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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - The Minister's explanation of this proposal was that since the original Tariff was settled, the person who has the patent for making these articles has made up his mind to open a manufactory in Australia if a sufficiently high duty is imposed. This amounts almost to a bribe on behalf of the monopolists, who want to secure the advantage of high duties in this country. I understood that the policy of the Government was to suppress monopolies, and to prevent their creation in Australia. Now we find that the contrary is the case, and that Ministers actually propose a duty to help a monopolist to come here. Senator Needham has made out a very good case. I object to the policy of forcing the Committee to deal with the subject in this way, and of legislating in order to hand over an advantage to a monopolist who may think of commencing business in Australia.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [9.53].- The Minister has practically admitted that one of the reasons for this increase of duty is to enable the Government to obtain a large amount of revenue. It means that, while £120,000 worth of machinery will pay exactly the same duty as it has hitherto done, another £100,000 will pay 25 per cent. more. It. is not really for the purpose of having the machines made in Australia, but to obtain more revenue that this policy has been launched. If the proposal meant the production of these machines in the country, there would be some argument in favour of it. But that argument does not exist.

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