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Thursday, 25 August 1921


Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I now propose to move for a reduction in the intermediate Tariff, which stands at 14s. per cwt. Those honorable senators who feared to assist me to reduce the general Tariff because they were afraid of the importation of nails from Germany, should not hesitate to support me in regard to the intermediate rate. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as an intermediate Tariff. It does not come into operation until negotiations have been entered upon and arrangements made with another part of the Empire.


Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Or with a friendly nation, a former Ally.


Senator GARDINER - I am glad to learn that the concession covers also our late Allies. Practically, however, there are only two rates of duty. What is everybody's business is nobody's business. The benefit of the intermediate Tariff is open to sister Dominions and to certain friendly nations. It affords scope for- reciprocity, but there is no driving force in the direction of its adoption. The invitation to take advantage of the concession stands; the opportunity to make mutual arrangements holds good; and that is the end of it.


Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Dominions can also secure the advantage of the British preferential Tariff by instituting negotiations.


Senator GARDINER - I am glad of that interjection also. Not only is it' of sentimental advantage to bring the Dominions closer together, but there is, of course, a considerable practical gain from reciprocity. Another place having amended the schedule as introduced by the Government, there is now a difference of only ls. per cwt. between the general and intermediate Tariffs. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make sub-item (d), intermediate, free.

Request negatived.

Senator GARDINER(New South

Wales) [3.13]. - I now propose to test the Committee in regard to the British preferential rate which has been raised, by an amendment made elsewhere, from 8s. 6d. to 12s. per cwt. I shall first move that British horseshoe nails be free, and if that effort fails I shall move that the former rate of Ss. 6d. be reimposed. It is absurd to describe a Tariff of 12s. per cwt. upon nails, compared with 15s. under the general column, as a measure of preference to the Mother Country. It is actually a very heavy impost. I recognise the superiority of Australian workmen. In a fair run they could beat the English competitors without any handicap. The Australian industry already enjoys a natural protection of 25 per cent., and that should be sufficient. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make sub-item (D), British, free.

If that request be negatived I shall move a further request that the duty under the British preferential Tariff be reduced from 12s. to 8s. per cwt.

Request negatived.


The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - Does the honorable senator propose to move, as indicated by him, a further request in regard to the sub-item?


Senator GARDINER - No. I recognise that in this anti-British Senate it is useless to move such a request.

Item agreed to.

Item 188-

Ammunition, viz. - Shot, bullets, and slugs, per cwt., British, 5s. ; intermediate, 5s. 6d. ; general, 6s.

Senator GARDINER(New South

Wales) [3.19]. - Last night I spoke of the value of tractors and general motor power in time of war. We have in this item an attempt to make it more difficult to bring ammunition into Australia. The loyalty of the Government to Great Britain is shown bv their proposal in thiscase to give a preference of only ls. per cwt. to British as against the German imports. If we are anxious to secure the defence of Australia, why should we beopposed to the free admission of ammunition from great Britain. It may be said that ammunition is being manufactured here, and, therefore, I shall not submit a request in regard to the duty on the general Tariff. I move -

That the House of Representatives be re quested to make the item, British, free.

Isaid, by way of interjection a few moments ago, that this was an antiBritish Senate. It is distinctly antiBritish, in so far as trade is concerned. It refuses absolutely to allow Australia to trade with Great Britain on terms of equality. It has no desire that we should trade with Great Britain, and it approves of Ithese Tariff obstacles being placed in the way of British imports. No words of mine, however, are likely to rouse honorable senators to a sense of their duty, nor to lead them to realize the blow they are striking at the Mother Land by imposing duties of this description . The natural protection of 25 per cent. is all that the Australian manufacturers and workmen require.

Request negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 189-

Arms, viz.: -

(a)   Double-barrelled guns and rifles bear- ing the British or other approved test mark, ad val., British, 10 per cent.; intermediate, 15 per cent.; general, 20 per cent.

(c)   Revolvers; Pistols, each, British, 2s. 3d.; intermediate, 2s. 9d.; general, 3s. 6d.; or ad val., British, 15 per cent.; intermediate, 20 per cent.; general, 25 per cent.; whichever rate returns the higher duty.

(1)   For double-barrelled guns bearing the British or other approved test mark, ad val., British, 10 per cent.; intermediate, 15 per cent.; general, 20 per cent.

(2)   For single-barrelled guns bearing the British or other approved test mark, ad val., British, 10 per cent.; intermediate, 15 per cent. ; general, 20 per cent.

(e)   Bayonets, swords, scabbards, and attachments; Fencing foils and masks; Gun, revolver, and pistol covers, cases, and fittings; Loading and cleaning tools and cartridge belts, ad val., British, 15 per cent.; intermediate 221/2 per cent.; general, 30 per cent.

(h)   Guns or rifles fitted with barrels which do not bear the British or other approved test mark; or such barrels imported separately - per double-barrelled gun or rifle or barrel for such - per single-barrelled gun or rifle or barrel for such, each, British, intermediate, and general, £5.







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