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Friday, 26 August 1921

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I propose in this case to vote for the imposition of a Protective duty. The Committee has agreed to duties on machinery, implements, explosives, and everything else used by the miner, and I think it is time that we gave him a little protection by voting for the retention of the duties on sulphur. If the requirements of the miner were free, I should be prepared to support a request to make sulphur free, but this is the only bit of protection that has been given him.

Senator Wilson - What about the iron and steel duties ?

Senator Sir Thomas Glasgow - And those on copper.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have duties on copper as well as wheat and other primary products which we export. What protection do they afford ? The only duty that is likely to be of any service to the mining section of the community is that now under consideration, and some honorable senators who have been voting to add to the taxation borne by the .miners desire to remove it. Last evening when I moved a request that tung oil should be free of duty, on the ground that it was essential to the preparation of certain varnishes, I was met with the reply that we could not allow it to come in free in as much as it would compete with linseed oil. My request was therefore rejected. The sulphur which Senator Pratten desires to come in free may come into competition with that obtained from arsenical pyrites, and, therefore, I am going to vote for these duties. If Protection is a good thing for the man who lives in Sydney or Melbourne, it ought to be a good thing for the miners of Mount Lyell and Broken Hill.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Are they not getting it under sub-items a, b, and c ? My request, if carried, will not affect the protection they secure under those subitems.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not going to take any risks, and for the sake of the miners I am going to vote for the retention of the duties.

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