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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I would like to emphasize what Senator Duncan has said. These electrical appliances are a wonderful convenience in the home for heating and cooking. I would be prepared to agree to a 25 per cent, duty on electrical heating and cooking appliances and electrical fittings, and a duty of 30 per cent, on heavy machinery, such as dynamo electric machinery. I would prefer 25 per cent, all round. Everything that goes into the home should be as cheap as possible. It may be a little paradoxical, "but. I think it is correct to say that if more of these articles are imported more of them will be manufactured here,, because more of them will be used. Tasmania is doing splendidly with her hydro-electric supply scheme, and the people of that State desire not only that the electricity should be used in big industrial works, but also that it should add to the comfort of the home. I agree with Senator Russell that the Australian workman is as good as the workman in any part of the world, but we cannot expect to have all the knowledge the world has. Other countries are older than we, and are able to send us some things that are better than we can manufacture at present. The very fact of seeing these things and of having them here would mean that similar articles made here afterwards would be all the better.

Senator Russell - When the war broke out there were a lot of electrical machines in Australia. Thompson's, of Castlemaine, undertook to make all the parts for them, and are still making them.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am delighted to hear it, but I think 25 per cent, is a sufficient duty. I intend to go the whole hog, and ask that the duty should be uniformly 25 per cent. If we cannot get that, let us have 25 per cent, on a and b, and compromise with the other House on c and n by agreeing to 30 per cent.

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