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Wednesday, 29 April 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - I am not going into the question of whether tariffs are, or are not, beneficial to a country. My contention is that, although Senator Leckie stated that no improvement had been shown as the result of the Government's tariff policy, official figures reveal a palpable improvement in respect of the maximum number of persons employed and they constitute a record for Victoria. In view of these figures, how can the honorable senator say that the Government's tariff policy has not been beneficial ?

Senator Leckie - According to the honorable senator's argument, if no customs duties were imposed the position would be even better?

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - No. The honorable senator suggests by that interjection that I am a freetrader. I am not. I admit that the constant granting of excessive customs duties forces me more towards the doctrine of low tariffs than I used to be, but I am not a freetrader.

Senator Sampson - Are there any freetraders anywhere ?

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - I do not know. Universal freetrade would be the ideal system if it were practicable.

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