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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - So far as my personal experience goes, over the last ten years at all events, no cedar is used in Sydney and suburbs unless in very expensive houses, and under exceptional conditions, for making doors.

Senator Gardiner - There is a fair amount of maple used.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is so. We all know that our cedar has in the past been burnt, or used for purposes which were economically unsound, and there is an exceedingly grave shortage of that tim-. ber in Australia to-day. However correct the remarks of Senator de Largie may have been inconnexion with the environment he was in at the time of which he /spoke, cedar now does not come into consideration for the making of doors and window frames in Sydney . and suburbs. In reply to the Minister, I wish to say that by no vote of mine were the timber duties last night increased or confirmed. I think it is economically an unsound policy-

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator has a very short memory.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the honorable gentleman say in what direction ?

Senator Pearce - I have a distinct recollection of the honorable senator, not only voting for, but moving increases in the timber duties.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister ought to put in the whole of the context. The test division was taken on log timber, and as the Committee decided not to reduce the duty on that timber, I allowed the next item to pass. I think we were in general agreement that whatever duty was fixed on log timber, the duties on the other timber should be relative, as a matter of fair play. That was the position I took up last night.

Senator Pearce - You moved to increase duties, whatever your motive may have been.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Because it was only fair to have an increased duty on dressed timber in relation to the duties fixed on the logs.

Senator Pearce - I am not questioning that.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I hope that the honorable gentleman next time will quote the whole of the context in an interjection, which otherwise may be misunderstood. I repeat that if these1 timber duties are recommitted my vote will ' be again recorded for reductions. I believe that what the Committee has done is economically unsound.

Senator Gardiner - Yes; ever since the day we went, into Committee,

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - However, if the Minister will not accept my request, I cannot press it, but I again point out that the duty I propose has a fair relation to what we have already done. If the request is notaccepted, the inevitable outcome will be that the doors ou which the duty is imposed will be imported from . America already made up. They may be cheaper on that account, and thus fall in with the ideas of Senator Thomas. But such a step is not consonant with the principle of the Tariff, which is to keep all the work we possibly can within our own borders for the employment of our own people.

Request negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 294 (Staves), item 295 (Shooks), item 296 (Casks and vats), item , -297. (Buckets and tubs), item 298 (Last blocks, ice.), and item 299 (Broom stocks, &c), agreed to.

Item 300-

Woodware for vehicles, viz. : -

(a)   Felloes, hickory, cut, shaped, or bent, plain, in the rough, ad val., British, lft per cent. ; intermediate, 15 per cent.; general, 15 per cent.

(b)   Hubs, elm, with or without metal bands, ad val., British, 15 per cent. ; intermediate, 15 per cent. ; general, 15 per cent.

(a)   Spokes, hickory, dressed, 2 in. and under in. 'diameter, ad. val., British, 15 per cent. ; intermediate, 15 per cent ; general, 15 per cent.

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