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Wednesday, 12 October 1949


Mr POLLARD (Ballarat) (Minister for Commerce and Agriculture) - I move - [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 3).]

1.   - (1.) That the Governor-General may, from time to time, by proclamation declare that the rates of duty set out in the column headed " British Preferential Tariff " in the schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1948, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the seventh day of September, One thousand nine hundred and forty-nine and by these Proposals, shall apply to such goods as are specified in the proclamation as are the produce or manufacture of a British country, being a British non-self-goveming Colony or a part of the King's dominions which was on the fifteenthday of October, One thousand nine hundred and forty -six, a British non-self-go vorning Colony, specified in that proclamation in relation to those goods,and thereupon the British Preferential Tariff shall apply to the goods so specified as are the produce or manufacture of the British Country so specified. (2.) That a proclamation issued in pursuance of the last preceding sub-paragraph may be revoked or varied by a further proclamation, and upon the revocation or variation of a proclamation so issued, the British Preferential Tariff shall cease to apply to the goods specified in the proclamation so revoked, or as the case may be, the application of the British Preferential Tariff to the goods specified in the proclamation so varied, shall be varied accordingly. (3.) That nothing in this paragraph shall be doomed to authorize the application of the rate of duty set out in the column headed " British Preferential Tariff " in respect of Item 52 (a) to any bananas the produce of any British Country other than Fiji. (4.) That, in this paragraph - " British non-self-governing Colony " include British Protectorates, the Trust Territory of Tanganyika and so much of the Trust Territories of the Cameroons and Togoland as is administered, by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom ; " proclamation " mean a proclamation by the Governor-General, or the person for the time being administering the Government of the Commonwealth acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and published in the Commonwealth of A ustralia Gazette.

2.   That the schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1948, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the seventh day of September, One thousand nine hundred and forty-nine, be further amended as hereinafter set out, and that on and after the thirteenth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and forty-nine, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1948 as so amended.

 

 

The tariff proposal which I have just introduced covers spectacle lenses, spectacles, spectacle frames, magnifying and reading glasses. The proposal follows a Tariff Board report on these goods and the duties now proposed are in accordance with the board's recommendations and Australia's international trade treaty commitments. The board's report was tabled in the Parliament by me earlier to-day. Before the recent war the only items of ophthalmic goods in regular commercial production in Australia were those on which protective duties had been in operation for many years, namely, fused bifocal blanks and spectacle cases. The war created local shortages which prompted considerable expansion of manufacture to other items. Single vision lenses, which had been imported before the war, commenced to be ground in quantities from glass blanks imported or made locally. An acute shortage of spectacle frames was met by local production by an injection moulding process. The manufacture of gold-filled mountings was started and various types of sunglasses and goggles were made. The board has carefully examined this industry and the rates it has recommended are those which it considers necessary to protect the industry. A summary of alterations showing the variations of the existing duties has been circulated for the information of honorable members. In view of the change of status and designation of certain countries shown in the Customs Tariff as British nonselfgoverning colonies, the opportunity has been taken, on legal advice, to vary the Customs Tariff so that it shall conform to the present position of these countries. This amendment is contained in paragraphI of the preliminary matter to this proposal. I move -

That the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again.


Mr Archie Cameron - I protest.







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