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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - in reply - By way of interjection, I pointed out that this legislation has resulted from certain facts which I personally brought under the notice of the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. White). To cite only a portion of the Tariff Board's report, as Senator Leckie has done, is not quite fair. The whole paragraph upon which the honorable senator based his remarks, reads as follows : -

On the facts now available it is clear that the export price of 25s. sterling per ton is a dumping price-

The honorable senator stopped there, but the paragraph continues - but the board would not consider shipments invoiced at this price as detrimental provided the c.i.f. cost was not below 51s. 6d. per ton. Similarly, a freight of51s.6d. per ton could be regarded as a dumping freight but shipments carried at this rate could not be considered as detrimental if the export price wore the same as the fair market value of 30s.5d. per ton. For these reasons the board is of the opinion that shipments of cement purchased at an export price below the fair market value or carried at a freight below the prevailing rate of freight should not beregarded as detrimental to the local industry unless the c.i.f. price at main Australian ports is below 51s.6d. sterling per ton.

Senator Leckie - I ask the Minister to read the preceding paragraph.


At the time of the inquiry into the question of duty on cement there was some doubt as to the fair market value in the United Kingdom, the evidence indicating figures from 30s. to 38s. sterling per ton. Since then, investigation by representatives of the Customs Department in London have established that the fair market value is 30s. 5d. per ton. This figure was generally accepted by witnesses at the inquiry.

I do not know what the board's recommendation was.

Senator Collings - The board recommended 51s. 6d. a ton.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That recommendation has been the subject of representations to the Minister for Trade and Customs who has to determine this matter. The position, as represented by Senator Leckie, seemswrong, and surely the Minister will refer the matter back to the Tariff Board, or will take such action as seems desirable, because he is not bound to accept the board's recommendations. He is merely seeking full information on the subject.

Senator Sampson - Has the Minister any information that this bill will actually prevent dumping?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I give to honorable senators the assurance that that has been looked into. The full facts of the matter were represented to me, and I passed them on to the Minister who discussed them with the officers of the Trade and Customs and AttorneyGeneral's departments. It was then found that the weakness in the act, to which I have referred, existed. The Government is endeavouring by this legislation to curtail the operations of those engaged in dumping on the Australian market.

Senator Collings - All we ask is thai the Government shall close the door absolutely, and not leave a margin of 5s.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The Government is anxious only to see that justice is done to the producers of this country, whatever the nature of their production. By this legislation the Government is merely making effective protection which has been found to be ineffective.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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