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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) (1:45 AM) . - I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (b), British, ad val., 25 per cent.

I admit that the proposed reduction of 2^ per cent, is very small, but my purpose is to provide the same degree of preference, namely, 15 per cent., as in respect of associated items. I desire further to ask the Minister (Senator E. D. Millen) if he will give special consideration, before the Tariff has been disposed of, to those things which will fall under the phrase " N.E.I.". I have been in formed that electrical storage batteries will be included. Hitherto there has been no duty imposed upon those batteries. They are not being made in any quantity in Australia, and they are essential in connexion with supply stations and telephone installations. Therefore, a heavy duty should not be imposed at the present time. I ask the Minister if he will ascertain if these particulars are correct, and if he will then make some provision for the insertion of a special item to deal with electrical storage batteries in order that any industry which may have been begun for their production in this country shall be given sufficient protection, while the community is not penalized generally.

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