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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . -When I was a boy, I had the hardship of working in a mill where timber was planed and moulded. I put it to any one whether the 3s. which will remain if .the request be carried will not leave a considerable difference between timber imported in the rough, or undressed, and dressed timber. Can any one who knows anything about the timber trade say that the 2s. 6d. between undressed timber and dressed timber is not ample protection for those who are engaged in the dressing of timber?

Senator Guthrie - The duty of 6d. per 100 feet super, is too low.

Senator RAE - Whether the duty of 6d. is too low or not, it has been settled. The difference between the 6d. on undressed timber and the 3s. on dressed timber is 2s. 6d. per 100 superficial feet, and I challenge any one to say that it costs is. per 100 superficial feet to dress the rough timber. I contend that there is an ample margin left. Even those who are fond of the delusion known as Protection, which generally fails to protect the right fellow, cannot say that there is not ample protection granted in the difference of 2s. 6d. But, apart altogether from our fiscal beliefs, if the protection they ask for is not obtained by that difference, where will their demand end ? Why do they not come out with a straight-out proposal to prohibit the importation of timber in that state ?

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