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Thursday, 25 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - It would appear that the duties under this item were altered in another place.

Senator Pearce - That is so.

Senator GARDINER - The British preferential rate has been reduced by 7½ per cent. I am not a "7½ per cent. Britisher," but a " whole-hogger " for British preference, and I therefore move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to make sub-item (c), British, free.

Let us assume that, instead of imposing these duties on British importations, we passed a law which provided that any individual or firm which purchased brads, nails, spikes, staples, tacks, &c., from any trader in Great Britain would be fined £25 for every£ 100 worth of goods purchased. If that were done, there would be a ring of indignation from one end of the country to the other. Although we are not actually imposing a fine, we are penalizing the exporters by means of the Tariff. I have already very freely expressed my opposition to obstacles of this character being placed in the way of trade with Great Britain, and it is not, therefore, necessary for me to debate the matter at greater length.

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