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Wednesday, 9 June 1926

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - Is it common sense to impose the same duty on road rollers as on locomotives? Even a schoolgirl could tell that far more technical skill is required in constructing a locomotive than a road roller.

Senator Pearce - These road rollers have locomotives attached.

Senator LYNCH - Why is that not stated? Later on we shall have to deal with electric fans, and machines and machinery and portable steam engines, on which a duty of 27½ per cent, is levied, but on road rollers the rate is 40 per cent. The Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce) has explained, by interjection, that these are road rollers to which a locomotive is attached. Are we imposing a duty of 40 per cent, on an article in the construction of which as much technical skill is required as in making a wheel-barrow ?

Senator Pearce - The road rollers to which the honorable senator is referring are under another item.

Senator LYNCH - Why is not that stated ?

Senator Crawford - This sub-item applies to steam-driven or oil-driven rollers. The rollers which the honorable senator has in mind are included in item 161 of the tariff, which is not being altered, and which carries duties of 20 per cent. British, 25 per cent, intermediate, and 30 per cent, general.

Senator LYNCH - I see. If there is an engine attached to the roller the duty is 40 per cent. But what is a scarifier attachment ?

Senator Crawford - It is a scarifier which is used for tearing up macadamized roads.

Senator LYNCH - Is there an engine attached to it?

Senator Crawford - It is part of the roller, and can be seen in use daily in this city.

Senator LYNCH - If I ordered a scarifier, would I be told that there was an engiue attached to it ? If this sub-item really means a self-propelled scarifier attachment, the Government has adopted a clumsy method of expressing a simple matter. It should have been described as a self-propeiled scarifier attachment, and if it does not mean that I shall support Senator Payne's request. The use of the word " attachment " means that it is attached to something else.

Senator Crawford - Yes, the scarifier may be attached or detached.

Senator LYNCH - The very fact of its being an attachment signifies that it is not self-propelling.

Senator Crawford - The power that propels the roller propels the scarifier.

Senator LYNCH - I know that a scarifier attached to a road-roller is used to tear up metal roads, but in no sense can a scarifier attachment mean something that contains an engine, or is self-propelling. It is merely inserted in this sub-item so that it may carry the same rate of duty as a road-roller which has its own propelling power. In these circumstances Senator Payne is quite justified in asking that the words should be removed to another item where it may enjoy a more moderate rate of duty.

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