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Wednesday, 23 November 1910


Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - The explanation of the VicePresident of the Executive Council is at least an intelligent statement of the reason why the Government are moving in this matter, but I ask the Committee to compare it with the statement made by Senator Findley. I suggested when Senator Findley was speaking that this amendment was proposed, not to remove an anomaly at all, that it had no reference to the nature of the commodity, and was intended merely to encourage the packing of these goods in small packages in Australia.


Senator Long - Did not Senator Findley make that perfectly clear?


Senator MILLEN - No, the honorable senator dealt with the quantity of oils in the packages, and said nothing at all as to the size of the packages. The VicePresident of the Executive Council has said that since the duty chargeable on these goods is 4s. per cwt., it is to be assumed that they would be imported in packages of 1 cwt. Is that assumption not to prevail now j and if it is, what is the virtue of the reference to packages containing 14 lbs. and over? Why should we not just as reasonably say 7 lbs. and over.?


Senator McGregor - Because these goods imported in small packages are for immediate use.


Senator MILLEN - That* is the whole point, but Senator Findley disputed it when I raised it before, and said that this was not intended to rectify an anomaly or to relieve the Department of any inconvenience, but for the express purpose of encouraging the packing in Australia of these paints in small packages for retail. In these circumstances, what becomes of the contention on all these items that the Government are not proposing to revise the Tariff? . It seems to me that, under this Bill, the Government propose not to correct anomalies, but to impose new duties in the interests of particular industries. I say that that is not a fair or a reasonable thing unless it is done all round. I do not see why the Government should pick . out industries which affect a few people who,. because of their location, have easy access to Ministers.







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