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Wednesday, 6 May 1936

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) The request moved by Senator Johnston appears to be- in conformity with, not only the recommendation of the board, but also its supporting comments.. On page 22 of the board's report on agricultural implements, dated the5th December, 1934, the following paragraphs appear : -

The duty on parts has little direct protective incidence. Obviously, if the parts are for an Australian-made machine, they will be locally manufactured, whethera duty is imposed or not; on the other hand, if they arefor an imported machine, they will be imported, because it is unlikely that an. Australian manufacturer would undertake to make them without effective guarantee regarding the proportion of the market he would obtain.

The direct effect of the duty on parts is, therefore, to add to the cost of goods that are not made in Australia, and it would seem in the circumstances thatsome concession could bemade without. any damaging effect on the local industry, in the interests of those farmers who necessarily have to purchase imported parts.

Those two paragraphs are sufficient to justify the request moved by Senator Johnston, which I intend to support. The Tariff Board has shown clearly that if effect is not given to its recommendation and higher duties are imposed, the cost of parts of imported machines must necessarily be increased. I am not prepared to support a proposal involving an increase of the cost of machinery used in primary production. I object to Senator Johnston suggesting that he and three others are the only honorable senators in this chamber willing to protect the interests of primary producers. I supported a request moved previously by the honorable senator. Moreover, 1 always endeavour to conserve the interests of the large number of primary producers in the State which I represent. I cannot see that local manufacturers will suffer if the request be agreed to. The Tariff Board, which examined witnesses and inquired fully into the whole subject, stated that the rates of duty it recommended are sufficient.

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