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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator McCOLL (Victoria) .- On the last occasion, I voted against the duties on pianos because there was only one factory in Australia, and it seemed to me that we were asked to give a. monopoly to one man. The imposition of a duty has induced another manufacturer to start, and, therefore, we have a certain amount of competition. I have not had the pleasure of visiting his factory, but I have seen instruments which he has made, and they certainly are very fine and beautiful ones. I am prepared to give the manufacturers an additional 5 per cent. I notice that the. duty on the worker's piano is put up 10 per cent. That is, I think, too much. I da not consider that to-day a piano is a luxury. I am afraid that the proposed duties will have the effect of increasing the price of the worker's piano very much. Still, I think that we ought to encourage those who have spent their money in establishing a factory. It was a bold and courageous venture, and the chance is that, with a little more Protection, we shall have more competition between the makers. I am prepared to vote for the first sub- item, and to vote for a duty of 30 per cent, on upright pianos.

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