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Tuesday, 12 August 1902

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am informed upon reliable authority that the difference is greaterthan that stated by the right honorable gentleman. I am afraid that in this proposal we are giving the local manufacturer a big bonus, and are acting very unfairly to the general consumer, especially in these times when everything else is high in price.

Mr. CONROY(Werriwa).- I find that there are only fifteen hands employed in this industry, and yet the Government propose to make a difference like this in favour of one individual - a difference which, calculated upon hundreds of tons of rice, amounts to very much more than all the wages paid put together. The statement that only fifteen hands are employed in the industry is given upon the authority of the honorable member for Bland, who knew what he was talking about. I donot care whether the particular firm or firms interested are represented in this House or not, but, if they are, that is all the more reason why we should be careful not to single them out for special favour. Because one employer is employing some fifteen men, the Minister for Trade and Customs is prepared to propose this tremendous difference in the duties on dressed and undressed rice, in order that that employer may put some thousands of pounds into his own pocket over and above what he pays to his workmen.

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