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Tuesday, 18 May 1920

14.   In order to insure the full success and development of the oil-refining industry in Australia, the Commonwealthwill, so long as the prices charged by the Refinery Company for products of refining are considered by the Commonwealth fair and reasonable, but not further or otherwise -

(a)   exercise or cause to be exercised such statutory and administrative powers as it deems advisable to prevent dumping and unfair competition by importers of refined oil from other countries;

(b)   refund to the Refinery Company any Customs duty paid by the Refinery Company upon the importation into Australia of crude mineral oil purchased from the Oil Company and refined in Australia by the Refinery Company; and

(c)   cause to be introduced into the Parliament of the Commonwealth and supported as a Government measure a Bill providing for the imposition of Customs duties on crude mineral oil whenever in its opinion such action is necessary or advisable to prevent unfair competition with the products of crude oil refined in Australia by the Refinery Company.

Mr.TUDOR (Yarra) [10.42].- I move -

That sub-paragraiphs b and c of paragraph 14 be left out.

I take it that it will be for Parliament to decide any Tariff concession given to this or any other company. If this company is refunded the duty paid on the importation of crude mineral oil, it will place it in a position to defy competition. To this I object, because, in my opinion, every company should be treated alike. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), who, at an earlier stage, said that I had, in days gone by, converted him to the virtues of Protection, knows that I have never asked that any enterprise or industry shall be given an advantage that is not given to all similar enterprises and industries.

Mr Hector Lamond - This advantage will have to be given to every refinery.

Mr TUDOR - No, it will not, as the honorable member will see if he looks again at the two paragraphs that I propose to omit. Under paragraph c provision is made for the imposition of a duty on crude mineral oil, while under paragraph d the duty paid is to be refunded to therefinery company.

Mr Hector Lamond - Those paragraphswould not prevent Parliament from extending the same privileges to any other refinery.

Mr TUDOR - The Anglo-Persian Oil Company might say that they entered into an agreement, believing that the privilege would be confined to them. At the present moment, the agreement not having been ratified, they would probably accept anything, but to-morrow the position will be different.

Mr Corser - Are not these paragraphs necessary to prevent dumping?

Mr TUDOR - No; dumping is provided against in paragraph a.

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