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Tuesday, 19 December 1911


Senator RAE (New South Wales) (1:11 AM) . - In my judgment, it is only maudlin sentimentality which prompts the admission of Scripture cards free merely because they are Scripture cards. Our printers do splendid work in every other direction, and I think they are quite competent to print the best or the worst of Scripture cards. Hence I fail to see why those articles should be admitted free. In regard to pictures, if we are going to protect other articles, I fail to see why we should not encourage Australian art, especially as the Bill provides that oil or water-colour paintings presented to any picture gallery shall be admitted free. Under that provision, all the highest works of art which may be obtained from older lands will be open to public inspection. I am quite in accord with the duty proposed in the Bill, but I see no reason why Scripture cards should be placed on the free list, especially as the bulk of them are imported from Germany. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend sub-item (a) by adding .after the word " Free " the words " and on and after - December, 191 1, 25 per cent."

Senator ST.LEDGER (Queensland) £1.15 a.m.]. - I see no reason why we should not support Senator Rae in his request. I have been waiting to be told that this work can be done in Australia, and that the duty proposed would find work for Australian workmen. Fiscal agnostic and atheist as I am, I have been listening for two days to Protectionist arguments which might be urged- in support of the re-* -quest now moved.

Senator VARDON(South Australia) fi. 1 7 a.m.]. - I hope that Senator Rae will not press the request. This is a matter about which I know something, and I assure him that the duty he proposes would be a revenue duty and nothing else.


Senator Rae - Does the honorable senator mean to say that Scripture cards cannot be printed here?


Senator VARDON - They could be printed here, but when we take into consideration the preliminary expenses that would be involved in preparing for the printing of these cards, and ' the limited demand there would be for them, the work could not be carried on profitably in Australia. I have some knowledge of this matter, and I am sure that the printing trade generally would indorse my statement that the proposed duty would be of no use to Australian printers.







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