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Tuesday, 3 December 1935

Senator FOLL (QUEENSLAND) .- I shall be glad if the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs will state whether any progress has been made in the direction of securing uniformity with regard to the film censorship. At present there is a great deal of overlapping and difficulty by reason of the fact that, in addition to a Commonwealth film censor and an appeal board, there are in existence State censorship boards. As a result some films which have been passed by the Commonwealth censor for general exhibition are sometimes banned by a State board. To overcome this difficulty State governments should surrender certain powers to the Commonwealth Government. I know that the present Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. White) is very desirous of securing uniformity in this matter.

I request that representations be made to the Minister for Trade and Customs to ascertain whether by an amendment of the Customs Act or as a matter of administration, leniency can be extended to Australian citizens returning from overseas with presents for their friends or relatives? At presenttourists returning to Australia must sign a declaration containing a list of every item in their possession other than their actual personal belongings. Thousands of travellers cannot bring a present valued at 20s. or less without having to declare it for customs purposes, and paying the duty imposed. I have brought this matter forward on behalf of a number of persons who wish to bring small gifts to their families, and who do not think it fair that an unnecessarily heavy duty should be imposed. The gifts are usually curios purchased in other countries, and if a concession were granted it would" not be abused. Travellers should be allowed to bring in duty free, say, £25 worth of goods as personal gifts. Considering the large amount of revenue received in customs duties such a concession should be granted.

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