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Wednesday, 23 November 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - I have asked the Committee to reconsider this item for several reasons. Jt seems to me that the decision which this Committee arrived at - I say it with all respect to honorable senators - constituted an anomaly. The majority by which it was carried was very small. On some of the items the majority could not have been smaller, and, therefore, I feel inclined to ask for a reconsideration of the decision arrived at.

Senator Wilson - Have the Government got the numbers fixed up all right?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That interjection, of course, is evidence of the way in which my honorable friend's mind works.

Senator Wilson - And his general knowledge guides it.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I would remind honorable senators of the objection that I urged on the previous occasion against the Senate's decision regarding wire duties. I urge that same objection again, namely, that the Committee was proposing to fix the same duty upon the manufactured article as it had agreedto on the raw material. That decision does constitute, to my mind, and in the minds of most honorable senators, an anomaly. The duty on the rods from which the wire is drawn was fixed at 44s. The Senate proposed to make the duty on the wire 44s. The purpose of this Tariff is protective, and to leave these two duties on the same level will destroy that principle. I ask the Committee to reconsider its previous decision with a view to not pressing its request. I therefore move -

That the modification be agreed to.

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