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Tuesday, 30 August 1921

Senator WILSON (South Australia) . - I am one of the offenders who have not heard the whole of the debate, but I commend, to Senator Duncan the suggestion made by Senator Payne that he should amend his request by proposing a duty of 8s. 6d. instead of 10s. per 100 super. feet under the general Tariff, and a duty of 7s. 6d. per 100 feet super, in the other case.

Senator Duncan - The Minister (Senator Pearce) will not accept that suggestion.

Senator WILSON - I think he is prepared to leave the matter to the Committee. That is a very proper position for him to take up. Having regard to the extent to which the question has been discussed, honorable senators might well be expected to give a reasonable vote. There is no reason why any ill-feeling should be engendered. I have had many defeats on Tariff items, but have had to submit to them, and I think Senator Duncan would do well to accept the proposal that the duty should be increased on a pro rata basis. I do not think the Minister would offer any serious objection to a request on the lines I have mentioned. I do not pose as an expert on every Tariff item; but I bring to bear on these questions the judgment of an average man. I have heard some of the debate, and have read the whole of the correspondence on this subject which has been addressed to honorable senators. We must not lose sight of the fact that the writers of such letters are advocating their own cause, and might very easily mislead us. In dealing with items of this kind we should be prepared to accept the happy medium. I ask Senator Duncan to do so by amending his request so as to provide for a duty of 8s. 6d. instead of 10s. per 100 super, feet under the general Tariff.

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