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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I would bo quite prepared to accept the Minister's suggestion if the axe handles to which he refers were on the market and obtainable in the eastern States, but I have not yet been able to find on sale Australian axe handles that can be regarded as equal in quality to the American article. Therefore, i am not prepared to place this handicap upon the Australian bushman. If, as has been suggested, there should be deferred duties on axe handles, I would be only too pleased to accept it, because I' am anxious to see the industry established in Australia if axe handles of good quality can be produced. No one is more pleased than I am to know that suitable timber has been found in Western Australia. We had a similar proposition at Port Davey, in Tasmania, a few years ago, but, owing to the inaccessibility of the timber nothing came of the scheme, and at present, independently of importations, we are not able to provide for the needs of the Australian bushman. I must press my request, unless the Minister is prepared to suggest deferred duties.

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