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Thursday, 4 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I did not earlier call attention to the necessity for more generous treatment of the Mandated Territories, because this is the first item upon which the matter name under my notice. I am prepared to allow maize to be imported from the Mandated Territories free of duty, because there are thousands of men on poultry farms who are paying twice as much for maize to-day as they paid ten years ago. The imposition of a duty on maize is crippling one primary industry.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - Quite wrong.

Senator GARDINER - Poultry raisers are to-day paying 5s. .per bushel for maize, which, ten years ago, they could buy for 2s. peT bushel.

Senator Crawford - In those days the agricultural labourer received £1 per week and "keep."

Senator GARDINER - Senator Crawford's contention that a matter of high public policy that may affect Australia's future to an extent that none of us can imagine to-day should not be dealt with on an item of this schedule appeals to me. Moreover, the Minister has said that if the passage of this Tariff is not delayed too long, legislation in regard to the Mandated Territories will be introduced. That promise appeals to my reason, and I am prepared to withdraw my request. I realize that, in dealing with other nations, everything we do in this Parliament must be above suspicion, and incapable of misconstruction. If I were to call for a division upon this item, and it were shown that only half-a-dozen honorable senators were agreeable that Australia should trade unrestrictedly with the Mandated Territories, it would be a bad record to put into the hands of people who desired to prejudice Australia's claim to those territories.

Request, by leave, withdrawn.

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