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Wednesday, 23 November 1910


Senator CHATAWAY (QUEENSLAND) - We are dealing with item 222.


Senator Findley - No; we are dealing with the amendment I have moved upon it.


Senator CHATAWAY - We are dealing with item 222 of the existing Tariff. I have a perfect right to discuss the meaning of the item in relation to the principal Act. The Minister may get very angry about it-


Senator Findley - I do when the honorable senator says that the position is as clear as mud, although he is not clear himself as to the matter which is before the Committee.


Senator CHATAWAY - Item 222 of Bie Customs Tariff Act reads -

(a)   Steel wheels n.e.i. of over 30 inches dia meter in the tread, for trucks and waggons, and all steel parts for such wheels .... ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

(b)   Steel rimmed wheels of over 18 inches diameter in the tread, for trucks and waggons, and all steel parts for such wheels .... ad val. (General Tariff), 5 per cent. ; (United Kingdom), free.

In the Bill which we are now considering, it is proposed to omit from that item the words " for trucks and waggons " wherever they occur, and to insert in lieu thereof the words " for use on railways and tramways." It is the intention of the Government, I think, to permit of axles - if they cannot be made in Australia - being imported in the rough free of duty, so that they may be finished here. But at present buggy wheels are being imported in the rough, whilst the finished wheels are being admitted free. As a result, the machinery which has been specially laid down for the manufacture of the completed article is lying idle. If that is not an anomaly, I do not know what is.


Senator de Largie - But the wheels are like the flowers that bloom in the spring, in that they have nothing to do with the case.


Senator CHATAWAY - if the Government say that they have nothing to do with the case, and they are backed up by the tail of the Caucus, I have nothing further to say on the subject.

Senator VARDON(South Australia) [6.4J. - It seems-to me that item 222 of the ' Tariff, which has been quoted by Senator Chataway, refers to nothing but wheels. Consequently, they have everything to do with the case. The. word "axle" is not mentioned in that item.


Senator St Ledger - Unless we look very carefully into the principal Act, in conjunction with the amendments which have been circulated, it is extremely difficult for us to know exactly where we are.







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