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Tuesday, 10 July 1906

Mr LONSDALE (New England) . - I echo what the honorable and learned member for .Corinella has said, that we should have the fullest possible information before we are called upon to pass these clauses. They rest upon the foundation that dumping of a mischievous character is taking place, and that it is injurious to Australian industries. There is absolutely no need for this Bill, unless such dumping does take place. Therefore, if the Minister furnishes us with no information in proof of his statements, we should refuse to proceed with the measure. Personally, I believe that he has no information of the kind. I am of opinion that there is no dumping of such a character as to injure the industries of this country.

Sir William Lyne - I will give the honorable member some soap.

Mr LONSDALE - The Minister has soft-soaped a number of people in this country, but there is one man whom he cannot soft-soap, and that is myself. The honorable gentleman is trying to force this Bill through by bluff. Why does he not bring forward the evidence collected by the Tariff Commission to show that dumping is proceeding to the injury df Australian industries ? He would not consent that this information obtained at such -cost, and given on oath, should be at our disposal before proceeding with the Bill, because, in my opinion, he was satisfied that if the Tariff Commission's evidence were before us it would be proved conclusively that there was no need for the Bill.

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must not discuss the Bill, but the clause before the Committee.

Mr LONSDALE - The Minister cannot p;ive a single instance of dumping that has injured any industry in Australia. It is true that he has referred to wire nails and a few other commodities, but there was no proof in what he said that injurious clumping takes place. Because goods are sold here for less than the price at which they are sold in America, it does not prove that they are dumped into Australia. It sim nl v proves the absurdity of a fiscal policy which consists in keeping up prices of goods in a protected country, and enabling the same goods to Be sold cheaply abroad.

Mr Hughes - I think the honorable member is proving too much.

Mr LONSDALE - If there is any dumping whatever, there ought to be plenty of proof of it. Strong free-trader as I am, if it were shown to me that manufacturers abroad were trying to kill our industries with the ulterior purpose of raising prices, I should at once be inclined to stop that kind o'f thing. If the Minister will take the Committee into his confidence, and will give the information that he has indicated that he possesses, I shall gladly listen to him. But, honestly, my opinion is that he has no such information j and, therefore, I urge that there is no necessity to pass clauses which will have such an injurious effect upon the trade) and commerce of these States.

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