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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator DUNCAN - That is strange, in view of the fact thatthe company has approached every member of the 'Senate.

Senator Wilson - Every member ?

Senator DUNCAN - The company has certainly approached most members of the Senate. I have seen many of them in possession of typewritten information supplied by the Broken Hill companies.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - We have been very glad to have it.

Senator DUNCAN - It may be that the company left it to honorable senators to make representations to the Government on their behalf. I have putthe facts before the Committee, and I hope that honorable senators will take into serious consideration the position of the industry atthe present time. I realize that perhaps the imposition of a duty, however high, might not meet the position except in a very small way.

Senator Russell - That is what the company recognises.

Senator DUNCAN - That isso, and the Minister has given a promise of the early passing of the Anti-Dumping Bill, which I considerwill go a great deal further in the -protection of the Australian industries than, perhaps, any duties we might impose. Some honorable senators may considerthat the duty for which I ask is rather high, but if, in the opinion of Parliament, (conditions in the industry throughout the worldchange so much in the next twelve months that ithecontinued imposition ofso higha duty would be unfair, the matter can be referred to the Tariff Board, and upon its reconamendation Parliament could take action, if that were found desirable, to reduce the duty.

Senator Wilson - Does the honorable senator not think thatthe Committee should back its ownopinion now?

Senator DUNCAN - That maybe so, but I point out the procedure whichcould be followed -under the Customs TariffBill if it should be discovered that the duties we now impose operate prejudicially to the interests of Australian consumers.

Senator Drake-Brockman - Doesnot the converse apply ?

Senator DUNCAN - To acertainextent Iadmit that it does, but I thinkthat I haveplaced sufficient fasts before the Committee to show thatthe needis urgent fordoingsomething in -the direction I have indicated. The Anti-Dumping Bill may not pass for some months, and before it is passed almost incalculable damage might be done. Adequate duties would prevent thatto some extent,if not entirely, and I hope that the request I have submitted will be agreed to.

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