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Thursday, 4 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I met the representatives of growers from the Snowy River and other maize-growing districts, but the only statement they made in support of their request for a higher duty was that a threat had been made by, a particular firm that it would pay only a certain price for maize. I do not think that we can be governed by such statements. There are ways in which we can deal with those who make threats. The real trouble of the maize-growers was caused by the reciprocal Tariff arrangement with South Africa, under" which maize could be imported at ls. per cental. That maize was grown by black labour.' We are not going to repeat our mistake. Under the present Tariff all imported maize will have to pay 2s. per cental. In addition, there is the consideration of freight.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - The maize-growers desire adequate protection; and if it amounted to 2s. per bushel, instead of 2s. per cental, no one would complain.

Senator RUSSELL - The present duty is equivalent to a little more than ls. per bushel, in addition to which, I repeat, there is the natural protection afforded by freight costs. The duty has to be paid upon the price at the port of shipment, plus 10 per cent. The rate now imposed amounts to 50 per cent.; and, if that degree of protection is not sufficient, what do the maize-growers want ?

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