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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) . - I am inclined to support the suggestion made by Senator de Largie that the further consideration of this item should be deferred until Senator Russell is in a position to assure us - if he is not able to do so now - that this scrap iron is not required for fluxing with the iron produced from iron ore in Australia. Hoskins Limited have forwarded a communication to honorable senators asking for a duty upon cast scrap iron equal to that imposed upon pig iron. Evidently they find that scrap iron comes into competition with their pig iron, and do not regard it as necessary for fluxing with the iron they produce from their own ore. If this should be the case, to be consistent we ought to place a duty on scrap iron. If the opposite is the case, we ought to be made aware of it. I know that some smelters have to be very careful in the choice of the different class of scrap iron they use, but I do not know whether or not it is necessary to import a certain amount of special iron in order to' flux it with the iron produced from our own ores.

Senator Duncan - It is not necessary to do so.

Senator EARLE - If the honorable senator can give us that assurance, imparted scrap iron must compete with pig iron, and therefore we ought to take steps to prevent its importation from nullifying our efforts to establish the production of iron in Australia.

Senator Russell - I will accept the suggestion that the item be postponed. I think that further inquiry is necessary.

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