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Wednesday, 13 December 1905

Mr HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh) - I shall oppose the amendment, because I think that it will have an effect opposite to that intended, and that directly the sliding scale comes into operation, and the bounty is reduced, . we shall commence to get back to the old conditions.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then, is the bounty to be permanent?

Mr HUTCHISON - I contend that we are going on altogether wrong lines, and that at the end of five years we shall have to take a different course to secure the maintenance of a White Australia. Our legislation, so far, has. not displaced a single coloured labourer, although it was intended to substitute white for black labour in the sugar industry. At the end of another five years, however, the Government will have had more experience. They will have seen the effect of the deportation of the kanakas, and they will know how the land has been dealt with. I shall not be a party to the extension of the bounty then, unless it can be seen that it is doing what it was introduced to do. It certainly was not given merely to encourage the production of sugar in Queensland, because it was believed that the sugar industry could hold its own. I am sorry that we cannot remove all protection from black labour, by making the Excise duty on the sugar it produces, equal to the import duty, which would compel it to face the competition of the world. If we cannot produce sugar except with the help of black labour, why not obtain our sugar from abroad, so that the poor people, who. use large quantities of it, may get it as cheaply as possible, and there may be no excuse at all for the employment of black labour in Australia.

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