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Friday, 9 March 1928

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - The rates referred to by the honorable senator apply to tubular knitted goods which have been coming into Australia at low prices from cheap-labour countries and underselling the Australian product, with most serious results to manufacturers and employees in that particular industry. The application of a duty per lb. in the case of these very cheap goods will provide effective protection for the Australian industry.

Senator Payne - Can the Minister state the value per lb. of the different qualities of this material?

Senator CRAWFORD - I understand that, in the case of cotton goods, it is worth about 2s. per lb. Of course, that is a cheap line, and its introduction is having a most disastrous effect on a number of local factories, which give much employment and produce an article that was formerly finding a ready sale at reasonable prices.

Lately, however, similar goods have been coming in from Asiatic countries, and, even with the ad valorem duty, have been sold at a price much below the cost of production in Australia.

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