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Thursday, 24 November 1927

Mr KILLEN (Riverina) (4:00 PM) .While I am anxious to see the timber industry in Australia in a flourishing condition, I do not think that any duty should be imposed on the class of timber which is used by fruit-growers for packing cases. The fruit-growers must use imported timber for making cases, and I am pleased that no addition to the duty is to be made in respect of this timber. I agree with the remarks of the honorable member for Macquarie (Mr. Manning) in that respect, but I would go further than he did, and say that there should be no duty at all on that class of timber. I have recently been in the fruit-growing districts on the Murrumbidgee, and have seen the growers there packing their fruit. They have a large co-operative packing shed at Griffith, and I saw there some cases which had been made from local timber. The cases had bulged and broken, showing that the timber was quite unsuitable for the purpose. My contentention is, therefore, that it does not matter what duty is placed on this imported timber; it would not protect the- local article because the timber required is not grown in Australia. The imposition of a tariff is a direct tax on the fruit-grower, because he must have the imported timber, whatever it costs.

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