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Thursday, 25 August 1921

Senator FAIRBAIRN (Victoria) . - I desire to show that increased duties have not always had the effect of raising prices to the users of any particular commodity. I have been informed that the price of horseshoe nails before duties were imposed was ll1/2d. per lb., and it has since been reduced to 41/2d. per lb., which shows that if we have a perfectly free and open market, and there is no combination of importers, prices are reduced. "We are, therefore, justified in supporting the rates appearing in the schedule. I am sure we are all anxious that nails should be manufactured in Australia, but we do not want the price to be increased as a result of protection, because it means penalizing the users, many of whom are living in the back country doing important pioneering work, to which Senator Lynch has so ably referred.

Request negatived.

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