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Friday, 5 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - The duties on imported wooden matches have; been increased on the British preferential Tariff from 8d. to ls. Id. per gross, an increase. of over 50 per cent., and on the general Tariff- from ls. 2d", to 2s. per gross, an increase of about 70 per cent. The protection thus given to the local industry should enable the Commonwealth to supply its- own requirements in these- matches. But, as has been said before, both here and in the other Chamber, if our manufacturers are to keep the Australian trade, they must see that their goods are true to name, and answer to description in both quality and quantity. Imported matches bear on each box a la'bel announcing that the contents of the box average sixty matches, and Australian manuf acturers ' should similarly state the contents of their boxes. During the luncheon adjournment I counted the contents of two boxes taken from a sealed' packet of matches manufactured by the Bryant and May, Bell and Company Proprietary Limited, of Richmond, Victoria, and found that one box contained only fifty-two and the other fifty-three matches, so that the package, accepting the standard of contents as that fixed for imported matches, sixty in a box, was a box and a half short. That is not fair to those who purchase the Australian matches, and we should see that local manufacturers whose business is protected give a fair deal to the public. As to quality, I' prefer the Australian to the Japanese matches* though they may not be so- good or have as attractive- an appearance as the best Swedish matches.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It must be remembered that in a box of imported matches there are many which will not. strike, and which should1 not be counted in an estimate of the contents.

Senator PAYNE - The best brands of Swedish matches, such as the Three- Star brand - one of the best brands on the market, and sold at a higher' price than the local manufacture - will' always strike, and the contents of a box average sixty matches'. I counted a box to-day which contained fifty-nine^, and probably the next' would* hold sixty or sixty-one^ matches'. I trust that this- complaint will be brought under the notice of those responsible, so that the public may receive fair value for the price charged for Australianmade matches.

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