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Friday, 26 August 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - I move - t

That the House of ^Representatives be requested to .make .the duty, sub-item (a), British, ad val., 15 per cent. <

Last year, the greater part of our importations of these articles came from Great Britain.

Senator Pearce - That is absolutely incorrect. Last year £77,000 worth was imported from Great Britain, and £132,000 worth from Japan.

Senator DUNCAN - I am glad to have that information, because it supports my argument. It is evident from the figures of Senator Pearce that if we desire to give a greater preference to Great Britain, we must either increase the duty against Japan or decrease it in the case of Great Britain. What I propose is, I submit, a fairly high duty against Great Britain on this class of goods, which requires much packing, and has to pay very high freights, the packages being large in proportion to the value of the contents. Altogether a considerable degree of natural protection is afforded, as compared with other classes df goods, and 15 ner cent, affords all the direct protection that can reasonably be desired. In Great Britain there are not the low wages and low production costs that we hear, of in connexion with the industries of Japan and other countries. The duty I propose will, I hope, enable the British manufacturer and exporter to more than hold their own, which at present, as the Minister's figures show, they are unable to do.

Senator Lynch - Are the finer classes of ornaments included in this it-em?

Senator DUNCAN - Yes; but the importation of such ornaments is not very large.

Senator Pearce - These ornaments come in under the heading of parian ware.

Senator DUNCAN - And these goods, of course, require the most caref ul packing.

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