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Wednesday, 10 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I have discovered the reason why the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) proposed an increase on his original proposal for an increased duty on paraffine wax. Here' aTe his own words -

This matter was brought under my notice quite recently, and I have been looking into it. The object sought -to be achieved in arranging a duty on candles and wax has been, as far as possible, to protect the manufacturers of stearine candles as against the wax candles.

The Minister's statement is plain enough, bearing out everything said in this debate, namely, that an attempt is being made to crush out of existence the small candle makers of Australia, who are just as vital to the interests of the country as are the large manufacturers. I have no desire to see this industry kept entirely within the scope of one big firm. We must have competition here.

Senator Reid - Let the small man start making stearine.

Senator PAYNE - It is all very well for the honorable senator to say that, but every one cannot raise the capital that these large British firms can command. We ought to pay some respect to the efforts of Australian people, who have used their brains and invested their small amount of capital in this industry. At any rate, in the Minister's statement we have an open admission that an attempt is being made to crush these people out of existence, and I appeal to honorable senators to support the request for a lower rate of duty, even though it does not go as far as I would like.

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