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Wednesday, 31 August 1921


Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - This is a matter of general importance. We have had in recent years a new world's force come into operation in the evolution of kineonatograph and picture shows, and the request by the Minister (Senator Pearce) will have my support. Last year we imported 17,500,000 lineal feet of kinematograph films. Of that quantity over 15,000,000 feet came from America, and the increased duty of lid. per foot imposed by another place would mean the payment of an extra tax amounting to about £100,000 per annum by those engaged in the industry throughout the Commonwealth. Seeing that there are slightly less than a thousand picture shows in the Commonwealth, it is obvious that the average tax on each show would be £100 per annum, and that as most of the thousand picture shows are small the extra duty could not be borne by them, but must be passed on to their patrons. Last year we had some 'controversy in this Chamber in reference to the entertainments tax. If we had nothing to protect or no industry* to develop, the previous duties could be reverted to, but I believe that the increased rate was imposed in another place for the very proper purpose of developing the film industry within the Commonwealth and compelling our young Australians to look at

Australian instead of American pictures. At present, as far as I can ascertain, the picture-making industry of Australia has not sufficiently developed to justify any increased duty, but I think it would be well for the Senate, in agreeing to Senator Pearce's request, to also impose a deferred duty.


The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - As Senator Pearce's proposal has been temporarily withdrawn, the honorable senator must address his remarks to Senator Elliott's request that the preceding sub-item be made free.


Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The matter of the development of locally-produced films touches Senator Elliott's request also. The Australian picture film making industry is not sufficiently advanced at present to justify the imposition of a duty to help it, but in discussing the Ministers proposition I should like also to discuss the . advisability of imposing a deferred duty.







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