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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I propose to support the amendment, for the reason that I have seen statements in the press to the effect that the increased duties in this Tariff over the former Tariff on cotton goods alone amounts to over £300,000, and I think that whenever we can give consumers a little relief without inflicting an injustice upon local industries, we should do so. The articles referred to in this sub-item constitute the raw material for those dealt with in item 120, and this is purely a revenue duty, so that it will hurt nobody if we take it off. If the amendment to give preference to Great Britain is -agreed to, we shall then be extending muchneeded support to Lancashire and Yorkshire industries. Even as a revenue duty, the requested amendment would mean a considerable advance on the old general Tariff of 5 per cent, on American and German goods, which came here in large quantities. . Senator Lynch now proposes to impose a duty of 15 per cent, on goods from those countries and to allow British goods to come in free. This, I think, is a matter in which sentiment should have some play. We should give some advantage to our kinsmen across the water, and see to it that if, in future, goods do come from Germany, they shall, at least, pay a reasonable duty, not 5 per cent., as in the old Tariff, but 15 per cent., as suggested by Senator Lynch.

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