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Friday, 28 May 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - For the reason that it is not beneficial to us. The South Africans are getting a great deal more out of it than we are. Honorable senators will remember that when the previous tariff schedule was before them they requested an increase in the duty on maize and the request was granted. It was learned . afterwards that South Africa, which is Australia's chief competitor in maize, still retained its duty of1s. per cental. African maize is produced by black labour. The natives in East Africa receive 10s. a month and their food - principally milled maize - for their labour, and I suppose the rate is similar in other parts of the country.

Senator Thompson - Can the Minister tell us what disadvantage Australia will suffer in regard to the sale of her flour and wheat to South Africa?

Senator CRAWFORD - I am informed that the concession given by South Africa to Australian wheat and flour, which was about 3 per cent., has been nullified by the imposition of a dumping duty on it. We have been getting only very small concessions from South Africa for some time.

Senator Elliott - Was not the dumping duty imposed because we were selling wheat and flour cheaper in South Africa than in Australia?

Senator CRAWFORD - That has been alleged. I suppose that it is the reason for the imposition of all dumping duties.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 6 agreed to.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Kingsmill - We shall now proceed to deal with the items in the schedule. I think I should explain to honorable senators that if more than one request is made for an increase in the duty on a specific item, the highest request will be considered first, and if that should not be carried the next highest will be taken, and so on ; if a decrease of duty is requested, the smallest decrease proposed will be considered first.

Progress reported.

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