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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- This is one of the items in the Tariff concerning which much care must be exercised by the Government. It provides that, on and. after 1st January next, duties of 76s., 95s., and 115s. per ton shall come into operation in respect of tinned plate, which is absolutely essential to the industries of Australia that pack our. surplus products' for export. Those surplus products have to compete with the exports of other coun tries, and consequently care must be taken not. to impose duties that will place any handicap on the Australian canners. I gather from the observations made by the Minister (Senator Russell) that we are not producing tinned plate or sheet in Australia, but that he is hopeful that we shall be able to do so. There is a clause in the Bill which gives the Minister for Trade and Customs power to extend the date on which a deferred duty shall come into. operation, if he is satisfied that the article to which it relates is not being produced here. I think we should go further, and give him such a power where he is convinced that the commodities covered- by deferred duties are not being " satisfactorily produced here."

Senator Russell - Clause 11 will prevent any handicap being imposed on our packers.

Senator PAYNE - That is the clause to which I have been referring. I urge the Minister to exercise special care in connexion with this particular item, because I know that much depends upon the continuance of our packing operations throughout Australia. I have sufficient confidence in the Minister for Trade and Customs and his Department to believe that every care will be taken.

Request negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 148 (Leaf and foil of any metal) agreed to.

Item 149-

Steel, rough shaped, forchaffcutter and other knives, ad' val., British, free; intermediate, free; general,. 10 per. cent.

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