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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) .- Unless honorable senators are prepared to considerably reduce this duty it will appear that they are just as keen to shut out instruments of British manufacture as they are to exclude imports from Germany. If the Minister's request is adopted a duty of 30 per cent, will be imposed on all importations from Great Britain.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That rate has been in operation since 1908.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - Not against Great Britain.


Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - It is an exorbitant duty to impose on British importations, and the arguments adduced against the importation of German pianos cannot be used in this instance. There does not appear to be any justification for such a heavy rate, because there is a natural protection of £18 in freight and £4 for handling charges on each instrument. In another place the rate was reduced to 20 per cent., and in order to test the feeling of the Committee, and to see who are really in favour of giving preference to Great Britain, I intend to move that the rate bemade 25 per cent.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - The honorable senator can only submit such a request if that moved by the Minister (Senator Pearce) is defeated.

Senator Pearce - If my request is carried, obviously the Committee will be in favour of a higher duty than 25 per cent. If it is defeated, the honorable senator will then have an opportunity of moving. The better way is to take a vote on my motion.

Senator Gardiner - Is the Minister increasing the impost against Great Britain?

Senator Pearce - We are making it the same as it has been since 1908.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - The question is, " That the request moved by the Minister (Senator Pearce) be agreed to."

A division having been called for,

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - I desire to withdraw the call for a division.

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