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Friday, 26 August 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I shall not delay the Committee very long. I indorse the vigorous statements made by my friend, Senator Lynch. All through the Tariff debate the argument of High Protectionists and Ministers, as regards duties on agricultural machinery, has been to constantly urge the necessity for more and more protection, because the raw materials were dutiable. It was stated that, because we had a duty of 20s. and 30s. on pig iron- and angle iron, the raw materials for the manufacture of farming implements, there should be a duty of 10 per cent. British, 20 per cent. intermediate, and 30 per cent, general on agricultural implements. This argument was constantly used by those who are supporting increased duties. Whenever High Protectionists were in a difficulty, they used the simple plea : " We have increased the duty on the raw material, therefore we should increase the duty on the manufactured article." Honorable senators should pause before they agree, in this item, to duties on another raw material required for an important manufacturing industry, because if we tax sulphur now. it is inevitable that, in course of time, there willbe a demand for a tax on superphosphates. I join with Senator Lynch and Senator Wilson in protesting against these duties. I hope that sulphur will be allowed in free, and that the amendment suggested by Senator Wilson will be accepted.

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