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Friday, 26 August 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - Before the war Australia secured most of her supplies of these scientific articles from Germany. Once their production was a monopoly of Great Britain, but in the years just prior to the war German competition was driving British manufacturers out of the world's markets. The object in making the importation of British products free and of imposing a general tax of 20 per cent. is to assist the Mother Country to regain and retain her markets, particularlythose within the Empire. A -report of the Federal Analyst states: -

Prior to the war, by far the greatest quantity of the supplies of scientific apparatus and instruments, as well as of scientific glass and porcelain articles, was imported from Germany. During the past four years many firms in Great Britain, France, and the United States of America have entered into this special field of manufacture in which Germany was formerly pre-eminent. The leading scientific periodicals in Great Britain, France, and the United States of America have furnished information showing that high class scientific apparatus and instruments, glassware and porcelain articles are now made in the countries named equal in all respects to those previously made in Germany. It is of the utmost importance to the Empire that supplies should be manufactured, for the future, within the Empire.

Efforts have been made in Australia to manufacture these scientific appliances, but, so far, without success. British industries, previously engaged in their production, were turned over to other purposes during the war. Meanwhile, German industries - that country having made all her warlike preparations prior to the actual declaration of hostilities - were ready, so soon as the conflict had terminated, to launch their products, in full blast, so to speak, upon the world's markets. Australia should be prepared to give Great Britain substantial advantage.

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