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Monday, 1 October 1906

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) - This is one of the items to which 1 directed attention on the second reading, of the Bill. 1 pointed out that at the present time there is very liberal protection given for the production of coffee, and to add a bounty to that protection would, in my opinion, be perfectly useless. We have now a protective duty on coffee of 3d. per lb., which is equal to 33 per cent, ad valorem; and there has practically been no advance in the production of the article in Australia. So far no reasons have been advanced for the inclusion of this item in the schedule. Having received no information from the Minister, I naturally turned to the evidence given before the Tariff Commission. I found that only two witnesses were examined on the item of coffee, and that one of them, Mr. Scrivener, the UnderSecretary for Agriculture in Queensland, was opposed to the granting of a bounty. The only other witness was not examined on the question of the granting of a bounty for the production of coffee in Australia., but since he objected to the present protective duty, I take it that he would be opposed to such a system. Unless I am satisfied that the production of coffee in Australia can be stimulated by means of a bounty, I shall feel constrained to vote against the item.

Progress reported.

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