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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I propose now to move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to add after sub-item (a) the following: - "By omitting the whole of sub-item (b), and inserting in its stead the following subitem : -

(b)   1. Fur and other skins, n.e.i. (except rabbit skins) dressed or prepared for making up, ad valorem, British, 15 per cent.; intermediate, 15 per cent.; general, 20 per cent.

2.   Rabbit skins dressed or prepared for making up, ad valorem, British, 25 per cent.; intermediate, 35 per cent.; general, 40 per cent."

The existing tariff does not' -protect any industry established to prepare rabbit skins, for manufacture into articles of apparel or attire. During the past two years the fur industry has been established in Tasmania and New South Wales. At first the companies experienced difficulties in obtaining the proper dyes, but last year permission was given by the Commonwealth Government for their importation, with the result that within a few months coney sealskin furs to the value of £22,000 were manufactured and sold. I have here some samples of furs treated in Hobart. The demand for furs is so great that the granting of a moderate measure of protection will provide employment for a large number of people in a very short time. Hitherto large quantities of furs and other skins have been imported from France and Germany.

Sitting suspended from 6.15 to 8. p.m.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - On a point of order I want to know where we stand. Senator ' Payne is asking for a duty on the raw material required for making the apparel or attire referred to in sub-item a. It would be manifestly unfair if we agreed to duties of 40 per cent., 50 per cent, and 55 per cent, on apparel or attire including furs or other skins sewn together, and then subsequently agreed to a request for duties which would manifestly have the effect of increasing the price of the raw material of that attire. If that were done it would be necessary to impose higher duties than 40 per cent., 50 per cent, and 55 per cent, on apparel including furs. If we agree to Senator Payne's request we shall not be able to go back to sub-item a and alter the. duties it imposes on apparel. I am prepared to vote for the item as it stands, but the adoption of this request might make a considerable difference to the effect of subitem a.

Senator Sir George Pearce - The honorable senator knows that there is a request to insert a new sub-item b.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But we do not know that it will be carried. If it should be carried I shall want to have higher duties under sub-item a.

Senator Payne - If my request is agreed to all that the honorable senator will have to do is to move -for the recommital of item 112 for the purpose of re-considering sub-item a. ,

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