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Wednesday, 7 July 1926

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) suggests that this method has to be adopted owing to the lack of care taken by the officers of the Department of Trade and Customs, who have been assisting the Minister. If the honorable senator had any conception of the work the officers of the department have to undertake, and of the tremendous amount of care they exercise, he would recognize that his statement is very uncharitable.

Senator Needham - I did not mean it that way.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The schedule is so intricate and so involved that the omission of a comma may alter the whole meaning of an item. It is almost impossible to detect slight errors of draftsmanship whilst the schedule is before the House. On many occasions, when in charge of a previous tariff schedule, I would have fallen into hopeless errors if it had not been for the care exercised by the officers of the department who were assisting me, and I am sure the Minister for Trade and Customs would support me in what I have said in this regard. It is regrettable that these mistakes do occur, but at the same time, in the rush of business, it is practically impossible to avoid them.

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