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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) .^1 suggest that the Government should regard works of art, and the duties imposed on them, from the point of view of the cultural interests of Australia. The exclusion of works of art by means of Customs barriers very seldom leads to anything being produced in Australia to take their place. Take the case of the Archibald statue in Sydney. It was surely inconsistent with the idea of developing the mind and taste of the people to impose a duty on such a statue.

Mr Forde - We allowed that statue to come in free of duty.

Mr LATHAM - I am glad to hear it, but there was a very long controversy over the matter. Then take the case of the music presented by Mrs. James Dyer to the Public Library in Melbourne; there was no justification for levying a duty on that. Music of that kind would not be produced here, in any case, and the amount of revenue involved was negligible. I suggest that sympathetic consideration should be extended to all requests for the remission of duty on works of art.

Sitting suspended from 12.b5 to IB. 15 p.m. [Quorum formed.]

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