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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - It is interesting to learn the views of Senator Pratten. The honorable senator avows that he will not be a party to the imposition of a duty of 20 per cent. on any form of British-made cotton goods. But he refuses to divide the Committee, merely because there is a small factory at Clunes producing this material. Whenever I see high duties being imposed I know there is some " tinpot " industry in Victoria which has to be protected and paid for by the people in the other parts of the Commonwealth.

Senator Drake-Brockman - The honorable senator is quite right.

Senator GARDINER - I am glad some one agrees with my contention. I could go through the Tariff item by item and in almost every instance where a high duty is imposed I would find that there was some industry in (Victoria which had to be protected at the expense of a large majority of the people in the Commonwealth. But that is Protection. I do not think the Minister (Senator Russell) will claim that the Victorian industry to which he has referred supplies one-tenth of the people of the Commonwealth with this article, but, notwithstanding that, the other nine-tenths have to pay a duty of 20 per cent. on the importations from Great Britain. Senator Pratten, keen Protectionist as he is, does not agree with the imposition of such a heavy duty, because it is ridiculous. I intend to call for a division, but as I do not expect sufficient support to divide the Committee, I- must take this opportunity of recording my protest.

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