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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- The garment produced by the Minister (Senator Russell) appears to be a lady's undervest; but, although there is nothing on the label to indicate that it is made in Victoria, I accept the Minister's assurance that such is the case. I find that the wholesale price is 35s. per dozen, which means that the retail price to the purchaser would be 4s. 6d. to 4s. lid. each. In pre-war days an article of similar quality could be imported from Great Britain and sold to the purchaser at from 2s. to 2s. 3d. each. If we are to bolster up industries and compel people to use Australian goods at double their actual value I do not intend to give my support to the proposal.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - But cotton is double the price it was prior to the war.

Senator PAYNE - It has been, but it is not to-day.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - To-day it is 7┬žd.

Senator PAYNE - A short time ago it was considerably less than 7d.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - When the cotton in that garment was purchased it was more than ls.

Senator PAYNE - We do. not know when it was purchased. I am quite prepared to give a fair measure of protection to any Australian industry established on a reasonable basis, and I am glad to be assured by the Minister that we have, ia Australia, a flourishing industry manufacturing tubular cotton garments to assist in meeting the requirements of the Australian people.

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