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Customs and Excise - Tariff - Royal Commission - Reports - No. 51. Final Report

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Presented by Command; ordered by the House to be printed, 9th August, 1907.

[Cos(oj Paper.-Preparation, not given; 860 cop ies; approximate cost of printing and publishing, £3.]

----·- ··---- Pl'inted and Published for the GovERXM E:'!T of the Co)IMO:'!WEALTH of AusTRALIA by J. KEMP, Acting Government Printer for the State of Victoria. No. 110.-F. 10207.

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To His Excellency HENRY STAFFORD, BARON NoRTHCOTE, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distingu-ished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Order of

the Indian Empire, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Commonwealth of Australia.


We, your Commissioners, appointed by Letters Patent bearing date 12th December, 1904, to inquire into the ·effect of the Commonwealth Tariff on ·Australian industries, and the working of the Tariff generally, have the honour to submit this, our Final Report. ·

Early in January, 1905, circular letters were issued and public notices given in all the States inviting persons, firms, and organizations having complaints to make or suggestions to offer respecting the Commonwealth Tariff to send to the Secretary statements in writing giving expression to their grievances and views. Subsequently, complaints were received as follows :-


In Victoria .. , New South \Vales/ , Queensland , South Australia ..

, Tasmania , Western Australia


Number of Complaints.

310 214 68 101

22 52


. The first sitting of the Commission for the purpose of taking evidence was held in Melbourne on the 16th February, 1905; thereafter, sittings to take evidence were held as follows :-1st Melbourne Sittings

2nd 3rd "




1st Sydney Sittings 2nd , ,

3rd , ,

1st Brisbane Sittings 2nd , ,



34 37 12

83 Melbourne.

23 18 10

51 Sydney.



14 Brisbane.

2 Maryborough.


; .

;. -


lst Adelaide Sittings 2nd , ,

lst Perth Sittings . I

2nd · ; '' ' '' . ,._

Kalgoorlie Sittings ..

Launceston Sittings

Hobart Sittings





34 Adelaide.



15 Perth. : i

; 1

7 Kalgoorlie.

2 Launceston. ·

3 Hobart.


The number of witnesSes examined was as follows :-Place.

1st Melbourne Sittings 2nd 3rd " "

" "

lst Sydney Sittings 2nd 3rd "


" "

lst Brisbane Sittings 2nd " "

Maryborough Sittings

1st Adelaide Sittings 2nd " "

1st Perth Sittings 2nd " "

Kalgoorlie Sittings ..

Launceston Sittings

Hobart Sittings


I . l


72 144 50

266 Melbourne.

38 70 48

156 Sy,dney.

12 31

43 Brisbane.

10 Maryborough.

11 56

67 Adelaide.

20 22

42 Perth.

14 Kalgoorlie.

8 Launceston.

12 Hobart. - ·- ' ; 618 ..


On the 1st May, 1906, public notice was given that no further complaints would be received after 15th May, 1906.

. The taking of evidence in all the States was completed on the 11th July, 1906, and on the 19th September, 1906, the last instalment of the Minutes o£ Evidence (except that relating to Anomalies; which is still reserved) was presented to Your Excellency. The actual taking of evidence therefore occupied a period of about eighteen months, viz., from 16th February, 1905, to the 11th July, 1906. During 1906, we presented to Your Excellency five Progress Reports, containing important recommendations

relating to {1) Spirits, {2) Wine, (3) Industrial Alcohol, (4) Agricultural Imple­ ments, and {5) Stripper-Harvesters, which were considered and dealt with by Parliament during the Session of that year.

The sittings of the Commissionfor the purpose of preparing and revising Reports were suspended in September, 1906, on account of the approaching General Elections. They were resumed on the 8th January, 1907, and were continued without a break for five days per week until the present. The number of sittings devoted solely to delibera­ tion and to preparation of Reports were as follow :-

Melbourne .. Sydney Brisbane


In all, therefore, your Commissioners sat 404 days.

190 1



The following Table shows the Titles and Subject-matter of the several Reports presented to Your Excellency, together with the date and order of presentation:-

General Spirits Wine, &c.



Date of 1st or only Report.

14 July, 1905 16 May, 1906

Industrial Alcohol . . ,

' Agricultural Machinery . . . . 8 August, 1906

Stripper-Harvesters . . ,

Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery 10 September, 1906

Mining Machinery . . . . . . 7 September, 1906

Presenting " Minutes of Evidence" . . 19 September, 1906

Metals, Metal Work, Machines and Machinery, n.e.i. 8 February, 1907 Electrical and Gas Machinery Perfumed Spirits and Essences .. Tobacco Culture in Australia

Sauces, Spices, Curry .. Salt ..

Candles Nuts, Edible-Almonds ..

Aerated Waters and Mineral Waters Tea .. .. .. .. . .

Apparel (White Shirts and Collars, Ties and Scarfs, Clothing) ..

Blankets-Woollen Piece Goods .. Furs ..

·Artificial Flowers, &c. . . Opium Vehicles Bags and Sacks Hats and Caps ..

Cocoa, Confectionery, Liquorice .. Hosiery ..

Oils, Paints, and Varnishes Jewellerv i Drugs and Chemicals - Musical Instruments

Boots and Shoes Glucose and Sugar

" 13 February, 1907 "

" 15 February, 1907 19 February, 1907







" 26 March, 1907 "


Date of Complemental Report.

15 February, 1907


10 June, 1907

" 28 May, 1907 2 July, 1907 28 May, 1907 20 July, 1907

" 28 May, 1907


5 July, 1907

28 May, 1907 25 July, 1907 20 July, 1907 5 July, 1907

5 July, 1907 20 July, 1907 25 July, 1907

" 20 July, 1907



Tariff Anomalies and Reclassification Fancy Goods .. Wood, Wicker, Cane . . . . . .

Electrical and Gas Machinery (Supplement) Agricultural Products and Groceries, generally Cameras and Photographic Materials, &c. Apparel and Textiles, generally . . . .

Indiarubber or other Hose and Manufactures, n.e.i. Paper and Stationery .. Miscellaneous (Div. XVI.) Consolidated Tariff Proposals Glue and Gelatme . . . .

Paper and Stationery (Addendum) Earthenware, Cement, China, and Stone .. Glassware Preferential Trade . . . .

Summary and Comparison of Proposals Wages Conditions and Selling Prices Final Report ..


Date of 1st or only Report.

2 May, 1907 15 May,' 1907 ..


" 24 May, 1907 .. "


" 14 June, 1907 " 21 June, 1907 " 28 June, 1907 29 June, HJ07

" 1 July, 1907 •. 31 July, 1907



Date of Complemental Report.

25 July, 1907 ,

20 July, 1907


" 25 July, 1907 " 20 July, 1907

20 July, 1907 25 July, 1907

The Minutes of Evidence have been placed' on record in volumes, compiled in such a manner that, as far as :possible, all the upon each subject has been

consolidated under suitable headings. This, we believe, will be a convenience to Par­ liament and the public. With regard to the evidence 'on "AnoiW,1lies " given in camera by the Chief Commonwealth Surveyor, Department of Trade and Customs, it is recom­ mended that its publication be deferred pending submission to the Comptroller-General, with a view to the elimination of any matters that, in his opinion, might be prejudicial to the public interest.

We desire to express our thanks and acknowledgments to the following gentle­ men occupying official positions in the Commonwealth and States Governments :-The Honorable the President of the Senate and the Honorable tpe Speaker of the House of Representatives for the use of the Senate Club Room for the

Melbourne meetings of the Commission ; The Honorable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales; the Honorable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Queensland; the Honorable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, South Australia; the

Honorable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Western Australia; cmd the Honorable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Tasmania, for their courtesy in providing suitable accommodation for the sittings of the C')mmission in their several State capitals ; His Worship the Mayor of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and the Police Magis­

trate of Maryborough, Queensland, for the use of the Council Chambers and the Court· House respectively for a similar purpose ; The Comptroller-General and Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs for use of rooms at the Melbourne Customs House for the general purposes of the

Commission, and for the issue of prompt instructions for the preparation of many valuable returns. ·

The Chief Commonwealth Surveyor, Department of Trade and Customs, for his minute examination of Tariff details and his presentation and explanation in evidence of anomalies requiring rectification; The Collectors of Customs of all States for their assistance in obtaining and

causing to be officially presented in evidence valuable informa­ tion; The Commonwealth and States Statisticians for the many interesting and im­ portant returns supplied ; The Government Analyst, Victoria, for evidence and advice on technical points ; The members of the Commonwealth Hansard Staff, who were specially assigned

to the Commission, for their accurate and prompt reports of the evidence ; The Government Printer, Victoria, for his careful and efficient supervision of the printing of the Minutes of Evidence and the Progress Reports.





We have great pleasure in placing on record our thanks to Mr. 0. T. Orr for his valuable services as Secretary, and desire to express our appreciation of the able and loyal manner in which he, at all times, performed the duties of his office. In par• ticular, we recognise the satisfactory way in which he assisted by the conduct of vast correspondence, by the marshalling and presenting of the long array of witnesses for examination, in making all business arrangements, in the keeping of accounts, and in finally aiding us in the preparation and revision of Reports. As an evidence of our good

opinion of him, we have recommended the Government of the Commonwealth to give him a bonus of £50.

We also recognise the diligent, painstaking, and efficient way in which Mr. G. T. Schollick served the Commission in the capacities of Assistant Secretary, Shorthand Writer, and Typewriter. As evidence of our appreciation of his services we have recom­ mended the Government of the Commonwealth to give him a bonus of £25, as well as to consider his claims for further employment in any available position requiring his qualifications.

We herewith submit this, our Final Report, in the hope that our efforts will meet with the approval of Your Excellency, of Parliament, and of the people of the Commonwealth. We. have given every citizen of the Commonwealth who considered himself aggrieved by, or interested in, the operation of the Tariff an opportunity of

stating his case. Vve have sat and worked as continuously as the other demands of duty permitted in order to expedite our labour5, and have without delay from time to time placed before Your Excellency the results of our investigations in the form of Progress Reports, as permitted by the terms of our appointment.

We have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's most obedient servants,



Parliament House, Melbourne, 31st July, 1907 .


Printeti amll'ublished ior the Govtm:oJW\T of the Co,nw:-.-wt:ALTII of Arsl'RALIA by J. KE.\IP, Acting Goverument l't·intcr for the State ui Yictoria.