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Wednesday, 6 May 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . I assure Senator Johnston . that no alteration of the rate of duty provided under sub-item (a) has been made. The letters " n.e.i. " have been added to clothes washing machines, and that is the only change made to the sub-item. The provision of " not elsewhere included " is necessary as electric household clothes washing machines, the subject of Tariff Board report No. 678 of the 20th March, 1935, are now separately shown under tariff item 179 d 3 d. The rates proposed under sub-item b for present exchange show reductions of 5 per cent. British preferential tariff and 7^ per cent, general tariff. Australian requirements of clothes wringers for household use, which are covered by subitem b are estimated at approximately 15,000 per annum, of which about 4,000 are imported, principally from the United Kingdom. There are at least six manufacturers in Australia, and the local industry is capable of meeting all requirements as regards quantity, quality, and types of wringers. No Australian factory, however, is equipped wholly to manufacture these goods; instead, the manufacture of the various component parts is given to other concerns. The proportion produced by each local manufacturer varies considerably, with a consequential wide variation of efficiency. On the other hand, overseas manufacturers are reputed to be able to produce the complete wringer from raw materials. Most of the raw materials used in the local industry, apart from rubber, are produced in Australia, and are sold at prices less than the duty free landed cost of similar materials from the United Kingdom. Due, however, to the small local market as compared with the market overseas, higher rates than otherwise would be necessary are required. The British preferential rate recommended by the board has been adopted, but the recommended general tariff rate has been increased by 7$ per cent, to provide for treaty bargaining.

Item agreed to.

Item 173 (Weighing machines).

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