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Tuesday, 22 November 1910

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - I am surprised that Senator Vardon asks that question at this juncture of the proceedings, because, when I submitted the request some time ago, I gave reasons which I thought would convince those who were interested in the encouragement of Australian industries that the words should be eliminated. I pointed out that their retention will inflict a great hardship on a number of men engaged in the tailoring industry throughout Australia, whose purchasing power is limited, and give an advantage to big men as against little men.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator makes a statement that it will be so, but he does not show how that will happen.

Senator FINDLEY - I do not think that I could give reasons which would convince honorable senators on the other side. It is represented that, if this restriction be persisted in, it will place certain persons at a disadvantage. Surely they ought to be the best judges.

Senator Millen - We are the judges now.

Senator FINDLEY - Probably we are. Honorable senators state, and keep on repeating, that the Government have yielded to representations made by Victorians in respect to the amendments proposed in the Tariff. Whilst in a measure that is true ive must not be unmindful of the fact that the whole of the items in this schedule appeared in telegraph form in nearly all the leading newspapers in the capital cities, together with the reasons why they were proposed. Since" their publication business men in different parts of Australia have had time to consider the amendments. Certain persons have pointed out to the Minister that an injustice will be done to some persons if these words be retained in item 106A Surely no honorable senator desires that the Minister shall close the door to deputations in respect of this or any other matter.

Senator Millen - Why does not the honorable senator show us where the injustice will be done?

Senator FINDLEY - By the retention of the words " made or cut to length or made or."

Senator Millen - Show us how it will work out in actual practice. The honorable senator is not helping us a bit.

Senator FINDLEY - I am not a practical tailor, and therefore cannot demonstrate that to the honorable senator.

Senator Millen - Surely the honorable senator can tell us what the effect of the alteration is- likely to be.

Senator FINDLEY - I am informed that unless the alteration be made, the importers will have an advantage over a man who is restricted by the use of the words. .

Senator Fraser - The honorable senator is only making a statement. He is not giving reasons at all.

Senator FINDLEY - I do not expect to be able to give reasons to convince honorable senators opposite as to the justice of this proposal. I am satisfied that it is in the interest of the Protectionist policy of

Australia to delete the words, and that their retention will be detrimental to that policy.

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