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Thursday, 18 August 1921


Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - Some honorable senators appear to be labouring under an extraordinary misapprehension in connexion with this particular item. They seem to be under the impression that because a higher duty is imposed on the lighter rails it will cost much, more to use the lighter rails than to use the heavier rails. If a private individual, or a State Government, is purchasing 5,000 tons of 40-lb. steel rails, it must be obvious that they will get a far greater mileage of rails than they would get if they were purchasing 50-lb. rails. It will therefore be seen that the object of the discrimination in duties is really to equalize the cost of the different rails. It seems to be assumed that 1,000 tons of the heavier rails will cover the same distance as 1,000 tons of the lighter rails. That, of course, is not the case; and although the extra number of lighter rails in a ton would not be many, it is obvious that there would be a great many more light rails supplied in a large order than there would be of heavy rails in an order for the same weight of rails. The lighter rails being of the same length would cover a greater distance than a similar weight of heavier rails.


Senator Bolton - And they would wear out more quickly.


Senator DUNCAN - Not necessarily, because they would not be expected to carry the same amountof heavy traffic. I cannot see how the users of light rails will be penalized by the Government proposal. I intend to support the Government on this issue, because I realize that their object is to equalize the positions of the users of the different classes of rails.







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