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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - I -wish. to drive home the point I made a few moments ago, that this duty is designed to protect the local market against German importations.

Senator Gardiner - Why not bring down a special Tariff against Germany?

Senator PEARCE - This is a special Tariff. During 1913 the importations from the United Kingdom under these subitems were of the value of £30,761, while imports from the United States of America were valued at £17,665, and imports from Germany at £7,140. In 1930, however, we imported from the United Kingdom only £8,217, a decrease of over £22,000, whereas from the United States of America we imported £43,995 worth. That is to say, that the imports from America were treble those of 1913, whilst the imports from the United Kingdom were reduced in the same proportion. The United Kingdom lost the market to the United States of America. Germany is now coming in as a competitor, and was a formidable competitor in 1913, as the figures I have quoted show. "We are dealing with a proposed reduction in the general Tariff, which is the one that will operate against Germany and the United States of America. These duties do not represent any burden on mining. The drills used in mining and coal cutling are admitted free of duty. This machinery is all made here, and it is not used in gold mining or in coal mining. Dredging plants are manufactured successfully in Australia, and have been supplied to other countries. Why should we, by opening our ports to German and other competition, close an industry that is established here? No one can say that exorbitant prices are charged for dredging plants made in Australia, and they represent one kind of machinery included in the sub-item under consideration.

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