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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) .- I trust that Senator Payne will not press this matter, because it is quite evident that he has been misinformed as to the true position.

SenatorKeating. - He may think that the Minister's information is incorrect.

Senator RUSSELL - Perhaps so; but the firm . to which reference has been made has to-day accepted . a contract for . the supply of 30-gauge wire, although the honorable senator said that they could not manufacture finer wire than . 20- gauge. Rylands and Sons have recently amalgamated with the Austral Nail Company at Newcastle, and are in a position to meet the requirements of Australian consumers. It has been suggested that i'f the wire were made by the same firm in England no objection would be offered to the product; but it must be remembered that the Australian wire is drawn from our own iron, which is equal, if not superior, to any in the world.

Senator Payne - The Minister can compare the two samples.

Senator RUSSELL - The sample of the Australian wire may not be a fair one. Rylands and Sons have the reputation of being the largest manufacturers of this commodity in Great Britain, and there is no reason why their Australian product, manufactured from first class Australian material, should not be equal to the best in the world.

Senator Senior - They assert that the Australian iron is the best obtainable for this class 'of work.

Senator RUSSELL - It is equal, if not superior, and quite a number of Australian manufacturers are now recognising its superiority. I have already read a report concerning the drawing qualities of our Australian iron, and as the company is well established and in a position to supply a wire of the best quality, I trust that the honorable senator will not press for a reduction in the proposed duties.

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