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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) (Minister of Trade and Customs) . - I move -

That the amendments be agreed to.

The most important amendment made by the Senate in this Bill is one which provides that the full amount of bounty shall be paid for four years, that in the fifth year the amount shall be reduced by onethird, and in the sixth year by two-thirds, so that at the end of seven years from now it will cease entirely. I regret that the change has been made. No doubt it will fail to give the satisfaction which would have been given by the original arrangement, and will necessitate an alteration in the Excise law when the reduction begins to take effect, because otherwise the white growers will be unfairly handicapped.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. The full amount of bounty will continue to be paid for the next five years.

Mr Lonsdale - Does the Minister think that the bounty should be paid for all time?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is a question to be dealt with in thefuture. We cannot tell how things will have altered at the end of the next five years. There may have been a re-adjustment of our finances, which will create quite new conditions. If we were not so near the end of the session, the Government would ask the Committee to take action more in consonance with their views, but as we wish' to deal with the matter this session, and to get away before Christmas, we are compelled to reluctantly ask' honorable members to accept the amendments of the Senate. To my mind, further action will have to be taken in this matter at the end of the next five years. The desire of honorable senators seems to be to intimate to the sugar growers that the bounty will terminate seven years from now ; but I feel that further action will be forced on the Government of the day at the end of the next five years.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has not the Senate made an amendment providing for the payment of a minimum wage?

Mr Deakin - The wages paid in a district.

Mr Fisher - It is out of place in this Bill.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Perhaps that provision would be better elsewhere, but I do not wish to delay matters by asking the House to reject it.

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