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Friday, 18 March 1927

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - 1 can assure those honorable senators who have referred to the position of the- timber industry that the delay which has occurred in the presentation of the report of the Tariff Board is not due in any way to lack of appreciation of the importance of the industry on the part of the Government, but chiefly to the great volume of evidence which was tendered on behalf of the industry. The transcript of that evidence runs into 1,000 pages. The Tariff Board is now considering its report, and it is not likely to complete that task for some little time. Honorable senators are aware that the report after its receipt will have to be considered by the officers of the department, then by the Minister for Trade and Customs, and, lastly, by the Cabinet 'as a whole.

Senator Payne - I understood that the Minister would have the report to-day.

Senator CRAWFORD - I made a very close inquiry into the matter this morning, and that is not the information which was supplied to me. I give the assurance that no unnecessary delay has taken or will take place, but that on the contrary the matter will be considered so soon as the report is available.

Senator H Hays - Will the Minister endeavour to have it dealt with before the conclusion of this sitting of Parliament?

Senator CRAWFORD - I cannot say other than that no undue delay will take place. The Minister for Trade and Customs is anxious to have the mutter dealt with as early as possible.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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