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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) .- I do not like the Minister's reason for submitting this motion. Because the raw material from which type is made comes in under a certain duty, that is not to say that the two things are equal. This is a duty on percentages of value, and the manufactured article represents the value of the labour added to the raw material. To my mind, the percentage of duty on the manufactured article is greatly in excess of that on the raw material. In the one case, the duty is assessed* upon the value of the material without anything added except the labour of producing it in the natural state; in the other case it is based upon this value with the added value of the labour necessary to: make type. It' appears to me that this is one of the taxes that the community has to pay. It is a means, mainly, of getting in revenue by taxation and spreading it over a large area. I shall certainly decline to agree to this item. The price of type affects practically the whole of the country press. There is a special class of people who use these papers, and the industry has not the means nor the opportunity of increasing its profits to meet the extra charge. That being so, we can well say that we will not add to the duty. When the Tariff was before theCommittee previously, honorable senators were told that the locally-made type was plain and crude, and incapable of good work. I am not disposed to tax the country newspaper people of this country, particularly the small offices which have to buy this type. The big offices use very little of it.

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