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Wednesday, 25 November 1959


Mr OSBORNE (Evans) (Minister for Air) . - I move - [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 9).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 as so amended.

 

 

 

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 10).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1959, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals No. 9 introduced into the House of Representatives on the twenty-fifth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 as so amended.

 

 

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 11).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 as so amended.

 

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 12).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 as so amended.

 

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 13).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1959 as so amended.

 

 

[Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 2).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1959 as so amended. [Excise Tariff Amendment (No. 5).]

That the Schedule to the Excise Tariff 1921-1959 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twenty-sixth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine, at five o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Excise be collected in pursuance of the Excise Tariff 1921-1959 as so amended.

The tariff proposals which I have just introduced propose to alter the Customs Tariff 1933-1959, the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1959 and the Excise Tariff 1921-1959 as from to-morrow morning. The alterations arise mainly from the Government's consideration of fourteen Tariff Board reports. There are also two amendments of departmental origin. The Tariff Board reports concerned are those dealing with woollen goods, which I tabled earlier this year, and with plain clear sheet glass; antimonial and lead compounds; electrically operated cloth-cutting machines; marking and stamping devices; slide viewers, slide projectors and bulb-type flash guns; mosquito repellents; carpenters' planes; human hair-clipping machines; abrasives; circuit breakers and switch units; the shipbuilding industry; canvas and duck and cotton substitutes therefor; and waterproofed piece goods. I shall table these reports shortly.

I would, however, like to give honorable members the following general information on the changes involved.

On antimonial and lead compounds, no change in the incidence of tariff duties has been recommended by the board and the primage duty has been incorporated with the existing duties chargeable under the customs tariff.

On cloth-cutting machines, increased duties are proposed for portable electric types, the rates being 221 per cent, ad valorem under the British preferential tariff and 30 per cent, ad valorem otherwise. Bench and other types of cloth-cutting machines remain admissible at nonprotective rates of duty.

Carpenters' planes will now become, either through the customs tariff or customs by-laws, free of duty under the British preferential tariff, or dutiable at 71 per cent, ad valorem otherwise. The Tariff Board has recommended that the substantive rates of duty for metal planes remain unaltered, but the by-law provisions operate in lieu of these protective duties for the time being.

Plain clear sheet glass now becomes dutiable at protective, rates of 171 per cent, ad valorem less ls. 6d. per 100 square feet British preferential tariff, and 171 per cent, ad valorem otherwise.

Mosquito spirals and coils are at present covered by protective duties, and these are proposed to be removed. In this case the: Tariff Board found that there has been a change in consumer demand from combustible mosquito repellents to the new spray-type insecticides. The board found, that very high rates of duty would be required to give effective protection to the local product and that this could not be. justified on economic grounds. The rates of duty now become free under British preferential tariff, and 71 per cent, ad valorem otherwise.

Protective rates- of 5 per cent. British preferential tariff and 221 per cent, otherwise are now imposed on slide viewers and slide projectors, and also on single-flash bulb type photographic flash lights.

Increased protection from 40 per cent, ad valorem to 45 per cent, ad valorem is imposed on marking and stamping devices when entered under the mostfavourednation tariff, but as primage duty of 5 per cent, is now removed the net result is that there is no change in the amount of duty payable on importation. There is no change proposed for the British preferential tariff rate, which remains at 171 per cent, ad valorem. A complementary amendment to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) is proposed which will maintain the level of duty on these goods at 221 per cent, ad valorem when qualifying for admission under that tariff.

Protection is imposed for the first time on vibratory type electrically operated hairclipping machines. Duties of 321 per cent. British preferential tariff, and 50 per cent, otherwise, are proposed. The British rate exceeds that recommended by the Tariff Board, but is the lowest rate possible consistent with Australia's overseas commitments. Rates of duty on other types of hair-clipping machines, e.g. shavers and motorized hair clippers, remain unchanged at free under the British preferential tariff, and 121 per cent, ad valorem otherwise.

Following inquiries on abrasives the Tariff Board recommended that a protective tariff at rates of 171 per cent, under the British preferential tariff, and 30 per cent, otherwise, be imposed on abrasive cloth and abrasive' paper. However, concessional tariff ' treatment is given to jumbo rolls- of certain abrasive papers and cloths which are further processed by Australian manufacturers of abrasive products. Jumbo rolls are rolls of abrasive material at least 100 yards long and exceeding 12 inches in width.

The Tariff Board has recommended increased tariff protection for certain types of circuit breakers and switch units. The general protective rates on outdoor circuit breakers rise by 10 per cent, ad valorem on goods entered under the British preferential tariff. The board also proposed that out-door circuit breakers in the 15,000/38,500 volt class be given concessional entry only when the rated breaking capacity is 2,500 megavolt-amperes, instead of 1,500 MVA as was previously the case. This means that outdoor circuit breakers in this voltage range exceeding 1,500 MVA but less than 2,500 MVA become dutiable under the proposed increased protective rates of 32} per cent. British preferential tariff, and 50 per cent, otherwise.

Changes are also proposed affecting the shipbuilding industry. The existing customs and primage duties on vessels not exceeding 500 tons gross register will be amalgamated. Some drafting changes have been made but there is no variation in the level of tariff assistance given to the Australian shipbuilding industry.

Following consideration of recommendations made by the Tariff Board in its report on this industry, which I will table later to-night, the Government has decided to continue the existing measures of assistance to the Australian shipbuilding industry. As honorable members are aware, these measures include the payment of a subsidy of up to 33} per cent, of the cost on trading vessels of over 500 tons gross built in Australia for employment on the Australian coast. The Government has decided that it should not aim at a shipbuilding industry of greater capacity than would be needed to meet the likely level of orders for the coasting trade.

The Tariff Board made certain observations on measures which could assist to generate demand if it was decided to have a greater level of occupied capacity in the industry. The Government has considered these observations and does not propose to take any special action on them, but the existing subsidy assistance will be continued until the end of 1964 and will be reviewed not later than 1962.

In its report on cotton canvas and duck, the Tariff Board recommended additional protection in the form of a deferred duty. The Government has decided, however, to operate the recommended duties forthwith and to refer the matter back to the board for further inquiry and report. In a further report on waterproofed canvas and duck, the Tariff Board recommended that the same rates of duty apply to waterproofed as to unwaterproofed canvas and duck. The Government has accepted this recommendation.

Honorable members may recall that I tabled the Tariff Board report on woollen goods on 13th May last. In respect of woollen piece goods, the board's finding was that the general level of tariff protection should be maintained, but that two existing tariff items should be combined to remove administrative difficulties. At that time, I informed honorable members that international negotiations had been commenced to secure certain changes in trade treaty obligations. These negotiations have been successfully concluded, and the rates now proposed give effect to the board's recommendation to combine the two tariff items.

The excise tariff is being amended to facilitate the establishment of a new industry in Australia, the manufacture of sodium cyclamate, and to permit its delivery free from excise duty when to be used for medicinal purposes. A complementary amendment is made to the Customs Tariff. I take this opportunity to assure honorable members that the proposal involves no reduction in the duties applying to sugar substitutes when used for other than medicinal purposes. I understand that sodium cyclamate is a saccharin or sugar substitute.

In October, 1958, I introduced a tariff proposal in which provision was made to permit concessional treatment to be accorded certain drugs and chemicals in retail packages. It has been found necessary to extend these provisions to morphine, strychnine and caffeine, and accordingly subdivision is now proposed for Items 281 (Q)(2), 281 (u) (2) and 281 (v)(2).

I formally commend the proposals to honorable members, but at the same time would point out that I shall shortly introduce in the House, due to its impending adjournment, legislation to validate the collection of duties imposed under these proposals until 30th June, 1960.

Progress reported.







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