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Friday, 29 July 1921

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) . - I would not take up the time of the Committee in discussing this question but that it relates to what is more or less my profession, and I am, therefore, thoroughly familiar with the position. In urging the removal of the duty I am opposing my own personal interests. I am a stockfattener, and can fatten sheep during even the biggest drought period, because I have partially irrigated lucerne. But why should I be able to charge people who are already paying too much! for meat an extra 2s. per sheep because of the existence of this stupid duty, which is designed, perhaps, to prevent sheep being brought in from New Zealand, a country where drought is unknown and where there is every year a huge surplus of fat stock? In the year to which I have referred, but for this duty many thousands moye sheep would have been brought from Dunedin to Melbourne, and the price of prime mutton to the people would thus have been reduced at least a little. I maintain, as a fattener of stock, that the duty is of no value, and I trust the Minister will agree to request the House of Representatives to remove it.

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