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Tuesday, 8 June 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister) . - I am rather surprised at the lack of consideration which certain honorable senators are showing those engaged in the dairying industry. The position would be entirely different if the preference would be of arty substantial advantage to British manufacturers. In 1919-20 the value of British cream separators imported was £12,654, and of other machines £90,862. Last year the value of British importations was £8,669, out of importations valued at £177,870. From these figures it will be seen that the British manufacturers of cream separators are not holding their own, notwithstanding a preference of 10 per cent. given under a previous tariff. To impose an additional charge of £17,000 upon dairymen for the benefit of British manufacturers is unreasonable.

Senator Payne - Is it not possible that the price of the Swedish machine has been reduced in consequence of the British machine being placed on the Australian market?

Senator CRAWFORD - The competition of the British machine has not been serious. In 1921-22 the value of the British machines imported was £11,435, and of other machines £285,483.

Senator Elliott - Can the Minister give any assurance that the £17,000 mentioned will not be passed on to the dairymen ?

Senator CRAWFORD - I cannot give any such assurance. As there does not appear to be any possibility of cream separators being manufactured in Australia for some years, this is an effort on the part of the Government to assist primary producers by removing the preferential duty and making the item free. Senator Duncan and Senator Payne are asking the committee to impose upon dairymen apenalty which is altogether disproportionate to the benefit which British manufacturers would receive.

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