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The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 1889. PROTECTION IN VICTORIA.

In the midst of the conflict of opinion as to the relative merits of a Freetrade or a Protectionist policy it is well to turn from theory to fact occasionally and to read what the "cbiels that winna : ding " have to say about the matter. 1 Judging from the following extract from • the letter of a Wellington gentleman, now m Victoria, pur friends across tbe [ water have much reason to congratulate , themselves upon the fiscal policy they have adopted. Writing of Ballarat, he says : — " Trade is brisk, competition is 1 keen, and profits are small, but business j; is sound. Two kinds of local indastrieß are of special interest — the iron foundries ' and woollen mills. At the Vulcan I foundry the most elaborate machinery ia T turned out Ten years ago most of tlje J local mining maohinery was imported, 8 now the great bulk of it is made at ' Ballarat. The local article is cheaper a to the buyers, because it can be • repaired on the spot. With the imported article it is necessary to purchase duplicates and at times much inconvenienpe was experienced by the delay j caused m replacing nuts, bolts, anjj other intricate parts of a machine. Ihe Phoanix Foundry at Ballarat turns out the Victorian railway locomotives ; while tbe Government, for tbe last, ten years, imported 30, the local firms have I supplied £30, A(; the present time their output will average pne g week. > Tbe local engines do their work cheaper and better than the imported ones. The Phoenix Foundry employs 950 1 bands. Tbe minimum rate of wages , is 10s a day. With the exception , of pig iron, frame and boiler plates, ) and steel axles, costing to import , altogether about £20, the locomotive is • made from start to finjsU m Victoria. 1 The local woollen m\\s employ 2^o ' hands, and one of the factories is preparing superior worsted goods. This branch of tbe industry necesQit»te4 them ' bringing out skilled labor from England. An impetus has recently been given to the worsted manufacture by the £5000 premium. offered by Government for tbe first 10,000 yards of cloth, This new feature of production may now be considered fairly started, and is gaining every day m popularity. Agriculture surrounding Ballarat is m a very flourishing state. Hundreds of farmers are settled m the immediate vicinity. 'Ihe value of their estates is oonptanj-ly on the increase. At the present time, within a fevr miles of the city, wheat and potato land is worth from £30 to £60 an acre. ; Back ten or fifteen mile?, land is valued at from £15 to £25 an acre. The position held by Ballarat to-day is convincing proof of the benefits of protactioD, Originally a city of gold mines, it is now the centre of manufactures and agriculture. To every one miner employed there are at least tbpee persons employed m manufactures, Wbpn mining comparatively failed, proteption held tbe population by supplying fresh avenues of industry." Facts such as these, will we know, be unpalatable to those politico-economistß who make a fetish of Freetrade, and who swear by Gobden as an infallible teacher, but they are especially valuable as proving that tbe oft-repeated croak of freetraders that a protective policy is inimical to the interests of farmers is t[ie reverse of the fact, the truth being — as shown* by the letter under notice — that . tbe farmere benefit by the impetus given to lecal manufacturing industries by a protective policy and by the large consuming population which those industries bring together.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890123.2.6

Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 1889. PROTECTION IN VICTORIA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2044, 23 January 1889

Word Count
603

The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 1889. PROTECTION IN VICTORIA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2044, 23 January 1889

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