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Thursday, 30 August 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I understood Senator Trenwith to say that a clause of this kind was unnecessary, inasmuch as it is impossible to conceive of a State importing goods for the purpose of injuring an Australian industry. I quite agree with him, but those engaged in an Australian industry might feel that a State importation was injurious to them, and it mightbe possible for them to take advantage of the dumping clauses of this Bill, and to seek a prohibition against that State. I mentioned, on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, that the Government of New South Wales, in order to assist the farmers and other land occupiers in their strenuous fight against the rabbit pest, were purchasing 5,000 miles of wire netting at a price which, I understand, is likely to seriously disorganize the one netting factory we have in that State.

Senator Pearce - But they are not proposing to sell that wire in New South Wales at a price below the cost in the country of origin.

Senator MILLEN - That is so; but if the statements of those interested in Lysaght's factory in Sydney are to be accepted, the Government have purchased netting, and are prepared to sell it in New South Wales at a price which must seriously disorganize that factory. I do not think that rather than insert a clause of this kind, any honorable senator would run the risk of trouble in that direction. It is clearly a case in which the State has argued that the interests of the many must override those of the few. I do not think such a case was in the minds of honorable senators, but there is just a possibility that this and similar ones might be brought within the four corners of the measure. . Whilst I am not prepared to press my contention, I think that the Minister might either accept the amendment or suggest on.'; that in his opinion would more fully meet the object in view.

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