THE COACH-BUILDING TRADE. BUSINESS STATIONARY. DEMAND. FOR INCREASED PROTECTION. No. VI. . • Coachbuilders, liko the great majority of local manufacturers, are out-and-out Protectionists, and they wfll go straight for an all-Tound increase of duties when the tariff is -under revision. The importation of foreign, vehicles has been increasing every year, and has now grown to such an extent that it is affecting the coachbuilders throughout the colony. For some years the tariff on imported vehicles has been 20 per .cent ad valorem. At the time of fche introduction, of the present tariff the trade was in a very different condition fo what it is to-day ; material was lower in prices, wages were considerably lower, and in addition the ! United States was not in the position she is to-day as regards the export) of factory-made vehicles. The rise in wages locally since the- Conciliation and Arbitration Act was passed may be/ roughly estimated a^t 15 to 20 per cent, j but the employers do not object to this. But, they argue, they cannot continue paying the present rate of wages unless means are provided for stopping tho importation of foreign vehicles. They do not care about the importation of the well-made American buggy ; it is the fac-tory-made or machine-made article they wish to deal with. If these conditions continue to exist the manufacturers state that their factories will develop into repairing shops only, enterprise will be retarded, ambition will bo taken away, and we will become a colony of importers so far as this particular industry is concerned. VEHICLES IMPORTED.— A SUGGESTED TARIFF. The following return shows the number, value, and duty paid on imported vehicles from 190 Otc- 1904: —
It. will therefore be seen that the average cost of a carriage works out at about £22 16s, and drays and carts about £10 12s. Our reporter interviewed Messrs. A. W. Petherick and G. E. Brown, manager and secretary respectively for Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell, Courtenay-place, and ascertained from them that the manufacturers throughout the colony, in temis of suggestions recently made to the Government, are in favour of the following duties being imposed: — Drays £10, single buggies £J5, double buggies £20, station waggons £20, business waggons £20, sulkies and roadsters £10, gigs and hopded buggies £20, phaetons £20, dogcarts £20, victorias £50, landaus £75, broughams £75, ■wag- ! gonettes £30, hansoms £50, tramcar bodies £JSO, mobor car bodies complete 50 per cent .ad valorem.' In framing this list the manufacturers thought they ; would do better jf they succeeded in getting a fixed duty imposed rather than revision qh a percentage basis. IMPORTED PARTS. Generally speaking, the employees are with the employers in their demands, but they have had a good deal to say about the importation of finished parts. If fini&lied parts are admitted free, the worker is afraid the factories will resolve themselves ipto huge fitting-up shops. This point wag brought under Mr. Brown's notice by our reporter. "My firm," Mr. Brown said, ''has no desire to bring in parts thatlcan bo manufactured here. We are favourable to a protective duty on anything and everything that we can manufacture, but we hold that raw material which cannot bo produced in the polony should be admitted duty fr-se." Mr. Brown has a wholesouled contempt for the foreign factorymade buggy. You can buy a vehicle in the States (and plenty of the same quality hay© found their way into this country) ati a cost of about £4 10s. The buyer, as a rule, uses it for about a year, then throws it into the lumber heap, and makes a fresh purchase. The same buggyis sold in New Zealand at £12. It is not only made of inferior material but a large part of the iron work is malleable. The manufacturers say they cannot possibly hope to compete against this without encouraging sweating and losing their reputation. They desire to build up the standard of excellence jn their tra4e, and not Jower it by competing with the class of work referred to. > A SIDE ISSUE.— FUTURE PROSPECT'S. The firm of Rouse and Hurrell, in common with other coachbuilders throughout New Zealand, also take exception to railway oharges for the carriage of vehicles. Th.ey urge the desirability of. returning to the system in operation some years ago, when every coachbuilder paid for a truck and packed into it what he could so long as the carrying capacity of the truck was not exceeded. Charges at present are fixed on a mileage base, and even while this arrangement remains in ! force manufacturers think a package of harness or a rug for tjie body of the/ vehicle might well be allowed to go in the truck free of charge. In a ward, manufacturers claim that the present rail, way rates are exorbitant and out of all proportion to those paid on other commodities. When the last industrial statistics were collected in 1900 there were 160 coachbuilding factories in New Zealand, witH an annual wage sheet of £83,356. Tho value of the total output foT the year was £216,077, and the buildings, plant, etc., were estimated to be worth £150,811. And yet the industry, according to the manufacturers themselves, is not progressing os it, should. They go further and say that for the last few years no master coachbuilder hasmnde an adequate interest on the money invested by him. Messrs. Brown and Petherick said their firm's business hail been practically stationary. The latest year book, however, states that the value'of the output of tho coachbuildmg and painting trade in 1900, compared with 1895 v had increased by £67,108,
1900. No. Value. Duty. £ £ s. d. !arriages . . 124 -2617 523 5 1 torts, waggons, and drays ... 113 862 173 4 4 1901— Jarriages ... 244 5385 1075 10 0 toxts, waggons, and drays ... 11l 1449 293 8 0 1902— Carriages ... 384 9892 1913 18 0 Jarts, waggons, and drays ... 303 2853 576 0 0 1903— Jarriages ... 316 9111 1876 1 5 !arts, waggons, and drays ... 384 4051 910 4 0 1904— Jarriages ... 416 7093 1444 2 Q Jarts, waggons, and drays ... 216 3370 209 13 0 Totals ... 2870 £46,388 £9794 12 10
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TARIFF REVISION., Evening Post, Volume LXXI, Issue 81, 5 April 1906
TARIFF REVISION. Evening Post, Volume LXXI, Issue 81, 5 April 1906
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