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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I am sorry that any discussion should have taken place upon this item. The Government thought that they were doing a very fair thing. So far the competition has been between the two great Russells - Senator E. J. Russell, of Victoria, and Senator W. Russell, of South Australia. The item really represents a compromise as between the views held by those honorable senators.

Senator Givens - All compromises are bad.

Senator McGREGOR - But the world is made up of compromises, and all legislation has the element of compromise in it. I would point out to Senator E. J. Russell that under the old Tariff all tanks were admitted free. But what happened under that Tariff? Tanks up to a capacity of 400 gallons were very useful for packing purposes, but when they exceeded that capacity they became so unwieldy that they were no longer useful for those purposes. As a result, these larger tanks were manufactured in other countries, taken to pieces and shipped to Australia, where they were admitted free. The Department did not think that right, and as a result, the Government propose that only tanks up to a capacity of 400 gallons, whether full or empty, should be placed upon the free list. All other tanks are dutiable under manufactures of metals. . I would further point out to Senator E. J. Russell that the tanks which are imported full of goods are generally square iron tanks. They are very useful to farmers in the country, but not for the purposes of water conservation, because at most farms one will see a galvanized corrugated iron tank of 600 or 1,000, or 1,600 gallons capacity- a tank which has been manufactured in Australia. But these square iron tanks are used for carting water for 5, 6, or even 20 miles. They can be made here, but so few are required that it is scarcely worth while calling into existence an industry for their manufacture. The larger tanks, which have a capacity of 2,000 or perhaps 5,000 gallons, and which are used for railway purposes, are all manufactured in Australia.

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