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Wednesday, 23 November 1910

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - Before the division takes place, I should like to remind theCommittee that Senator Vardon proposesthat a box shall be considered a fancy box, in the first place, if it is decorative; in thenext place, if it is fanciful in pattern ; and,, again, if it adds to the market value of the goods enclosed in it. If this definition be adopted the Customs officials will have tosubject all imported boxes, such as we are now discussing, to a minute examination to discover, first of all, whether they are decorative, then whether they are fanciful in pattern, and then to a third examination to ascertain whether they add to the market value of the goods. Even after all that was done, I am certain that in nine cases out of ten the importers would dispute the decision arrived at. Under existing conditions, little or no difficulty arises, since any importer can purchase the booklet in which fancy boxes are fully described by the Department.

Senator Vardon - I suppose, then, there are about twenty or thirty of these booklets ?

Senator FINDLEY - No; I have here the Library copy,' and it is the one in general- use.

Senator Vardon - One of the latest editions ?

Senator FINDLEY - It is the latest edition, and contains all the definitions laid down from time to time by the Customs Department in respect to fancy boxes.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel SirAlbert Gould. - It is always growing and altering.

Senator FINDLEY - That may be; but I am satisfied that if we carried the motion submitted by Senator Vardon an additional page or two would have to be added to the booklet to define fancy boxes, and we should not then have reached finality. I hope that the motion will not be agreed to.

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