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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Objections of Protectionists

Objections of Protectionists.

Here I must notice the objections which are sure to be raised by some persons to the abolition of any duties on articles of foreign produce or manufacture, which are grown or produced in New Zealand.

Politicians of this opinion will say,—the removal of the duties will lower the prices of New Zealand produce and manufactures, and thus discourage local industry, and hurt the interests of the working man.

I cannot, of course, go into the whole question between Protection and Free Trade, which I saw fought out in Great Britain thirty years ago, and decided in favour of Cheap Food at any rate, through the pressure of the Potato Disease, and under the table and unselfish leadership of the late Sir Robert Peel, himself a convert to the arguments of Cobden, Bright, and other advocates of Free Trade long before them.

I will confine myself to the question as it bears in New Zealand upon the proposed Reform of Taxation.

The articles on which any duties, having protective action on local industry, are collected, may be classed as follows:—