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Wednesday, 5 September 1906
Wednesday, 5 September 1906

The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

DEFENCE FORCES.

Senator WALKER.- I desire to ask the

Minister of Defence, without notice, whether he will be good enough to lay upon the table of the Senate a copy of the last report on the Defence Forces by the late Inspector-General ?

Senator PLAYFORD.-I shall have no objection to laying a copy upon the table.

POSTAL RATES BILL.

Senator STEWART.- I desire to ask the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, without notice, whether it is the intention of the Government to proceed with the Postal Rates Bill this session?

Senator KEATING.- The Bill is before the House of Representatives, and I have no reason to believe that the Government intend to postpone its consideration. I understand that it will be proceeded with.

UNIMPROVED VALUE OF LAND.

Senator MILLEN.- I desire to ask the Minister of Defence, without notice, if there is any possibility of the Senate being furnished this session with the return showing the number of holdings of different sizes in the various States, which it ordered on the motion of Senator Pearce some weeks ago?

Senator PLAYFORD.- I do not Know. Of course, the informationhas to be obtained from the States, and I believe that it is being collected. I cannot say when the return will be available.

PROPOSED CUSTOMS TARIFF CHANGES.

Senator PULSFORDasked the Minister representing the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1. Will the Government have returns prepared and laid on the table without any needless delay, showing -

(a) The increases and decreases of revenue expected to result from the proposed Tariff changes ?

(b) The basis of the preferential arrangements made by Canada, South Africa and . New Zealand respectively ?

(c) The amount of the imports that have paid duty under (1} the preferential rates, and under (2) the ordinary rates year by year in eachof the three countries since preference was adopted, giving also the totals of dutiable imports for the three preceding years ?

(d) In the case of Canada, the imports subject to duty from the United Kingdom and the United States respectively for each of the last ten years?

(e) The percentage of the amount of the imports subject to preference as compared with the duty-paid goods not so favoured ?

(f) A division of the imports for 1905 of the articles now proposed for preference by the Commonwealth, showing in regard to each item the respective imports from - (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Canada, (3) India and other British Asiatic Possessions, (4) other British Possessions, (5) Japan and China, (6) United States, (7) all other foreign countries, (8) the totals?

(g) The imports into the Commonwealth during 1905 which, under the suggested arrangement with New Zealand would be subjected to ' higher duties, showing separately the imports - (1) from the United Kingdom, (2) from other parts of the Empire, and (3) -from foreign countries?

(h) Any other, information considered necessary to a full and correct understanding of the proposed agreement with New Zealand, and of the preference proposed to be given to the United Kingdom ?

Senator PLAYFORD.- Unmistakably the honorable senator is asking for a return, and a lengthy one, too. I think that all returns should be moved for in the usual way, as provided in the Standing Orders, fluid that the desired information can be obtained expeditiously. We have given instructions for the preparation of the return to be commenced, but I would ask the honorable senator to be good enough to give notice of a motion in the ordinary way. The formal answer to his question is as follows : -

If the honorable senator will move that returns be prepared as indicated, the matter will receive attention.

Senator Pulsford.- I shall not move for a return, but give the information to the Senate myself.

Senator Playford.- Hear, hear ! That will save expense to the Commonwealth.







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