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Thursday, 7 May 1936

Senator E B, JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - I am astonished to find that cement-making machines are subject to the high duties of, British 35 per cent., and general and intermediate tariffs 55 per cent., especially when I reflect that yesterday the committee agreed to duties of British free, and general and intermediate tariffs 15 per cent., in respect of many different classes of machinery under item 174, including machines required for the making of macaroni! If the committee desires to protect secondary industries in this way, it should afford protection to those industries which have to meet the fiercest competition from abroad, and are of most value to this country. Should the Senate agree to request the House of Representatives to reduce the duties on cement, it should allow Australian manufacturers of cement to obtain their machinery requirements as cheaply as possible, particularly under the British preferential tariff. I therefore move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duties, sub-item (d) (1) - British, free; intermediate, 15 per cent.; general, 15 per cent.

I have chosen those rates, not because of any report of the Tariff Board, but because the Senate has agreed to similar rates in respect of various classes of machines required by secondary industries which are of much less importance to Australia than is the cement-making industry.

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