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Wednesday, 23 November 1921


Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I am safe in saying that if we had not placed duties on sulphur we should not have agreed to the duties on superphosphate. Having agreed to the former duties, obviously, we should not allow sulphur, contained in Japanese superphosphates, to come in duty free and compete with the Australian product.


Senator Wilson - And now you want to unload that mistake on to the farmers of the Commonwealth.


Senator VARDON - I do not want to penalize the manufacturers of superphosphates. Senator Wilson said that we were now getting phosphatic rock from Nauru Island at 15s. per ton cheaper than formerly, but I point out that the ruling rate of wage in the phosphate industry has increased by considerably -over 50 per cent., namely, from 9s. per day, in 1914, to 14s. per day at the present time.


Senator Wilson - I admit there has been an increase in wages.


Senator VARDON - It is a very considerable increase. Senator Wilson and Senator Lynch do not seem inclined to give our manufacturers of superphos phates credit for what they have donein the past. It is beyond dispute that during the war the local price was only about £6 per ton.


Senator Wilson - The honorable senator is now. giving us stuff that Senator Earle supplied us with a while ago.


Senator VARDON - I think weought to give our manufacturers credit for having done the fair thing in the past. I want now to do a fair thing by them. Having agreed to duties on their raw material, we should be prepared to give them some measure of protection on the, manufactured article.







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