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Wednesday, 6 May 1936

Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - In- looking, further into this item I find that glass-making machines and appliances are admitted from Great Britain free of duty, and that when imported from the - dominions or foreign, countries they are subjectto a duty of only 15 percent. I am sure that these duties "will be appreciated by the fortunate shareholders in the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company, whose £1 shares are now quoted at £5. It would appear that all the requirements of secondary industries imported from Great Britain are admitted free of duty, and when imported from other countries are subject to a duty of only 15 per cent., whilst the implements used by theprimary producers are subject to a duty of 35 per cent, or 40 per cent. I support the action of the Government in providing that certain importations shall be free of duty, but I regret that the protection afforded to those engaged in secondary production has not been extended to our primary industries, upon which the prosperity of Australia depends.

Senator. DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) . [11.0]. - This item of great length is most instructive and would bear very close examination , and discussion. No useful purpose would be served by discussing it at length, but I should like to have an explanation of one phase of it. Here is a large list of machinery which is to be imported . free of duty from the United Kingdom; and at a duty of only 15 per cent, under the intermediate and general tariffs,in order to enable Australian manufacturers to produce more successfully. I shall refrain at this juncture from saying more . than that I agree with Senator Johnston that it would be very desirable to give similar concessions to the primary producers in order that they also might be enabled to produce more successfully. What I cannot understand is this: These are machines of many various kinds, some of which, . I presume, will be of American origin. If the Government wants a bargaining weapon to use in its trade negotiations with the United States of America, why is it that a bargaining margin of only 15 per cent, is left in respect of all the machinery required for secondary manufacture, whilst a margin, of 30 per cent, to 35 per cent is applied to machinery required for primary production? Why is not this manufacturing machinery as well as the machinery of primary production used as a bargaining weapon in relation to the United States of. America ?

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