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Tuesday, 23 May 1939

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) .- My attention has been invited to a report in the Melbourne Argus of the 18th May, in which Dr. I. Clunies Ross, the Chairman of the International Wool Secretariat in London, in a report to the Australian Wool Council, is reported to have said -

Light weight wool goods, both for ladies' wear and men's suitings, are not manufactured in Australia, and that a reduction of the existing tariff is desirable in order to allow these cloths to be obtainable in Australia.

As far back as 1929-32, when the Scullin Government was in office, protective duties were imposed on ladies' lightweight dress materials and lightweight materials for men's suitings, with the result that these goods are now extensively manufactured in Australia, giving employment to about 3,000 operatives. I ask the Minister to make inquiries into the report with a view to obtaining authentic information on the subject, as the statement of Dr. Clunies Ross is damaging Australian industries. It is incorrect to say that these goods are not manufactured in Australia.

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