Colonial Treasurer Julius Vogel proposed a protective tariff on corn and dairy products in 1869 – but the measure was defeated, attracting the scorn of newspaper editorials. The Nelson Examiner claimed on 10 December 1870 that Vogel’s arguments had ‘the unsteady inconsistent effect of images seen across sand-hills’. Economist John Stuart Mill was the high priest of free trade, and in his Principles of political economy had suggested that some protection might be legitimate for a short time in a young nation where industries needed to get established. But the Examiner points out that agriculture was not a new or untried experiment in New Zealand, and should not qualify for protection.
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Reference: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. 4 January 1871, p. 4
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