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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - Senator Payne has made some statements, which-, it seems to me, call for explanation on the part of the Minister (Senator Russell). As Senator Payne has pointed, out, this sub-item as originally submitted, was included under " Wire,?' with, duties of 52s.,. 72s. 6d., and 90s. per ton. On the 9th June, this subitem was divided into. e1 and e2, and on 9th July, it was further altered to the form in. which it now. appears.. Senator Payne has moved that the British preferential duty of 25 per cent; be reduced to 15 per cent., and-, according to the figures submitted" by him, that 15' per cent. . will' work out . at a rate varying, -according- tothe fineness' of the gauge; from £5 8s. to £11 lis. per ton. If that is the resulfc of' Senator Payne's proposal being accepted,it will mean that' the actual duty charged' on this class of wire will' be very eon:siderably higher than what was originally proposed , by the Government. I' hope that the Minister, when replying, will direct his attention to the apparent discrepancy between the original proposal of 52s. per ton, as British preference for all wire, and Senator Payne's proposal now, which will' range, as. I. have just stated.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - When the Tariff was introduced, the manufacture of the smaller wires had not been started.

Senator KEATING - I am merely suggesting, that there must be an explanation of the' discrepancy, and that honorable senators are entitled to have it.

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