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Friday, 9 October 1931

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I am somewhat surprised at the tone of this debate, and cannot understand why ' any apology should be offered for what happened on the occasion under review. As I believe in the principle of an export duty on sheepskins, it is not my intention to apologize for that action. Had that duty been continued, thousands of men would have been employed in this country in the treatment of the skins. What has been the result of its discontinuance? Sheepskins have to be given away, because a price cannot be obtained for them on account of the absence of competition. Only the shipping companies who are carrying some of the skins overseas are deriving any advantage.

Mr Gullett - The only time when they were given away was while the duty was- in operation, because they were then unsaleable.

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They have to be burned to-day because there are no buyers for them.

Mr Gabb - They were being burned then.

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member will be burned politically before very long. We produce the raw material, but have to send it to France and other countries to be made into bags and gloves. It is a reflection on the people of Australia that it cannot be manufactured in this country. Why should honorable members apologize for what would provide employment for our people?

Mr Bayley - That is not the question.

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I say, shame on those who would deny the right of our people to be given employment!

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