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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I should not have risen again but for the fact that, in my haste, I made a statement to the effect that these duties would have the effect of killing Cobar. Senator de Largie has pointed out that the firm then referred to would not require to buy this class of machinery, and I realize that fact ; but we are increasing duties where increases are not needed, and making it impossible to conduct industries already in existence. No man knows better than Senator de Largie that, in mining work, the picks, shovels, drills, hammers, and so f orth wear out in large numbers where thousands of men are employed. Senator Pratten, I think, estimated that the increase in the cost of these tools represents something like 20 per cent., and this the miner has to pay.

Senator de Largie - I admit that the cost of these tools is now extortionate; but they do not come under this sub-item.

Senator GARDINER - My remarks were merely intended to show that the incidence of this Tariff is crushing mining. In the case of a five-head stamper battery, such as is used by struggling miners, and which costs, say, £500, a 40 per cent. duty means an additional £200 - although these men are toiling to develop the resources of the country. If the Minister (Senator Pearce) will consent to this proposed reduction of 5 per cent., I shall have no more to say.

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