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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - What the Minister (Senator Pearce) has said concerning the position we found ourselves in during the war is quite correct; but his statement does not affect the attitude adopted by Senator DrakeBrockman.

Senator de Largie - It is very applicable.

Senator PAYNE - How can it be when we compare the articles mentioned in this item with those of a similar character which were dealt with somewhat exhaustively some time ago ? The wheels for locomotives and rolling-stock generally are of no use whatever unless we have an adequate supply of other accessories. We have been dealing with the other items in an earlier portion of the Tariff, on which a British preferential duty of 27½ per cent, was fixed. We have fixed that rate on fishplates, switches, crossovers, and intersections which are just as essential as wheels, and that duty was considered ample in order to protect local industries.

Senator Pearce - But very little labour is required in their production.

Senator PAYNE - I am supporting Senator Drake-Brockman because I think all these articles should be dutiable at the same rate, and I have not yet heard one word that justifies such an enormous increase over the duties already agreed to on items used for similar purposes. I trust that the Committee will carry the request, so that wheels shall be dutiable at the same rate asother similar material.

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