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Thursday, 14 May 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - A request has been made by the manufacturing company which uses the latex process for the admission of latex free of duty under by-law item 404a, when it is used in the manufacture of sponge upholstery rubbers. The company stated that the effect of the duty will be to increase costs to the upholstery manufacturers, and that the extra cost will seriously preclude the development of the rubber section of the upholstery trade. I have had thorough inquiries made in. the trade to ascertain what effect the proposed equalizing duty on latex will haveon the upholstery trade. I do not propose making available the manufacturing costs of the company which uses latex in making sponge rubbers, but I assure honorable senators that the company's wholesale selling price of sponge rubbers appears to allow a sufficiently wide margin above material and labour costs for the equalizing duty cost to be borne by it without passing it on to the upholstery manufac- turer, and still permit a reasonable profit to be made.

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