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Tuesday, 30 August 1921


Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I feel disposed to move that the preferential duty, sub-item l, be reduced to 4s. I do not think Great Britain possesses many pines, although there may be some in Scotland; they do not export timber to Australia. In following the policy I have adopted since I have been in the Senate of giving absolute preference to Great Britain, I would meet the Government on their own ground if I moved that the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item l,

British, free. It is quite possible that Great Britain has very little dressed timber to export to Australia. I do not know to what extent her forests have been developed in late years, but possibly almost every ridge in the north of England has been turned into a forest area, and pines may be reaching the stage of development at which it may be profitable to export the timber to this country. I do not, however, think the timber industry has reached the same stage of development there as it has in the northern countries of Europe, where the timber grows freely, and where the machinery employed is of the latest type. In such matters as this,, we should .try to show by our legislation that we are in earnest, in giving preference to Great Britain. The particular types of timber are not specified in this sub-item; but as the Government accepted the proposal without a debate or vote to increase the- general rate in the sub-item from 6s. to Ss. 6d., and the intermediate from 6s. to 7s. 6d., perhaps they will agree to a reduction in the British preferential rate from 6s. to is. Are all attempts to make this Tariff acceptable to another place to depend on whether duties are made higher or lower? I do not think that much timber is likely to 'be imported from Great Britain, though we might get some dressed ash for wheel-making.







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