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Friday, 15 June 1906


Mr McLEAN (Gippsland) . - I do not think it is desirable that I should occupy the time of the Housein an attempt to emphasize the magnitude of the evil of the rabbit pest. Any person who has acknowledge of the rural conditions obtaining throughout Australia must be aware that the ravages of the rabbit constitute the most serious evil that has ever threatened our pastoral and agricultural industries. Consequently the value of any effective remedy cannot very well be over-estimated. As a layman, it would be impossible for me to express any opinion regarding the efficacy of Dr. Danysz's proposed remedy, and it would be equally impossible for me to gauge the risks that are. involved in the conduct of his projected experiments. I listened carefully to the speech delivered by the Minister of Trade and Customs yesterday, and it appeared to me that, having had the advantage of expert opinion, he was fairly impressed with the magnitude of the evil, with the value of any effective remedy, and with the necessity for thoroughly safeguarding the experiments to be undertaken. That being so, it seems to me that, whilst the motion, with the amendment proposed, is fairly in accordance with my own opinion as to what should be done, I think that for this House to pass a motion on the subject would be, to some extent, to tie the hands of the Minister, and to reduce rather than to increase his responsibility. Therefore, whilst I agree that the views which have been expressed have been well worth the time occupied by the debate, I think it would be very much better if the motion were withdrawn, and the whole responsibility were left in the hands of the Government.







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