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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator ELLIOTT (Victoria) .- I am anxious to assist what appears to be a promising Australian industry, but I must confess my ignorance as to its many details. Senator Payne to-night admitted that exhibits of imported furs produced by Senator Duncan were superior in quality to the furs manufactured by the Tasmanian company. I understand thatSenator Duncan's exhibit was manufactured from the skins of domesticated rabbits. In the circumstances I am prepared to support Senator Payne's requested amendment if he will add a proviso excepting furs manufactured from the domesticated rabbit, because manifestly it would be unfair to impose a high duty on expensive skins, manufactured from the domesticated rabbit, for the purpose of encouraging the manufacture of furs from inferior skins.

Senator McLachlan - The skins of all French rabbits are larger and heavier than the Australian article.

Senator ELLIOTT - There is no sug-. gestion that such skins can be produced in Australia. Therefore I can see no reason why we should impose a heavy duty on their importation.

Senator Duncan - Perhaps the position could be met if we specified that skins of a certain size should be exempt. That course is followed in respect of other items in the tariff.

Senator ELLIOTT - That might be done. It is toomuch to. ask us to support the imposition of high duties on articles which cannot be produced in Australia.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - The raw skins could be imported and dressed in Australia.

Senator Ogden - That kind of protection would be of no value to the industry.

Senator ELLIOTT - I am afraid I cannot follow the honorable senator's line of argument. Unless some such provision as I have indicated is inserted in the suggested amendment I shall not be able to support it...

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