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Wednesday, 24 August 1921


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - Notwithstanding the explanation given by the Minister (Senator Pearce), I propose to persist in my request. If Australia is supplying these requirements of the mining industry, her capacity to do so has been built up under a Protective duty of 30 per cent. No argument has been advanced for increasing that duty to 40 per cent., as now proposed.


Senator Pearce - But a duty has been put on the raw material.


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The State that I have the honour to represent depends, in a great measure, on its mining industry.


Senator Pearce - And the drills used in the gold mines of Western Australia are free under the British preferential Tariff.


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Some classes of them are free. The honorable senator apparently imagines that I refer only to gold mining, whereas I have in mind all classes of mining carried on in Western Australia. On account of the increased costs in every direction we find gold, copper, tin, and other mines in Western Australia closing down, because it does not pay to carry on.


Senator Pearce - But none of those mines use any of the machines covered by sub-item a.


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The sub-item covers dredging machinery, which is used in connexion with tingetting in the south-west of Western Australia. We ought not to do 'anything calculated to hamper the recovery of tin, or any other metal.


Senator Pearce - We are exporting dredging plants to the Malay Peninsula. We do not import any.


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - -That argument strengthens my position. If we are exporting that class of machinery, why should .we increase the duty on it?


Senator Pearce - But the sub-item includes more than dredging plants.


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am aware of that. But if we are exporting dredging plants, why should we increase the duty from 30 per cent., under the oM Tariff, to 40 per cent.? Is it in order that those who use such machinery shall be called upon to pay more for it, despite the fact that we know that mining in Australia, and the recovery of tin by the dredging process, is becoming more and more expensive.







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