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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - At the request of my honorable colleague, I rise to submit two requests in respect of this item. In the first place, I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend the item by inserting at the commencement the following new paragraph : - " By inserting in the item after the word ' ginger ' in the sub-heading to sub-items e to i the letters 'n.e.i.'"

This is a request for an alteration, not in the schedule to this Bill, but in the schedule to the principal Act. At present item 54 reads -

Fruits and vegetables, including Ginger (preserved in liquid, or partly preserved, or pulped) -

By inserting these words the item will read - " Fruits and vegetables including ginger n.e.i.," &c. I shall follow up this request with a proposal that the other House be requested to leave out " n.e.i. " after " ginger " in sub-item k of item 54 in this schedule. The duty on green ginger is1d. per lb. under item 57, and the duty on crystallized preserved ginger is 3d. per lb. under item 54d. Under our original proposal in this Bill, the duty on ginger for preserving would have been practically 2d. per lb., and a margin of1d. is stated to be insufficient for the local manufacturer. Ginger is packed in brine merely to temporarily preserve it for transit, and it is considered that it might reasonably be placed on the same level as green ginger, namely,1d. per lb. The effect of the two requests I am submitting will be a reduction of1d. in the duty. I may mention, for the information of Senator McDougall, that the duty is being reduced at the request of those who are interested in the manufacture of preserved ginger.

Senator Keating - This raises the question of the competence of the Committee to deal with matters which are not contained in the schedule to this Bill. Item 54 begins with the words " By omiting the whole of sub-items e, f, g, h, andi, and inserting in their stead the following sub-items, " namely, e to k," and the question arises whether the sub-items in the original schedule are before the Committee.

Senator Pearce - They are clearly before the Committee, because the object of item 54 in the present schedule is to omit them and insert others.

Senator Keating - I am raising the question to see exactly how we stand, because it may have a bearing on other requests which may be moved.

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