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Thursday, 22 April 1915

If any further evidence were needed to demonstrate the absolute ineffectiveness of the amended Tariff schedule which was brought into operation at the end of last year, it is provided by the huge importations which have since taken place.

That is after the Tariff which we shall be presently asked to indorse was brought into operation : -

In his Budget Estimate of the Customs and Excise revenue for the current financial year the Prime Minister calculated that there would be a falling-off owing to the disturbance of trade in consequence of the war of somewhere about £170,000. With a little over two months yet to go, the receipts from this particular source are actually only £87,000 behind those for the same period last year, and it seems likely, in view of the present volume of trade and the accelerated revenue of the last month, that the actual decrease will be an exceedingly slight one.

A Tariff which enables the Customs revenue to practically maintain its normal level at such a crisis cannot be said to have achieved its object - the encouragement of local industry.

It should be quite apparent to honorable senators that the object of the Tariff is not to exclude foreign-made goods at all. It is to produce revenue to avoid the necessity of increasing the Federal land tax. That point cannot be too strongly stressed.

Senator Russell - Do you think that we can build factories in three months?

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