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Thursday, 24 November 1927

Mr PRATTEN (MARTIN, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - Some honorable members seem to be under a misapprehension in respect of the principle underlying the imposition ofdeferred duties. Such duties are provided to encourage the manufacture of particular articles. If and when the Tariff Board represents that a sufficient quantity of these goods is being produced within the Commonwealth, at a reasonable price and of satisfying quality, the deferred duties become operative. The deferred duty on cotton goods in tubular form, to which the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) has referred, has been recommended by the Tariff Board. At present goods of this class are not being manufactured here in sufficient quantities to justify the immediate imposition of the duty. The honorable member referred also to the deferred duty on "piece goods, woollen or containing wool." This is simply a re-arrangement of the item, and does not affect the present duty. The deferred duty on linoleums is provided in expectation of the establishment of the industry in Australia, and that is also true of the deferred duty on artificial leather goods. The manufacture of iron and steel tubes and pipes has not yet been started in Australia. If it were started to-morrow, I doubt whether the articles could be placed on the market within twelve months. I make these statements in order that there may be no misunderstanding of the Government's proposals.

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