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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator VARDON - Let us specify which are protective and which are revenue duties.

Senator CRAWFORD - Our knowledge of Australian industries, actual and potential, ought to guide us in determining which duties are designed to be protective and which are expected to yield revenue. Direct taxation in Australia, both Federal and State, is exceedingly heavy, and if we remove the duty upon articles which it is thought cannot be manufactured in this country, we shall be doing a great deal more harm than good. Although I am aware that Senator Payne has had considerable experience in the softgoods line, I cannot accept his interpretation of what is meant by the language in this subitem. I think that if, say, half-a-dozen serviettes are imported in the piece, and if each serviette is a separate pattern, the piece will come within the definition of this sub-item, and be dutiable. It is not necessary that there should be a missing or coloured thread between serviettes, handkerchiefs^ or even table cloths imported in the piece in this way. The goods will be dutiable in the same way as if each article was imported in a separate piece.

Senator PAYNE - What is the difference?

Senator CRAWFORD - There is a considerable difference, but just what has prompted the Department to separate this particular kind of article from the ordinary piece goods I am not in a position to say, except that it would be very difficult to draw a distinction in any other t way. I have seen half-a-dozen towels imported in one piece with a woven fringe between each, the custom being to cut the fringe through in the centre to separate the towels.

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