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Friday, 18 November 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister forRepatriation) . - The Senate requested that a new sub-item - kapok - be inserted, with the following duties : - British, 4d. ; intermediate, 6d.; and general, 6d. The other Chamber rejected that suggestion on the voices. Inquiry shows that a duty of 6d. would mean the payment by importers of £150,000 per annum. A prominent wool authority has stated that the proposed duty cannot help the wool industry.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - Who is the prominent wool authority who made that foolish statement?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable senator say that the imposition of this duty, even if it resulted in theuse of wool for kapok, would materially affect the wool-growing industry?

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - It would materially assist the producers of low-class wools that are unsaleable.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I move-

That the request be not pressed.

It is claimed that there are some special processes by which low-grade wools can be cleansed. I have had to sleep on a woolpack containing such wool, but I shall never do it again.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - People sleep on hardly anything else in the Old Country.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator must be speaking without thought. I suppose many honorable senators have, under the stress of circumstances, used wool in either a pack or a (bag for a bed. That might be good enough for the first night or two, but, after that, as far as I am concerned, anybody could have the wool, and I would prefer the empty bag. I do not believe the proposed duty would create an industry worth speaking of.

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