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Wednesday, 9 June 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister) . - Senator Ogden is mistaken when he says that one small company in Australia has a mono- , poly in the manufacture of static transformers, as there are four companies engaged in this business - two in Sydney and two in Melbourne.

Senator Ogden - Only one company submitted a tender.

Senator CRAWFORD - As a result of the higher duties imposed under the present tariff, the business of these firms has, I am glad to say, extended in such a way that they have been able to reduce their prices.

Senator Duncan - They have also forced others to reduce their prices.

Senator CRAWFORD - Yes , that is what invariably happens when local manufacturers are competing with overseas manufacturers. The action of the department in connexion with the request for the remission of duty on static transformers was due to the advice received from the Crown Solicitor, who said, after examination, that as static transformers are not machines they cannot be dealt with under item 174. To overcome the diffi culty, a new item, 415 a has been inserted under which static transformers will be admitted free if they, are not commercially manufactured in Australia.

Senator H Hays - Can the hydroelectric authorities receive a refund of duty under the new item?

Senator CRAWFORD - That item, of course, was not in operation at the time the transaction took place, and it is, I think, rather doubtful whether it can be made retrospective. It will, however, apply in the future.

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