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Wednesday, 16 November 1921

Senator FOSTER (Tasmania) .- I hope the motion will be agreed to. I understand that capital amounting to £3,000,000 has been invested in 'the industry in this State and New South Wales. I do not support the view that Americans, or other foreign manufacturers, should receive encouragement to send their goods into the Australian market, in view of the way in which high duties are imposed on our exported manufactures. Upon Australian wool entering the United States of America, there is a duty of 25 cents per lb. Yet some people favour the imposition, and actively encourage the importation of American goods manufactured from Australian raw material. I agree with the general principle that solid preference should be given to Great Britain. In the present instance the amount of preference is ample. We have a young and nourishing Australian industry, and its claims come before those of either Great 'Britain or foreign manufacturers.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - What is the duty payable on Australian manufactures of a similar kind entering America?

Senator FOSTER - I have received expert advice that the American rates are higher than those proposed locally. Generally speaking, Americans and British manufacturers possess more uptodate plant for the output of these lines of goods. But, as I have already mentioned, £3,000,000 has been invested in the Australian industry ; and it should not be forgotten that, with only the necessary changes of needles, the same machines are used locally for the manufacture of either wool or wool and cotton goods. Australia ought to be able to manufacture all her requirements of goods of this class from her own raw material; and, in view of the high wages paid, I hold that the existing duties are not excessive.

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