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Tuesday, 27 October 1970

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - . . . or members or those in charge of Bills on one side of the House or the other. In relation to the second point of order that the Minister has taken, when the Customs Tariff Validation Bill has been debated the consideration has normally covered a wide range on matters relating to Customs tariff. To that degree, the honourable member for Lang is in order in the references that he is making.

Mr Chipp - Without canvassing your ruling, Mr Deputy Speaker, I point out that the Customs Tariff Validation Bill is rarely if .ever allowed to be debated in this House. With great respect, Sir, what you are speaking of is the substantive Bill which comes in once a year, not the Customs Tariff Validation Bill which is presented twice a year and rarely if ever is debated in this House.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I point out to the Minister that whether or not a Bill is debated is another matter. Once a Bill is debated - if honourable members start debating that bill - the subject matter of the Bill is as wide as the subject matter of the tariff protection itself.

Mr Chipp - I appeal to the honourable member's better nature.

Mr STEWART - I apologise to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and 1 apologise to the Minister for Customs and Excise for having had the audacity to make a political speech in this House. What I would like to point out is that the Customs Tariff Validation Bill which the Minister has just introduced has as its purpose the validation of tariff proposals brought down on 22nd May of this year, 11th June of this year, 25th August of this year, 16th September of this year and 22nd October of this year. A further proposal was introduced today. The Minister says that we will have the right to debate them in February. He did not add: 'If lucky'.

Now, I have quoted the views of 15 presidents of manufacturing industries. They are very disturbed about the tariff policy that is being adopted by this Government. This is the only opportunity that we will have before this Parliament adjourns to discuss these proposals and to highlight the tariff policy that is not being followed by this Government. The Deputy Prime Minister last week in Adelaide again reiterated that efficient and economic industries will be satisfactory.

Again I apologise to the Minister. 1 knew of no arrangement. I spoke to the honourable member for Lalor (Dr J. F. Cairns) when he was at the table. I asked him whether he was going to speak on this Bill. He said he was not. I told him that I was.

Mr Chipp - Why did you not tell your Whip?

Mr STEWART - Mr Deputy Speaker,there is no compulsion on me at any time in this Parliament to tell you, the Minister, my Whip or my Leader whether I am going to speak at all. If 1 desire to raise a matter, I have the right to raise that matter; and I am doing so now.

I continue where I left off. 1 was about to ask the Minister whether he would allow me to incorporate in Hansard table 4 of appendix 2 which appears at page 32 of the annual report of the Tariff Board for the year 1969-70. I thank the Minister and the House for permission to incorporate the table.* If the industries listed in the last column are to be deprived of tariff protection or are to be destroyed by imports because they do not have enough tariff protection, 40 per cent of existing protected manufacturing industry will be destroyed. There are 600,000 people employed in that part of manufacturing industry and in the tertiary industries that directly serve it.

Then there is the lost growth. Over the next 10 years that part of manufacturing industry could be expected to create employment for another 200,000 people. Where are those people to find employment if this policy is followed? Undoubtedly some alternative industries will be created, but will they provide employment for that number? The only advice I have been able to get from people in manufacturing industry is that they do not know where these alternative industries will come from. *See Table on page 2825

Most of them say that they wish someone could tell them right now where these wonderful opportunities are.

I do not delude myself that even this Government would push ahead with this policy to the extent that unemployment went anywhere near the numbers I have quoted. The Government will always remember the year 1961. It would not last long if it persisted with this policy. But despite this all the indications are that it will push ahead with it until it gets its pool of unemployed, and we should not expect to hear any sense out of the Government on tariff policy until that objective is achieved. I think that this is a most important problem. People are now talking about the destruction of our secondary industries and the whittling away of our tariffs. We are not getting any sense out of the Government in answer to questions. I have asked a number of questions on tariff policies. So I have taken this opportunity to raise these matters. I am sorry that I have offended the Minister for Customs and Excise in so doing, but I think I was entitled to do it. The people who work in manufacturing industries are entitled to have someone express the point of view that I have expressed here tonight.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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