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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Home and Territories) . - I know something about this matter, because I have had to deal with it on behalf of the Commonwealth Government for some time. If, as Senator Thompson seems to think, cotton-growers in Australia produced crops consisting entirely of first-grade cotton, the future of the industry would be assured, and no bounty would be needed. But, unfortunately, no matter how well the ground is cultivated, what seed is used, or how careful the grower may be, a certain proportion of lower-grade cotton is unavoidable. Therefore, as the industry progresses, there will be a certain quantity of low-grade cotton from Queensland which will be suitable for the purpose of manufacturing cotton yarn.

Senator Thompson - Then why admit it free from overseas?

Senator PEARCE - Duties of 20 per cent., 30 per cent., and 35 per cent. are to come into operation with respect to cotton yarn on the 1st January next if the manufacturers can produce sufficient for local requirements, and, if not, the duties will be further deferred. This article is free, free, and 5 per cent. at present for the reason that the Australian manufacturers can only supply 50 per cent. of our own requirements. The higher duties at' the present time would be only revenue-producing.

Item agreed to.

Items 393, 410, 415a, and 419 agreed to.

Item 424-

And on and after 1st July, 1926 - " (b) Vessels, n.e.i., trading intra-state or interstate, or otherwise employed in Australian waters for any continuous period of three months, excepting vessels exceeding 500 tons gross register ordered before the date on which the deferred duty comes into operation, ad valorem; British, 25 per cent. ; intermediate, 30 per cent. ; general, 35 per cent.

By adding a new sub-item (g) as follows : - (c) Whaling and other vessels not commercially built; in Australia, as prescribed by departmental by-laws;

British, free; intermediate, free; general, free."

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