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Thursday, 4 August 1921


Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - One can scarcely take exception to the concluding remarks of Senator Duncan, hut before the adjournment for dinner the honorable senator attacked me personally and made the statement that an organization in New South Wales had carried a motion of censure against me. I appeal to the good sense of honorable senators to say whether they think it is likely that any organization connected with the Labour movement would censure the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate because he has expressed himself in opposition to particular duties. 1 cannot imagine that anything of the kind would occur outside of Gladesville. Even if the honorable senator's statement be true, what is the censure of any organization compared with the votes of confidence which I have received time after time from the whole of the people of the State which I represent. The bitterest censure of any organization in the Labour movement is not to be compared with the favours I have received from the movement from time to time. I know that in the electorate to which the honorable senator referred there is a lunatic asylum known as the Gladesville Asylum.


The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - I ask the honorable senator not to introduce that matter when the Committee is considering the Tariff item covering the duty on prunes.


Senator GARDINER -. - I should like to remind you, sir, that I did not introduce it. I think if I had done so I would very properly have been called to order. After considerable stress has been laid upon the fact that I was censured, and although that reference should have been, but was not, ruled out of order, I am not permitted to reply to it. I shall not, of course, contest your ruling, but it is a little hard when I am the only representative of the Labour party in the Senate that" the whole of the members of the Nationalist party, including the Chairman of Committees, should permit me to be attacked, but will not permit me to reply to the attack.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honorable senator should not go so far as to say that the Chair has permitted him to be improperly attacked. He should withdraw that statement in deference to the honorable senator who occupied the Chair temporarily as my locum tenens.


Senator GARDINER - I withdraw the statement, but Hansard will record the fact that I was attacked, and that within two minutes after I rose to reply to the attack I was ruled out of order. I will conform to your ruling, apologize for any offence committed, and get back to the question of the duty on prunes.

Senator Duncanis supporting the increase of £d. per lb. in the duty on prunes because returned soldiers are growing prunes. How many are there engaged in the industry? I venture to say that within the whole of Australia there are not more than a dozen. I suppose that, in most of the hotels and restaurants throughout the country, a dinner is completed with a dish of prunes and rice. Those who in future partake of this dish will be able to say that, in the interest of returned soldiers, Senator Duncan made the price of prunes id. per lb. dearer. ' The honorable senator, and, indeed, every other member of the Senate, has admitted that a Protective Tariff does make the articles protected dearer. Senator Duncan is going to vote for the increase in the duty in the interest of returned soldier settlers growing prunes, and I intend to oppose it in the interest of returned soldier . settlers growing wheat, wool, and bananas. Honorable senators can scarcely blame me fo* the slow progress that is being made with the schedule. They had a fortnight to themselves without me, but they did not get very far with it. Having studied Taylor's scientific organization for the speeding up of industrial institutions, I again respectfully suggest that the schedule should be put to* the Committee a page at a time. We might conveniently commence with the next page, and the items from 54 to 66 inclusive might be put together. This would not in any way restrict the liberty of honorable senators to discuss or request an amendment upon any item included in the page.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable senator not to anticipate the discussion, of an item on another page.


Senator GARDINER - I intended to ask whether a number of items could be put together in the way I suggest.


The CHAIRMAN - I shall answer that question when the matter now before the Chair is decided.

Request agreed to.

Item agreed to, subject to requests.

Item 54 -

Fruits and vegetables, including ginger n.e.i. (preserved in liquid, or partly preserved, or pulped) -

(a)   Quarter-pints and smaller sizes, per dozen, British, 9d. ; intermediate,1s.; general, ls. 3d.

(b)   Half -pints and over quarter-pints, per dozen, British, ls. 3d.; intermediate, ls. 9d.; general, 2s.

(c)   Pints and over half-pints, per dozen, British, 2s.6d.; intermediate, 3b.6d.; general, 4s.

(d)   Quarts and over pints, per dozen, British, 5s.; intermediate, 7s. 6d.; general, 8s. 6d.

(e)   Exceeding a quart, per gallon, British, ls. 9d.; intermediate, 2s. 6d.; general, 3s.

(f)   When preserved in spirituous liquid, additional duty to be paid on the liquid, per gallon, British, 27s.; intermediate, 28s.; general, 28s.; and on and after 17th September, 1020, per gallon, British, 30s.; intermediate, 31s.; general, 31s.

(g)   Ginger in brine or syrup for the manufacture of preserved ginger, as prescribed by departmental by-laws, free.







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