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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - The Minister has suggested a very plausible excuse for retaining the item in the Bill ; but, if his contention be correct, the Ministry have proposed a very roundabout way to accomplish a very simple thing. According to the Minister, they have no desire to collect a duty on anything except the cabinet. Why not say straight-out that the machines shall come in free, but that the cabinet shall be dutiable at a certain rate, or comein under some other item, such as furniture? Nobody can contend for amoment that the assembling of thepartsofgramaphones will ever be an Australian industry. Ridiculous duties of 10 and 5 per cent. would be absolutely ab surd for the encouragement of that or any other industry. I do not want to be placed in a false position. I do not intend to support the Government's roundabout proposal when there is a simple, straightforward way of proceeding. I am prepared to vote for the highest duty which they care to propose on the cabinet, but I shall insist upon giving a vote in favour of making the machines free.

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