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Wednesday, 19 May 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I, too, think that the matter of exchanges is one which might be considered by the Cabinet. I would be the last to urge a departure from the system of charging duties on the fair market valuein the country of shipment. When Minister for Trade and Customs, I did my best to prevent fraud; indeed, I went in for a system of compulsory honesty in dealings with the Customs House. The question of exchange is a matter entirely apart from the question of the fair market value; and my opinion is that we have no right to re-convert into a pre-war value. I think that I have a very fair record as Minister for Trade and Customs, for seeing that those who had dealings with the Department paid their full dues, going so far as to have people gaoled for evading the payment of duty. I would not do anything which would give Japan and the United States an advantage at the present time.

Mr Jowett - But the system favoured by the Acting Minister does.

Mr TUDOR - It does; and, as I say, it is a matter for the Cabinet, as well as a matter for the Department. I think that the case put by the honorable member for Flinders (Mr. Bruce) is unanswerable, and demands earnest consideration. Of course, I know that the position of an Assistant or Acting Minister is a very difficult one, for he can not depart from the accepted practice of the Department or of his' chief.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Department of Works and Railways.

Divisions 118 to 129, £617,412, agreed to.

Postmaster-General's Department.

Divisions 130 to 139, £5,223,143-

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