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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - For the first time there seems to be something in the Minister's argument. I have searched the records relating to this industry, and the figures I have obtained are sufficient to cause both elation and dejection. It is gratifying to know, on the excellent authority of Senator Reid, that this industry, which has enjoyed such a small measure of protection, has become one of the most flourishing industries of the Commonwealth. Australian importations of sheet glass for 1923-24 were 14,000,000 square feet, valued at £187,000. During the following year 13,000,000 square feet of glass entered Australia, its value being £161,000.

Senator Payne - That includes plateglass.

Senator LYNCH - Yes. The glass imported from Great Britain represented 2,209,000 square feet, valued at £34,910, on which a duty of 2s. per 100 square feet, or approximately 7 per cent., was imposed. It seems to me that, from the way we have been behaving in the past towards other protected industries, a duty which does not exceed 7 per cent. is far too meagre a rate to encourage any one to embark his capital in the making of sheet glass.

Senator Crawford - I understand that the value of sheet glass is about 27s. per 100 square feet.

Senator LYNCH - If we give protection amounting to 20 or 40 per cent. for other industries and consider it barely sufficient for them, I think we ought to increase the duty on sheet glass in order to encourage its manufacture in Australia, but we must also ensure that no exorbitant rate is imposed. The new British rate proposed in the schedule is 1½d. per lb., or 45 per cent. ad valorem, whichever is the higher. I think that whichever is the lower rate should prevail, and I give notice of my intention to submit a request in that direction.

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