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German Goods That Pay No Duty Help Create Unemployment, NZ Truth, Issue 1080, 12 August 1926
German Goods That Pay No Duty Help Create Unemployment
AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT MANUFACTURERS ARE IN QUEER STREET
Foreign Countries, Paying Low Wages And Working Long Hours, Are Main Competitors PROTECTION LSSLNTIAL~TO DOMINION'S PROGRESS
m^ "wr T is -the ;same old story ' ir ' Jr.' again— ridiculously ; made J&J i quate protection and a MMlLall foolish prejudice against •W 1 M the homermade article. . jSaL W P". As an important branch **** . of the engineering industry, which is (Jecidedly a "key" -industry, as essential m times of peace as m times of war, it is m the interests of the country as a whole that it should expand each; year, and the sooner the Government realizes this fact the Quicker the will benefit. / ;/ .• : ;' :,.. ' ":■•■.. Depression m this particular branch of engineering is not a recent development. In . • some years there was. marked slackness of . tradej due, Tiow-r ever, rather to "farmers' : financial difficulties than to overseas competition,, and' during the following year business did not improve. ' ; . . . With the commencement of .1924 there was a temporary improvement, but it did not. last for. any, length of time, as overseas' firms entered the market, and the New Zealand manufacturer very- quickly found himself m" a- serious position. . '•••"■•''■..•• * He was given no opportunity to recover from jLhe slump. Hardly, indeed, had.he set his house m order than he fouhd-himself forced -to. meet this very severe competition, .and- that competition; has con timifjd. until , .to,- day he is practically out ot business. ■ :..■ There is hot an agricultural and dairy machinery manufacturer m the Dominion wbo. . .has not - expensive machinery, lying, idle or who is not employing a depleted staff. Only recently, one. wellrknown firm, Andco Ltd., of Moray Place, Dunedm, decided th.at as things are at present it could not possibly continue m business, and. accordingly on June 2, it bid farewell to its clients m the following letter: . "OWing to the lack of support accorded to -the- . New .Zealand Dairy Plant \ Manufacturers and the importation of foreign plantduty free— we have decided to give up the. business. • "With wages twice as much as that paid m other countries, combined with shorter hours here, and no protection, we find . it ,• impossible to compete. . - "We have done our best to assist ;n fostering the dairy industry, but feel :that we cannot do so any longer without serious loss; to ourselves. H ' • *, "We take this opportunity of' thanking those dairy factories which have given us loyal support , m trying to assist us. to compete against foreign' goods and push ahead 'New Zealand made goods.' "As our number of spare parts for pumps, curd-mills, curd-knives, . etc., are necessarily limited, we would advise those m need of same to order early. . ' , ■ "Again thanking, pur numerous patrons for their ;past support. : *We remain, yours faithfully," "ANDGO LTD." SHORT HOURS This firm had at one pme been doing a considerable business, but within recent years its turnover has dropped considerably, falling from £14,100 to £10,300, then to £8200, and m 1926 to £5000. Hand m hand with this fall In turnover went a. fall m the number of hands employed, and the staff of 24 trained men was reduced to. but 11. '• Andco Ltd. is not an exception, and "Truth*' has positive knowledge that other firms have experienced a somewhat similar reduction m turnover, but because these firms are still m business it is obviously imposible to give detailed figures. One firm has been forced to reduce work to four days a week, and the staff m this factory;num- . bers less than 100 whereas it would total 125 under normal conditions. '
■.'.V '■] ■ . (By "Truth's" Managing Editor on Tour.)
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|! The agricultural implement and dairy machinery manu- || facturing industry m New Zealand is to-day fighting 'with 1 1 its, back to the wall. * - [I It is battling ajgainst almost overwhelming odds, and |S as conditions are at present it will have to go on battling. 1(. It certainly cannot flourish. is '.'.'•.'•■' ..■■•...'... , l
; :Why has the industry reached this parlous state? Two factors have contributed ' towards sending the local .manufacturer Into Queer Street— firstly, competition Ifrom. low-wage, long-hour countries, and, secondly, an- absurd prejudice ' against the : locally-made article.
r This .prejudice- is exceedingly diffi-. cult to understand, but it sav.ors very closely of a penny wise, pound .foolish attitude. New Zealand . agricultural implements are sold at higher price 3 than the'importeaxarticles, but the disparity m price- is more than equalized I by the superiority of the local product. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiujiniiiiiiiiiiiiiitii
.Dominion makers manufacture their articles to suit New Zealand conditions. Tliey are strong; a^id durable, more lasting than the overseas article and better suited to this country's peculiar needs. , '•■■. ■■' ••; This fact, however, with one or tw> exceptions, is not recognized by farmers^ It -has been driven home to them 'through bitter experience, however that the .» locally -manufactured plough is much superior to the '.imported, with the' result that, except m tractor ploughs, the local 1 maker is able ,to hold his own, although importations', have increased of late. ' . Neither 'does he experience 'any overseas competition, m, lime saws: Here New Zealand holds her own market. But m other lines---churns, drills' and sowers, s.t; cultir vators, disc harrows, butter scales and so on— the market has gone ' to the overseas manufacturer. ' ' ■ Many of these items are duty . free, and even when there is a duty it is exceedingly small, somewhere about 10 per cent, on ■article's manufactured m the. United Kingdom and ; 20 per cent.; foreign;.-; ■;-.'.- '..•"• • ■■' :.:■/,".'. | ; i : The bulk of- the goods are imported f rom|preign. countries— f rom Germany, I)^n|jn'aLrk \and 1 where wages' are AN ANOMALY That is why the New- Zealand maker is unable to compete. He cannot hope to pay from 79 to 126 percent, higher wages and still sell his articles at the same, , or a loweiy price than is charged for the imported article. ' However, the difference m wages and hours is not the only -burden which he is forced to shoulder. The tariff is unfair, and contradictory m at least one respect. It is frequently stated that an increased tariff on British goods ,is undesirable since the great bulk 'of our primary -products are sold to England, but this ystatement ignores the fact that the bulk of our agricultural implements and dairy machinery comes from foreign countries. . , For the four years 1922 to .1925, the United States gave us 61 per cent, of the drills and sowers we imported, 78 per cens. of the ploughs; 29 per cent, of the s.t. cultivators and 43 per cent of ■ the disc harrows. A: few years ago New Zealand firms were doing a fairly substantial business; m large dairy churns, but it is extremely doubtful if any firm m the Dominion is to-day manufacturing this type of qhurn. \_ WHY? SIMPLY BEdAUSE GERMAN. CHURNS ARE COMING INTO THE COUNTRY WITHOUT PAYING DUTY. Did. 1 w.e fight simply to allow our enemies 'to, at a later date, increase our unemployment, endeavor to lower our high standard of living and decrease our national prosperity? It is high time that we faced the true position of affairs, and realized that, things cannot continue as they at present are. We are only heading towards financial suicide. <; Factories cannot continue to run indefinitely when they are riot making a reasonable profit, and: they cannot make a reasonable profit'when lowwage, long-hour countries are allowed to dump their articles into New Zealand without paying duty. , ; The agricultural implement trade is one of the worst sufferers m ( this respect, and the local makers" should receive additional preference. ' That is, plainly necessary, and if the present Government is unwilling to give this industry, along with several others, the increased tariff, that is required to enable it to live then the Dominion must find a political,, party with more ' foresight, more wisdom and a good deal more courage. . ,
German Goods That Pay No Duty Help Create Unemployment, NZ Truth, Issue 1080, 12 August 1926
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