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Wednesday, 10 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - From the information I have been able to gather, wax suitable for candle making is landed in Australia and can be sold, after the payment of duty at 2d. per lb., less than the cost of stearine. .

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I would like that statement substantiated.

Senator RUSSELL - I am prepared to oblige the honorable senator with all the information available in the Customs Department upon this matter. In Australia we are not only producing stearine candles by the employment of white labour under white . men's working conditions, but are also making a superior article. I am astonished at the statements of some honorable senators as to what may happen if the mines are not able to get paraffine wax candles at a lower cost than stearine. I have a better opinion of the proprietors of the Broken Hill mines than to think that they are prepared to take the responsibility of allowing their workmen to be injured rather than pay 1/2 d. or Id. per lb. more for candles. In any case, I understand that the stearine candle is superior to the wax candle for use in hot mines. Wax candles are made, not only in Rangoon, but also by nearly all the black races. I admit that there is a certain amount of difficulty in New South "Wales in regard to making them, but if we open the door by reducing the -duty on paraffine wax, the world will flood us with cheaper candles than we can produce from our own stearine. Importations of wax candles come from a dozen countries. Senator Duncan says that he has no objection, practically, to the coloured man, with his cheap wages.

Senator Duncan - I did not say anything of the kind.

Senator RUSSELL - The honorable senator took no exception to that proposition, he acquiesced in it if he did not affirm it.

Senator Duncan - I did nothing of the kind. Is the Minister in order in imputing to me a statement I neither made nor inferred?

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