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Thursday, 3 June 1926

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I was never more surprised than when the Minister (Senator Crawford), accepted the requested amendment moved by Senator Findley. Apparently the Minister cannot see through the camouflage of the honorable senator who has suggested that 80 per cent, of the caps used in Australia will come under the lower duty. Nothing of the kind is likely to occur, as the lower duty is confined to caps made of flannel. Does the honorable senator suggest that the bulk of the caps worn by schoolboys are made of that material ?

Senator Findley - Nearly all of them are.

Senator PAYNE - No. Most of them are made of serge, and this is only a subterfuge on the part of Senator Findley to obtain an advantage for some one. The

Minister has accepted the proposal without giving the matter sufficient consideration. I produce samples of caps which were dutiable at 8s. a dozen, but which, under this proposal, will be dutiable at 15s. a dozen. At the request of Senator Findley, the Minister has agreed to increase, by 90 per cent., the duty on caps made of a material which meets the requirements of those who use them. It is about time this farce ended, and honorable senators endeavoured to ascertain what the acceptance of an amendment of this nature means to the community. To support an increase of 90 per cent, on an already heavy duty is too much for me. I do not think 25 per cent, of the caps worn by schoolboys are made of flannel, because they will not stand rough wear. Most of. the caps made of serge or imported tweed will be penalized to the extent of 15s.. a dozen.

Senator Findley - Australian boys should wear caps made in Australia.

Senator PAYNE - That is not the point. We should not impose a duty of 15s. a dozen on tweed or serge caps plus freight and other charges in order that cap manufacturing may be carried on in Australia. The proposed increase is already very heavy, and if the suggested amendment is adopted, the users of caps will be penalized to the extent of an additional 90 per cent.

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