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Tuesday, 19 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I am afraid the Minister (Senator Russell) has not grasped all my reasons for the requested amendment. Did I not consider the matter important in the not-distant future I would gladly withdraw my motion.. But sooner or later we must resume trade relationships with Germany, and I do not think the time is very distant. Business must then be renewed on the basis of this Tariff. We shall not set to work again aud raise 'a Tariff controversy in connexion with the importations from that country. This Tariff" must meet any special circumstances that may crop up during the next six or seven years at least. Before the war there were very heavy importations to Australia of German lager beer to the great prejudice of the British or local article. I have heard of hundreds of hogsheads and thousands of cases .of German lager beer being loaded in one ship at Bremen for Australia. I am not a beer drinker, and, therefore, I cannot give honorable senators a disquisition upon the relative merits of the various beers that we drink in Australia; but with Bass' and Guinness' beers coming into Australia at a fairly stiff duty, it should be within the province of this Committee to accept the requested amendment, which, after all, will only put id. per pint, or Id. per quart, bottle extra on the German product. I agree with Senator Guthrie that we can do without German lager beer altogether, but there is in our community a certain element which, when trade relationships with Germany are resumed, will drink German lager beer whatever it costs them. If they do that to the detriment of the British or local product, they should be made to pay for it.

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