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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I wish to ask the Minister whether electrical welding sets come under this item?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes; they come under sub-item d.

Senator LYNCH - In view of what I have said to-night, and in the absence of a satisfactory reply from the Minister, I feel that I must take action to see that these welding sets come into this country free. I could not have done more than I did to verify the statements I made previously. Those statements were to the effect that the very, people of whom the Department recommended me to inquire admitted, under their own hand, that they did not make the articles. I do not want to stress this point unduly, because the Department have their own means of ascertaining the facts, just as any other citizen has. When. I set out on my own behalf to find out the facts from the firm whose address the Department gave me, I discharged my duty to the extent of proving that the machines on which the duty is collected are not made in this country. The Committee ought not to pass a Tariff of this description and collect £50 or £60 on sets of machines employed by small engineering firms. These machines are of the utmost value for up-to-date and economical repair work. The Department collects the duty for no visible purpose. If the Minister will assure the Committee that these things are made in the Commonwealth, I will sit down.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am prepared to give that assurance and to name the firm that makes the machines.

Senator LYNCH - I am satisfied with that part of the statement. If I can prove, on the contrary, that they are not made here, what then?

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