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Wednesday, 9 June 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - The arguments used by Senator Ogden in support of his request are exactly the same as those which have been used in opposition to several items, already agreed to, bearing the same rates of duty as are proposed for these electrical appliances. I am sure that the majority of honorable senators will agree that the electrical industry should receive the same amount of protection as is afforded to other industries that come under the heading of metals and machinery. The manufacture of electrical appliances is an important branch of our engineering industries, and a great deal of money has been invested in it. Some of the best British electrical firms have recently commenced operations in Australia. In New South Wales, Payne and Ferguson have commenced in a large way, and are now in a position to turn out just as good an article as they did in Great Britain.

Senator Kingsmill - Under what rates of duty did they commence operations here?

Senator CRAWFORD - It is true that many of our factories and industries were established under the lower rates of duty, but, as I have repeatedly reminded honororable senators, conditions have changed very much during the last few years. The overseas competition is now very much keener than it was. There is a bigger difference between costs of overseas manufacturers and those of Australian manufacturers than existed a few years ago. If we are to maintain our established industries and encourage the investment of more money in our factories, we must give them sufficient protection.

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