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Friday, 3 August 1906

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) . - L am sorry that none of the legal members of the House are present.

Sir William Lyne - I do not need them ; I prefer their absence.

Mr FISHER - The Minister proposes to so amend this clause as to provide that the sum of .£500,000 shall foe appropriated during the period of ten years. My point is that the schedule will not sufficiently bind the Minister to an expenditure of .£50,000 per annum, nor to its annual distribution according to the terms set forth therein. If the honorable gentleman's proposal be carried he may spend £100,000 or £200,000 in any one year, and a smaller proportion in any of the remaining years. There is a matter of policy involved. . In my opinion the adoption of the Minister's proposal would not be of assistance to those who embark upon these industries, since their position would be less assured than it would be if we passed the clause as it stands. What we need to insure is that the total sum of £500,000 shall be paid during the ten years' period. If we do not make that intention clear, the Minister may do an injustice in expending, with the best of intentions, more than ,£50,000 in any one year. If there is a necessity for an increased bounty being offered owing to the number of people entering upon any one of these industries, the honorable gentleman or his successors will always be able to appeal to Parliament for a further vote.

Sir William Lyne - I wish the honorable member would cease ; our trains will be leaving very soon.

Mr FISHER - I desire to assist the Minister. My disposition is not to embarrass him in any way, but I wish to take up a position that I shall be able to substantiate when it is necessary to do so.

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