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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - I am glad that the Vice-President of the Executive Council has seen fit to make this concession. As the item stands, it is purely a revenue-producing item. To my mind, any braid in excess of 3 inches in width can be very well made up by the workers of our dress materials in Australia.

Senator Ready - No.

Senator GIVENS - Yes. I know a little about women's dresses, because I have to pay for them sometimes. I think that anything over 3 inches wide could not reasonably be classed as a 'braid. I am opposed to all purely revenue duties. It appears to me that the item, as originally brought down, was little better than a revenueproducing one. But, seeing that the Minister has made a fairly reasonable concession, I think that Senator E. J. Russell would be very well advised if he accepted it. I am prepared to accept the concession, although I was inclined to support the request. I hope that the Minister will be equally reasonable on all other items which may be classed as revenue-producing ones. I do not hold with the idea which Senator E.J. Russell enunciated, that, while we should let in the cheaper braids free, the more costly ones should be taxed. Silk braids, if dutiable, would only come within the reach of wealthy persons, and the amount of duty would not be very much to them, but I see no reason why they should have a monopoly of all the nice things in the world. Why should not poor people be allowed to enjoy them free of duty?

Senator McGregor - If Senator E. J. Russell is prepared to accept my suggestion I shall move the substitution of "three" for " two."

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