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Wednesday, 31 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I intend submitting a request for the omission of the words " Not glazed, mill-glazed, or coated," in subitem o. There does not appear to be any valid reason why those who use glazed, millrglazed, or coated newsprint in their publications should be compelled to pay a; 'higher rate of duty than those who use inferior paper. This matter has been brought raider my notice by the proprietors of the Sydney Bulletin, which is °a great Protectionist paper. In fact, they have said that I have created a good deal of fun in the Senate in advocating Free Trade principles, and that my attitude has been amusing. I venture to say that when I read a communication I have received from the proprietors of that paperit will cause a good deal of amusement, and will show that the Bulletin proprietors are not at all consistent. The letter reads -

Sydney, 19th August, 1921.

Senator A.Gardiner,

The Senate, Melbourne.

Dear Sir,

I wish to draw your attention to what, appears to be an anomaly in the recent- Tariff amendments made in the House of Representatives. Under those amendments newsprint would come in free and £3, wheroasno mention being made of higher grade of printing paper such ttB is used by the Bulletin, the Sydney . Wait, the Melbourne Punch, and many other papers, the rate for this would remain at 5 per cent., 10 per cent., and 15 per cent. This is really penalizing a newspaper for using high-grade. paper. The present price of glased paper is from £65 . to £70 per ton, while that of news is £30* to £35. The Bulletin alone uses from 10 . to 12 tons per week. No attempt is being made in Australia to rrannfacture high-grade printing paper, nor does it seem that any will be made, some time ago when an extra duty was . put on glazed printing paper, I pointed out . to the Customs authorities in Sydney that since our paper was being used exclusively for newspaper purposes, and 1 was prepared to make a declaration to this effect, it should be admitted as' newsprint. They did this, but later put it back into the glazed paper section, and: made it liable for the higher duty. I would, therefore, ask you to consider an amendment to 334 c (2), so that printing (glazed, unglazed, mill-glazed, and coated) would be admitted the same- as newsprint. In other words, that all paper used solely for newspaper purposes be admitted under the one heading.

Yours faithfully,


Managing. Director Bulletin Newspaper

Company Limited.

When I read that communication I was filled with astonishment. Here is a paper that stands solidly for Protection, and, naturally, one would have thought that its proprietors, who so strongly advocate Protection, would have favoured a duty of at least 200 per cent, on newsprint, because their arguments for years' past have been that if we establish our own industries we will secure cheaper articles.

Senator Wilson - That will be the position when the industry is established.

Senator GARDINER - That has been their argument. They favour high duties to encourage the establishment of industries. But here from the temple of Protection, from the holy of holies, comes the cry that the imposition.' of duties makes materials dearer; and I am going to turn the other cheek to the Bulletin proprietors by moving that tho paper which they use be placed in the -same category as other newsprint, because those who use good paper should be able to obtain it at the lowest possible price.

Senator Wilson - It is good Sunday morning reading for 9d.

Senator GARDINER - It was when it was wholly Australian in sentiment; but now I suppose it is in the hands of the Northcliffe Combine. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend paragraph (1) of sub-item (c) by leaving out the words "not glazed, mill-glazed, or coated."

If my request is adopted, all newsprint will be dutiable at the same rate. Some time ago when visiting New Zealand, I was struck with the high standard of the illustrated papers in that Dominion. When I came back to Australia I commented on the fact, and I was told that it was because of the difference in the class of paper used in New Zealand. The reclassification I propose should be made to give the people who use the best class of paper an opportunity to secure it at a reasonable price. I must again express my pleasure to find the Bulletin proprietors amongst the people who are Free Traders when their own interests are at stake, and do not mind how heavy Protective duties are made if the other fellow has to pay them.

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