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Wednesday, 16 November 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- Senator Lynchhas quoted figures which record a striking increase in the importation of light woollen textiles from Bradford. When the Senate was dealing, with the Tariff, some weeks ago, I endeavoured to secure the acceptance of a special item covering woollen textiles not exceeding a certain weight per square yard. These were materials which would not compete with Australian manufacture. However, my proposal was turned down. Those light woollen goods are being heavily imported into Australia to-day, notwithstanding the high duty, because people must wear light-weight garments during the Australian summer. Thus the duties, instead of being protective of Australian industry, merely penalize the Australian public. My references as regards underwear are to the merino- finish and merino underclothing.

Senator Elliott - What is there to prevent Australian factories from turning out these garments?

Senator PAYNE - They are not being manufactured locally, and are not likely to be. It is only natural that the importations for October should greatly exceed those for July, in view of the demand for these essential summer-weight articles. I am opposed to the motion.

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