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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) (2:56 AM) . - I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (f), British, ad val., 25 per cent.

I hope that, in this matter, honorable senators will give Great Britain a fair deal. It is absolutely useless to urge that a Tariff of 30 per cent, against British manufacturers of woollen goods is necessary to protect the Australian industry. It has been proved conclusively during the debate that the Australian manufacturers can carry on successfully without any duty at all against British goods.

Senator Reid - And yet, in spite of the Tariff, British manufacturers flood our markets with woollen goods.

Senator PAYNE - The honorable senator knows quite well that the great bulk of the textile fabrics imported from Great Britain are of the class not manufactured in Australia.

Senator Reid - You know that what I say is quite true.

Senator PAYNE - It is not true. If we could only analyze the individual items, I feel sure we would find that at least three-fourths of the textiles imported are not manufactured in this country.

Senator Reid - You know that British woollen goods are flooding our markets all the time.

Senator PAYNE - They are imported only in quantities to meet the demand, and if they were not available our people would not be able to obtain them, because we do not manufacture that particular class of goods.

Senator REID (QUEENSLAND) - And if we open the door to importations, they will never be manufactured here.

Senator PAYNE - The honorable senator is adopting an extraordinary attitude. These commodities are required for the comfort and well-being of our people, and if a duty is imposed upon their introduction Australian industry will not benefit in any way. We shall simply be increasing the burden upon the people who buy the goods. Surely that is not the policy of this Government. If it is, then I do not wish to be associated with the Government. I do not want to fight against the Government. I came here as a Nationalist, supporting a Nationalist Government.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But we want a few " bob " to carry on.

Senator PAYNE - And I propose to give the Government a few more " bobs " than they collected under any previous Tariff. This Parliament has never imposed a Tariff equal to that which is before us to-day. It applies to goods which are not manufactured here, but are made in Great Britain, and are necessary for the comfort and well-being of our people. I hope, at all events, that so far as the British preferential Tariff is concerned the majority of honorable senators will grant this slight concession. After all, we want the manufacturers of Great Britain to realize that in Australia they have not a fiscal enemy, but a Dominion, which, while giving its own industries a fair measure' of protection, is prepared at the same time to afford Britain every opportunity to recover the position that she partly lost during the long years of the terrible war.

Senator Reid - Let us tell them that there is plenty of room for them to come here and convert our wool into woollen goods for us.

Senator PAYNE - The honorable senator does not believe in such a thing as love of country.

Senator Reid - I certainly do.

Senator PAYNE - The English people have the same love for their country that we have for Australia.

Senator de LARGIE - Then why do they not secure a preference for themselves with regard to their own market)

Senator PAYNE - I am dealing with this matter from an Australian point of view, and I hold that where, without doing injury to our own industries, we can give Britain a preference, we should do so.

Senator Reid - But it is questionable whether we can do what is proposed in this case.

Senator PAYNE - Surely sufficient evidence has been brought forward to show that the Tariff I am proposing will give more than ample protection to our industries. It will not merely give them ample protection, but will prove a very high revenue Tariff. Surely we cannot expect, and ought not to ask for, more.

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