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Tuesday, 19 July 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South "Wales) . - Now . that we have reached the first division of the schedule, we are asked to consent to the imposition of duties under the British preferential and intermediate Tariffs, which will be contingent in their application upon the appointment of a Tariff Board. I ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Russell) to consider the position in which he is placing us. Before we are asked to determine what these duties shall be, we should be afforded an opportunity of saying whether or not a Tariff Board shall be constituted. For my own part, I am not prepared to vote for high duties in the absence of some means of checking the manufacturers who will reap the benefit of those duties. Other honorable senators are not' willing to vote for the creation of a Tariff Board at all. In view of this clash of opinion, the VicePresident of the Executive Council will be well advised to report progress.

Senator Russell - This is the reward which I get for postponing the consideration of clause 3 and other clauses.

Senator DUNCAN - The VicePresident of the Executive Council met us when clause 3 was under consideration, because he saw that there was a consensus of opinion amongst honorable senators that it ought not to be discussed under the special circumstances existing. Here, exactly, a similar position obtains.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable senator wish to defer the consideration of the entire schedule until the Tariff Board Bill has been disposed of by this Chamber %

Senator Duncan - That is exactly what I am asking, and the Vice-President of the Executive Council has promised that he will move the second reading of the Tariff Board Bill to>morrow.

Senator Russell - I said that 1 would not postpone tho consideration of any clause in the Bill unless it referred to the Tariff' Board, and the honorable senator sat there and took no exception to my statement.

Senator DUNCAN -But under the honorable gentleman's own proposal the application both of the British preferential and of the intermediate Tariffs is dependent upon a reference to the Tariff Board.

Senator Russell - We may not get -a Board.

Senator DUNCAN - I' hope that we shall be given time to think this matter over. If the second' reading; of the Tariff Board Bill is moved to-morrow we may be prepared to proceed with the consideration of that- measure forthwith*. But I am not willing to vote for the imposition of duties which are contingent in their application upon, the creation of a Board which may not be appointed.

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