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Tuesday, 9 August 1921


Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - According to present wholesale prices, the first size of Horlick's food costs 6s. 1.85d., while the similar size of Lactogen, which the Minister describes as identical - although it does not resemble Horlick's- is 2s. 10.5d. The prices for the second size are, respectively, 4s. 11.43d. and 2s. 8d. ; and for the third size, 4s. 2.52d. and 2s. 3.43d. In the matter of prices alone, therefore, there is an advantage in favour of the local protected products-grouping all the sizes - of 89.96 percent. And it should not be lost sight of that Horlick's prices include the 20 per cent. duty. The Minister (Senator Russell) argues that the removal of the duty will endanger the Australian manufacturing firms.


Senator Russell - But Lactogen isnot a malted milk.


Senator SENIOR - I cannot understand the. Minister. He has said that it is the Bacchus Marsh Company's pro- duct which compares practically identically with Horlick's.


Senator Russell - It is their malted milk to which I refer.


Senator SENIOR - The article is not quoted in the latest wholesale druggist's list.


Senator Russell - The honorable senator must be making a mistake. It has beenquoted in the druggists' lists for the past two years, and it has been manufactured for only about three years.


Senator SENIOR - The Bacchus Marsh product is usually known in the trade as a dried, or condensed, milk, and it is put up in sizes similar to Horlick's products. Taking the first size of the Australian manufacturer as- against the first size of the imported line, the prices reveal a difference of 114.06 percent. Is not that an adequate advantage? The Government appear to have made the duty absolutely prohibitive. If the item under discussion were a luxury, I would have nothing to say; . but here is an absolutely essential food for infants and invalids. I have just given the percentage of advantage in respect of the first size. The comparison, of prices for the second size favours the local product to the extent of 85.72 per cent..; and, for the third size - that usually purchased by hospitals - by 70.1 per cent. In every instance there is a very considerable handicap favouring the local manufacturer.. When considering condensed milk, L recognised that a duty of 25 per cent. was necessary ; but we are now dealing with an infants-' and invalids' food, on which we are imposing duties averaging 95.81 percent. I ask the Committee to consider whether it is reasonable to say that, because we are producing a similar article in Australia, a duty of 95 per cent. shall' be imposed. Does it mean that the local industry cannot carry on without such a duty?


Senator Russell - I do not know where the honorable senator is obtaining his figures, because, according to the information I have, the lowest duty is 14 per cent., and the highest 22 per -cent.


Senator SENIOR - The figures I have quoted are correct.







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