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Thursday, 8 March 1928

Senator CRAWFORD - That is not the opinion of the maize-growers in Queensland.

Senator OGDEN - The reason this company has acquired those plantations is not to be found in an insufficient supply of maize. The quantity of maize which is used in the manufacture of glucose is small compared with the total quantity grown in Australia ; therefore, it can have little effect upon the price of the commodity.

When the Senate adjourned for dinner I was pointing out that an increased duty was sought because the price of maize had risen from 4s. Hd. to 5s. lOd. a bushel, equal to 20 per cent. Yet, before the Tariff Board, an increase in duty amounting to 50 per cent. - 6s. a cwt. - was asked for. Fortunately for the people of Australia that request was not granted, but an additional 3s. per cwt., equal to 27 per cent., was recommended. The direct result to the people of Australia was that they had to pay a higher price to the full extent of the duty, despite the statement made before the Tariff Board that the main object was to prevent importation.

Senator Crawford - There is no evidence that the price has been increased lately.

Senator OGDEN -If there has not been an increase the confectioners who control the manufacture of glucose are in an advantageous position compared with others who do not share in the profits of that industry, but have to pay a higher price for their raw material. They were penalized to the extent of £3 a ton, while those who controlled the maize products reaped an. advantage from the dividends paid by the company. I repeat that I have not been approached in this matter by any Tasmanian company, and that I am not attacking this item in the interests of any particular firm. Besides Cadbury, Fry, and Pascall, there are other companies using the same raw materials - Hoadleys, Nestles, Allens, and others. They are not in the glucose combine. If the duty were in the interests of the primary producers, I should not object to it.

Senator Reid - By maintaining the price of maize it would help the primary producers.

Senator OGDEN -Senator Reid merely makes that statement, but he does not attempt to prove it. The instance before us is a glaring attempt to use the tariff in order to make greater profits. I am opposed to any such attempt. I shall vote for increased duties where I consider they are justified, whether the industry affected is in the north, south, east or west of the Commonwealth; but here is a company which, although it had control of the market and was making huge profits, asked for higher duties in order to make still greater profits.

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