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Tuesday, 16 August 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I can assure the Minister that in his belief that I am in favour of abolishing the. duty--

Senator Russell - I did not say anything of the sort; I said that you were in favour of a reduction unless we proved the necessity for the higher duty. .

Senator LYNCH - From the fact that I commenced by supporting- Senator Drake-Brockman in seeking a reduction of the British preferential, duty, the inference can be drawn that I am in favour of higher duties in respect of countries other than the United Kingdom. Much has been said in a vague sort of way which almost leads me to the belief that it would be a. mercy if some one were to move that the question be put, for those who support the duty are not giving intelligent reasons for their attitude. On the other hand, I propose to show that the manufacture of iron ore in Australia is carried on under condition's that are specially favorable. Notwithstanding what may have been the rise in wages, that has been more than counterbalanced in the Old Country, as I shall prove. We have heard Senator Duncan and Senator Keating, giving percentages, but as they indicated neither starting point nor finishing point, we are left as much in the dark as if they had not spoken at all. As to wages in the Old Country, the London Daily Chronicle of 1st March, 1920, contains the following: -


Lightning Decision at Welsh Steel Works.

Union Order Ignored.

Men Refuse to Work Out 28 Days' Notice. Steel-workers in South Wales, telegraphs the Daily Chronicle Llanelly correspondent, decided on Saturday on a lightning strike, to secure the 40 per cent, advance in wages refused by the masters on Friday.

It is expected, telegraphs our Swansea correspondent, that at least 10,000 men will be affected by the decision.

Steel Workers' Wages at Present Range from £8 to £25 a Week.

The strikers have ignored the union's advice, and thrown over their leaders.

Here we have over 40,000 men engaged, in a dispute, when the ruling rate of wage was from. £8 to £25, or, an. average of £16 per week. Honorable senators may juggle with percentages, but here are facts - something concrete to ponder over.

We are told that, in this remote corner of the globe, we. are. at a disadvantage inplacing our primary products, which needno protection, on the: markets of the worlds But if distance is in that regard a. standingdebit to Australia, it. is a standing credit to manufacturers, operating in Australia: That has not yet been stated by the supportersoftheduty.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - It: is their heavy, natural protection.

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