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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I should like to draw the attention of .the Minister (Senator Russell) and of -honorable senators to the fact that in the general Tariff we are asking for a duty of 15 per cent. After the 1st January next this may be. increased to 40 per cent., and against the British product there will then bea duty of 25 per cent. This is a very heavy impost. In order to keep out what is believed to be the German product, we impose a duty of 15 per cent.; but after 1st January next, to keep out the British product, we are to have a duty of 25 per cent., and increase the general^ Tariff to 40 per cent. To be consistent with my attitude right through the debate on this schedule, I intend, before resuming my seat, to move for a reduction of the British Tariff fo 15 per cent. This is a. compromise on my principles, because I believe in free trade willi Great Britain, and I hope that even Protectionists will see that, as this sub-item deals with the raw .material for the manufacture of aeroplanes, and -an enormous number of articles in domestic use, 15 per cent, against Great Britain is a pretty stiff Tariff. Were I to consider my own principles, I would move that the Tariff against Great Britain be free; but I realize that it would be hopeless to attempt to 'do that, because, apparently, honorable senators have no desire to deal with Great Britain on this basis. They are prepared to carry on the trade war. Very many other industries already established, and employing large numbers of men, may be affected by these new duties, which will have the effect of making their raw material dearer. I move -

That the request be amended by leaving out "25" (British), and inserting in lieu thereof " 15."

Amendment negatived.

Request agreed to.

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