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Tuesday, 8 June 1926


Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - I am not in a position to furnish the honorable senator with the information sought; but I think that it would be of very little use if available. Our manufacturers have to pay higher wages and higher prices for material. They have not the advantage in freight, as Senator Payne suggested, except in respect of markets strictly local. The cost of freight, say, from Melbourne to Sydney or Hobart is probably as great as it would be from Europe to Sydney or Hobart. What has been termed '" natural protection " disappears as far as the interstate market is concerned.


Senator Ogden - How many men are employed in the industry?


Senator CRAWFORD - This is not a separate industry. The work is carried out in establishments manufacturing all classes of machinery. In the engineering industry generally that are thousands of employees.

Senator KINGSMILL(Western Australia) [10.27). - I do not think that .the Minister grasps the import of my question. I asked whether the Tariff Board had considered that aspect of the case in making its report, and, if so, would the Minister be good enough to let the committee know whether the output per man in Australia was comparable with the output per man in other parts of the world. The question of the payment of higher wages does not affect the issue except to lead one to expect a higher degree of efficiency in return for higher wages. I think that my request for information respecting the Tariff Board and its investigations should be complied with.







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