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Thursday, 19 March 1936


Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - On the 13th March, 1936, Senator Sampson asked the following questions, upon notice : -

1.   Is it a fact that importers of British earn are unable to get delivery of Australianmade bodies owing to builders having more orders than they oan cope with, and being engaged almost exclusively on American cars?

2.   Will he take ste]ยป to give relief to British car manufacturers who are reported to be sustaining serious loss awaiting bodies ordered months ago?

I am now able to furnish the honorable senator with the fallowing information supplied by the Minister for Trade and Customs : -

1.   Some delay has occurred inthe delivery ofa proportion ofthe body orders for British and foreign chassis given to one or twolocal body builders owing to the abnormal demand. On the other hand, the bulk of orders for bodies for British carshas been filled without delay. The present position of the principal motor body builders in South Australia is that they are not working to full capacity. These firms are anxious to obtain any contracts which may be available.

2.   The Government is keeping closely in touch with the position.


Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - On the 13th March, Senator Collett asked the following questions, upon notice : -

1.   Is it a fact that regarding the importation of motor cars, or parts thereof, the percentage of those of British origin has shown, of late, a marked shrinkage?

2.   Is it a fact that the supply of Australianmade bodies for British cars is most irregular and unsatisfactory, and that orders to factories are only filled after long delays?

3.   La it a fact that orders for British bodies, placed by Western Australian distributors with Eastern States manufacturers, are asmuch as six months in arrears, and that the sale of cars has, in consequence, almost ceased?

4.   Is the delay mentioned in questions 2 and 3 above caused by a preponderance of American interests in the body-building factories, or through an arrangement between the manufacturers and vendors to give preference to American cars?

The Minister for Trade and Customs has now supplied the following information in reply to the honorable senator's questions : -

1.   The percentage of United Kingdom chassis to total imports for the last three financial years are -

Per cent.

1932- 33 .. 40.3

1933- 34 .. 35.3

1934- 35 .. .. 20.2

The imports into Australia of motor vehicle chassis during the eight months ended February, 1935, and eight months ended 1936 are -

 

2.   There has been delay in the delivery of orders for motor bodies for certain British chassis. On the other hand, a number of orders for bodies for British chassis has been, and is being, filled without delay. In the case where delay has occurred the delay is attributed to the abnormal demand and partly to a shortage of skilled labour in the bodybuilding industry.

3.   No. Inquiries indicate that no deliveries to Western Australiaare six months in arrears. It has been ascertained that delay has occurred in the delivery of three orders for Western Australian distributors. In two of these instances, a delay of eight weeks occurred, a portion of which was attributed to the shipping strike. The manufacturer concerned claims that the arrearshave, however, since been overtaken. The remaining order has not yet been executed, and delivery is ten weeks in arrears, but it is expected that the initial delivery for this contract will be made almost immediately.

4.   The firm which has not supplied bodies in accordance with the datesspecified in the contracts states that its twobest contracts are one American and one English, and it is the policy of the firm equally to divide the skilled labour over the two contracts.


Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - On the 18th March Senator Johnston asked the following questions, upon notice : -

1.   Is ita fact that a serious position exists in Western Australia, as the distributors of English motor cars are unable to obtain body supplies manufactured in Australia for English oars?

2.   Has the Minister received requests for cancellation of all duty and primage on English panels and bodies for English motor cars?

3.   Would such, action result in increased revenue in chassis imports from Great Britain and create extra employment in Australian chassis employment plants ?

4.   Is it a fact that the duty on galvanized iron was lifted owing to inadequacy of Australian supplies?

5.   If so, could this precedent be extended to English bodies and panels?

0.   If not, why not?

The Minister for Trade and Customs has now supplied the following information in reply to the honorable senator's questions : -

1.   My information indicates that the position in Western Australia is not serious.

2.   Yes.

3.   The abolition of all duty and primage duty on United Kingdom bodies and panels could not result in increased revenue collections. The protectionist aspect is, however, the most important consideration, and not revenue.

4.   Certain quantities of galvanized iron have been admitted under by-law. 5 and 0. The Government is keeping closely in touch with the position.







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