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Tuesday, 22 March 1904

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - The reason why the return has been prepared in the way in which it has reached the honorable member is that it is almost impossible to obtain information as to what goods are. the product of Great Britain, because all the invoices come from Great Britain and the goods are credited to that country, even though they may have been made on the Continent.

At a later stage,

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether he has observed from the return which has recently been placed on the table, that the statement frequently made during the electoral campaign that the average duty upon goods of British production, imported into Australia, was 6 or 7 per cent., must have been very wide of the mark, and that the percentage on the imports of goods from Great Britain, which consist principally of goods of British production, amounts to about 25 per cent. That percentage applies to dutiable goods only, but if the goods which are not dutiable are taken into account, the average duty represents nearly 20 per cent. If the return be correct, does not the Prime Minister recognise the erroneous character of the statement referred to?

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