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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator PEARCE - I admit that there is an inconsistency at this moment in respect of the general and preferential rates. That is due to the vote cast in mistake by Senator Guthrie, but for which the general Tariff would still have been 40 per cent. The inconsistency, of course, can be rectified at a later stage. But, since the imposition of the 1914 rates, a duty has been placed upon the raw material. As for Senator DrakeBrockman's appeal, based on the condition of the mining industry, the great bulk of the plant used in mining operations is not included within the details of the item under discussion. Rockcutting machines are free, also the drills used in gold m 1111ng. Most of the remainder of the plant comprises winding engines and batteries, and they are not specified here. The honorable senator's argument, therefore, falls short of its intention. The mining industry is suffering because of the low price of metals; the incidence of the Tariff is 'not a factor. Practically every article included iu item 170 is adequately produced in this country, and. at reasonable prices. In 1913 Germany was a very serious competitor in this industry. The bulk of the imports came from Germany and the United States - more from the latter country than from the former.

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