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Wednesday, 10 August 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) .- I move-

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (a), general, per1b., 3d.

It has been generally admitted that the ½d. difference in the duty upon wax, which is the raw material, as compared with that on the completed candles - boxed, packed, and made abroad, largely in Burmah - is not sufficient to sustain the Australian industry. The wax candle industry, judged side by side with the soap and stearine candle industry, is not very large; but it should be kept alive to provide some competition at least. Unless the duty on wax candles be increased to the minimum amount set forth in my request, maintaining the difference upon the raw material and on the finished article at1d. per lb., the wax candle industry must go under. There is another reason why the duty should be increased. If the wax candle industry should fail, and if the duty be not increased, wax candles will come into Australia, as they are now quoted, at 7½d. per lb. These commodities have not been imported in any considerable quantities during the past five years, in which the difference in the duty upon wax and that on wax candles has been1d. They were not considerably imported during the previous five years, when the rates of duty were the same. But, when the difference was less, very large quantities of foreignmade wax candles came into Australia. I believe an offer has been made to land 10,000 cases of Rangoon candles, duty paid, in Melbourne, at 7½d. per lb. Seeing the' Committee have decided to retain the duty on imported paraffine wax in order to preserve the stearine candle industry, and that during the last ten years there has been a difference of1d. per lb. between the duty on imported wax and wax candles, I ask the Committee to restore that difference by increasing the duty under the general Tariff by½d. per lb.

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