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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator MILLEN (Tasmania) . -Senator Thomassaid that it was easy to ask a question, but sometimes difficult to get a reply. The honorable senator was quite right, but in this case certain pertinent questions must be asked. I understand that the two firms in Sydney are importers and manufacturers, but which side of their business is the more important? Senator Duncan in making his statement should have given the ratio between these two sides.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is a question to which we should have an answer.

Senator MILLEN - In the absence of an answer we are entitled to put what construction we like on the matter. It is obvious that the Sydney firms have built up their business on the importing rather than on the manufacturing side. I would point out, however, that this is not the final court to decide this matter. The Senate can only make a request to the House of Representatives. If I understand the function of the Tariff Board aright, its duty is to advise and assist the Minister. If the Minister for Trade and Customs does not feel inclined to accept this proposal then Parliament must take the responsibility.

Senator Duncan - A request from this chamber cannot be treated in that way.

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