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Thursday, 14 May 1936

Senator BADMAN (South Australia) . - Last year the total imports from Belgium were valued at £203,000, while our exports to that country were valued at £6,080,000. Belgium does not export large quantities of glass bottles or cut glass to Australia ; most of these goods are obtained from Great Britain and Czechoslovakia. Can the Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) say whether the Government is likely to enter into any trade treaty with Czechoslovakia, and if so, does it propose to use the duties shown under this item as a lever? I was pleased to hear Senator Brown say that he is opposed to monopolies and the exploitation of the people.

Senator Brown - I am opposed to the exploitation of the workers.

Senator BADMAN - Are we not all workers? The honorable senator was incorrect in saying that the profits of the glass-making branch of the Australian Glass Manufacturers Company Limited are only8 per cent., and that all other profits are made by the engineering and other branches.

Senator Brown - The company made a profit of only 8 per cent. on its glass manufacturing business.

Senator BADMAN - If a profit of only 8 per cent. was made on its glass business, and its total profits in 1934-35 amounted to 13 per cent., excessive profits, which should be investigated, must be made in other directions. We should be able to adopt the recommendation of the Tariff Board and at the same time leave a sufficient margin to enable trade treaties with other countries to be negotiated successfully. I support the request moved by Senator Johnston.

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