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Thursday, 7 May 1936

Senator HARDY - Is any of the machinery used in the sugar industry manufactured under .patent rights?

Senator COLLINGS -

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The report of the Tariff Board shows that S4 per cent, of the machinery used by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company is manufactured in Australia.

Senator COLLINGS - It would appear from the interjection of the Minister that it is a crime to make a success of an Australian manufacturing concern. His interjection is eloquent evidence of the fact that those producing the machinery used in the sugar industry are doing their work efficiently.

That being so, it seems that their only crime is that they are making a success of their job. We wish to know why the Colonial Sugar Refining Company purchases only 84 per cent. of its machinery in Australia, when all it requires can be manufactured efficiently in this country. Our fiscal policy is framed with the object of developing Australian industries, and all the mechanical plant used in the production and refining of sugar should be manufactured locally. It cannot be said that the sugar industry is not conducted efficiently, that it is incapable of supplying the whole of our requirements, or that it is making excessive profits, but it can be shown, as the Minister has indicated, that the machinery used in the industry can be produced in Australia at prices which compare more than favorably with those prevailing elsewhere. I am conversant with the efficient manner in which the works of Walkers Limited, of Maryborough, are conducted. I know the city and its people. I know many of the men engaged in the industry, and I realize how they will be affected if, in consequence of importations, Walkers Limited have to reduce the number of hands employed. I appeal to the Minister to reconsider the duties imposed under this item.

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