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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - There are two articles in this item which were made free in another place - coal-cutting machines and rotary and percussive rock drills. If we impose a duty on one, to be logical, we shall have to impose a duty on the other, which is a machine largely used in gold-mining, concerning which we have heard so much from Senator Lynch. It would be interesting to hear what that honorable senator has to say on this point. There are items on which the duties were considerably reduced in another place, and this is one.

Senator Lynch - On what grounds?

Senator PEARCE - As a result of departmental inquiries, and the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) informing himself as well as he could as to the position. Coal-cutters are tools of trade, and as such articles, which are not manufactured here, are admitted free, no exception has been made in this instance. For these reasons, the Government allowed them to be placed on the free list.

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