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Wednesday, 13 August 1902

Mr KINGSTON - I move-

That the amendment requested be not made.

There was a very long debate when this item was last before the committee, and after due consideration of all the facts for and against, a majority decided in favour of a duty of 5s. per cwt.

Mr Watson - What percentage ad valorem is that?

Mr KINGSTON - I am informed that it is equivalent to about18 per cent. ad valorem.

Sir Malcolm McEacharn - The retail price of these nails is 5½d. per lb., so that the duty is equivalent to about 1 2½ percent. ad valorem.

Mr KINGSTON - During the last six months in which this duty has been operative, we have received £757 of revenue from it, so that if we accede to the request of the Senate we shall lose revenue to the extent of £1,500 a year, and at the same time kill the industry by depriving it of all protection.

Sir WILLIAMMcMILLAN (Wentworth). As we on this side of the Chamber are anxious that there should be no unnecessary delay in dealing with the Senate's requests, I am willing to accept the last decision of the committee as a test vote in regard to all these requests in connexion with manufactures of metal. The fact that there is a difference of only one between the strength of the two parties will be a sufficient indication to the Senate of the position here.

Mr Watson - In that case we shall have to call for divisions on these requests, because there will be a majority of more than one in connexion with many of the proposals of the Government.

Sir WILLIAM McMILLAN - At any rate, the minority here is larger than the majority in the Senate. I do not intend to delay the committee by dividing on these requests, because we on this side believe that if the committee will not consent to the. reduction of the duty on agricultural machinery, it will not consent to the reduction of the duties upon other machinery.

Motion agreed to.

Item 78. Manufactures of metal, viz., engines, gas and oil, and high speed engines and turbines, water and steam ; engines, boilers, pumps, machines and machinery, n. e. i. ; . . . . mining machinery, n.e.i. ; electrical machinery and electrical appliances, n.e.i., ad valorem, 15 per cent.

Request.- That the duties be reduced to 10 per cent.

Motion (by Mr. Kingston) agreed to -

That the amendments requested be not made.

Item 78. Manufactures of metal - Special exemptions. Drill wheel hoe cultivators.

Request.- That the words "drill-wheel hoe culti vators " be omitted with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " hand -worked seed wheel drills and hand- worked cultivators."

Motion (by Mr. Kingston) agreed to -

That the amendment requested be made.

Item 78. Special exemptions. Strawsonizers.

Request.- That the words "and other field - spraying machines " be inserted after the word ' strawsonizers. "

Motion (by Mr. Kingston) agreed to -

That the amendment requested be made

Item 78. Special exemptions. Turbines, steam and water.

Request.- That the words " turbines, steam and water," be omitted.

Mr KINGSTON - I move-

That the amendment requested be made.

These articles were by mistake left in the list of exemptions after they had been made dutiable.

Motion agreed to.

Item 78. Special exemptions. Linotype, monotype,monoline, and other type-composing machines.

Request.- That the words "linotype, monotype, monoline, and other type-composing machines " be omitted.

Mr KINGSTON - I move-

That the requested amendment be not made.

The desire of the Senate is that these machines should be subject to duty, but we cannot agree to that. We are not slavishly following our own ideas, because we proposed in the first instance that type-setting machines should be dutiable. Our respect for the decision to the contrary arrived at by the committee induces us to resist the request of the Senate.

Mr. BROWN(Canobolas). - I am afraid that the Minister's explanation is not very lucid. The Senate is proposing to come to the assistance of the Government in providing revenue by placing these machines upon the dutiable list, but it would almost seem as if the Minister were ranging himself on the side of the free-traders. I should like to know what reason the Minister can advance for exempting from duty type-setting machines which are imported by the wealthy newspaper proprietors for the purpose of displacing labour, when he is readyto tax the poor farmers by imposing a duty upon their agricultural implements?

Mr. MAHON(Coolgardie). - I think the Minister might be a little more explicit concerning his proposal to disagree. I do not quite agree with the honorable member for Canobolas, because the Minister has been consistent throughout in imposing taxation on the poor, and allowing the rich to go free. Nobody except the rich newspaper proprietors could afford to buy linotypes, but the type used by the poor printers was subjected to a duty by the Government.

Mr Thomas - The Minister also proposed to tax these machines.

Mr MAHON - But he "scuttled away" quick and lively.

Mr Kingston - That is scarcely fair : I can give the honorable member the facts if he likes.

Mr MAHON - I should like to hear the facts. If the Government did not " scuttle away " from the proposed duty upon linotypes, they did so in the case of the proposed duty on paper.

Mr Kingston - We did not "scuttle away," we were driven away.

Mr MAHON - Several good supporters of the Government, including the honorable member for Melbourne Ports, the great apostle of protection in Victoria, voted against the Government in regard to the paper duty. I think linotypes and other type-setting machines should be dutiable. I regret, however, that the duty is not likely to yield much revenue, because most of the large newspaper proprietors already have all the machinery they require in their offices. I shall certainly vote in favour of acceding to the Senate's request.

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