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Wednesday, 31 August 1921


Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - Under sub-item a, home kinematographs are imported free from Great Britain, free in the intermediate column, and at a duty of 10 per cent, in the general Tariff. 1 should like the duty on these machines to be deleted. As honorable senators are aware, these home kinematographs are small machines, of about the size of a typewriter. They are used in homes and in schools, and can be made to serve an educational purpose. I understand that the practice of the Trade and Customs Department is to permit their importation free under departmental by-laws, if they are to be used in schools, and that a number of them are already in use in schools in Victoria. If these machines were made in England I should not ask for the abolition of the 10 per cent, duty in the general Tariff. I understand that at the present time thev are practically all imported from the United States of America, though pre vious to the war a good many of them were imported from France. During the war the manufacture of kinematographs in France was knocked out, and America now sends us more machines than are received from France. I believe that the machines are sold usually at about £30 each, and the duty would represent about £3. I suppose very few of these machines would be found in the homes of the residents of cities and their suburbs, because they have the opportunity to attend the big picture shows. I hope, however, to see the time when a number of these machines will be found in the homes of people in the back-blocks. There are two kinds of home kinematographs imported. In the case of one machine, the handle which turns the film also generates the electricity. With the other machine, which is a little larger, use may be made of the electric current where it is supplied. I have not been asked to take this action by those who are selling these machines. They admit that the duty is not a very high one, and that they are free if imported for the use of schools. I saw them in use before the war on two or three occasions, and have used them myself. Their use might be educational, and the more of them that are used in Australia the better. I understand that in France their manufacture is not permitted unless the film used in them is non-inflammable. As the machines are not made in England, we might very well abolish the duty imposed on them,







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