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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Our Industries

Our Industries.

But if our agricultural industries are contracted or suffer through want of confidence, do not our mining, commercial, and manufacturing enterprises suffer too? Is there any encouragement to invest money now? If men embark in any enterprise, is there any reasonable certainty that when the work is sufficiently advanced to expose capital to great risks that the workmen will not strike, or is there any certainty some protection fad here or elsewhere will not cause ruin? That's where the rub is. We want deep-level mining done, but who dare do it? Coal mines need developing, but what amount of profits are the men going to claim as theirs? Manufactures are needed, but where are the employers' liabilities and State interference to cease? If the State is to make men leave off work and people close their shops at certain hours, capital will flow into other channels where there are fewer obstructions. If law requires that the names of inspectors of factories be submitted to the Trades and Labour Council before appointment, employers will not feel over-confident about impartiality and freedom.

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Other obstacles will occur to the reader. State Socialism is the great obstacle to the development of our colonial enterprises; excessive taxation, begotten of extravagant administration, is another; inadequate access to markets, protection fads, and high railway tariffs are others. If the National Association can only in some degree arouse the people to put on the brake to check Socialistic experiments, which destroy confidence and exhaust the taxpayer, it will deserve well of every loyal New Zealander.