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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) - The Tariff of 1908 gave woollen manufacturers ample protection. That has been proved by the wonderful expansion of the industry. In corroboration of a statement which I made earlier to-day, to the effect that manufacturers are not able to cope with the demand, I quote from a letter which a warehouseman has received within the past day or two from a prominent woollen manufacturer, as follows : -

We beg to advise you that the above company is prepared to allot your firm twenty-eight pieces, for delivery between July and December 31st, 1921. The reduced quantity is brought about by making allowance for probable reduction of working hours in the textile industry. Herewith enclosed is price list for the period mentioned, and we trust to hear from you, by return post, that the allotment has been accepted.

I said, also, that there had been a scarcity of flannel, notwithstanding the enormous profits made. I believe that without any _ protection there would have been the same demand for the output of the factories. My request is not in any way an attempt to secure a reduction upon the duties imposed in 1914. Since the 1914 Tariff was never discussed by Parliament - its imposition having been ratified by legislative enactment year by year - the present is the first opportunity given to the representatives of the people, since 1908, to debate individual items of Customs duties. That being the case, honorable senators are entitled to deal with the numerous matters arising upon their merits and as they are applicable to presentday circumstances, the Committee need not be influenced in any way by the 1914 Tariff.

Sitting suspended from 12.1k to 1 a.m. (Friday).

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