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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - By striking sub-item g out of item 177 these generators will fall under a higher duty. Before the first Tariff was passed there were negotiations for the manufacture of the articles in Australia. All other generators come under the duty under which these generators will fall in connexion with high-speed engines, and others, up to 200 horse- power. Those under 200 :horse-power will be dutiable at 20 per cent., .and those over 200 horse-power at 12J per cent.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Is there a preference also in that case?

Senator McGREGOR - These generators are now dutiable, except when they are for direct coupling to steam turbines. It is an anomaly that they do not appear along with the rest. Senator Millen has raised the point that a preference was given when these generators were admitted free from Great Britain, but the. preference applied only to this class. If the Senate desires to continue that preference to the class under which the articles will fall, I am prepared to make high-speed engines, under 200 horse-power, dutiable at 25 and 20 per trent., and all over 200 horse-power dutiable at 17 \ and 12J per cent.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir AlbertGould. - That will increase the duty all round.

Senator McGREGOR - It will leave the duty as it is, so far as Great Britain is concerned, but it will add 5 per cent, to the duty on imports from foreign countries. If honorable senators are imbued with that high Imperial idea, about which they are always talking, they will be willing to accept my offer gladly.

Senator Rae - What is the reason for making a difference as regards the horsepower?

Senator McGREGOR - That distinction is made in the Tariff now.

Request (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend the item by adding the following new sub-items : -

Bv adding at the end of sub-item (a) the words "and on and after December, 1911, ad valorem (General Tariff), 25 per cent. (United Kingdom), 20 per cent."

By adding at the end of sub-item (d) the words " and on and after December, 191 1, advalorem (General Tariff), 17^ per cent. (United Kingdom), 12^ per cent."

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [9.28].- It is very evident that the Minister has a lively view of the effect of the Tariff, so far as bringing in revenue is concerned. At present any one who has occasion to use these particular machines can get them in at 12j per cent., but it is now proposed that when they come from places other than Great Britain they shall pay an extra duty of 5 per cent. It occurs to me that the better way to give a preference would be to leave the duties at- 20 and 12J per cent., and to make the preference Tariff 5 per cent, less than those rates.

Senator McGregor - No.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - Can the Minister tell us where the bulk of these machines come from ? I should like to know whether the bulk of these goods are imported from England, America, or Germany.

Senator McGregor - From the United Kingdom.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - That means that if any one desired to import them from America or Germany, he would still have to pay 5 per cent, more duty than if he imported them from the United Kingdom. An honorable senator asked whether these machines are made in Australia. I believe that electrical machines up to 200 horse-power are not made here, and if that be so we may assume that machines- of higher power are not made here. Perhaps the Minister will inform the Committee whether machines of this character under or above 200 horsepower are made in Australia ; if so, where, and to what extent?

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