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Friday, 24 August 1906

Senator FINDLEY (VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   If he is aware -

(1)   That the average value of Australian leather exported to Great Britain from 1895 to 1900 was £760,520; in 1901, £664,293; 1902, £619,275; 1903, £524,115;1904,£394,797;and 1905,

(2)   That the falling-off is attributed to the practice of some Australian leather merchants in loading mimosa sole with chloride of barium?

(3)   That quite recently 21 samples of Australian leather were submitted to analysis in London, and that fourteen samples were found to be adulterated ?

(4)   That some of the samples of Australian leather exported to Great Britain have been found to contain from 20 to 25 per cent. of barium, that one sample contained no less than 32 per cent. of this material, and that several recent shipments of Australian leather have been refused by English importers on account of this practice?

2.   Is the Minister aware that purchasers in Great Britain of Australian leather adulterated with, say, 16 per cent. of barium, would, on a purchase of 1 ton, be defrauded to the extent of£13 8s.9d.?

3.   If so, will the Minister, in the interests of the trade of the Commonwealth, give an assurance that the regulations governing the Commerce Act will be rigidly enforced?

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