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Friday, 19 August 1921

The CHAIRMAN - If the spare parts to which the honorable senator refers are imported under the item with which the Committee has dealt-

Senator Lynch - Is dealing.

The CHAIRMAN - Any attempt to deal with them by amending the verbiage of the item would have the effect of modifying a decision of the Committee already arrived at. What the honorable senator wishes to do cannot be effected in the way that has occurred to his mind.

Senator Lynch - The Chairman's attitude rests on the probability . that if spare parts are imported under the conditions set out for the machines themselves, the matter is already settled.

The CHAHIMAN.- The best thing would be to obtain a declaration from the Minister as to whether that is so or not.

Senator Lynch - In regard to other classes of machines, there is set out the manner in which spare parts are admitted, whereas on that point this item is silent. That warrants me in asking where I stand.

The CHAIRMAN - If the honorable senator's suggested request will have the effect of modifying a decision already arrived at it cannot be entertained, because it would be a reversal, in an indirect way, of that decision.

Senator Lynch - What I wish to know is how spare parts are to be admitted. Are they to be admitted under perfectly reasonable conditions, as is the case with parts for other machinery, or under exorbitant conditions?

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The point raised by Senator Lynch is, in my opinion, a most important one. We have committed ourselves to this item as it stands, so far as the machines are concerned, but we have not dealt with the parts of those machines, particularly the brass work appertaining to them, which, under another item of the Tariff, are dutiable at 40 per cent. I had in mind a request in the direction of adding a sub-item clearly defining that parts of the machines - on which the Committee has to some extent decided so far as the duties are concerned- shall be admitted at some specified rate of duty.

Senator Lynch - That is what I asked the Chairman to be permitted to do.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And I am indorsing Senator Lynch's attitude. A new sub-clause would be perfectly in order, and would in no way conflict with any previous decision of the Committee. Clearly, the parts of the machines on which we are asked to place a certain duty could not equitably be charged a greater duty than the machines themselves.

The CHAIRMAN - If parts are not particularly mentioned, then, from a dutiable point of view, they come under the same heading as the machines themselves. The Committee has decided that the machines are dutiable at a certain rate, and parts, not being specifically mentioned, are included in that decision.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Parts are charged under a different heading in another part of the Tariff.

The CHAIRMAN - I cannot see my way clear to accept a request in the direction indicated. Over and over again, I have intimated that honorable senators must watch the language of the items, because any request dealing with the language must be given precedence to any request dealing with the duties. We have had discussion and divisions on the duties, and now it . is desired to revert to the language of the item in a way which, as it appears to me - though I may be wrong - would conflict with a decision the Committee has already arrived at.

Senator Gardiner - I always take an interest in questions of procedure, and I think that, strictly speaking, Senator Lynch could do what he desires, after we have settled the duties. The honorable senator could then move a new sub-item 161a, providing that parts' shall be admitted at any duty he likes to specify; and for this we have precedent in the way shafting is treated in item 156. This would only be following our usual procedure on Bills.

The CHAIRMAN - There is a request before us which must first be dealt with. The discussion, which I have permitted for the information of Senator Lynch and others, is somewhat irregular.

Senator Russell - Just imagine what would happen in the case of a motor car ; a chassis is part of a car, but it is pretty well 95 per cent. of the whole.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - We are not dealing with motor cars, but with agricultural machinery.

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