The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1888. INTERCOLONIAL FREETRADE.
A conference of representatives of the various Chambers of Commerce and of Manufactures throughout was held m Melbourne last month, and daring its sittings a very interesting discussion took place upon a resolution submitted by Mr L. L, Smith m favor of the establishment of Freetrade between the Australasian colonies, with a uniform tariff against tho rest of tho world. In the course of the debate Mr J. Q, Rpok. of the Canterbury Industrial Association, gaid that tho difficulties which stood m tho way of Intercolonial Freetrado were not nearly so great as tho Emperor Willian} I. had .encountered and surmounted m blending the German States into ono great and powerful nation, and urged that tho fact that the wagoa paid to artisans and laborers wore uniform throughout the colonies, and of the adoption of tho eight hours' system throughout Australasia, rendered the establishment of a uniform tariff so much the more easy of (jccomplishmout, inasmuch as " tho manufacturers of the colonies stood practically on tho camo basis, and what would suit one man ought to suit the whole of them." Mr Bovan, another representative of the same Association, remarked that New Zealand, South Australia and Queensland, had lately been bringing their tariffs up to the lotol of that of Victoria, and m that manner paving tho way for the assimilation of the tariffs of tho colonies. Enough good could bo picked out of tho various tariffs of the Australian colonies to make ono upon which all could agree, and tho people of Australia ought to bo given to plainly understand that federation was coming aud they must prcparo for it, and all gi?o way a little for tho common good. It was also predicted by several of tho speakers that Now South Wales would shortly adopt a protective policy and thus paro tho way for assimilating the tariffs of all tfio colonies, while Mr Ifook pointed out that " what the people would have to guard against was tho admission free of duty of articles made by tho pauper and prison labor of Europe and America and tho coolie labor of Asia." The project thuß sketched out of an Australasian Zollrorcin is far moro feasible and practical that any of tho schemes of political fedo ration which aro from time to time put ," by theoretical politicians, and or »'- # — „ | Br g 0 number of thinking n aTC4 ', that if ft could aen who are of opiu... k 0 brought about it would w o . dVantagoously. The first step towards iv 1 would be tho adoption of a protective h( »nff all round, for paradoxical as it m my Bcem, tho first requisite «,o the itablißhment of Intercolonial Freetrado re ould appear to be the adoption of a 7* rotertiTt pgiioy fey each »od ill. J Zl