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Friday, 29 July 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - Although the article under discussion is not of great importance, if clearly illustrates the necessity of having further information on some of the more important items with which we shall have to deal before the Tariff is disposed of. I therefore ask the Minister (Senator Russell) if it is not possible to arrange for the old duties, and the importations in quantities and values to be set out in tabular form so that honorable senators may be able to record an intelligent vote. I understand the type is still standing, and it will be an easy and inexpensive matter to insert an additional column or two , giving the information I desire. When I returned from Western Australia' there was sufficient correspondence on these subjects in myletter-box to fill a horse stall, and I appeal to the Minister, if we are to do justice to this task, to supply further particulars. I realize that he is doing his utmost to give us all the information at his disposal; but we cannot do justice to our work if we are compelled to give summary decisions after endeavouring to digest facts and figures which are beingheaved at us, quite respectfully, I admit. Before some of the more important items are reached we should be supplied with the duties imposed in 1908, and information concerning the effect of such impositions. Above all, we should be enabled to find out the range of duty. No one knows in this instance what a duty of 2d. per lb. means per cent.

Senator Russell - The honorable senator mentioned this matter yesterday, and I told him that a book had been sent to him which contained the information that he desired.

Senator LYNCH - I am not in possession of the information which I regard as necessary.

Senator Russell - There is a book which gives the information that the honorable senator wants, and I shall procure it for him.

Senator LYNCH - It is unfair to ask us suddenly to arrive at a determination on these proposals without proper information.

Item agreed to.

Item 40 (Broom-corn millet and rice straw).

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