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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator WILSON (South Australia) . - I believe the Committee will be able to vote unanimously that the request as printed be not pressed>. If there is anything in the Tariff which should be admitted free it is the articles which are used by those who are exerting their energies and displaying their ability in developing this country to the best advantage. The time is npt far distant when the State Governments will have to compel all land holders and lessees to destroy rabbits.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The State Governments should first see that the vermin on their own land is destroyed.

Senator WILSON - Yes. The Government are really the greatest offenders, because on large tracts of Crown land no effort is made to destroy rabbits.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - In the Northern Territory wild dogs are increasing in, numbers at a terrific rate, and they are finding their way into Queensland.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And they are driving the rabbits from Queensland into South Australia. .

Senator WILSON - And South Australians are compelled to purchase traps at an enormous price. When this item was previously before the Committee, the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce), who was in charge of the Tariff at the time, said that traps were being manufactured in New South Wales, but I da not believe the output is sufficient tol meet our requirements. Senator Guthrie will probably say that the worst form of catching rabbits is to trap them, and that is largely true. But there are men who have to earn a living by catching them and disposing of the skins, and the traps used should be made available at a reasonable rate. I am not satisfied that the factory in New South Wales can meet the Australian demand. It was promised that within, a certain number of weeks New South Wales would be able to make a quantity of traps. Perhaps the Minister is in possession of information that the traps are being made there, but the price of them is still very high. I certainly desire tol make all articles that are used by the individual largely for the benefit of the community free of duty. The time will cornel when we shall have to take some definite action to compel people to use rabbit traps. I favour British traps being admitted duty free, with a 5 per cent, intermediate duty, and a general Tariff, of 10 per cent.

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