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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - For once I find myself in accord with Senator Gardiner. It is less than two months since this schedule was passed in another place, and at that time it was decided to make this item free.

Senator Russell - In the absence of the honorable senator from the chamber I explained that the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) had given a promise to make this provision, but that he overlooked the matter when the Tariff was before another place. He asked me to explain the circumstances _ to the Senate.

Sena-tor VARDON. - As I understand the matter, when, in the Minister's opinion, this particular factory is in a position to supply a considerable proportion of Australia's requirements, a duty will be imposed. I hold that the authority for imposing duties is this Parliament.

Senator Russell - I have moved that Parliament do. fix the duties. '

Senator VARDON - Precisely, but we wish to know when the duties will come into operation.

Senator Russell - Only when there is a guarantee that this factory is able to supply. Australia's requirements.

Senator VARDON - We were for some days, discussing the question of departmental, by-laws, and. the Minister was good enough to say that we should have a further opportunity for. discussion and of coming to a decision regarding them. If the departmental by-laws or rules are laid before, the' House, and. Parliament is to have, an opportunity to say whether the duties shall, come into, force, I have nothing further to say.

Senator Russell - We have fixed the date as representing the maximum time allowed'; to extend that time will require a vote by Parliament, but we are hopeful that before half the period has expired the industry will be set going.

Senator VARDON - However that may be, I think we should be informed as to the requirements of Australia, and also as to the amount of capital' that is to be invested in the industry. Until we have that information I am not prepared to support the. duties;

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