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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) (12:16 PM) . - I can quite understand the honorable senator's consistency in moving for some reduction; but I suggest that in this case he is submitting a proposition which is out of proportion with the amendments he has previously submitted.

Senator Payne - I have done so because the duty is considerably in excess of what was previously imposed on similar articles.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The InterState Commission made full investigations into this matter, and recommended duties of 30 per cent. and 35 per cent. - there were then only two rates - plus 21/2 per cent. ifthe majority report on the iron and steel industry was adopted.We have now three columns, and the proposed rates are 30 per cent., 35 per cent., and 40 per cent. The Inter-State Commission also reported that a fair quantity of the goods required under this heading were being made in Australia, and if substantial Tariff encouragement were extended at the initiation of the industry there was every probabilityof local manufacturers securing the bulk of the trade in these appliances. As that body recommended a duty of 321/2 per cent., after full inquiry, Senator Payne should not seek a reduction of one-third in the British preferential rate. I ask the Committee to support the proposition submitted, and suggest that Senator Payne should consider whether his request is a reasonable one.

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