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Thursday, 4 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - Under sub-item a a duty of 3d. per lb. is imposed on currants, raisins, and other commodities. I realize that this is an intensely patriotic Committee - that honorable senators are willing to allow their wives' relations to die for Britain, and I propose to test the financial value of their loyalty by moving

That the House of Representatives be requested, to make sub-item (a), British, free.

If currants and raisins are not imported from Great Britain, the making of imports under the British preferential Tariff free will do no harm to the local industries. I should like, at this stage, to suggest that after the dinner adjournment we should deal with the Tariff page by page instead of item by item. If you, Mr. Chairman, put the question, " That the page as printed stand part of the Bill," honorable senators would still be free to discuss any item on the page under review, and to move such requests as might Be thought desirable, while at the same time you, sir, would be relieved of the necessity of putting separately, perhaps, fifty items. In that way time would be saved. There is nothing new in this proposition. Sometimes a clause, or a schedule, in a Bill covers two or three pages, but the whole clause or schedule is put as one proposition to the Committee;, If the Committee decides to deal -with the Tariff item by item, then . I shall have to move in every case where a duty is imposed under the British preferential Tariff that the House of Representatives be requested to allow imports from Great Britain to come in free.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) -The honorable senator is going to propose Free Trade with Britain?

Senator GARDINER -Yes. If none of the commodities covered by sub-item a are produced in Great Britain, no harm will be done by making imports under the British preferential Tariff free. If, on the other hand, some of them are coming in from. Great Britain, my request will test the financial value of the patriotism of honorable senators generally, since it means, as Senator Pratten says, Free Trade with Britain.

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