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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I should not have spoken but for certain observations made by Senator Elliott and Senator Pratten. Senator Elliott, by interjection, suggested that additional protection was necessary in order to encourage the local manufacture of chassis. In reply to that statement I would draw attention to the following remarks in regard to -this very matter which were made in another place by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) -

I have talked over this matter with a number of people who are in a position to advise me, and they say that if we could adopt one standard type of car that would meet all the requirements 'of the .people, we could Jay down si plant and manufacture it economically at a very reasonable price. However, as things stand to-day, that cannot be done. It is impossible for Australia at. the present time to talk about a deferred duty on motor cars.

That statement by the Minister is a complete answer to the suggestion that it is necessary to impose a higher duty on unassembled parts. Senator Pratten remarked that his request offered a way out for all parties. There is no difficulty to be overcome except that raised by the honorable senator himself. The duty which he proposes to increase was carried on the motion of the Minister for Trade and Customs. The records show that he moved-

That the item be amended by adding after sub-item (d4) the following : - " And on and after 1st July, 1921, . . . British, 5 per cent. ; intermediate, 7$ per cent.; general, 10 per cent."

It will thus be seen that there is no difficulty to be overcome. I ask the Committee to agree to the retention of the duties as .they stand in the schedule. In the interests of the development of Australia, we should reject the request.

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