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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - I have listened to the arguments advanced, and I ask honorable senators to have regard to what they are doing. We are proposing to reduce the price of the product of the man who makes wire to one below what he pays for his raw material; in other words, we are asking him to work for nothing. I desire an increase in the general Tariff, for it is certain that we are . going to have trouble in this connexion. We must not forget what has occurred in the case of those who are nearer to us, and have not a long water carriage to face. Those who stood by Australia when wire was very dear, and did their utmost to meet the needs of Australian workers at a price very much below the world's parity-

Senator Drake-Brockman - Only £78 per ton! Very modest of them!

Senator SENIOR - If the honorable senator makes inquiries he will find that he hasto correct that figure.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -Brockm an . - I tried to buy wire in 1920, and' could not do sounder £65:

Senator SENIOR - That wire was imported; the. wire made in- Australia', was not sold; at any -such price. Themaker of-' the wire published the priceat which' he woul'd sell the- wire; and others- who- sold- it had-. to observe the.price he fixed. But for the interjection, I' should" have pleaded for- gratitude, which has been defined: as"" a lively sense of 'favours to come." But I do- ask. honorable senators to. pause. I am as keen to help the man on the land, as any honorable senator. We ask men to come from England and invest anything from £100,000 to £30,0,0.00' in establishing an industry, and at the. very first chance we impose a Tariff which shows that we expect them to make wire for nothing. I am in a position to state that during the last week £4,000 was lost, in the. making of wire.

Senator Lynch - Where ?

Senator SENIOR - In Melbourne andSydney.. The allegation that the Australian wire. is. not of good quality is not borne out by the facts. Any one who has used it knows that it is made of the best material, and is equal, if not- superior, to. wire- made anywhere in the world. Is it . fair, to those men who have established an industry for the benefit of Australia,, in its. hour of need, that they should be treated as proposed. I know that Belgian iron is coming into Australia, and is being used here- to-day. I desire to move that the duties on subitem e 2 be raised in both the- preference and genera] columns by 10s. .

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - A prior request has been moved, and the honorable senator had better defer his until later.

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