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Wednesday, 23 November 1910

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I do not know whether the Committee are getting any solid information to help them to a decision, but I certainly am not. Under the 1908 Tariff it is provided that paints and colours ground in liquid may be imported at a duty of 4s. per cwt. The Government now propose to insert the words " in packages containing over 14 lb." Necessarily these paints introduced in packages containing less than 14 lbs. would be dutiable under some other item of the Tariff. The information the Minister has given, although probably highly interesting to analytical chemists, has nothing whatever to do with the weight in which these goods should be imported. The honorable senator has not said a single word in support of the proposal for making a differentiation according to the weight of the package in which this article is imported. The difficulty of determining the amount of liquid contained in a package of this paint would be as great in the case of a package containing 1 lb. as in the case of a package containing 14 lbs. or over that weight. If the honorable senator had said frankly that the object of the amendment is to compel the packing of this commodity in Austra- Iia, we could have understood him. He has suggested that the proposal is made to meet the convenience of the Department, but he has not shown that that is so. It is possible that he is not thoroughly posted as to the real reason for the proposed amendment, and certainly the statement he has made does not assist the Committee in the slightest degree to understand why it has been made.

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