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Wednesday, 14 March 1928

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- Can the Minister give the Senate the reason for the proposed duties on hoodlights for motor cars, and the average value of the hood-lights imported into and produced in Australia?

SenatorCRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister [6.8] . - Hood-lights are now being manufactured in considerable quantities in South Australia. The proposed increased duties will not affect our trade with Great Britain, as nearly all the hood-lights imported come from the United States of America. The manufacture of hood-lights in Australia was commenced in 1919, when it was difficult to obtain them from abroad and the price of American hood-lights was high. At that time the Australian manufacturers could compete with the imported article, with the result that the price of American hood-lights was gradually reduced from 12s. 6d. to 8s. 6d. each. A new oval design, costing 17s. each, was then introduced, but as hoodlights of this design were also made in Australia, the effect of the Australian competition caused the price to be reduced to 9s. each. Later, to meet the demand for a cheaper hood-light, American hoodlights which could be landed here at 3s. 3d. each, after paying a duty of 35 per cent., were used. This cheap hoodlight has driven the Australianmade article from the market, because Australian manufacturers cannot produce hood-lights under 4s. 9d. each.

Senator Guthrie - "Why is not more protection against the American article asked for?

Senator CRAWFORD - It is considered that the duty . now proposed will be sufficient. Practically the whole of our trade in hood-lights is with the United States of America, so that our trade with Great Britain will not be affected.

Item agreed to.

Item 243 agreed to.

Division IX. - Drugs and Chemicals.

Item 278 agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 6.10 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Private business taking precedence after 8 p.m.

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