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Tuesday, 30 August 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - In view of what the Minister has stated, I shall not press my request, especially as I realize that, if carried, it would give considerable trouble to the Trade and Customs Department. I raised the matter for discussion at the request of thoseengaged in the bee-keeping industry in my own State. I think that subitems f,g, and h ought really to be taken together. It seems to me that the duties imposed under sub-item h must be increased if the duties imposed under subitem f are not reduced. Otherwise, the relation between these two items will not be preserved in accordance with the principle guiding the Committee in making a reasonable difference between the duties on imported timber according to the work put into it.

Senator Pearce -I understand that Senator Payne intends to submit a request in connexion with sub-item h.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What occurred in another place was that in the general Tariff the duty on sub-itemf was increased from1s. to 4s. per 100 super. feet. The duty on sub-item g was increased from 3s. to 5s. 6d., reducing in that case the relative difference between the sub-items, and the duty on sub-itemh was increased from 3s. 6d. to 6s. The increase in the case of sub-item f was 3s., in the case of sub-item g 2s. 6d., and in. the case of sub-item h 2s. 6d. per 100 super. feet.

Senator Pearce - There is still a sufficient margin between sub-items f and g ; the discrepancy is between sub-items f and h.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I agree with the Minister. I say that the duties on subitem f should be reduced, or those on subitem h should be increased.

Senator Pearce - We would prefer that the duties on sub-item h should be increased.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If we pass subitem f as it stands, the duties on subitem h may not be increased.

Senator Keating - They will.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not prepared to vote for any increase in these timber duties, but if a reduction in the duties on sub-item f is not carried, I shall be able consistently to vote for increased duties on sub-item.h. I move -

That theHouse of Representatives be requested to make the duties, sub-item (f), per 100 super, feet, British, 2s., intermediate, 2s. ; general, 3s.

Request negatived.

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