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Tuesday, 5 May 1936

Senator McLEAY (South Australia) . - I repeat what I said by way of interjection, that we do not import from the United States of America large quantities of the agricultural implements mentioned in this request, and if the duty were reduced, it would not necesarily follow that larger quantities would be purchased. I would support the Government if, in doing so, I would be assisting to correct the adverse trade balance with the United 'States of America, but the adoption of the request will not affect the issue. At present we are importing large quantities of other goods from the United States of America, upon which no restrictions have been placed; if imports of those commodities which I have in mind were debarred, we would bc talking business. The Tariff Board, which has considered this subject very carefully, said that a reduction of 15 per cent, or 20 per cent, would not necessarily mean that imports from the

United States of America or Canada would increase, but that local manufacturers would reduce their prices, and enable primary producers, who are having a very difficult time, to reduce the cost of production. I am behind the Government in its attitude towards the United States of America, which is the most selfish of all nations. We should get down to business, and not make ourselves the laughing stock of the world by increasing duties on items which really do not matter and disregarding those which are really important.

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