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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - As I understand the request, if adopted, the parts of these machines, if not assembled when imported, will be admitted free ; records will be admitted free, and the complete machine will be dutiable at 10 and 5 per cent. I do not know enough of the subject to be able to decide whether the parts are of such a character that the importers of these instruments will be likely to avail themselves of the proposal for their admission free if unassembled. But I venture to express the opinion that, with duties of only 10 and 5 per cent., no reputable maker of these instruments wiM send out any but completed instruments.

Senator McGregor - Many parts are sent out now unassembled.

Senator MILLEN - I doubt very much whether any material parts of these instruments are unattached when they are imported. The Vice-President of the Executive Council desires to stop the introduction of articles that are really furniture, and that have no necessary connexion with these instruments. But I should like to know how many of these expensive machines are imported. Do they represent 1 in 1,000. If they do not represent more than 1 in 1,000, or more than ;i_ in 100, is there any justification for imposing these duties on the other 999 or 99? It is, I think, a foolish proceeding to say that, because one man in ,100, or in 1,000, imports a costly machine of this description, we should impose a tax upon the majority of people who use quite inexpensive machines. I suggest that, as no Tariff principle is involved, the Government might let the item go.

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