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Friday, 26 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I want to make it dear that if I support Senator Duncan's proposal it is not with any desire to reduce the margin of British preference.

Senator Pearce - Senator Duncan's proposal means less preference to Great Britain .

Senator PAYNE - No; because if Senator Duncan does not move for a reduction in the British preferential duty, assuming his present request is agreed to, I shall do so myself. This sub-item covers all classes of chinaware for household purposes. Consequently, the Minister's references to insulators hardly touches the issue. Insulators are included in the next sub-item. They cannot be classed as china and parian ware. I do not wish in any way to penalize the British manufacturer because of the fact that he lost the Australian market during the war, unless it oan be shown that slightly higher duties are necessary for the protection of an Australian industry in the manufacture of all these necessary china utensils for the comfort of a home. Up to the present the Minister has not been able to give us that assurance.

Senator Henderson - Are not the figures quoted by the Minister sufficient justification for die duty ?

Senator PAYNE - 1 agree with everything that has been said with regard to Japan. We should maintain the same margin of British preference against other Competitors in our markets.

Senator Earle - What about encouraging; the Australian manufacturer ?

Senator PAYNE - The Australian, manufacturer is not engaged in this particular industry.

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator is quite wrong.

Senator PAYNE - Well, I should like to know to what extent the industry is being carried on in this country. Earthenware dishes and some imitation chinaware are being made here, but not real chinaware.

Senator Pearce - The Victorian Government have spent £15,000 in connexion with the Technical School at Brunswick for the training of returned soldiers in the art of pottery making.

Senator PAYNE - I know that; but I am referring to the particular classes of articles mentioned in this sub-item : Chinaware, not ordinary earthenware. Although imitation china cups and saucers may be described as china, they are not placed in that category by the Customs Department. As far as I know the real chinaware is net being produced in Australia. At all events, I have seen none of it.

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