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Friday, 26 August 1921

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! It is desirable now that the Committee should give its attention to item 253.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister has stated that so far as possible the fixed duties in the several sub-items have a proper relation to the ad valorem duties in sub-item b of item 252, in which the duties are, British, 30 per cent.; intermediate, 35 per cent. ; and general, 45 per cent. In sub-item e of this item, for bottles of over 60 oz. fluid capacity, the ad valorem duties are, British, 25 per dent. ; intermediate, 30 per cent. ; and general, 35 per cent.

Senator Pearce - That is for a special class.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. In subitem b, for bottles of over 5 drams, not exceeding 10 ounces fluid capacity, the fixed duties per dozen are British, 2d. ; intermediate, 3d. ; and general, 4d. If what the Minister states is accurate, and the fixed duty of British, 2d., is equal to' 30 per cent, in .sub-item b of item 252, bottles n.e.i., the total value of these bottles will be about 6½d. per dozen.

Senator Pearce - To be strictly accurate, the 4d. general Tariff ought to be higher.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I thank the Minister, because I am sure he will see the point of my argument when I mention that consideration of the perfumery duties has been postponed. One of the complaints of the local manufacturers is that the specific duties on bottles containing perfumes are not nearly so high as the ad valorem duties on empty bottles. It is nob a big matter, but it is bound up with an attempt to get consistency in connexion with the Tariff.

Senator Pearce - I shall have no objection to increase the duty in sub-items b andC under the general Tariff by1d.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I thank the Minister for the suggestion, but I do not think it will quite cover the point I have raised. The duties on imported bottles for use in manufacture here are in some oases only about one-third or one-fourth of what they ought to be. As we have postponed consideration of items 8 and 9, and as this question will arise again on item 285 (medicines), I suggest that we postpone this item until we know what re-arrangement is going to be made in the other items I have referred to.

Senator Pearce - We may be able to meet the honorable senator's objection in regard to perfumery bottles, but I do not think there is any occasion to postpone this item.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The manufacturers of perfumery will have to be guided to some extent by what is done in this item.

Senator Pearce - That is so.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And after consideration of all the evidence it may be thought advisable to increase the specific duties on these bottles, and impose lower duties on perfumery, rather than leave the duties as they stand and impose a higher Tariff on perfumery.

Senator Pearce - If so, we can recommit the item, and make the necessary re-adjustment.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I will say no more now in view of the promise try the Minister that if these duties bear unjustly upon the local manufacturers the item will be recommitted.

Item agreed to.

Item 254 (Shellac, &c.) agreed to.

Item 255 (Glue in dry form, cements, gelatine, &c).

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