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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) . - I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, general, ad val., 40 per cent.

I think there is a great deal in what Senator Gardiner has said. We wish to encourage the use of Australian skins and hides, and build up our boot industry; but we must admit that the duties proposed by the Government are excessive. Skins and hides have fallen enormously in value since this time last year, and are cheaper in Australia to-day than I ever remember them to have been in the history of the country. Practically, hides and skins cannot be sold, and pickled sheep pelts are not worth 6d. each; indeed, some people have burnt the coarser wool skins rather than send them to market. Yet everybody has to have boots, and to people with large families the present price of boots is a great burden. I cannot support Senator Gardiner's rather drastic request, but I do ask Senator E. D. Millen to accept the proposal I now make. I emphasize the point that the provision of boots, and their upkeep, in the family of a working man, are a great burden.

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