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Thursday, 25 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - This is a very important matter. Ex-Senator Chataway has supplied me with the opinions held by men engaged in .this business. I shall quote some of them.

Senator Pearce - We have all read them.

Senator GARDINER - But I shall not be doing any harm if I refresh honorable senators' memories. Messrs. G. Hassell & Son, 104 Currie-street, Adelaide, writing on the 11th June, 1921, state -

It is the printer who seeks to educate the public taste who is penalized. We have foi several years adopted the .principle that we must buy the type that we use, regardless of its cost. It is grossly unfair that we should have to pay so dearly for it to support a house whose only enterprise takes the form of piracy, and whose limited range of faces is tending to make Australian printing look povertystricken.

Here is a letter from John Sands and Company, a reputable firm, of printers in Sydney -

Personally I think that, taking into consideration the small amount of foundry type that is made in Australia, and the lack of originality in same, it is a pity to hamper in any way the introduction of new and original faces, as we owe the present high standard of typography to the imported types, the educational value of which is very great.

There is another letter from Messrs. Lonnen and Cope, of Adelaide. They write -

Wc realize what a hindrance it is to the advancement of the printing trade in general, as we ourselves have found that the introduction of new typos into Australia for the benefit of printers has been a very expensive item, owing to the high duty which is placed on it. The high cost of printing plant is the printers' most serious difficulty with which he has to contend, and until such time as printing machinery and type is manufactured in the Commonwealth, or a moderate duty only is imposed on imported plant, the trade in general will make- little headway. When the excessive cost of up-to-date machinery has been reduced to come within the reach of the average printer the trade will be enabled to compete on an equal footing with overseas houses for the manufacture of stationery and other goods, which at present can be imported at a cheaper rate than that at which they can be produced here.

These are the views of business firms, and ifc is quite evident that they cannot secure all the varieties of type they require. At first, I was disposed to agree to Senator Earle's suggestion that we might arrange to admit free of duty varieties of type which are not made in Australia, and I am sorry that it seems impossible to do that. I think the duty might be- reduced until the Australian type founders are in a position to produce the varieties of type that are necessary to turn out good work. When they can do so, the duty might be imposed, but in the meantime, I strongly support Senator Vardon's request.

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