Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 25 September 1958

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) .- The Opposition offers no objection to the passage of this bill. However, it is in a somewhat different category from the Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Bill. We have had this measure before the Parliament on a number of occasions. The amount of bounty paid by the Government has risen from £55,035 in 1956, to £467,088 in 1958. Therefore, it seems to us that it is time the Government made up its mind as to whether it ought to have a tariff on tractors instead of helping to maintain the industry with a subsidy in the form of a bounty.

It is interesting to note that only recently the International Harvester Company of Australia Proprietary Limited has applied for a bounty under the provisions of this act. I have always regarded that company's enterprise in Australia as being particularly efficient. I have always thought of it, in contrast to some Australian concerns, as an enterprise which does its manufacturing in an engineering shop as compared with the Australian interests doing theirs, as it were, in a blacksmith's shop. This company has brought to Australia a high degree of efficiency and the know-how which we are always so anxious to obtain from Great Britain and the United States of America. Part of the bounty is being paid to Chamberlain Industries Proprietary Limited in Western Australia. Whether that enterprise can continue to manufacture successfully in a part of Australia so remote from the great centres of manufacture and commerce is a moot point. Perhaps it could manufacture oil machinery for the great plants that we hope to see some day in. Western Australia when oil is discovered there.

Chamberlain Industries does present a problem to the Government, and the enterprise generally poses a problem in the workings of our economy, but I should like to see it continue. I should not like to see it go to the wall. I do not want to see any enterprise in Western Australia, Queensland or any other of the far-flung parts of this great Commonwealth fail. I hope that if the Tariff Board does report favorably on the matter of a tariff to protect this -industry, the Government will not hesitate to institute that tariff. Up to date the board has not reported in favour of a tariff, but in the light of the increasing expenditures by way of bounty - and they have multiplied by two and a half times over the last few years - it would be a good thing if we did have a tariff for the industry. Then those industries that cannot exist under a fair tariff will just have to fade out of existence. We should not be maintaining any hot house plant industries in Australia. Every industry which gets the benefit of tariff protection ought to be able to survive under that protection. If if cannot survive the Australian people should not be required to pay, by way of taxation, a subsidy to maintain it in existence. I think that that is a fair proposition to put to the Government and to the Tariff Board, and I hope it will not be long before the Tariff Board reports on this matter. We offer no objection to the passage of the legislation.

Suggest corrections