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Thursday, 3 June 1926

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - It appears to me that the men of Australia and of other British communities have been hoodwinked by hat manufacturers. Not long ago the young men of Australia who wore straw hats were known as members of the ' ' straw-hat brigade." Straw hats were then extensively manufactured in the Commonwealth, but they have disappeared. Why is this light and suitable headgear no longer worn? The answer was supplied the other day by a pronouncement to the effect that the hat manufacturers of the Commonwealth had combined, and had decided that, as the profit on straw hats was inadequate, they would make the price prohibitive. The hat makers discovered that they could make a more substantial profit by compelling Australian men to wear hats of a type which is altogether unsuitable for the climate. The caps displayed in the chamber may be suitable in colder climates, but they cannot be worn with comfort in many parts of the Commonwealth. It is time that the people realized that the headgear foisted on them by those who reside in colder climates is not of the kind we desire. The womenfolk of Australia have refused to be dressed in garments similar to those worn by women in colder climates, but the men have not yet displayed sufficient common sense to adopt attire suitable to the Australian conditions. I should like Senator Findley to go even further, and indicate to the highly-protected hat manufacturers of Australia that they should manufacture lighter hats of the panama type which would be more acceptable to Australian men.

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