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Tuesday, 23 August 1921

Senator WILSON (South Australia) . - I am sorry that the honorable senator, in submitting his request, has not kept to the proportion observed in respect to other items where the Committee has requested reductions of duty. I agree with Senator E. D. Millen that it is necessary to have an extra duty on the articles included in this item. There may be certain secrets in the process of manufacture, but it is well known that American makers have copied the patterns of Australian ploughs made here as the result of the application of Australian brains, and have even gone so far as to declare that, in time, they will hold the plough trade of Australia. Although we make the best plough, and although very. few of these implements are likely to be imported, we must not allow big powers overseas any opportunity to crush out an industry which has been brought into existence in Australia much to the advantage of our primary producers. Throughout the consideration of this Tariff, I have takenup the attitude of protecting an industry on its own merits, and I hope that Senator Lynch will alter his request, and seek for a reduction of only 5 per cent, in keeping with the decision of the Committee in regard to the previous item. We are assured that the framers of the Tariff have arranged the duties on these items on a scientific basis, and, in doing so, have given an extra duty upon this item, which covers a class of work entailing the employment of more brain power. A reduction of 5 per cent, will give ample protection, not only to the industry, but also to the consumers.

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