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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister for Defence) . - I do not feel very strongly on this matter, but I wish to inform the Committee that before the war a considerable number of these machines were imported from France. In 1913, the valueof the total importations was £212,000, and of that amount £38,000 was represented by machines imported from France. In the next year the imports from France dropped to £12,000. From 1916 onwards France practically ceased to export these machines to Australia, but she has again come into the market. I have not> the figures for 1921, but in 1920 importations from France totalled £747. Therefore, we might very well give France the benefit of the intermediate Tariff. This may be done by some trade arrangement in respect of which negotiations are now in progress.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That means that France will be expected to give us some trade preference in return ?

Senator PEARCE - Yes. .

Senator Lynch - What about the United States of America?

Senator PEARCE - The United States, of America was not damaged in the war like France was, but it is possible that trade arrangements may be made with the United States of America also. I am not putting that consideration out of the way altogether, but reciprocal Tariff negotiations with France are more likely to be successful. I ask Senator Thomas to allow the item to stand. The duty is not very high.

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