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Thursday, 7 May 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) .- 'The Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) said that over 80 per cent, of the machinery used in the production and refining of sugar is manufactured in Australia ; but can he .give the value of mechanical plant, which has to be imported owing to the existence of patent rights, and the value of that manufactured in Australia under licence from patentees in other parts of the world? During the last 25 years the methods adopted in producing and refining sugar have been revolutionized by inventors, who, naturally, have to protect their interests. "If the holders of patent rights do not grant local manufacturers a licence to manufacture, the machinery has to be imported from the countries in which the patentee is operating. I believe that a good deal of the locallymade machinery used in the sugar industry is manufactured under licence. One member of the Opposition said that it would be unwise to reduce the price of sugar ; but, if the producers are receiving a fair return, why should not the price be reduced to enable the consumers to obtain some benefit?

Senator Brown - I did not say that it would be unwise to reduce the price.

Senator ARKINS - It would be an advantage if the price of sugar, and many other commodities, were reduced. The remarks of the members of the Opposition suggest that sugar is produced only in Queensland.

Senator Collings - Engineering shops throughout Australia supply machinery used in the sugar industry.

Senator ARKINS - The representatives of New South Wales also are interested in the sugar industry, and do nor. wish anything to be done to jeopardize it-

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