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Tuesday, 9 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - During the last four years, when overseas producers of condensed milk failed to keep Australia supplied, certain local companies spent their capital and extended their factories for the purpose of providing the people of the Commonwealth with condensed and unsweetened milk. The industry thus became well established, not because of the protection afforded by the Tariff, but because of the great difficulty of getting supplies from overseas. But overseas producers are now beginning to export condensed milk to Australia, and the possibility is that eventually, when conditions become more normal in other countries where this article can be pro- duced more cheaply than in Australia, the Australian manufacturers, if we do not afford them effective protection, must be prepared to sacrifice the capital they have spent. At any rate, they must face the fiercest and keenest of competition from other countries. Surely what they did for Australia during the war period ought to be appreciated by us to the extent of giving them reasonable protection against that keen competition ! Our policy in this regard should be to stick to those who stuck to us in our hour of trouble.

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