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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I am opposed to admitting tanks free of duty. When the last Tariff was under discussion, I moved that a duty be imposed, and I still think that, no matter what the size of imported tanks may be, we should impose a duty in order to encourage their manufacture in Australia. Whilst we are imposing a duty on the raw material, we are allowing the completed article to come in free. We have the material, the workmen, and the demand for the goods in Australia. That being so, it is a great mistake on the part of the Government to propose that tanks shall escape duty. I know that all kinds of tanks, round, square, or oval; corrugated or plain, can be made here. Of course, some honorable senators will put in a plea for the farmer. I have no desire to penalize the farmer. But I thinkof the miner as well. He will be penalized quite as much as the farmer, yet the miner is anxious that the duties shall be imposed.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I question that.

Senator NEEDHAM - I have no doubt about it. I am following out my fiscal faith, because I am satisfied that tanks can easily be made in Australia. What reason is there why we should allow a 400- gallon tank to come in free?

Senator St Ledger - Has the honorable senator ever been in the northern or central parts of Australia?

Senator NEEDHAM - I venture to say that I have been in more distant parts than the honorable senator has been, and that I have a greater experience of the lives of the people in those parts. This Bill is intended to rectify anomalies in the Tariff, tout if the item is allowed to pass in its present shape, it will create a greater anomaly than it is proposed to remedy.

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