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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I agree with the honorable senator that they would not do it in any event. The people of. Western Australia, are displaying now the spirit that prompted them to send, practically the whole of their young manhood to the war.

Senator Duncan - They whined loudly for assistance in the building of silos.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The people of Western Australia were prepared to spend their own money in providing, for the erection of silos, yet my honorable friend dares to suggest that they came cap-in-hand to this Parliament for assistance. Never has the State done that, and I do not think that it will ever do it. Presently we shall find some' of the representatives of New South Wales whining for higher duties on galvanized iron.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - I ask the honorable senator not to anticipate the discussion of another item.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The duties now trader discussion must affect materially industries which are directly dealt with in subsequent items. The industry that we are now considering manufactures the raw material for other industries, among which is the galvanizediron industry.

Senator Duncan - I rise to order. The honorable senator is now anticipating the discussion of an item. He deduces certain conclusions from private conversations, and is misusing the information thus obtained, to prejudice the minds of honorable senators against certain proposals.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - I have already drawn Senator DrakeBrockman's attention to the fact that he

Customs Tariff[17 August, 1921.] Bill. 11013 may not discuss an item not yet reached, but I shall not preclude a reference to such an item. I ask him, however, not to discuss at length any item not immediately before theCommittee.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I have no intention of discussing now the items that we have not yet reached, but in considering the item before us, we must remember items that follow, and the manner in which the secondary industries for which the industry to which we are now devoting attention provides raw material may be affected by our present decisions. Appeal after appeal has been made to me from a firm doing business in New South Wales, which says that, because of the high duties imposed on its raw material, it may not be able to continue the manufacture of galvanized iron. That is a strong reason for reducing the duties under consideration, and for reducing other duties contained in the item; because it is desirable that the secondary industries, the taxation of whose raw material we are nowconsidering should be able to make a profit without placing undue burdens on the men on the land who use their productions, such as galvanized iron arid agricultural machinery. You cannot consider this item without regard to its connexion with subsequent items. I resent strongly the assertion of Senator Duncan that I have taken advantage of private conversations with senators. I have not made reference to any such conversations.

Senator Duncan - How did you know what New South Wales senators would do?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - It was obvious. A New South Wales firm is whining for more protection, and, therefore, the representatives of the State, following their usual practice, will demand more protection. That would be plain to the veriest fool. Probably the firm in question is justified in asking for more protection for its industry, if the absurd duties proposed in the schedule are to be adopted. The Committee must consider whetherit will pass the item in its present form, or reduce the rates, and it must have regard to subsequent items.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And to some of the items with which we have already dealt.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Yes. I join with Senator Lynch in appealing to the Committee to reconsider the situation, and to reduce the duties in this item, and in some of the items that follow.

Senator Senior - Is not New South Wales an agricultural State?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am making an appeal on behalf of the primary producers of Australia. Of course, New South Wales, like Western Australia and all the other States, is a big primary producer. The greatest part of our wealth comes from primary production.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - Practically all of it.

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