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UNIONISTS' FIRST PLANK.

REFORM OF THE TARIFF, SYSTEM MUST BE CHANGED. LONDON, March 13. Mr. A. J. Balfour (Leader of the Opposition) was the guest of the Executive Committee of the Tariff Reform League at a banquet last evening. In the course of his speech, Mr. Balfour remarked: "No doubt fiscal reform is the first plank of our platform— (cheers) —and it is the matter to which any Unionist Government must first address itself."

Referring at length to Mr. Winston Churchill's declaration in regard to retaliation, he quoted extracts from the speeches of Ministers who claimed that retaliation was really protection. It wa3 another indication irrespective of party that the old system must be changed, and there were symptoms that this opinion was spreading beyond the ranks of the Unionists.

Mr. Balfour predicted that when the changes came they would produce no undue shock to national industry or the course of national trade. "The changes," he added, "will be com-mon-sense, ones, moderate, and reasonable."

THE VALUE OF PREFERENCE.

LONDON, March 13. The Council of the London Chamber of Commerce has resolved that preference accorded by various self-governing colonies will be of distinct advantage to British manufacturers, and that its withdrawal would be most detrimental to trade.

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UNIONISTS' FIRST PLANK. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 63, 15 March 1909

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