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Thursday, 1 September 1921


Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I understand the misgiving that characterizes Senator Henderson's attitude, and also that of the mover of the request (Senator Drake-Brockman) . This is a very important commodity so far as Australia is concerned. We get so accustomed to trusting our lives to the wire rope that we do it several times a day without adverting to the fact. Only when accidents occur do people realize how often they take this risk. There is hardly an honorable senator who does not, more than once or' twice a day, trust his life tothe wire rope, even in the elevators about this building. Our miners go up and down many hundreds of feet at the beginning and end of their shifts, and depend for their safety on the wire rope. Although mining companies as a rule forbid individuals to travel on haulage trams., reserving them entirely for the transport of the material, some one must accompany the material, and, in spite of the prohibition, many people travel that way. In fact, they become so accustomed to it that often they jump on haulage trams to relieve themselves of the necessity of walking or climbing. Rylands, an English company, produce the wire rope or metal cordage in general use by our mining companies. Their output is regarded as quite satisfactory in every respect. It is, from the point of view of the Australian user, the highest standard of value, and we are informed by the Minister (Senator Pearce) that this firm, as well as another English firm, contemplate establishing works in Australia on the assurance, I take it, that they will get Tariff protection against the United States of America or Europe.


Senator Pearce - Rylands have established their works at Newcastle, but they are not yet producing wire rope.


Senator KEATING - I presume that they have established themselves on an assurance that these duties will insure to them the Australian market as against foreign competitors. What I am principally concerned about is the working of clause 11 of the Bill relating to deferred duties. That clause provides that if the Tariff Board certifies to the Minister for

Trade and Customs, as in this case, that the local industry is not capable of . reasonably supplying Australian requirements, the Minister may still further defer the operation of the duty until the Board satisfies him by its certificate that the industry is capable of supplying such requirements. In following this procedure I sincerely hope that the Minister and the Tariff Board will be fully seized with the importance of the giving or withholding of a certificate. This item is one which, I think, is probably more vital in this connexion than any other in the Tariff, and needs most careful consideration both by the Minister and the Tariff Board. To say merely that the local industry is outputting the requirements of Australia in considerable quantities, or in sufficient quantities to supply largely the Australian market, should not be enough. I presume that in Great Britain some tests are applied, both within the factory and, . possibly, outside, as to the reliability of the product. I sincerely hope, therefore, that before the Tariff Board issues its certificate, and before the Minister allows these deferred duties to become operative, the most complete and exhaustive tests will be 'applied to the commodities produced.







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