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Friday, 15 May 1936

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - It is only right that honorable senators should be informed of the manner in which this industry has developed since first established four years ago. Kennett Brothers, at present operating in Victoria, were not the originators of the carpet-sweeper industry in Australia, as several other firms endeavoured to establish it, but were unsuccessful. I understand that approximately 22,000 carpet-sweepers are purchased in Australia every year, but only onetwelfth of that number is supplied by this firm. The manufacturers contend that their product is insufficiently protected.

Senator Sir George Pearce - That was when British importations were admitted free, but they are now to be subject to a duty of 10 per cent, plus exchange.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The firm asked for protection to enable it to extend its factory, and so render it capable of producing 31,000 carpet-sweepers per annum.

Senator COLLINGS - A member of the House of Representatives, who has an intimato knowledge of the firm, the work it is undertaking, and its product, strongly urged that additional protection should be afforded. The Minister said that probably 40 employees are now engaged; I am concerned not with the number now employed, but the number for which employment can be provided when the industry develops. If carpet-sweepers are manufactured in Australia, the money and the sweepers remain in Australia, but if imported machines are purchased we have only the machines and some one else has the money. The industry should receive sufficient protection to enable it to supply the whole of Australia's requirements.

Item agreed to.

Items 381, 389, 390, 392, 393, 394 and 418 agreed to.

Item 419 (Instruments and appliances).

Senator Guthrie - Are the items covered in 419D on which a duty of 40 per cent. British is proposed; surgical instruments?

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