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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - That explanation may or may not satisfy Senator Gardiner;but will the Minister please recapitulate some of the reasons advanced in another place which induced the Government to place coal-cutting machines on the free list, so far as British importations are concerned, and to impose a general Tariff rate of only 10 per cent. ?

Senator Pearce - The reasons are set out extensively in Hansard. I am not in a position to repeat them at present.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not familiar with those reasons; but I can only surmise that the machines are not locally made. Cannot Australian manufacturers turn them out? Is this type of machine the one tiling that the inventive and manufacturing genius of our workmen cannot compass?

Senator Wilson - It is astonishing that they should be able to make rock drills, and that the manufacture of coalcutting machineryshould apparently baffle them.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is. Presumably, however, nothing further is to be learned from the Minister, and the Committee mustbe satisfied. The rates, as they stand, must be accepted.

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