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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - 1 cannot resist replying to the assertion that hands are being put off in Australian factories. Protection has been in force for the past fifty years and more.

Senator Elliott - The trouble is that the Tariff is inadequate.

Senator GARDINER - It is the Tariff itself which is causing factories to curtail activities, and may eventually close them.

Senator Elliott - The Australian factories were only established during the war.

Senator GARDINER - Australian hubs are excellent productions, I admit. Although a few hands may be put off in various factories, it should not be forgotten that it was imported hickory which permitted the country coachbuilder a few years ago to turn out a sulky for about £14. Increased costs, owing to Tariff impositions, have now run the price of a sulky up to about £40, and where one might have noticed twenty, of them on a country road upon a Sunday afternoon ten years ago, there is scarcely one to be seen to-day. That fact indicates the considerably reduced amount of work for country coachbuilders; and the example is typical of what always happens under a Protectionist policy. In this instance, while the interests of a twopennyhalfpenny factory in Victoria are being fought for, the rest of Australia is forgotten.

Request agreed to.

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