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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I merely want to say a few words by way of reply to Senator Pratten's own statement volunteered to. the Committee. He suggested, in his own way; that what I had said was far from being, in the region of truth, and I take his own statement, which is the best he can furnish, to buttress my case. In support of his plea for this duty he said that the British price for galvanized iron was £33 f.o.b. at some recent date. All that Senator Pratten, has to do in order to ascertain tie duty - and he knows this as well as I. do - is to. add to that quotation the statutory 10. per cent.- which the Customs Department; insist upon, and he will find that with c.i.f. charges the price- would be £39 per bon. At that rate, a Tariff, of. 35 per cent, would represent a duty of £13. Then he quoted another class of galvanized iron, not of the same specification, and", therefore, it had nothing to do with the case at all. I am taking his own figures, and, on his own showing, his proposal would mean a protective duty, of over £13 per ton. My statement was that at the utmost it would represent a duty of £17, with the possibility of dwindling down to £10 per ton. The average will be in the region of £13, as I. told the Committee, though the honorable senator1 has suggested that in making this statement I was playing loosely with the truth. His own figures prove that the duty payable, under his requested amendment, would be £13 per ton. I need only remind him that if he will take the figures in the publication to which I have already referred, he will find that the present selling price for, the most popular brand of galvanized iron used throughout the country is £50 per ton, and that with the f .o.b. charges, the landed cost will be in the neighbourhood of 'the figure T stated, if not a bit more. Instead of telling the Senate in his pedantic way that I was wrong, he needs to revise his own figures, and show, if he can, that with f.o.b. charges added, it would be less than £30 per ton. If he can do that, I shall feel inclined to vote for his request. But I am sure he cannot do that. I stick to my original statement that his proposal means anything from a duty of £17 to £10 per ton in the immediate future. On his own showing it means £13 per ton. He cannot deny it.

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