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Thursday, 7 May 1931

Senator BARNES - On the 26th March, Senator E. B. Johnston asked the following questions, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that the price of galvanized iron has been further increased in Western Australia ?

2.   What steps have been taken to relieve the people of Western Australia from exploitation in regard to the price of this commodity ?

3.   What is the difference between the retail prices of galvanized iron in (a) Sydney, and (b) Perth?

4.   Will the Government take steps to establish a uniform price for galvanized iron in all the State capitals?

Iam now able to furnish the honorable senator with the following information : -

1.   The manufacturers' selling prices, and the dealers' selling prices, were each increased by £1 per ton on the 1st and 2nd March, 1931, respectively.

2.   Galvanized iron is sold by the manufacturers to any one in Western Australia in minimum quantities of 2 tons at exactly the same prices, f.o.r. Fr em an tle, as is charged by the manufacturers to similar buyers in

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, ex. company's stores. In consequence of complaints made regarding the manufacturers' selling prices and rebates, the Government requested the Tariff Board, inter alia, to inquire and report whether Australian galvanized iron is marketed in an equitable and efficient manner having particular regard to methods of distribution and the manufacturers' policy of wholesale prices and discrimination (if any) between purchasers. The Tariff Board reported that it was of opinion " that the Australian manufacturer markets his products in an equitable and efficient manner; price concessions based on quantities purchased apply equally to all classes of purchasers irrespective of their commercial designation, i.e., whether wholesalers, retailers or consumers. The only discrimination exercised by the manufacturer is that of restricting purchasers to those who take a minimum quantity of 2 tons in unbroken cases; the board considers that this is reasonable ".

3.   The dealers' retail prices of galvanized corrugated iron in 5 feet to 8 feet lengths in cases are: -


4.   The manufacturer has established a uniform price for Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. This applies to quantities as low as 2 ton lots, and they will supply any purchaser of these quantities at this uniform price. Where higher -prices are being charged this is being done by traders over whom the Commonwealth Government has no control. The regulation of retail prices is a matter that only the State Government can deal with.

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