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Wednesday, 23 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) .- It "seems to me that we are now going to depart from a Protective Tariff to adopt a policy of absolute Free Trade. Whilst Free Trade has greater charms for me than has a revenue Tariff, I wish to ask the Minister if there is no possibility of axles and -steel parts being made in Australia?

Senator Findley - No.

Senator GIVENS - As far as I can learn, steel waggons and steel wheels are mainly a Yankee production, and I believe that the chief importer of them is the International Harvester Company. Although we do not manufacture steel wheels we do manufacture the best wooden wheels, and undoubtedly the former will come into competition with the latter. I regard it as extremely ominous that the moment the Minister explained that his proposal is a Free Trade one, honorable members opposite were prepared to swallow the item holusbolus. I am anxious to build up industries in Australia, and I think it is the duty of the Minister to supply us with a little more information in respect to this matter. If the item is to include waggons, trucks, &c, I think that the Government are going a little too far. However, I am prepared to suspend judgment until I hear the Minister's explanation.

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