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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I shall not delay the Committee by discussing the matter at length, but I point out that the adoption of this proposal will leave us face to face with the absurdity that a complete rifle, with all fittings, will be admitted free; whilst, if the fittings require to be imported later on, they will have to pay a duty. Senator Pearce states that rifle sights are made in Australia, but that is no reason why a duty should be imposed upon all rifle fittings.

Senator Pearce - All these fittings are made in Australia.

Senator MILLEN - Then we shall still have the absurdity that, while a complete rifle is admitted free, duty is charged upon rifle fittings.

Senator PEARCE - That is because no one makes a complete rifle in Australia.

Senator MILLEN - A rifle turned out by the Birmingham Small. Arms Company may be imported free with all its fittings; whilst, if the fittings are imported apart from the rifle, a duty is charged upon them.

Senator Rae - It is Protection reversed.

Senator MILLEN - Senator Rae has exactly summed up the position. I would ask the Minister whether fittings cover such parts of a rifle, for instance, as the breech action of some sporting rifles, which can be more easily detached from the rifle than can the rifle sight?

Senator McGregor - No; breeches are not parts of the rifle in this sense.

Item agreed to.

Item 141 -

By omitting the present sub-item (c) and inserting in its stead the following sub-item : - " (c) Primus and other similar heating lamps, ad valorem, 20 per cent."

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