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Wednesday, 14 October 1931


Mr CUSACK (Eden) (Monaro) If it be accepted as a fact that it is beneficial to have an adverse balance of trade, why has it been necessary for Great Britain to change her fiscal policy, and to adopt something in the nature of a tariff in order to assist her industries? The honorable member for Gippsland (Mr. Paterson) was a Minister during the period when there were heavy imports into Australia. Motor cars figured largely in those imports. In the garages of Australia to-day can be seen cars that were then imported for £700 or £800, and that can how be bought for as low as £2. How can it be argued, therefore, that such a policy is beneficial? The honorable member said that the position of a farm was improved by going into debt to purchase machinery. To what extent was farm machinery purchased while the last Government was in power?


Mr Paterson - What I said was that the purchase of stock was an improvement in connexion with a farm.


Mr CUSACK - The importation of silk stockings, which laddered during the first week that they were worn, and had to bc discarded, and other similar useless articles, was responsible for our adverse balance of trade. Australia was flooded with such articles. The changed attitude in Great Britain has caused a Contretemps in the financial affairs of many other nations. I should like to see this Government not only improve the position in Great Britain, but also increase the credits that we hold there, by an expansion of our exports of perishable products. We are benefiting to-day because we are exporting more than we are importing.. Consequently, I stand for the policy that has been enunciated by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Forde) . I agree that this policy does not suit the constituents of the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley), who are suffering to-day because of the diminution of shipping, and the lessened volume of imports that have to be handled. But to the nation generally it has been of immense benefit.







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