TYRE MANUFACTURE PROPOSAL FOR DOMINION Frequent interjections and noisy demonstrations marked the debate in the concert chamber of the Town Hall last night between Mr. Gainor Jackson and Mr. W. T. Anderton, M.P., on the proposed manufacture of tyres in New Zealand. The crowd, which filled the hall, was goodhumoured and appeared to be equally divided in its support of the speakers. The Mayor, Mr. J. A. C. Allum, presided. The debate arose from a challenge issued to Mr. Anderton by the Bureau of Importers following a reference to the bureau made by Mr. Anderton in the House of Representatives, during a debate on the manufacture of tyres in New Zealand. The motion debated was "That the manufacture of tyres in New Zealand will be uneconomic and unsound."
Speaking in the affirmative, Mr. Jackson said that to be economic and sound the proposed tyre industry should be able to stand on its own feet, without protection of any kind by way of tariffs, import restrictions, subsidy or tax concession. None of the raw materials used in the manufacture of tyres was produced in New Zealand. The costs of these materials would be 75 per cent of the cost of the finished product while the cost of labour would be less than 10 per cent. Little Loss of Revenue Not more than 500 workers could be employed in the industry in New Zealand and the annual wage bill would be less than the £150,000 customs revenue which would be lost by the banning of imported tyres. This loss of revenue would seriously affect the Main Highways Board which received it, and this would mean a deterioration in the main highways and higher transport costs. High capital costs of buiidings, plant and machinery would load the industry with high production costs, and the further restriction of imports from Britain would have an unfortunate effect on trade relations. It would be a contravention of the White Paper Agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Opposing the motion Mr. Anderton said that New Zealand had more motor vehicles per capita than any other country except the United States and a far better market for tyres than many countries which were manufacturing them. How many cars did Mr. Jackson think the country should have before a tyre industry was started? asked Mr. Anderton. Would the country have to have a million? Heavy Freight Costs Other countries lacking the raw materials had been successful in manufacturing tyres. Rubber from Malaya was snipped all the way to England and the product was then shipped out to New Zealand, making for very heavy freight costs. England's loss would be offset to a large extent by profits from her overseas investments in raw materials.
New Zealand, said Mr. Anderton, could import rubber from Western Samoa. He understood it was the best in the world for the purpose of manufacturing. It was probable that rayon would be replacing cotton in the manufacture of tyres and when both rubber and rayon industries had been developed, New Zealand would be producing 50 per cent of the raw materials herself, and would be better off than Britain and France, both of which had successful tyre industries. New Zealand workmen could produce as good an article as anybody and he was satisfied that they would produce tyres as good as were produced anywhere else. The motion was not put to the meeting, which concluded with a vote of thanks to Mr. Allum for presiding.
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PUBLIC DEBATE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945
PUBLIC DEBATE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945
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