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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I direct the attention of the committee to what appears to me the unfinished form of this item. As honorable senators are aware, a chassis, under the terms of the tariff, is all that portion of a car except the body, the tires, and the battery. Under the 1921 tariff assembled chassis were admitted at 7½per cent. British, 10 per cent. intermediate, and 12½ per cent. general, giving a clear advantage of 5 per cent. to the chassis of British manufacture. The rates for unassembled cars were 5 per cent. British, 7½ per cent. intermediate, and 10 per cent. general, showing again an advantage of 5 per cent. Under the new proposals unassembled chassis are British, free ; intermediate,7½ per cent. ; general, 12½ per cent.; and assembled British, 5 per cent.; intermediate, 12½ per cent.; and general, 17½ per cent., making a difference in each case of 12½ per cent. as against 5 per cent. under the 1921 tariff. My proposal is something in the nature of splitting the difference by making the rates in the case of unassembled chassis, British, free; intermediate,2½ per cent. ; and general,7½ per cent., which will give the British product an advantage of7½ per cent. It is my desire to reconcile the two interests by giving the British manufactures a reasonable degree of protection, and at the same time conserving the interests of chassis assemblers in Australia. That is, I think, the first step in the direction of manufacturing complete motor cars in Australia. As the schedule stands at present there is not that advantage which we should like to see, except in the case of British chassis. Under the present proposal the assembled British chassis can come into Australia at a duty of 5 per cent., so that there is only a difference of 7½ per cent. net protecting the industry of assembling chassis in Australia. I propose to submit a request under which these parts could be imported at a duty of7½ per cent. instead of 12½ per cent. In other words, the object is to enable the raw material - a term which has frequently been mentioned during the debate - of the assemblers of chassis in Australia to be imported under a duty of 5 per cent. less than that for which, the item provides, and thus encourage the industry already established here. Under my proposal they would have a beter opportunity of carrying on their business than in the past, and at the same time we should be retaining the advantage to the British exporters. Senator Pearce. - Is not that similar to the request which Senator Duncan proposed ?

Senator LYNCH - No. Senator Duncan suggested an alteration in the existing rates, but he did not submit a concrete proposal. My proposal will give Britain a preference of7½ per cent., and at the same time will give those engaged in the industry of assembling chassis in Australia an opportunity of continuing their business. I appeal in all earnestness for the favorable consideration of my request. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duties on sub-item (d) (4) (a) intermediate, 2½ per cent. ; general, 7½ per cent.

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