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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr D CAMERON (BRISBANE. QLD) - I have not the faintest idea what they anticipate. The letter concludes -

Similarly when goods are made free of bylaw from a given date, all goods then in Australian waters would still pay the duty provided by the tariff, and not get the benefit of the by-law.

The reply of the president of the Chamber of Commerce reads -

I duly received your letter of the 23rd ult., for which I thank you, although I regret you are unable to accede to our request. I think it matters little whether the proposed alteration is under the synonym of " uniformity " or " differentiation," so long as one State does not enjoy an advantage over another State, as Queeusland unfortunately has too. frequently witnessed under recent increases in Customs duties.

We fully concur with your view that on, occasion advantages are bound to accrue at some point, but we still maintain these advantages are far outweighed by tho disadvantages, accruing to Queensland under the presentsystem.

As to goods entered for bond, it has alwaysbeen the practice that such goods, when removed from bond, pay the duty ruling on that date, consequently they would be subject to any increase in rate then in ^operation.

Possibly, certain Chambers of Manufactures, especially in the south, are not in accord with our views, but the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Australia have again and again approved of them, and the Queensland Chamber of Manufactures is at any rate favorable.

Wo agree that it must " cut both ways." All we ask is that we be placed in no worse position than any other States, which we certainly are at present, and we trust at some future time, not far distant, 'you will still grant the relief asked for.

The opportunity presents' itself .to grant that relief, but, unfortunately, the Minister has not been able to agree to the request. I have talked on this subject repeatedly in this chamber, and I do not propose to labour it now. When the bill reaches the committee stage I shall move an amendment designed to give effect to the expressed wishes of the Associated Chambers of Commerce.

When speaking before lunch, the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) referred to the admission of an altar under by-law under tariff item 426 a j which deals with works of art'. For some considerable time I corresponded and conferred with the Minister on a similar matter. A Brisbane lady desired to present a processional cross to the. Anglican cathedral, Brisbane, but the customs officials maintained that it was not possible to admit the cross unless duty was paid amounting to a considerable sum. Representations were made to the Minister by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Latham) among others, with the result that that gentleman had the matter investigated further. Eventually, after a lapse of some considerable time, the cross was . admitted under the by-law I have mentioned as a work of art, only primage duty being payable.

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