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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . -I understand that cotton serviettes are imported as piece goods at 5 per cent. But if they are cut up and hemmed before importation, the duties are 35 and 30 per cent. It is obvious that the housewife gains no advantage if the merchant imports these goods in the piece, cuts them up in his warehouse, and hems one side of them. She is made to pay the full duty. In the same way, some handkerchiefs are imported in the piece, whilst others are imported ready cut up. If a merchant cuts them up in his warehouse, he will be able to charge the full 35 per cent, duty against the customer. I think it is a great mistake to make this difference, which simply means putting more money into the pockets of the rag men, who are making quite enough out of the public already.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8.p.m.

Request agreed to.

Item 123 (Cotton and linen piece goods) agreed to.

Item 126 -

By omitting from the item the words " Collar check ; collar cloth," and inserting in lieu thereof the words " Collar check and collar cloth thirty-six inches and over in width."

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