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Tuesday, 21 June 1904

Mr FISHER (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   The total amount collected on ships' stores throughout the Commonwealth during 1903 was £23,102.

2.   The amount shown as collected is not insignificant. As the. law and regulations stand at present, there is no power to exempt from duty. If exemption be granted in the case of oversea vessels, such exemptions should, as a matter of justice, apply to all Australian ships, and to allow this would involve serious loss of ' revenue. There is no difficulty now experienced or irritation caused in the collection of this duty, and the liability to- duty of ships' stores is now well understood and provided for. There is no intention of making any alteration in the existing practice.

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