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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - In another place members generally referred to silk as a luxury, as, no doubt, it may be in the colder parts of the Commonwealth - in Victoria, for instance - but in Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory, and a great part of New South Wales silk clothing is as much a necessary as cotton clothing. I admit, of course, that articles like silk stockings and silk brocades are luxuries, but ordinary silk wearing apparel is necessary in a hot climate, and the greater part of the Commonwealth has such a climate. Silk is not produced in Australia, and does not come from Great Britain as an origin nal product of the country, all our importations being therefore, in origin at least, from foreign countries. There is no silk industry in Australia which it is desired to protect; and, presumably, the duties here set down are proposed as revenue duties. The policy of the country, however, seems to be that revenue duties should be levied, not upon essentials, but upon non-essentials, and I therefore move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (d), British, 5 per cent. ; intermediate, 10 per cent. ; general, 15 per cent

The CHAIRMAN - I shall submit first to the Committee the proposal for the reduction of the duty under the general Tariff.

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