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Friday, 18 November 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I wish to correct an impression' that may be gathered from the remarks of the Minister (Senator E. D. Millen). I certainly did speak of inferior varnish, but I corrected myself by adding that locally-made varnish was good enough for ordinary work. I have no doubt that for such purposes Australian varnishes are as good as any others, just as Australian wines are equal to rival brands. Nevertheless, I do not think anybody would claim that Australia has yet reached that pitch of perfection in wine-making which France has attained. As far as good varnishes are concerned, a percentage duty means a much higher rate than a fixed duty, and the fixed duty applies to the inferior varnishes, because of the price at which they can be purchased abroad. There is no exorbitant duty on the varnishesthat are mostly made, but there is three or four timesas much duty on the higher grade varnishes.

Senator Reid -What demand is there for the high-class varnish?

Senator GARDINER - It is used on all good work. I mean high-class furniture and articles of that description, such as the fittings in this chamber.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Most of the fittings in this chamber are frenchpolished.

Senator GARDINER - The manufacturers of motor bodies and carriages, particularly those which the sterling old Australian workmen were accustomed to handle, require the better class of varnishes.

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