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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator GRAHAM (Western Australia) . - I was surprised at the statement by Senator Payne that lightweight tweed had not been made in Australia. I have seen hundreds of samples of this material from factories in Victoria, and even in Tasmania, and it is superior to any goods that can be imported from the Old Country at a similar price. I support the sub-item as it stands, because the duty will assist to keep money in the country, instead of favouring industries abroad, where the conditions of labour are not equal to those obtaining in Australia. The samples of light tweeds made by Messrs. Foy and Gibson, from pure Australian wool, are unsurpassed in quality.

Senator Payne - Quite so; but that firm cannot supply the whole community.

Senator GRAHAM - Perhaps, not; but the firms manufacturing this betterclass material keep Australians in constant employment.

Senator Elliott - What is the price of the material.

Senator GRAHAM - From 3s. 9d. a yard upwards, and the heavy-weight tweed, 54 inches wide, is sold at 5s. 6d. a yard. The samples produced by Senator Payne are not to be compared with this cloth, which is available in all patterns, widths, and colours. We have no need to go outside Australia to get the material required by the Australian working man's wife, who must wear cheap tweed costumes. I desire to read an extract from the Melbourne Age, of Tuesday, the 1st June, 1926:-.

Kelsall and Kemp (Tasmania) Limited, manufacturers of woollen goods, disclose for the year to 31st .March last a loss of £13,164, as against a loss of i:3,962 for 1024-25. The directors in their report state that the loss sustained for 1925-26 was largely due to depreciation of stocks of raw material and of finished goods made in the previous period of slack trade.

That shows that, because of importations from abroad, employees of Australian woollen mills have been thrown out of employment. I ask the Senate not to agree to the request, but to vote for the Government's proposals.

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