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Friday, 9 March 1928

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - In view of what the honorable member (Senator Crawford) has said, I do not propose to take up the time of the committee beyond making a suggestion which may facilitate matters. Instead of acting in the direction suggested by Senator Kingsmill, I think we should for the moment be content to strike out the paragraph in which discrimination is provided for. The net effect of this .would undoubtedly be that all coffee would be dutiable under the general tariff.

Senator Payne - It would not.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am sure that it would. The intermediate tariff can be used only in connexion with imports from countries with which we have entered into a treaty, and as we do not import coffee from Britain the effect of striking out the paragraph would be that all coffee would be dutiable under the general tariff, There would then be' no discrimination against any country. The necessary adjustment of duties could be made in another place and the schedule then returned to this chamber for its approval. I therefore suggest for the Government's consideration, that the position would be met for the moment by striking out the paragraph at the end of sub-item b.

Senator Kingsmill - Why not do both?

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not know if the Government will have sufficient time to study the duties and consider the consequential amendments which will be necessary. The Government may decide that it may be better to admit all coffee free of duty; but I hardly think that likely.

Senator Crawford - The Government does not intend to oppose the request.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then I have nothing more to say, as I am in favour of the proposal.

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