The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1879.
The most important feature of the week has been discussion of the Hall Government financial proposals. That their revised Tariff has taken by surprise persons holding all shades of opinion must be patent to the meanest capacity. As is always the case with any Government proposal, the duties as they now stand could hardly be expected to meet with unqualified approval. For our own part we think there are many points which do not appear to have received the due
amount of consideration which should have been bestowed upon them. Against this we are prepared to admit that the Colonial Treasurer has had to contend with a vast number of conflicting influences such as are usually brought to bear upon any attempt to alter the incidence of taxation. Not in our own day we fear shall we find the financier who can so arrange matters as to keep the balance on the right side, and at the same time not interfere with the comfort and priveleges of the people. We note some attempt has been made to give effect to the recommendations of the Christchurch Committee, appointed to suggest where new duties may Toe levied, or increased, so as in a measure -to afford some protection to manufactures of goods which could be produced in this colony. In this the Government has to a certain extent succeeded. There are,, however, one or two points where we fancy they have not availed themselves of the opportunity afforded. We may instance first the following—- . Rye grass seed, cocksfoot, white clover, rape, linseed, and sundry other, seeds which could undoubtedly be grown here in perfection. ■- ■ - r Again, the present nominal duty on cheese, bacon, and butter, must have a tendency to induce heavy importations from America during the coming season. In the meantime Government say, “we propose to admit many articles duty free so as to encourage local industries, and we find twenty shillings per ton, or say 25 per cent, ad valorem, on coarse salt largely used by curers and butchers.” This, with other slight anomalies, will be remedied no doubt as they present themselves to the powers that be. Fruits, we notice, have met with deserved attention. Very large sums have been drawn from N. Z. annually, for apples, pears, oranges, pines, grapes, nuts, and other fruits, the trade. in which has supported a' considerable number of persons in the sister colonies, whilst our own growers of fruit, such as we can produce, have seen theirs rotting for the want of a market. An important item to farmers—the 10s per ton on chaff—is a step in the right direction, but ia hardly sufficient to keep open the West Coast norts to our trade, unless the ship owners and agents meek the shippers by offering rates of freight lower on this particular line. Wo do not anticipate any. large revenue from the reimposed duties on .grain ; at the same time it is some comfort to know that we are not subsidising American bottoms to glut our market with inferior wheat, flour, hops, malt, barley, and oats. , The carriage makers, hatters, and some other industries we trust, will at once show the general public that they can appreciate what would perhaps appear' at a first glance the special advantages afforded them by the remission of duties on : the imported raw material, and articles used by them in the production of goods they manufacture, by extending their various businesses and so finding more labour for the skilled artisan. i ’