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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I wish to know whether, the implements specified under sub-item a, namely, horse hay-rakes, are subject to the arrangement entered into with Messrs. H.V. McKay and Company. .The good sense of the Committee has already decided that a considerably lower general rate of duty than applies in this instance shall prevail in respect of stripper harvesters and other intricate machines. It cannot be argued that a horse hay-rake is a more complicated piece of machinery than a harvester; but, upon the latter there is a general duty of 35 per cent, ad valorem, while the Tariff upon the much less intricate machine is 45 per cent. I realize, of course, that the whole matter is unimportant, in that a farmer can carry on without using a hay rake. The Committee should preserve consistency, however.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The intention here is to encourage a new industry.

Senator LYNCH - I can appreciate the objective; but is the manufacture of horse hay-rakes a new industry ? As a practical wheat-grower, I have a hay-rake on my own farm. It was manufactured in Western Australia by the Western Australian Government about four years ago. It was made and put on the market when the general rate of duty was lower than that now appearing in the schedule. So far as Western Australia is concerned, then, the industry cannot be said to be a new one. And if these implements can be placed upon the Western Australian market, surely the factories in the eastern States, where the industrial disabilities are by no means as great, can also produce and distribute horse hay-rakes without recourse to an enhanced duty. I do not propose to lash myself into fury in an .endeavour to convince honorable senators against their will. Since the Government have laid down a certain line of conduct it will be of no use for me to endeavour to vary it. At the same time, I am anxious that the Tariff shall pass from this Chamber in a form which will reflect some credit upon the- Senate;, and will indicate that care was taken to hold the balance evenly between conflicting interests.

Request agreed to.

Request (by Senator Lynch) proposed - That the House of Representatives be requested to make the ad val. duty, sub-item (a), general, 40 per cent.

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