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Thursday, 25 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - Senator Pearce is wrong i|n saying that I cannot be reconciled to any tiling reasonable. No one. in the Senate is more prepared to approach a question in a reasonable spirit, but the Minister cannot expect me to believe that the prices at which these nails come through the Customs House are in any way proportionate to their cost over the counter, I have actual knowledge of the fact that, during the war, the counter cost of these nails was five or six times their price in pre-war days. Senator Pearce has nob disproved my charge that during the war, when the users of these nails were at their mercy, the local manufacturers levied exorbitant charges. I was particularly pleased to hear the figures in regard to the enormous importations during that period, because many reputable importing firms told old customers of theirs that they were not in a position to obtain supplies of these nails. The Minister's statement is, perhaps, a severer condemnation of these firms than is my condemnation of the manufacturers.

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