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Wednesday, 23 November 1910

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - Item 236 of the Tariff reads -

Paints and colours, viz. : -

(a)   Ground in liquid, per cwt. (General Tariff), 4s.

(b)   Prepared for use, including tattoo oil, per cwt. (General Tariff), 6s.

Before an importer could get the benefit of the 4s. duty as against the 6s. rate, he had to import paints, varnishes, and colours in packages over 14 lbs. in weight.

Senator McGregor - The honorable senator is wrong again.

Senator ST LEDGER - I hold in my hand a copy of the official decisions of the Department of Trade and Customs, which are issued for the guidance of importers. The publication is dated the 19th October of the present year, and in it the following words in reference to paints and colours appear in brackets, " When in packages containing' over 14 lbs." I wish to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council whether, if a man imports four 14-lbs. packages of paints and colours ground in liquid the Department will exact from him the full duty of 4s., or only a fractional part of it? If the duty is to be charged at so much per cwt., obviously only a proportionate part of that duty should be levied upon a lesser quantity. Will . the Vice-President of the Executive Council' answer my questions?

Senator McGregor - I beg the honorable senator's pardon.

Senator ST LEDGER - According to the official decisions of the Department, .before importers were permitted to take advantage of the duty of 4s. per cwt., it has been the custom to insist that paints ground in liquid should be put up into packages.

Senator McGregor - That has not been the practice.

Senator ST LEDGER - The other question which I asked the Vice-President of the Executive Council was whether the full duty of 4s. is charged upon importations of less than 1 cwt. ?

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