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Friday, 15 May 1936

Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) . - I am very much surprised that some honorable senators are not inclined to give reasonable encouragement to the manufacturers of British cars. No honorable senator wishes to do harm to any Australian industry, but it is well known that General Motors-Holden's Limited are fully occupied manufacturing bodies for General Motors' cars, and that the Ford Company has established its own works in Australia to meet the local demand. Neither of these firms is inclined to delay orders for its own cars in order to execute outside orders. Senator Leckie told us this afternoon that James Flood Proprietary Limited was up to date with all its deliveries, but Senator Johnston has just read a letter from an importer of British chassis complaining that it is many months behind time with its deliveries. I know that this is the true position, because, in an interview! which I had with the representative of a reputable importer of British cars, I learned that his firm had placed orders for motor bodies, delivery to commence at about Christmas time, m order to cater for the summer trade, but the first delivery was not made until several months later. This gentleman did not. condemn the company concerned. He admitted that it was doing its best, but, owing to the largely increased trade, it was unable to keep up with the demand. He assured me that the company mentioned by Senator Leckie was many months behind with its orders. I am convinced that the carrying of the request will not make the slightest difference to Australian motorbody builders. It is only natural that General Motors-Holden's Limited should pay attention first to orders for General Motors' chassis, including the English Vauxhall, which is, to all intents and purposes, a General Motors product; and, as the firm is too busy on its own work, it is unable to execute orders for other distributors. I shall regard the vote on this sub-item as a test of the sincerity of the Senate's desire to give some measure of assistance to distributors of British motor cars in Australia.

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