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Wednesday, 29 August 1906

Senator HENDERSON (Western Australia) . - I have been very pleased to hear the leader of the Senate say that he is not prepared to accept the amendment. If there be any virtue in this Bill, I think it will be found to be centred in these provisions against dumping. This is the part of the measure which I feel will become most effective, and of most use to Australian industries in its operation. I have nothing to say against England. Having due regard to our own interests, I am not opposed to our giving whatever advantage we can to that country. At the same time, I am not one of those who are prepared to say, " So long as it is England that is injuring us, never mind the injury. We can afford to grin and bear it so long as we know that the injury is being done to us by the people of the mother country." If we. are to protect the industries of Australia from the kind of trade contemplated in these clauses, we can do so only by treating England, and every other country, on exactly the same footing. I believe that to discriminate here in the way proposed would lead us in to a. very great deal of trouble. I am accustomed to look upon packages of English merchandise as packages of so much sorrow and oppression. Not thatI blame England for that. England is, in the matter, merely subject to the system to which nearly all the countries ofthe world are subject to-day. She is groaning under a burden of wrong-doing, I repeat that I am afraid that if we discriminated here in the way proposed, we should land ourselves in a very great deal of trouble, and the time would not be long in coming when even the application of these dumping provisions to the foreigner would be found to fee in reality a thing of the past, because foreign-made goods of all countries would be sent to us through smart men in Great Britain.

SenatorMulcahy. - They would have to be marked as being sent through Great Britain.

SenatorBest. - They would be made up in Great Britain.

Senator HENDERSON - We know that they would be made up in Great Britain. The whole business would be beautifully fixed up, and if we attempted to enforce any such discrimination as is proposed by the amendment, we should have goods made in all parts of the world shipped from England to Australia by English shippers, and claimed by English manufacturers and merchants, with the result that our attempt to prevent dumping would have become absolutely useless. Now that we have set about dealing with the matters covered by thisBill, I repeat my view that to the provisions with respect to dumping we should direct our most careful attention, because I believe that from them we are likely to receive the greatest benefit. I think that this is the part of the measure to which we must look for an effective weapon to prevent the extermination of some of our Australian industries, and, in the circumstances, I support the leader of the Government in the Senate in his opposition to the amendment.

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