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Tuesday, 22 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - I believe that this proposal is not only one for revenue duties, but is antiProtectionist. No one can say that these laces are being made in Australia. Though a better class of lace is being made as a pleasant occupation by young ladies in various parts of the country, it is not being made on a commercial scale anywhere in Australia. It is proposed to increase the duty on this class of goods very considerably, and I ask what we should accomplish by that? The white workers of the Commonwealth engaged in making up dress materials, underclothing, and such things, require these goods as their raw material. If we increase the duty on their raw material, we shall be giving them so much less protection against made-up garments which are imported from abroad, and in which these materials are used. There is no proposal in this amending schedule for increasing the duties on made-up garments in which these materials are used, and yet it is here proposed to increase the duty on the raw material used in the manufacture of the madeup garments here. By adopting this proposal, we shall be progressing like the crab - backwards. We who claim to be Protectionists wish to progress forwards. It is strange that we have had no adequate explanation from the Government for the proposed alteration. The whole item appears to come under the same category, and, instead of rectifying, it will create, anomalies. I ask honorable senators to refer to the paragraph dealing with braids. It is proposed to lift them out of the free list, and put them into the list dutiable at 25 per cent. What will be the effect of that? One can go into any draper's shop in Melbourne and see samples of plain braids, and of braids made up into fancy patterns. Under this proposal, the duty on plain braids and braids made up into fancy patterns would be the same, and the result will be that, instead of the patterns being worked in plain braids on the materials by Australian workers, braid would be imported made up in fancy patterns, and all that would be necessary then would be to tack it on to the dress materials. I repeat that this proposal is not only a revenue Tariff proposal, but is absolutely an antiProtectionist proposal. Yet we have a Government asking a presumably Protectionist party and a Protectionist Senate to accept them. I, for one, am not prepared to do so, and shall vote against the item.

Request (by Senator St. Ledger) agreed to-

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend the item by leaving out the second paragraph.

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