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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) . - I rise to add a footnote to what has been said on this important subject of afforestation. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) rather suggested, I think, that the States were not doing the fair thin ft by the Commonwealth which, he said, had established the forestry school for the general good. I do not think that his remarks adequately set out the real position. I have not the papers by me, but I know that for many years the leading universities in Australia - I think there were only three in existence at that time - were a good deal concerned as to how they could give instruction in what might be regarded as the minor subjects,- using minor in the sense that not many students were offering. Obviously, it was undesirable to have overlapping. As a result of an agreement between them it was arranged that Sydney should have anthropology, Melbourne veterinary science, and Adelaide forestry. That was the distribution; but, unfortunately, while Sydney University established a faculty of anthropology, and Melbourne I think got a chair of veterinary science, Adelaide lost the forestry school to the Commonwealth.

Senator Hardy - Sydney University also has a school of veterinary science.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - What 1 said removes, I think, the objection that the States were under some obligation to the Commonwealth in connexion with the forestry school at Canberra. As a matter of fact they have supported the school, but I was a little surprised to hear the Leader of the Senate say, although I do not question the accuracy of his statement, that my State would be sending two students to the forestry school this year, because only a few months ago a State Minister informed me in writing that the State would not be doing so.

Senator Sir George Pearce - My information comes from the department.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - Then probably the State Government has changed its mind. I do not wish to discuss the general merits of the case. I have no doubt that the forestry school at Canberra is doing good work, but I think also that we should consider how far we can go to keep open a school which in its way may be valuable, but which is not being adequately supported.

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