately. It is not possible, in view of the different rates of Excise and the different Customs duties which prevailed in each of the Colonies, to regard the Commonwealth as a whole before that date. Although, therefore, I shall give the figures for the whole of Australia, I draw attention to the fact that they are likely to be misleading if honorable senators do not bear in mind what I have said. In South Australia, for instance, there was no Excise duty on tobacco, and the same rate of Customs duty was paid in that State whether the leaf came from New South Wales or from America - namely,1s. 7½d. per lb. The two dates which I wish honorable senators to carry in their minds are 1888 and 1900. Senator Pearce stated that since 1888 there had been a gradual diminution of factories, until in 1900 they were all rolled into one. The figures which I shall quote are taken from pages 11 and 14 of the Commission's report, and were furnished by Mr. Ferguson, the Inspector of Excise in Victoria. The figures relating to the acreage under tobacco do not begin with 1888. The report to which I refer gives the figures from 1884. The acreage for that year for all Australia was 2.521. Senator Pearce, in order to show as big a reduction as possible, took the year 1888, when there were 6,641 acres under tobacco cultivation. The Senate will see at once that in those four years the acreage had increased nearly three times. Of course, it appears much more startling to take the highest figures and compare them with a year in which the figures are lower. I shall show, however, that Senator Pearce's statement that the acreage has declined correspondingly with the diminution in the number of factories is absolutely without foundation. He stated that the diminution in cultivation was due to the closing of factories, but he furnished no evidence to the Senate,nor was any evidence on that subject given to the Commission.


Senator Pearce -Yes; on page 7 - Mr. Ferguson's evidence.


Senator MILLEN - Whilst there has been a diminution in the acreage and in the number; of factories, the two factors do not proceed side by side. We have had a diminution in factories - that is, in buyers - with an increase of acreage, and we have had the reverse position. There is no relation between the alleged causeand the alleged effect. First of all, I take the increase in New South Wales. Mr. Ferguson, in his report, in no case justifies the statement madeby Senator Pearce. He gives reasons for the reduction in the acreage, and I will quote them later on. The only evidence that I can find in the report to support Senator Pearce's statement is that a number of small factories were closed in Victoria between 1880 and 1888.


Senator Pearce - The period with which I dealt was from 1888 to 1900.


Senator MILLEN - I find no evidence on that aspect of the question.


Senator Pearce - We had evidence from the growers that they found a decreasing number of buyers.


Senator MILLEN - Did the honorable senator ever take the trouble to find out what factories had disappeared? It was not difficult.


Senator Pearce - Since 1903- the honorable senator will find that in the appendix.


Senator MILLEN - It is a curious thing that the time when the factories were decreasing was the very time when the acreage was increasing. Take the case of New South Wales. In 1888 there were 4,883 acres under cultivation. With not a single factory less, it gradually fell from 4,883 acres in 1888 to 716 acres in 1894. That statement can be verified by reference to the Customs officials, who, of course, have issued licences to tobacco manufacturers. From 1888 to 1894 there was a rapid fall in the area under cultivation, and yet not a single factory had disappeared or ceased operations. Then there was an improvement for a period of two years, until, in 1897, the acreage had risen to 2,181 acres, when a factory was burnt down, and not rebuilt. Following on, there was a reduction during the next three years, and that brings us down to 1900, the year when Senator Pearce says the competition was practically confined to one buyer by the amalgamation of the factories. Yet. from the very date which he selected the acreage under cultivation had steadily increased. In 1900 it was 199 acres, whereas in 1903 it was 407 acres. The very opposite result ought to have happened. If the theory of Senator Pearce be correct, then from 1888 to 1897, when the number of factories remained the same, the acreage under cultivation ought also to have remained the same; but, instead of that, it fell enormously. Then it commenced to rise, and again it fell, and the only time when it began to make a steady advance was when all the factories had been brought into one combination, and the buying was confined to one person. In Victoria we get am even more extraordinary state of affairs. In 1888 there were 1,685 acres under cultivation. There was a steady decrease down to 1898, when the acreage had fallen to 78 acres. With such a big drop in the acreage under cultivation one would naturally expect to see, according to the theory of Senator Pearce, a considerable diminution in the number of factories. But what happened in that time? In 1891 a small factory was closed, and in 1896 a small factory was started. Ifthe theory of Senator Pearce be a good one, it means that the fall from 1,685 to 78 acres in a decade was entirely due to the fact that for four years one of the smallest factories in Melbourne had temporarily ceased operations. But, as a matter ' of fact," the diminution in the acreage took place before it was closed, and it continued after the other factory was started. Therefore, it is idle to try to make a general statement of that kind when the figures absolutely disprove it. Here, again, since 1900 - the yeast when there was only one. buyer - we find that the acreage has steadily increased. It has increased from 109 acres in 1900 to 129 acres in 1903. In Queensland the acreage has remained at a steady level during the last few years. It was 745 acres in 1899, 665 acres in 1 goo - the year of the alleged combination - and 686 acres in 1903. The only evidence I can find to show that a number of factories were closed anywhere is as to factories that were closed before the year which Senator Pearce selected. On page 3

Mr. Fergusongives a table which shows that from 1879 to 1888 the acreage increased from 531 to 685 acres. Yet those are the years in which, according to Senator Pearce, al number of factories were closed. Since the Commission concluded its labours, the figures for another year are available, showing that within a year there has been an increase of from 752 to 809 acres in New South Wales, from 106 to 169 acres in Victoria, and from 784 to 1,100 acres in Queensland. According to the theory of Senator Pearce, since 1900, when the tobacco growers were reduced to one market, there ought to have been a still further diminution in the acreage under cultivation ; but it has been during the existence of the combination that there has been a steady progress. It was during the years when there was no diminution in the number of factories that the rapid decline took place. While I say that the theory advanced by Senator Pearce in no sense accounts for the decreased acreage, there was an abundant quantity of evidence submitted by independent witnesses to show the real trouble with tobacco growing. Expert evidence was given, as regards New South Wales, by Mr. W. S. Campbell, the Director of Agriculture, and, as regards Victoria, by Mr. Ferguson. Chief Inspector of Excise. Referring to the Excise duty imposed in 1884, Mr. Campbell says, in reply to question 3686 -

That is what knocked tobacco growing on the head in New South Wales, to my mind.

On page 8, Mr. Ferguson attributes the decline in the growth to the imposition of the Excise duty, and a change ira the public taste favoring American leaf.


Senator Pearce - On page 4 he also says that the number of manufacturers has decreased.


Senator MILLEN - When the honorable senator makes that interjection he forces me tb read a lengthy extract.


Senator Pearce - On page 8?


Senator MILLEN - That is exactly what I am saying. Relying on Mr. Ferguson's evidence, the honorable senator affirmed that from 1888 downwards, there had been a gradual lessening of the number of factories, and a gradual diminution in the acreage under cultivation; but he now refers me to Mr. Ferguson's evidence on page 7, in which I do not find a word about the year to which he referred -

Just before the passing of the Act in 1880 - that is, eight years before the honorable senator brings the figures under review - there were twelve fairly large tobacco and cigar factories in Melbourne, and a number of small manufacturers in Melbourne and country. Those who formerly made tobacco or cigars had now to cease manufacturing unless a licence was taken out.

The very years to which Mr. Ferguson referred are those in which there was an increase in the acreage under cultivation, but the years I am dealing with are those which were specially selected by Senator Pearce, that is from 1888 downwards. From 1888 to 1900 - with the exception of the disappearance of a factory here and the appearance of a factory elsewhere - there was practically going on a gradual fall in the acreage under cultivation, side by side with the same number of factories. It was after the combine had been completed, or, according to Senator Pearce, the factories had come together, in 1900, that the acreage commenced to improve again. In his evidence, Mr. Ferguson gives abundant reasons for the increase in the acreage. He inno sense affirms that the combine had anything to do with that result. He shows that the American Civil War was a contributing factor to the development of the tobacco industry. He points out that the social development of that country had a big effect in that direction, because in a scattered community, small farmers manufactured their own tobacco when they were free to do so, but later on, when an Excise duty was introduced, and the larger factories were started, the small manufacturers did not find it profitable to pay the licence fee, and therefore ceased to manufacture. He deals with a multiplicity of matters of that kind, to which I do not propose to refer, except to say that there is not a single word in them to justify the statement that the drawing together of the factories, if it did take place, had the slightest effect upon the acreage under cultivation. Mr. Ferguson clearly affirms that the Excise duty was a big factor in that direction. In dealing with the evidence of the alleged combine on the local leaf, I am brought to the allegation made by Senator Pearce of unfair treatment against the growers with regard to the Tumut Prize Competition.


Senator Pearce - Why did not the honorable senator quote the following evidence by Mr. Ferguson on page 9 : -

Since the duty was imposed in 1880, those factories then in existence have died out except two? - Yes.


Senator MILLEN - Why did not the honorable senator go on quoting? There is not a word in the evidence of Mr. Ferguson to justify his contention that the number of factories decreased as the acreage fell.


Senator Pearce - From twelve to two.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator forces me to quote again from the evidence of this witness -

Since the duty was imposed in 1880 those factories then in existence have died out except two ? - Yes.

Why did not the honorable senator quote the figures: for 1880 instead of those for 1888?


Senator Findley - Why does the honorable senator take Mr. Ferguson as against the tobacco-growers?


Senator MILLEN - Because I was referred to Mr. Ferguson. No amount of argument can get away from the fact that there is not a single word in his evidence which justifies the statement of Senator Pearce that as the factories diminished in number the acreage undercultivation fell.


Senator Story - Might there not have been another cause for the decrease in acreage ?


Senator MILLEN - Of course there was. In introducing the Bill, Senator Pearce affirmed that the diminution in acreage was due to the fact that there was an elimination of the competitors for the leaf.


Senator Pearce - That is the reason which the growers gave us for not putting in leaf.


Senator MILLEN - That is the reason which Senator Pearce gave us.


Senator Pearce - No ; the growers said that there were fewer buyers, and that therefore they ceased to cultivate the leaf.


Senator MILLEN - That was not the reason given to the Commission by the growers. It was put forward by the honorable senator on his own responsibility.


Senator Pearce - At Tumut and Wangaratta the growers said that.


Senator Findley - They all said the same thing.


Senator MILLEN - They do not all say the same thing. In any case, it does not matter whether they do so or not, because the statement I am challenging is the statement of Senator Pearce, who said, without any qualification as to the evidence given, that there had been two movements visible since 1888, namely, the drawing together of the factories, and the gradual diminution of the acreage under cultivation. It does not matter whether or not all the witnesses swore to that effect, because the figures presented by Mr. Ferguson disproved the statement. Senator Pearce must have had those figures before him, and they clearly show that the number of factories remained stationary while the acreage diminished, but that when the combination took place the acreage increased.


Senator Pearce - We had no statement but that of Mr. Ferguson.


Senator MILLEN - There were the official figures.


Senator Pearce - Yes, from Mr. Ferguson.


Senator MILLEN - Official figures must weigh against the testimony of interested persons.


Senator Pearce - Where did we get any figures other than those given by Mr. Ferguson ?


Senator MILLEN - Where did the honorable senator get the evidence that from 1888 the number of factories decreased?


Senator Pearce - The /only statement we have is that of Mr. Ferguson.


Senator MILLEN - That referred to the period from 1880; Mr. Ferguson's statement has nothing to do" with the years to which Senator Pearce refers. It was pointed out by Mr. Ferguson that it was prior to 1880 that the small factories went out of existence, whereas Senator Pearce is dealing with 1888.


Senator Pearce - Does the honorable senator say that there were only two factories in 1888 ?


Senator MILLEN - I do not say anything about the number; but. so far as New South Wales is concerned, only one factory disappeared from 1888 to 1900.


Senator Pearce - Where does the honorable senator find that in the evidence?


Senator MILLEN - I obtained the information from the Customs Department, and it can be checked by the number of licences issued. In Victoria, in those same years, one factory was closed and another one was opened ; but both were too small to have any material effect.


Senator Pearce - There were a number of licences for the manufacture of cigars, but those cigars did not represent 1 per cent, of the total output.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator now seeks to qualify what he has said.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator does not understand all the facts - that is the trouble.


Senator MILLEN - It may be a satisfactory way for the honorable senator to dispose of an argument by saying that those who differ from him do not understand the subject. That is not a new method ; but I have yet to learn that it is an impressive or effective method. Senator Story interjected that there were other reasons ; and, of course, there were. Senator Pearce himself has furnished what is undoubtedly the best of all reasons. The honorable senator himself has stated in the recommendations -

Tobacco made wholly from Australian leaf is to a certain extent inferior, but that is very largely owing to the fact that in Australia growers have not been sufficiently educated to thoroughly understand the process of curing.

Coming from a gentleman holding such strong views, that must be taken as a clear explanation of the reason why the industry of tobacco-growing has had such a precarious existence in Australia, and the statement is absolutely confirmed bv the evidence of the Government experts in New South Wales and Victoria. The statement made is that the tobacco produced is not that which Australian taste requires; and I shall quote evidence later on showing the opinion of the Government expert of New South Wales as to the Tumut tobacco. The evidence of such witnesses is entitled to greater weight than that of interested parties. Bearing on the point as to the diminution of the area under cultivation, I find in the Melbourne Age this week the following paragraph -

There is every prospect of a large increase during the ensuing season in the areas sown for tobacco. Mr. Temple Smith, the officer in charge of the Government Experimental Tobacco Farm at Whitfield, reports that new and improved varieties of seed are being distributed to growers free of cost. Satisfactory prices have been realized for these varieties of tobacco during the last two seasons.

I draw attention to the reference to both the increased area and the satisfactory prices.


Senator Pearce - The growers do not think the prices satisfactory.


Senator MILLEN - Here we have another statement ; and I intend to show whether the weight of evidence on the point is with the honorable senator, who picks out the evidence of two or three witnesses. It is a very curious .method to ask the man who is selling whether he is satisfied with the prices ; I never yet knew a seller who was quite satisfied. No doubt if vendors were left to fix their own prices, those prices would be satisfactory ; but it would require the gifts of a magician to make buyers take the commodity.


Senator Pearce - The growers produced their accounts to show that - and this applied even to the fancy kind of tobacco - they had not made wages.


Senator MILLEN - I shall show directly that the complaints, which were, no doubt, made by certain witnesses, were also made before the combination started, and, therefore, cannot be attributed to the combination. Indeed, the honorable senator himself offers an explanation. When, owing to want of knowledge or indifference, an article is produced for which there is no demand, and which the honorable senator admits is- inferior, we have to do one of two things - leave the growers until experience teaches them to improve their methods, or cause the State to step in with grandmotherly aid.


Senator Pearce - I am speaking of men who did take trouble to grow good stuff.


Senator MILLEN - I never knew a man who would admit that he did not take trouble ; the most careless person will always contend that he is the most careful ; and we can only judge by results. The paragraph in the Age proceeds -

Satisfactory prices have been realized for these varieties of tobacco during the past two seasons. Over forty new growers have been supplied with seed for the current season. Not only have good crops been grown in the valleys of the King, Ovens, and other northern tributaries of the Murray, but very promising results have been obtained from the hill country in eastern Gippsland.

I have given figures showing that the acreage has increased since 1900, and what I have read indicates that the increase is continuing, and that the prospects for next year! are better than has been the case for some time. Now let me turn to the question of the Tumut tobacco leaf competition. I refer to this matter for a double reason ; first, because it lends confirmation to the statement I have made that Senator Pearce has allowed his zeal to altogether cloud his judgment. I shall show from a quotation from the honorable senator's speech, when moving the second reading, how suspiciously he regards any action on the part of the tobacco combine. On that occasion, Senator Pearce said, as reported in Hansard -

After the treatment meted out to the growers, I can almost believe the combine capable of anything.


Senator Lt Col Gould - Is the honorable senator aware that Australian leaf for which the manufacturers gave Sd. per lb. was sold in England at 4½d. per lb.?


Senator PEARCE - I am aware that the trust offered a prize for the best leaf grown at Tumut, and pledged itself to give Sd. per lb. for the first-prize leaf. What happened was that the grower who won the first prize received 8d. per lb. for the quantity which was put into competition, but for the stock of leaf of the same quality which the grower had, he was not given 8d. per lb., or anything like that price.


Senator Gray - That is absolutely untrue.


Senator PEARCE - I ask that that statement be withdrawn.


The PRESIDENT - Senator Gray must withdraw that remark.


Senator Gray - I withdraw the remark, but I say that the statement is incorrect.


Senator PEARCE - Senator Gray will have an opportunity to follow me, and there is no necessity for him to make statements or remarks of the kind to which I have objected. The trust, in order, as it was said, to prove that it did "the fair thing," offered to purchase a barrel of the tobacco of the first prize quality, and send it to England for sale in the open market. As a matter of fact, however, the growers had no representative to look after their interests, and were not aware what leaf was sent to England.


Senator Gray - Does the honorable senator infer that the manufacturers in this connexion did what was wrong?


Senator PEARCE - From my experience of the manufacturers, I should think they are capable of anything, and I shall tell the honor, able senator why.

The honorable senator has made some very strong allegations against the tobacco manufacturers, and I ask honorable senators to bear with me while I trace the history of the Tumut competition, and show how far there is any justification fori the gross imputations and suspicions expressed. The report in Hansard continues -

The representative expert of the tobacco combine was present during the giving of evidence at Tumut, and when the winner of the first prize tobacco was being examined, a sample of the tobacco was placed upon the table. This grower is a native of America, and has followed the occupation of tobacco-grower all his life. He told the Commission .that the leaf then produced would, in America, be worth 8d. per lb.


Senator de Largie - Who brought the expert from America?


Senator PEARCE - He was brought out by the tobacco combine. This witness, on oath, gave his word that he would expect to realize in America 8d. per lb. for such leaf. The witness who followed was the expert buyer for the combine, and he, indicating the sample of tobacco, said) " I venture to say that that tobacco sold in South Carolina would not realize more than 5d. per lb."

There is more that I desire to quote, but I shall deal with the one point first.


Senator Givens - There is plenty of time. .


Senator MILLEN - I apologize sincerely for occupying so much time, and I can only justify my action, first, bv the stupendous importance of the subject, and next, by the fact that it is easy in a short space of time to make allegations which require many hours to refute. If I detain honorable senators, I can only say that Senator Pearce, brief though he was, covered so much ground, and made so many serious assertions that I feel compelled to take sufficient time in which to reply. The quotation I have read is an accusation of improper conduct on the part of the manufacturers. It is said that there was no one to watch the interests of the growers, who had no knowledge of what tobacco was sent to England, and, further, that one of the witnesses, who was originally an expert brought out by the manufacturers, swore that the tobacco which he produced would be worth 8d. per lb. in America. The first allegation is that the manufacturers broke faith with the growers in the matter of this competition. The evidence on -which I shall rely could have been obtained by anybody, either officially, or as it appeared in the public journals, or in the evidence given before the Commission. I have here the leaflet which advertised the competition, and laid down the conditions. I shall read one portion which Senator Pearce has made the ground of one of his charges, namely, that while the company paid 8d. per lb. for the quantity of tobacco which earned the first prize, it did not give 8d. per lb. for the balance of the winner's crop. The leaflet shows that the company never undertook to pay for any more than the two ton lot which formed the entry to the competition, as the following condition will show : -

The company does not bind itself, at the competitor's option, to purchase more or all of the prize-winner's tobacco of the same quality at the same price.

Nothing could be clearer than that. The terms may be reasonable or unreasonable, but there is no breach of faith if people offer a prize on terms, and those terms are adhered to. What does Senator Pearce mean by saying: -

What happened was that the grower who won the first prize received Sd. per lb. for the quantity which was put into competition, but for the ' stock of leaf of the same quality which the grower had, he was not given 8d. per lb., or anything like that price.

What does Senator Pearce mean by that, except that that price ought to have been paid? From the circular it is clear that the company never undertook to pay more than 8d. for the prize tobacco. The company offered four sums of £40 each as prizes in different districts, and, in addition, offered to pay 8d. per lb. for the sample which won the prize. To say that they ought, therefore, to have paid the same price for the balance of the man's crop would be not only absurd, but contrary to the terms and conditions under which the prize was advertized. Senator Pearce went on to quote from witnesses, and any one listening to the quotation I have just read, or reading through that portion of the honorable senator's speech must necessarily come to the conclusion that the man ought to have received 8d. per lb. for the balance of his crop, because of the statement that a witness swore that that tobacco was worth 8d. per lb. in America. Now, the witness did not do anything of the kind.


Senator Pearce - I should have said 8 cents.


Senator MILLEN -No ; the honorable senator will pardon me; 16 cents was the price stated in the . evidence, and 8d. was the real price. Senator Pearce's statement was first of all an affirmation that the company did not give the man 8d. per lb. for the balance of his crop. I have shown that they were not under any obligation to do so. In the terms of the competition, they expressly provided against that. Then the honorable senator went on to say that they ought to have paid 8d. per lb. quite apart from the terms of the competition, because a witness swore that the tobacco was worth it. The honorable senator said -

This grower is a native of America, and has followed the occupation of tobacco grower all his life, and he told the Commission that the leaf then produced would in America be worth 8d. per lb.

That is one of the statements in connexion with which I must reluctantly say that the honorable senator misled the Senate.


Senator Pearce - Did not the witness say that?


Senator MILLEN - Yes; but what else did he say? The honorable senator asked the witness whether he was prepared to say that that leaf would fetch 8d. per lb. in America, and the answer was, " Yes." But the witness was recalled, and what did he say then ?


Senator Pearce - Well, what did he say?


Senator MILLEN - He said that the sample which was shown, and which he estimated to be worth 8d. per lb. was not a fair sample of his crop.


Senator Findley - How long did it take him to think that out


Senator MILLEN - This was a witness on whom Senator Pearce relied. Are honorable senators opposite going to impugn their own witnesses ?


Senator Givens - Who brought forward this witness?


Senator MILLEN - Senator Pearce brought him before the Senate by quoting him. I take it that the honorable senator was referring to Mr. J. W. Creasy. In answer to question 2771 he gave evidence that the sample of tobacco shown would be worth in. America 16 cents per lb., but then at question 3301, when the witness was recalled, he was asked whether the sample produced by him and which he said was worth 8d. per lb. was a fair sample of his crop, and he said -

It was not a fair sample. T.hat which Mr. Currin brought up was a fair sample. I simply brought up this lot to show what could be grown in the district.

Yet Senator Pearce brought forward this evidence to prove that the combine had done an unfair thing when thev did not give the man 8d. per lb. for the balance of his crop.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator is misrepresenting me. I was referring in this connexion to a statement of the witness Currin.


Senator MILLEN - This evidence was brought forward by the honorable senator in connexion with the statement that the combine had done an unfair thing. In answer to an interjection by Senator Gray, the honorable senator said -

From my experience of the manufacturers, I should think they are capable of anything, and I shall tell the honorable senator why.

He then went on to give this particular instance.


Senator Pearce - I referred to the statement made by Currin, and I pointed out to him that there was a duty of1s. per lb. in Australia.


Senator MILLEN - I admit the adroitness with which the honorable senator ran from one "thing to another, but I am not going to follow his example. This is one of the clear cases in which, quite inadvertently, no doubt, the honorable ' senator was not fair to himself or to the Senate.


Senator Pearce - I was absolutely fair.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator said -

The representative expert of the tobacco combine was present during the giving of evidence at Tumut, and when the winner of the first prize tobacco was being examined, a sample of the tobacco was placed upon the table.

That was a sample of the tobacco which Creasy grew and which he said was worth 8d. per lb. in South Carolina. Was not the honorable senator in the previous part of his speech referring to the fact that the grower did not get 8d. per lb., or. anything like it, for the balance of his crop. He was dealing with that right through. He said that for leaf of the same quality as that shown, the grower did not get 8d. per lb., oranything like it. He went on to say -

The trust, in order, as it was said, to prove that it did . 1 fair thing, offered to purchase a barrel of the tobacco of the first prize quality, and send it to England for sale in the open market. As a matter of fact the growers had no representative to look after their interests, and were not aware what leaf was sent to England.

To that statement Senator Gray made the interjection -

Does the honorable senator infer that the manufacturers in this connexion did what was wrong ? and Senator Pearce replied -

From my experience of the manufacturers, I should think they are capable of anything, and I shall tell the honorable senator why.

Then he went on to say why, and the statement he made in telling, Senator Gray why he had that opinion of the combine was -

The representative expert of the tobacco combine was present during the giving of evidence at Tumut, and when the winner of the first prize tobacco was being examined, a sample of the tobacco was, placed upon the table. This grower is a native of America, and has followed the occupation of tobacco grower all his life, and he told the Commission that the leaf then produced would in America be worth 8d. per lb.

I say that from the beginning to the end of that portion of the honorable senator's speech, it was clear that he was making an accusation against the combine. When he was asked by Senator Gray if he thought that they did anything wrong, he said, " Yes, I do, and I will tell you why," and then he brought up all this evidence of Creasy's, in which he put forward the sample of tobacco, which he said was worth 8d. perlb, and for which he did not get 8d. per lb.


Senator Pearce - I pointed out that on Currin's own showing, owing to the duty, the tobacco should have realized1s. 4d. per lb., and that showed that even at 8d. per lb., they were paid 8d. per lb. less than it was worth.


Senator MILLEN -I am dealing now with the statement that Creasy did not get 8d. per lb. for the balance of his crop, or anything like if, and with the further statement in reply to Senator Gray's interjection that Senator Pearce thought the combine would be capable of doing what was wrong from his experience of manufacturers, and because this man Creasy, who had been a tobacco-grower all his life, and a native of America, had said that the tobacco was worth 8d. per lb., and he did not get 8d. per lb. for it. I say that when he was recalled on the next day, Creasy told the Commission, what I think Senator Pearce should have fold the Senate, that the sample he produced was not a fair sample of his crop, and was only brought forward for the purpose of showing, what could be grown in the Tumut district.


Senator Pearce - The point at issue was the price of tobacco of that quality, and the question whether that was a true sample of his crop did not arise.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator made the point that the man did not get 8d. per lb. for the balance of his crop. The question then arose whether the sample wnich was said to be worth 8d. per lb. was a fair sample of the balance of the crop. If it was, it should have realized 8d. per lb., but if it was not, there was no reason why 8d. per lb. should be paid for the balance of the crop. When Creasy was recalled by the Commission he honestly told them that it was not a fair sample, but merely a picked' piece which he brought forward, with the natural pride which any man might have in the district in which he resided, as showing what the Tumut district could produce.

Now I come to the second point. One witness deposed that the sample of tobacco would not be worth more than 5d. per lb. Senator Pearce took that valuation, and he went on to say -

I then pointed out to him that in Australia there was a duty of1s. per lb.

My honorable friend was incorrect in that statement, because the duty is1s. 6d.


Senator Pearce - I was speaking then from memory.


Senator MILLEN - I assume that the honorable senator made the error inadvertently. He went on to say -

I then pointed out to him that in Australia there was a duty of1s. per lb., and therefore, on his own showing, that tobacco should be worth 1s. 5d. per lb. in Sydney, without considering freight, although the combine had given only 8d. per lb. for a small parcel. That was the evidence of the expert buyer of the tobacco combine. If there is anything in the" statement of honorabte senators opposite that a duty raises the price of the article, especially when there is not sufficient local production to satisfy the demand, then that leaf should be worth at least1s. 5d. per lb. duty paid in Sydney.

Debate interrupted.

Sitting suspended from 6.27 to 7.45. p.m.

Motion, (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-

That the debate on the Constitution Alteration (Nationalization of Monopolies) Bill, interrupted by the suspension of the sitting, be resumed this day fortnight.







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