THE TOBACCO TRADE.
TO THE EDITOR OP THE ARGUS.
Sir,-Your leader of this morning is on the whole a fair statement of the present border difficulty and its surroundings, but one or two of the remarks may create an impression which is scarcely correct. The case has, as you show, been complicated by the opening of a tobacco factory in Sydney, the proprietors of which, Messrs. Cameron and Co,, have openly avowed their intention to send their goods across the bordor, and so avoid payment of the import duty. Victoria would, of course, lose the duty (2s. ) on every pound so imported, and Now South Wales would gain 1s, per lb., the duty levied there on the raw mate- rial. In the event of Victoria continuing to levy the duty as at present, Now South Wales would lose 1s. on every lb., the difference between the duty on manufactured paid to Victoria and tho duty on the raw material in New South Wales.
Under the old bordor convention, tobacco manufactured in eithor colony entered the other free of duty, and it may be a matter of surprise that advantage was not taken of this. Before our firm started a factory here, we considered the matter very fully. That it would pay us better to manufacture in Sydney, and transport the material to Melbourne was evident, but we found on inquiry that there was a strong impression, both in Victoria and New South Wales, that the treaty would not be renewed, and we saw that when the Victorian Government found themselves losing revenue by the introduction of Sydney tobacco, they would very soon stop it. We accordingly opened a factory here, and Messrs, Cameron must, we opine, do the same, and for the same reason.
Both as citizens of Victoria and as manu- facturers, we should object to Messrs. Came- ron's tobacco coming in free-as citizens, because we bear our share of taxation and as manufacturers, because we are pretty con- fident that when Messrs. Cameron and Co.'s tobacco is produced and sold under the same conditions as our own, it will bo found that their reputation is altogether adventitious. At any rate, the colony should enjoy what advantages are derivable from the addi- tional hands which would be required in a new factory.
As for tho factories in Victoria being small, and not turning out tho class of tobacco which tho factory in New South Wales is established for the special purpose of producing, we can only say that you havo been misinformed. If nothing else wore proof for Messrs. Cameron. and Co., the falling off in their trade during tho last year is convincing evidence both of the quantity and quality of our tobacco. They would never have opened in Sydney if they had not found their trade slipping out of their fingers.
With Mr. Francis's proposition for an excise rate, we shall, with your permission, deal in a separate letter, in which we shall review the whole question of the tobacco trade, and the
May we ask, in conclusion, that in your commercial reports you will lend a friendly hand to the tobacco factories. The manu- facturers in Melbourne have been turning out an article of which they have no reason to be ashamed ; but they have been and are being constantly decried by the press and others. Week after week Cameron's tobacco is referred to in commercial articles, till the
public have boon led to believe that there is but one tobacco, and Cameron is its maker ;. and to such an extent is this carried that our tobacco is boing sold all ovor tho country as Cameron's, and ho gets the credit duo to us. Perhaps it is our own fault ; if wo had rolioci less on conscious morit, and dono a llttlo of the Cameronian blowing, you would have«
taken more notico of us.<
ROBERT DIXSON and Co. 107 and 109 William-stroot, Molboumo,
FOR THE REMAINDER OP THE NEWS AND ADVERTISEMENTS BEE TEE SUPPLEMENT TO ££T4 ARQÜ3 OF THIS DAT.