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Thursday, 25 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - Senator Payne is opposed to any reduction that I propose, although until 2 o'clock this morning he was proposing reductions himself, despite any consideration that had been given to this " scientific " Tariff by the Govern ment and the departmental officers. The honorable senator even went so far as to reduce a British preferential Tariff by 21/2 per cent., and in doing so" to occupy much of our sleeping time. He now practically says that we have no right to interfere with the settled policy of the Government and the Department.

Senator Payne - You have no right tomove a request based on false premises!

Senator GARDINER - Does the hon orable senator deny that my request merely makes the Tariff what it was when originally introduced in another place? If the honorable senator regards that as afalse premise we can readily realize that he is new to the Senate, and to the discussion of Tariff Bills. With more mature experience, however, he will realize the position. It is not my habit to do anything that can be described as false; and I can only attribute Senator Payne's attitude to his inability to understand how this Tariff business is conducted. (Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) [2.54]. -I cannot allow Senator Gardiner to attribute my remarks in regard to himself to my inexperience. I have been quite long enough in political life to understand politicians of the calibre of the honorable senator, especially when an attempt is made to asperse the character of? a reputable business man by withholding the most important fact that the additional cost of rawmaterial must have a great effect on the price of the manufactured commodity. Thatis the false premise to which I referred.

Senator Pearce - I submit that Senator Payne has already made these same remarks. Is this not tedious repetition?

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap -Senator Paynecertainly made these same remarks in the first place, but I understand that he repeats them in explanation of his references to Senator Gardiner.

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