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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time. This bill embodies an amendment of the machinery for administering the tariff, that has been rendered necessary by the reinstatement of an intermediate column in the Tariff Schedule and the grant of the intermediate tariff to certain foreign countries in pursuance of the trade agreements recently submitted to the Parliament for approval.

Section 151a of the Customs Act lays down in a general way the amount of United Kingdom labour and material to lie contained in goods, and other conditions to be fulfilled before goods imported from the United Kingdom are deemed to be goods produced or manufactured in the United Kingdom for purposes of entry under the British preferential tariff.

The bill inserts a new section in the Customs Act empowering the GovernorGeneral to make regulations prescribing the conditions to be fulfilled before goods imported from a country granted the benefits of the intermediate tariff rates shall be deemed to be the produce or manufacture of that country. Owing to the great and varying range of goods imported from many countries under different circumstances, it is a practical impossibility to envisage what conditions should be reasonably and appropriately applied to cover all circumstances. To meet this difficulty it is proposed in the initial stages of administration to commence with liberal requirements, accepting goods which are substantially pro duced or manufactured in those countries as being the product of those countries. At the same time, it is necessary, as a protection against abuses, that flexibility should exist in the early stages of administration while working principles are being established.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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

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