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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - While I am sympathetic with the request, so far as Great Britain is concerned, we have to remember that Englanddoes not supply anything like the requirements of calico for Australia. We have, therefore, to be very careful what we do in this regard. The Senate would not, I think, deliberately place a duty of 15 per cent. on the calico which is so essential in this country, and which we do not produce ourselves. I have known cases in which a commodity wrapped in tissue paper could be bought for less than the same commodity wrapped in a calico bag, owing to the cost of calico during the war time. That was so in the flour trade, at any rate, and possibly other trades were similarly situated. Consumers of flour in the East demand their flour in small bags; and if the request be agreed to it will mean a heavy impost on those who have to use calico bags in their export trade. The flour industry is one that we desire to build up, because the more flour that is sold to the East, the better it is for the wheat-growers and the millers. In order to keep the fruit export trade going, an opportunity was offered for importing sugar practically free of duty; so, in the present case, it is desired to enable the millers to supply as much flour as possible to consumers in the East. "

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - Is this calico used for meat wrappers?

Senator RUSSELL - No; meat wrappers are free when used for meat purposes.

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