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Thursday, 3 June 1926

Senator KINGSMILL (Western Australia) . - I have not very much to add to what Senator Lynch has already said. If the honorable senator has an opportunity of calling up his reserve arguments there will be, 1 feel sure, nothing left for any one to say. Senator Lynch has dealt with many of the points I intended to make, and has put them more clearly and concisely than I could possibly do. When the Honorary Minister (Senator Crawford) was supporting the item I thought for a moment that Senator Payne was endeavouring to abolish all duties proposed under it; but I find that under the British preferential tariff the proposed duty is 35 per cent., plus 7s. 6d. for each garment, which is in addition to the natural protection. If Australian manufacturers cannot compete with those in other parts of the world on that basis, there is something wrong with our manufacturing industries. Many of the people whom I represent purchase the goods enumerated in this item, and I therefore resent the introduction of what might be described as inverted sumptuary laws. Under the old sumptuary laws people of a certain status were not allowed to wear expensive garments, but it would appear from the duties being imposed in this tariff that the wearing of inexpensive garments is to be prohibited. I consider the proposed duties in this instance far too high, and I am guided in this instance, not only by my own opinions, but by the opinions of those who sent me here. To ask for such protection is a confession of weakness on the part of manufacturers, and because I know many people in the State which I assist in representing in this chamber will feel very keenly the imposition of such duties, I intend to support the request submitted by Senator Payne.

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