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Thursday, 5 August 1926


Senator CRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The object of this measure is to give effect to two matters that have been mutually agreed upon between the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand. First: Provision- is made to prevent any loss of revenue owing to the wording of the reciprocal agreement contained in the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Acts between the Commonwealth of Australia and theDominion of New Zealand. Clause 2 of that agreement reads -

The Commonwealth shall not impose any Customs duty or increase the rate of any Customs duty on any article entering the Commonwealth fromthe Dominion . . . . until after six calendar months notice to the other party to thisagreement. ,

Under a strict interpretation ofthe wording of that clause, Australian importers could receive British or foreign goods entering the Commonwealth via New Zealand,' and pay the tariff duties in force until the six months' notice provided for had expired. Itis now proposed to amend the clause by adding, " the produce or manufacture of the Dominion." This will exclude the application of the agreement: to importations of foreign goodscoming to Australia, via New Zealand.The amendment corrects a defect in the wording of the original agreement. Secondly, the opportunity is being taken to provide for a slight concession which has been granted by New Zealand, by including in item 26 of the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Act 1922, after the words "Meats, potted, or preserved," the words " (not including mutton birds)." This concession affects the small trade which is done with New Zealand by the inhabitants of the Islands in Bass. Strait. The effect of the amendment in the New Zealand Tariff is to reduce the duty from 2d. per lb., which equalled 66 per cent., to the rate of 20 per cent. The amendment does not make any alteration in respect of goods coming from New Zealand. As the proposed amendments, although necessary, are slight, I trust that honorable senators will be prepared to proceed with the second reading of the bill.







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