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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the duty, sub-item (e) (1), British, ad val., 15 per cent.

The . duty . proposed . in . the . schedule is 25 per cent. The rate I propose will also impose on the . users of the manufactured article a very heavy burden, but at . the same time it will afford ample protection to the manufacturer. The subitem refers only to wire of No. 16 gauge or finer gauge, and under a 15 per cent. British Tariff -a duty of £5 8s. per ton would, be paid on No. 16 gauge, £6 13s. on No.. . 22 . gauge,. . £910s. on No. 26 gauge, and £1111s. on No. 28 gauge. The original proposal in the Tariff as 'suomitted in ' another place was for a protective duty of £2 12s. per ton against Great Britain ; 'so that l am not asking for very much, particularly when the industry will' be afforded, on the average, at least two and a half times more protection than the Government originally -intended it to have. The industry of wire weaving is bound up to a very great extent with our primary industries, inasmuch as the article produced is used extensively for battery screens in mines and stripper cloth in connexion with harvesting operations. The primary pro ducer is specially interested in the duty on this commodity. Supposing. we insist on this very heavy duty on wire, and we -find what is predicted occurs, namely, that the manufacturers of woven wire go out of business, what will it mean? The mining, agricultural, and many other sections of industry will have to depend for woven wire on importations of the British finished product. What then becomes

Senator Keating - What is the,. market value of . the No. . 16-gauge ?

Senator PAYNE - The . last British invoice I-saw on the 16th June . was>£33 per ton f . o.b., plus the 10 percent, ad valorem, : inafcing : £36 lis. for dutiable . purposes, "and the - duty itself , £2 19s. l0d. . on the present 'proposal. In the case of No.28 - gauge the price ' was £78 'per ton, 'which, -with -thead -valorem 10 per- cent., realized the- duly of £19 5s. per ton. That is Protection run mad. If Australia were pro"du'cing, all the requirements of this woven wire industry, T have no doubt that under the duty that I propose the Australian trade could be captured.

Senator Keating -As protection, 25 -per cent, is not out of the way, but from 52a. to £19 5s. is a big jump, which requires explanation.

Senator PAYNE - The only solution is for the Senate to request that adequate protection be . given. If it was thought that 52s. per ton was adequate protection after fixing the protection on the raw or first product of smelted ore, so far- as Britain was concerned, surely the request T suggest, which means a minimum of £5 8s., and a maximum of £1111s., cannot be regarded by the Minister as extreme.

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