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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I am rather interested in this item, because the amendments proposed in the schedule prove conclusively that I adopted the right attitude in 1921 in opposing the duties then proposed under item 318. Now, after five years' experience of the operation of the duties under this item, the Government is prepared to admit its folly in imposing them, since they merely served to penalize tho community while benefiting no one. No honorable senator welcomes more than I do the removal of the duties, which are absolutely unjustified. In regard to the request submitted by the Minister, am I to understand that it will place a duty on watch movements?

Senator Crawford - If they are to be used in Australian-made cases they will be admitted free, but if placed in foreignmade cases they are to bear the same duty as was provided in the 1921 tariff.

Senator PAYNE - I am wondering if this amendment will be effective. What will be the position if the cases in which the parts are to be placed are imported at the same time?

Senator Crawford - That will be dealt with under departmental by-laws.

Senator PAYNE - If parts of watches are admitted free, the watch cases which come in a different package must also be included.

Senator Crawford - The onus of proof that the watch movements, which are admitted free, are to be used in Australianmade cases will rest upon the importer.

Senator PAYNE - May not imported watch cases be considered to be parts of watches? I do not wish to stress the point ; I rose particularly to express mv gratification that the Government has at last come to its senses in regard to the duties imposed under this item.

Senator Crawford - The departmental view is that a watch case is a part of a watch.

Senator PAYNE - If the parts are admitted free, employment will be given to Australians in fitting them into cases which may be imported separately. I presume that is the view taken by the department?

Senator Crawford - Yes.

Senator PAYNE - I shall accept that explanation, and I welcome a reduction in duties which have been unnecessarily in force for the last five years.

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