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Wednesday, 24 August 1921


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - The sole difference between the rates of duty set out in the schedule and those which have operated since 1908 is shown in the general column.


Senator Payne - Why should there have been an increase?


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The increase is really one based upon policy. The Committee has accepted, all along the line, as a feature of the Tariff, slight increases in respect of the general rates of duty; and there is no reason why consistency should not be observed in respect of item 172.


Senator Duncan - If that is the sole reason for the increased rate, the argument is a poor one.


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator himself has voted for general increases.


Senator Duncan - I have seized every opportunity to support proposed decreases.


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator cannot escape the charge of inconsistency. There is no reason why this item should be singled out for special treatment. In spite of what Senator Duncan has said, these articles are being made in Australia, as the Sydney Machine Company is manufacturing mangles and power-washing machine.Handwashing machines for use in laundries are being made by A. Joyce and Company. According to the figures supplied by the Department, the total importations in 1920 were valued at less than £10,000.


Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is that the value of the clothes-washing machines imported?


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am indebted to the honorable senator for the interjection, because I find that the amount is £9,167, and includes all types of washing machines and mangles, so it is obvious that the importations are not great.


Senator Duncan - - And that was under the old Tariff.


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. By increasing the general rate we are giving greater preference to Great Britain. . The importations were considerably affected during the war period, and prior to that Great Britain exported to Australia less than one-half of our imports. Since them British exportations have decreased somewhat, as was to be expected; but it is not unreasonable to assume that she will again acquire a larger percentage of the trade.


Senator Duncan - Will the Minister be prepared to agree to importations from Britain being admitted free if the other duties are allowed to remain?


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - No. I am not prepared to withdraw that measure of protection which has been enjoyed by the industry for some years. I suggest to the honorable senator that in view of the general range of duties this proposition is an extremely moderate one, and I trust the Committee will accept it.







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