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Tuesday, 23 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I had not made up my mind qs to the extent to which I would support any reductions in these items, and I regret that Senator Lynch moved his request before the explanation by the Minister. I felt there must be some good and sufficient reason for the differentiation between this and the preceding item ; and the Minister's explanation is confirmed by a reference to preceding Tariffs, which show that for many years there has been such a differentiation. I have to justify any vote I give, and I wish to be as consistent as possible. The majority of honorable senators have to-night voted in the direction of certain reductions in the items that have been before us, and I wish to see those rediictions continued with regard to all commodities that are used in primary production. But I am not in a position to promise my support to any proposition- which would destroy the proportion with which we commenced; that does not appeal to me as a reasonable attitude to adopt. As I have said, I felt sure there must be some good reason for the differentiation, and the Minister's explanation is a very fair one. If Senator Lynch is not prepared to ask leave to amend his request, I shall have to vote against it, but I give notice that, if that request be defeated, I shall move to re duce the duties on this item in proportion with the reduction made in the duties on the preceding item.

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