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Friday, 18 November 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - When this item was lastunder consideration in this Chamber the Committee decided to request a reduction of the duty in the British preferential column from 25 per cent, to 15per cent., leaving the duties of 30 and 35 per cent, in the intermediate andgeneral columns untouched. The item was very fully discussed here, and it is unnecessary that I should detain the Committee by reiterating the arguments used in support of the Government proposal. There is, however, one point to which I think it well to refer. It does seem to me that if by means of a Protective Tariff, we desire to stimulate Australian industries, we should put forth every effort to induce local manufacturers to make the best articles, and should not give such protection as will enable them only to produce inferior articles. The manufacturers of varnish contend that a protection of 15 per cent., as proposed by the Senate would make it impossible for them to compete in the manufacture of the higher grades of varnish. For this reason I ask the Committee to bring this item more into conformity with the general level of the Tariff. An ad valorem duty of 15 per cent, is merely an anomaly in a Tariff the average of which is much higher. I move -

That the request be not pressed.

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