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Thursday, 10 June 1926


Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- Before I continue my remarks, which were interrupted by the limitation imposed by the Standing Orders, I wish to refer to the attitude of the Minister in ignoring what I had said until I, by interjection, towards the close of his speech, called his attention to the fact thatI had been dealing solely with the importation of British-manufactured glass, and had not referred to the importation of Belgian glass. As a matter of fact, I was putting up a case for the British manufacturer, and, although I propose to submit a request for a reduction of duty, it will apply solely to the British preferential rate. I have no intention of seeking for a reduction of the duty on foreign importations. Since I spoke earlier, a great deal has been said about the success of the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company's operations.I know more about those operations than does Senator Reid, because I am a shareholder in the company.

Senatorfoll. - What dividends have been paid lately by the company?


Senator PAYNE - The last dividend was 10 per cent. The industry is a very successful one. It may surprise honorable senators that a shareholder in an Australian glass-manufacturing company should protest against a duty which, if imposed, would materially enhance the profits of his company, but I hope that, as a public man, I have a soul above personal interests. I regard the proposal of the Government to increase the duty on British-made sheet glass as iniquitous and absolutely unnecessary. Senator Reid has gone to great pains to describe the magnificent goods turned out by the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company in the shape of glass utensils and vessels of different kinds. Those articles have been made under a protective duty of 25 per cent. British.


Senator Reid - But the fancy stuff does not come from Great Britain.


Senator PAYNE - The duty against foreign glass was 35 per cent., and the request I propose to submit will give Australian glass-manufacturing companies a higher ad valorem rate on sheet glass than the 35 per cent. under which they have been successfully manufacturing these various glass utensils. The rates of duties on glassware under the 1921 tariff were - British, 25 per cent.; intermediate, 30 per cent.; and general, 35 per cent. The Australian Glass Manufacturing Company has been able to carry on successfully and extend its operations under those rates of duty because of its efficient management, and I am confident that, with the efficiency it has at its command, it will successfully embark upon the manufacture of sheet glass on a rate of duty considerably less than what is now proposed to be placed on British imports.


Senator McLachlan - What is the percentage rate of duty on a hundred square Feet of glass ?


Senator PAYNE - Under the proposed tariff, the percentage is as follows: - On 100 square feet of glass, 25 united inches, invoiced at 12s. 6d., 83 per cent.; on 100 square feet of glass of 50 united inches, 69 per cent.; on 100 square feet of glass of 90 united inches, 46 per cent. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (b), per lb., ¾d. British.

My proposal, if adopted, would leave the rates of duty in the intermediate and general columns the same as proposed in the schedule, but would reduce the British preferential duty from l½d. per lb. to¾d. per lb. A duty of¾d. per lb. is equivalent to anad valorem rate of over 40 per cent., which is 15 per cent. more than the protection now afforded to Australian manufacturers, under which they are making various glass articles. I had intended to move for a lower rate, but when I found that the Australian manufacturers could make many varieties of glass under a protective duty of 25 per cent. British, I thought it well to limit my proposal to a rate of duty that would, at any rate, give them over 40 per cent. protection. As I do not desire to have the duties in the other columns altered, Senator Crawford's remarks about" the conditions in" Belgium do not apply. I think every honorable senator ought to refrain from putting upa prohibition wall over which the British manufacturer cannot climb. It cannot be in our best interests to say to the people of Great Britain, " We want to trade with you; we want you to buy our primary products, but if you dare to send us your products, we shall put up a wall so high that you cannot climb over it."


Senator Crawford - Let us have a vote.


Senator PAYNE - It is all very well for the Minister to say, "Let us have a vote." I have no desire to delay the passage of the bill, but if I consider that a duty is not necessary in the interests of Australian industries, and that if it is imposed it will not only inflict an injus tice on the community, but also penalize the British manufacturer, I should not be worthy of my place in this Senate if I did not raise my voice in protest.







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