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Tuesday, 22 November 1910

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - When the Tariff was under consideration in this Chamber the Honorary Minister constituted himself the great champion of those persons who make up clothes in the Commonwealth as against the importers of ma'de-up clothing. He declared that every protection should be extended to them. I do not know why he now seeks to deprive them of that measure of protection. Apparently he wishes to reduce that protection by 5 per cent, or 10 per cent. Merely because an individual proposes to manufacture trimmings in Australia, is he to be protected at the expense of the thousands of women who are employed in the dressmaking trade? Surely we are not going to that extreme. This particular manufacturer has not yet materialized. But because a small quantity of trimmings may be' manufactured in Sydney and Melbourne, are all the dressmakers of the Commonwealth to be penalized? Why is it proposed to do this? Simply because the Department wishes it. But is the Department to rule the Commonwealth ? I hope that the Minister will accede to the request, which is a reasonable one.

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