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Friday, 1 May 1936

Senator BROWN (QUEENSLAND) - Unlike Senator Millen, I am opposed to it. I shall not support it because I know that Senator Dun can -Hughes is desirous, at all times, of reducing any advantage which Australian manufacturers may enjoyunder the tariff.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Shall we say the " excessive " advantages which they enjoy?

Senator BROWN - No, because I do not consider that they are enjoying excessive advantages. The Labour party would eliminate from the schedule all provisions relating to the protective incidence of exchange because it believes that the exchange rate is now thenormal rate.

Senator Hardy - Does the honorable senator believe that exchange should act as a fiscal wall?

Senator BROWN - I know that the governments of some countries have deliberately depreciated their currencies in order to invade foreign markets and establish credits for the purchase of raw materials, and I admit that their action has given them some temporary advantage in world trade; but if a government deliberately depreciates its currency for the purpose of assisting the export industries, the advantage to the manufacturing section of the community may be only temporary. In the long run the producers of commodities and services do not gain any advantage. I am convinced that any juggling with the exchange will do a disservice to Australia, and particularly to a large section of the community which is worthy of support. All the members of the Tariff Board would need to be Einsteins in order to determine exactly what percentage of exchange should, at any given time, be added to the duties imposed.

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