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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I have asked for the reconsideration of this item to give me an opportunity of submitting a request. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend the item by leaving out the figures "48," and iuserting in lieu thereof the figures "40," and by adding after the word "inch" the words "and not more than 3½ inches in width."

Honorable senators will remember that when the item was previously before the Committee I raised an objection to the duties placed on ordinary commercial ribbons, which I claimed were not manufactured in Australia, and that it was consequently unjust to impose a heavy duty on these ribbons. I was assured by the Minister in charge of the Bill at the time (Senator Russell) that if on further inquiry it was found that a mistake had been made in connexion with the matter, and that the articles to which I referred were not manufactured in Australia, he would undertake to recommit the item. I have here a letter from the firms concerned, of which the Minister has been supplied with a copy.

Senator Pearce - The Government are prepared to accept the honorable senator's request.

Senator PAYNE - Then I need say no more. It is only fair to the firm in question that I should express my regret publicly for a statement which I made on information supplied to me, and which reflected upon the importance of its establishment. I have had an opportunity of visiting the factory, and, as a result, I have congratulated the management on their very fine establishment, which is a credit to Australia, and to those who are responsible for it. I wish them every success, and I take this opportunity of retracting everything I said, not upon my own knowledge, but from information I had received.

Request agreed to.

Item agreed to, subject to a request.

Reconsidered item 123 -

(b)   Waste, engine cleaning, ad val.. British, free; intermediate, free; general, 10 per cent.

(c)   Waste, axle, ad val., British, 10 per cent. ; intermediate, 1 5 per cent. ; general, 20 per cent.

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