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Wednesday, 9 June 1926


Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I direct the attention of honorable senators to sub-item c, which provides that steam condensers, cylindrical boilers under 6 feet external diameter, but not less than 4 ft. 6 in. external diameter, shall be dutiable at 35 per cent. British, 45 per cent, intermediate, and 55 per cent, general ; whereas cylindrical boilers 6 feet and over external diameter will pay duties of only 27J per cent.,

British, 35 per cent, intermediate, and 40 per cent, general This appears to be a complete inversion of protectionist principles as applied to other items. The other evening when Senator Findley was discussing men's and boys' caps, he told the committee that there should be a higher duty on men's caps, presumably because they were men's caps ; and in another sub-item, as the result of the Minister's persuasion, the committee agreed to the imposition of higher duties on men's coats, vests, and trousers, as compared with boys' coats, vests and trousers. Under this item, however, the manufacturer of the smaller type, or the " boy " boiler, so to speak, is to enjoy higher protection than the manufacturer of the larger boiler.


Senator Crawford - In the case of wearing apparel there is a fixed duty, whereas this is an ad valorem duty.


Senator LYNCH - But the principle and the reasoning are the same. Why should the manufacturer of the smaller type of boiler enjoy a higher protective duty ? These small boilers are used by small struggling concerns, especially mining companies with limited capital. Senator Graham will bear me out in this. He knows that on the Western Australian gold-fields, if a small mining company wishes to put in a plant it purchases what is known as the Cornish type of boiler, because that is the most economical way of commencing business. These small companies have to cut their coat according to their cloth. If they wish to install a power plant they must purchase the most economical one. Therefore, they install boilers of much less than 4ft. 6 in. in external diameter, because, as I have said, they are struggling concerns.


Senator Kingsmill - Has not the honorable senator come to realize, during this debate, that small mining companies and other concerns apparently have no right to struggle?


Senator LYNCH - I have. As the debate on this tariff schedule progresses, I hardly know what to think sometimes, because it appears that all ideas as to the right application of principles have been abandoned. We are in astate of topsy-turvydom. This higher duty on the smaller type of boiler will throw the burden on people least able to bear it. Is that fair play? Even at this eleventh hour I appeal to the Minister to reduce the British duty to 27? per cent., and bring the tariff on the smaller type of boiler into line with the duties on the larger boilers. Let me appeal for support to Senator Grant, Senator McHugh, and Senator Barnes who, by the way, voted for a 40 per cent, duty on road rollers for the only apparent reason, that a red flag is carried in front of them.







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