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Wednesday, 10 August 1921

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) . - I should like to know from the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Russell) why it is considered advisable to impose a duty of1d. per lb., or £9 6s. 8d.per ton, on tea imported in packets into Australia. Does the imposition of this duty lead to a great deal of employment in the Commonwealth?

Senator Russell - Yes, it does.

Senator CRAWFORD - Does it settle the country to any extent? I moved only the other day a request for an increase of a duty to1d, per lb. on a product grown and manufactured in Australia by a most elaborate process, and that was considered too high. Here, merely in order to support an industry for putting tea into packets, it is considered that a duty of £9 6s. 8d. per ton is only fair and reasonable. I presume that it is because the business of packing tea is carried on in all of the States instead of in only one or two. The duty can return but very little revenue, because but a very small quantity of tea is imported in packets. It is farcical to impose such a high duty on packet tea for the purpose of giving a little more employment to residents of our big cities.

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