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Taxing Machinery.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Wellington Woollen Company, Mr T. K. Macdonald said :—" While the tariff has, as I have already explained, been of considerable advantage, it is by no means an unmixed blessing. The Colonial Treasurer has defined it as 'a Revenue tariff,' and not 'a Protection tariff.' Our experience has shown this to be the case. A revenue tariff taxes everything, and has only one object—the production of revenue. A Protection tariff taxes heavily those articles which can be produced easily and economically in the country, and admits free from duty all raw material and all patent and other machinery not produced, or likely to be produced, within the country for many years. The present tariff assists the New Zealand woollen industry by taxing at the highest rates all the machinery imported for mill purposes, much of it machinery which can only be procured from the patentees, and that which is free from the patents being also only procurable from firms who have made specialties of it for long years. lam satisfied that the tariff in this respect is a mistake, and that if industrial enterprise in this country is to assume a commanding position, and be a source of employment to additional thousands of our people, it must receive a larger measure of encouragement at the hands of Parliament. Upon what principle can the imposition of the Property Tax on the cost of machinery employed in industrial work be defended ? No matter whether the thousands you have expended in machinery be reproductive or not. The Property Tax, like the highwayman of old, says 1 Stand and deliver,' and you are bled on every hand. Is it small wonder that under such a strain a few had to give way ? Our experience has shown us that the margin of profit in woollen manufacturing is extremely small, and that it is only by the possession of large capital, the exercise of great prudence, good management, and the production of goods on a large scale, that success is possible. Hence the necessity for a just as well as a generous policy in all legislation .•ffecting such undertakings,"

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Taxing Machinery., Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

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Taxing Machinery. Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

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