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Friday, 9 March 1928

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - It is proposed to increase the duty from 1st July next on leather cloth from 5 per cent. British, 10 per cent, intermediate, and 15 per cent, general, to 20 per cent. British, 25 per cent, intermediate, and 35 per cent, general. I want to know if the manufacture of leather cloth is an accomplished fact in Australia; if not, whether there is sufficient evidence to show that machinery is being installed to manufacture with success this substitute for leather, and why the preference hitherto accorded to Great Britain has, to a great extent, disappeared.

Senator Crawford - The margin of preference to Great Britain, which was 10 per cent., has been increased to 15 per cent.

Senator PAYNE - What steps have been taken to establish the industry in Australia? I have no knowledge of any company having been formed to manufacture leather cloth locally. I am prepared to support any reasonable proposal for the encouragement of the industry, but the duties should not be imposed before they are actually required.

Senator Crawford - I am informed that machinery has been imported for the manufacture of leather cloth in Australia. If the company is not prepared to start by 1st July, the duty will be deferred.

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