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Thursday, 14 May 1936

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Badman (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The honorable senator has exhausted his time.

Senator A.J. McLACHLAN (South - Duties of 55 per cent, under the intermediate tariff and 60 per cent, under the general tariff were adopted in consequence of representations made to the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. White) subsequent to the first inquiry conducted by the Tariff Board.

The Minister referred the matter back to the board, because there appeared to be some doubt in the minds of the Minister and of the departmental officers in regard to the effect of the duties upon certain lines.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Is there a later report than that, dated the 20th February, 1935?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - No ; but the Minister for Trade and Customs asked the board for an explanation. Its subsequent recommendation clarified the position and justified the adoption of the duties in the schedule.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Wa3 that the final recommendation of the board?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes. The Government has given effect to the Tariff Board's recommendation in the intermediate tariff, and, in order to facilitate treaty negotiations, has added 15 per cent, to the general tariff. Honorable senators may be interested to know that Australia's requirements of boots and shoes are valued at approximately £6,500,000 a year. The latest available figures in regard to this industry are for the year 1933-34. They show that there were then 309 boot and shoe factories in Australia; that the value of the land and buildings was £1,262,396, and of the plant and machinery, £699,941. The industry employed 15y690 operatives, whose salaries and wages amounted to £2,001,899 per annum. The value of the output of the Australian factories in that year was £6,395,859, whilst the raw material used cost £3,441,508. The Government's proposals have the backing of the Tariff Board.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - »My request agrees with the Tariff Board's recommendations.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The honorable senator proposes to reduce its recommendation of 45 per cent, by 2$ per cent. I ask honorable senators to retain the 60 per cent, general tariff as a matter of principle.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - The committee has declined to do that.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Its decision related only to glass. I ask the committee to accept the duties set out in the schedule.

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