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Tuesday, 8 June 1926

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make sub-item (b) (1) read : - " Cream separators, free British, 5 per cent, intermediate, 10 per cent, general."

In the previous tariff cream separators were free British, 5 per cent, intermediate, 10 per cent, general. This schedule removes the British preference, though in tariff matters our policy is to give Britain, if possible, a preference of 12½ per cent. When the schedule was framed, the only cream separators on the Australian market were of Swedish manufacture. Since then two British concerns have come on to the Australian market. One machine, known as the Lister cream separator, is a particularly good article, low in price, and well suited to Australian requirements.

Senator Payne - Is it not a fact that the Lister cream separator has been on the Australian market for two years?

Senator DUNCAN - I did not know that it had been on the market for that length of time, but it is obvious that, when the schedule was framed, those responsible for the elimination of the British preference of 10 per cent, were not fully aware of the circumstances.

Senator Thompson - Cannot the British manufacturers hold their own against foreign competitors?

Senator DUNCAN - No. Britain is endeavouring to re-establish herself in the Australian market, and, wherever possible, we have consistently given British manufacturers a preference over foreign competitors. I understand that already orders for 200 of these British cream separators have been placed in Western Australia, and that several hundred have been ordered in the other States also. Since our policy is to give Britain a preference of 12½ per cent., we should, in this item, assist British manufacturers by restoring to them that measure of protection which they enjoyed prior to the introduction of this schedule.

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