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Wednesday, 13 May 1936

Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) . - Every honorable senator knows full well that keen-edged tools are not, and have never been, satisfactorily manufactured in Australia.

Senator Hardy - That is not correct.

Senator HERBERT HAYS - Very few axes are manufactured in this country; the keenest andbest ones are imported. Scythes, carpenters' tools, and hooks, of which the hooks referred to in this item form part, are not manufactured in the Commonwealth, and the Minister's figures show definitely and conclusively that they are not being satisfactorily made in Australia, and will not be for many years. Only 15 per cent. of the Australian requirements of hooks and slashers is supplied by local manufacturers; but I venture to state that the majority of skilful workmen who use axes or hooks would prefer to pay substantially more for a better class of imported tool. The art of the manufacture of keen-edged tools has been handed down from generation to generation in England and America. An axe handle made from hickory in America costs 3s. 6d. or 4s., and I consider that no Australian axeman, however patriotic he may be, would purchase a locally-made handle, because it would 'be unsuitable for his requirements.

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