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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator SENIOR - The price of spelter also enters into theconsideration of this problem. We . find that there is a difference of. £8 per ton in favour of Great Britain against Australia.

Senator Lynch - That is Lysaght's yarn.

Senator SENIOR -But there is undoubtedly a good deal of truth . in the statement. Then conies . the question of the cost of the acid. Here, again, . there is. a difference of. £211s. . per ton in favour . of the British product; so the protection- . in the item now undor cpn-

Bid ©ration, is virtuallywiped out.

Senator lynch -But we are exporters of spelter.

Senator SENIOR - Yes. But because our. contract with the British Government for the supply . if spelter, at a. certain price -has not yet expired spelter . is at a' higher price in Australia than in. England. Honorable senators must . face the facts. . My- contention is that if we reduce the British duty to 55s. we shall not have sufficient protection for the labour engaged in the wirenetting industry.

Senator Wilson -Themanufaoture of this commodity in this country has been going on for years.

Senator SENIOR - Yes, and we have been getting the steel rods for many years at prices lower than present quotations,^ We must not lose sight of tjhe . fact that in recent yeans caste of production have materially increased; - If the1 duty on this item is altered, we will be able to, manufacture the . rods. . i-n Australia,, but will have to import our wire, netting.-; We must encourage the. local manufacturers.. . It . has been, said that, without; this , duty, they have. been. . able to make; large sums of money.;1. bub we must not forget that conditions brought about by the war gave them- a protection far- more effective than, could have been provided by 'the Tariff. X want, the Committee to realize that on steel rods,- from which the wire is drawn, there is a duty of 44s.- per ton, and that the proposed duty of 65s. per ton- on wire netting' will not be sufficient to protect the labour employed in the industry -in view of - the higher local prices lor "spelter - and acid.

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