EXCISE DUTY REBATE ON SUGAR FOR EMPLOYMENT OF WHITE LABOUR IN PRODUCTION OF SUGAR CANE : WHAT AMOUNTS TO WHITE LABOUR : ABORIGINES, HALF-CASTES
EXCISE TARIFF 1902
With reference to the provision of the Tariff which allows a rebate of excise duties on sugar 'on all sugar cane delivered for manufacture, and in the production of which sugar cane white labour only has been employed', the Minister for Trade and Customs asks to be advised on the following points:
- Will the employment of aborigines of Australia by any grower of cane prevent his claim for rebate being allowed?
- Will the employment of persons of mixed blood (half-castes, quadroons, etc.) have the same effect?
- Would the employment of (say) one person only (coloured) operate in the same way?
- What is to be understood as being embraced by the restriction? Would a coloured person employing white labour only, being the owner of a plantation, be entitled to the rebate?
My opinion on these points is as follows:
- Yes. Aboriginal labour cannot be considered white labour.
- As to persons of mixed race, quadroons may reasonably be considered as white labour; persons in whom the blood of a coloured race predominates should not. Half-castes are on the border line; but in view of the affirmative and restrictive language of the provision, I think that half-castes should be excluded.
- Yes. The provision applies only to the labour employed, not to the employer of labour.
[Vol. 1, p. 411]