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Wednesday, 10 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - The Government cannot accept the request. The sentiments expressed by honorable senators are very fine, but figures carry more weight. The men most closely acquainted with the costs involved in the manufacture of a commodity are, necessarily, the makers themselves. The wholesale price charged by the manufacturers of wax candles to-day is 8½d. per lb., while the wholesale price quoted for stearine candles is 9½d. These prices are not fixedby any arbitrary authority; there is no Government control. The quotations are those of the trade and are governed by the conditions of the trade. As a Protectionist, I would be inclined to move in order to bring the prices to the same level. How can any one argue that the manufacture of wax candles must cease with the imposition of the duty set out in the schedule, seeing that they are being sold in the open market for1d. per lb. less than the stearine candles?

Senator Duncan - The wax candle manufacturers have had to underquote their rivals because of the competition of the stearine candles.

Senator RUSSELL - I cannot go beyond the facts as they exist to-day, and I could furnish no stronger argument as to the true position of the wax candle industry than is afforded by the actual selling figures.

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