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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) . - As the Leader of the Government (Senator E. D. Millen) is not prepared to grant an adjournment, I shall endeavour briefly and plainly to give my reasons for supporting the request submitted by Senator Payne. This extraordinary Tariff is full of anomalies and contradictions, and is an indication of Protection run stark-staring mad. As a shareholder in, and a director of, woollen mills, there is, in my opinion, no proposal in the whole of the Tariff more ridiculous or unreasonable than the attempt on the part of the Government to impose higher duties when they are not required, which in this case results only in fattening the rich and forcing up the cost of living to such an extent that the Government will in the end be compelled to pay the basic wage recommended by the Commission they appointed. It will be hard indeed for the Government if they insist on imposing such heavy duties to prevent the country population being driven into the cities and millionaires becoming 'multimillionaires. This Tariff is an instance of Protection run mad, and a. strong indication of that can be found in the fact that the Government have actually imposed a duty of ls. per cwt. on straw, a product which is burned in thousands of tons every year.

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