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Wednesday, 23 November 1910

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - What the Government propose to do is to make. the old definition of pulp- board apply to boards of every description, which in the future must weigh 80 lbs. or over per ream -of '480 sheets. Here is a sample of an Australian-made' article which is used in the manufacture of covers for incandescent mantles. Unless it is very thin it cannot possibly be worked up. There is already a sufficient duty on the article. The makers have been perfectly satisfied, and have made no request to have the duty on strawboard increased. There was a gentleman in Melbourne today who had seen Mr. McDougall, of the firm of Sands and McDougall,- on the subject, and asked him, " Are you. satisfied with the duty of is. 6d. per cwt. ? " Mr. McDougall said, '.' Perfectly." Then the gentleman said, " But a duty of £5 per ton is proposed." Mr. McDougall replied, " We did not ask for it. The Government have given it to us." That is a nice kind of thing ! The Government, without any request being made, forces a duty on a manufacturer. I defy any one to say that this material should not be classed as board. No one can say that the stuff used for making tags for luggage should not be classed as board, although, when of the size . of 20 by 25 inches, it weighs a little over 70 lbs. per ream.

Senator Findley - The honorable senator would not call that material a board if he were turning out work with it. He' would call it a stiff paper.

Senator VARDON - It is Manilla tagboard. There is no other name for it. The Minister, however, simply says that the Government will not accept the request moved by me, because it will create . an anomaly, but he gives no instance of an anomaly which it will create. We ought not to be put off by excuses of this kind. I have already stated that the boxmaking trade does not affect me individually to the extent of a brass farthing, but I am taking the matter up in the interests of the box- . makers, to whom. entire satisfaction will be given if the weight be reduced to 70 lbs. The Minister can give no reason whatever for. not complying with the request.

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