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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) : - The present duty amounts to 150 per cent, on the wholesale export price of clothes pegs in the United- States of America. We might as well say at once that the importation of clothes pegs is prohibited.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable senator say that a duty of1d. per dozen is equal to 150 per cent. ?

Senator PAYNE - The present duty of1s. 6d. per gross under the general Tariff is equal to a duty of 150 per cent, on the present American prices, so that it is 50 per cent, in excess of the value of the goods. It is all very well to say that the production of clothes pegs- has been commenced here, but it is unreasonable that the women of Australia should have to pay 4d. or 4½d. per dozen for American clothes pegs as against1½d. for- two dozen before the war. Clothes pegs are easily broken and this is an. unnecessary burden. I am sorry that Senator Vardon did not move for a greater reduction of the duty under the general column. I had intended to submit a request that the duty under the British preferential Tariff be reduced to 3d. per gross and under the general Tariff to 6d. per gross.

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