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Thursday, 7 August 1930

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) (10:40 AM) . - I move -

That the following new paragraph be inserted: - (ea) goods manufactured in the industrial departments of institutions for the blind.

I am submitting this amendment at the request of the authorities controlling institutions for the blind. As honorable' senators are aware these institutions have industrial departments in which blind inmates are employed in the manufacture of brushware, wickerware, mats and matting. As all the work is done by hand higher prices are charged for the articles manufactured by them than is charged by retail establishments for similar goods manufacured by machinery. The fact that the articles are hand-made limits the patronage of these industrial departments, and the managers are afraid that if the sales tax is imposed upon goods manufactured by the blind it may not be possible to provide certain of the inmates with useful employment. Every one knows what a blessing employment is to persons afflicted with blindness. I have met many instances of men and women who have been restored to normality simply because they have been usefully occupied in these institutions. I trust that the Minister will accept the amendment.

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