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Thursday, 20 November 1941

Senator KEANE (Victoria) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - On the basis of a sales value of £300,000, the loss of revenue if dentifrices were retained in the 10 per cent, field would be £30,000. Tooth brushes, which are of far more importance in dental hygiene than dentifrices, were included in the 20 per cent, field hy the previous Government. Dentifrices are not essential goods. Dr. August A. Thomen, lecturer in medicine, College of Medicine, New York University, says of them -

It should be more generally known that no toothpaste or tooth powder can have any therapeutic (curing) action of any definite significance whatever ... lt can be proved conclusively that a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and an equal amount of table salt in a half glass of water will accomplish as much as the most costly dentifrice no matter how high sounding a. name it may have or how enthusiastically it may be sponsored on the radio . . . If one- uses toothpaste it should be regarded .merely as a more or less pleasant-tasting luxury . . . Any dentifrice which will remove tartar, prevent decay or inhibit or cure pyorrhoea or other mouth diseases either is a downright fake or. is not safe to use.

The Government does not believe that a legitimate claim, can be made for the treatment of tooth paste differently from other toilet articles.

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