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Friday, 29 July 1921

Senator ELLIOTT (Victoria) .- I 'shall stand by the item as it appears in the schedule. From what Senator Guthrie has said, sheep are only occasionally imported from New Zealand ; and the effect of the duty imposed, when the stockis put up for auction, is so slight as not to influence the price.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - If the duty had not been imposed, I can only say that I and other importers would have secured thousands more sheep from New Zealand, and would have given the people more and better-quality meat at amore reasonable price than they were paying at the time.

Senator ELLIOTT - A New Zealand sheep averages about 60 lbs. The addition of 2s. per bead by way of duty would make very little difference to the retail price per pound, and surely would have no influence upon the activities of importers.

SenatorLYNCH (Western Australia) [12.4]. - Bearing in mind the extent of the sheep-raising industry in Australia, this small amount of duty is an absurdity. Why this sudden spasm on the part of the Government to raise a few shillings on the total head of stock imported to Australia?

Senator Russell - This is not a sudden spasm; the duty has existed for years.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - And it is the laughingstock of Australia.

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