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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- The M inister stated that Queensland was most concerned in this matter, but that is not true. The Minister must know that ships bringing goods from America usually call first at Sydney, and afterwards go on to Melbourne, while ships from Great Britain call first at Fremantle. In the case of American goods, therefore, Sydney profits at the expense of Melbourne, while, in the case of English goods, Western Australia profits at the expense of the Eastern States. I know of an instance in which a firm, which is acting in Australia as agent for an American vacuum cleaner, actually unloaded a consignment of goods in Sydney at the lower rate, while Melbourne firms were compelled to pay the higher rate of duty which had been imposed after the goods were discharged at Sydney. That is not fair; there should be uniformity. Whether the proposed change would be constitutional seems to be a moot point, but the Minister has had ample time to learn the true position.

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