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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator REID (Queensland) .- A few .days ago, when we were dealing with another item, Senator Payne opposed the imposition of higher, duties on the ground that they would interfere with industries in the Old Country. I have here some figures showing our importations of furs and skins. During the years 1924-25 and 1925-26 we imported from the United Kingdom furs and skins to the value of £82,805 and £119,914 respectively.

Senator Payne - Is the honorable senator referring only to rabbit skins?

Senator REID - My figures refer to furs and skins. Senator Payne's request would injure trade with, the Mother Country.

Senator Payne - My request refers only to rabbit skins.

Senator REID - The skins of English rabbits are more suitable for the making of fur than are the skins of Tasmanian rabbits. From Canada we imported skins and furs valued at £2,226 in 1924-25, and £2,112 in 1925-26. From other countries our importations in those years were, respectively: Belgium, £10,238, £8,442; China, £6,727, £14,613;- France, £84,735, £76,334; Germany, £11,171, £10,406; Russia, £8,508, £7.488; and the United States of America, £88,420 and £41,865. Honorable senators will see that the United Kingdom heads that list. Of the skins imported, rabbit skins represent a large proportion. I am astonished. at Senator Payne moving a request which would injure the Old Country, concerning which he had so much to say onanother item.

Senator Payne - I have never yet stood for the Germans.

SenatorREID. - The honorable senator has struck the flag of which he was so proud the other day.

Senator Elliott - Does the honorable senator agree that this industry should be protected ?

SenatorREID. - I am a believer in Australian industries'; but Senator Payne has moved his request because the making of furs is a Tasmanian industry. When we were discussing the duties on hosiery Senator Payne appeared greatly concerned about their effect on the poor working man who,he said, would be victimized.

Senator Payne - In the case of hosiery, a duty of 150 per cent, against British goods was proposed.

SenatorREID. - The honorable senator is interested only in Tasmanian industries. Senator Duncan made it clear that these duties would affect the price of articles manufactured from fur; they will come in cheaper than the skins.

Senator Payne -Under my proposal there will be a duty of 40 per cent, on the skins and 55 per cent, on the manufactured articles.

SenatorREID. - If the proposed request is agreed to, I shall feel disposed to vote for an increased duty on the manufactured articles.

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