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Wednesday, 29 August 1906

Mr POYNTON (Grey) . - I. like many other honorable members, feel that we have not yet reached a stage at which we should be justified in sanctioning this heavy expenditure. We have not yet received any information as to the way in which these bounties. are to be distributed, or as to whether it is intended that the producer of the raw material shall receive any benefit. In the memorandum circulated by the Minister, it is stated that 500,000 lbs. of raw coffee were imported last year, whilst over 2,000,000 lbs. of manufactured coffee were also imported. I should like to know what proportion of the bounty to be given for the production of coffee will go to the grower of the beans, and what proportion of the bounty on cotton will be received by the grower.

Sir William Lyne - At the proper stage I shall explain the whole matter. I have all the information that can be obtained with respect to these questions, and have also framed an amendment relating to the very point which the honorable member has raised.

Mr POYNTON - I think that the Bill ought to be referred to a Select Committee.

Sir WilliamLyne. Anvthing to block it.

Mr POYNTON - I make this suggestion in no hostile spirit.

Sir William Lyne - I fail to see how it could be regarded in any other light. ' It is a proposal to destroy the Bill.

Mr POYNTON - It would be far better to reject it than to pass it in the absence of satisfactory information. It could be revived next session. We should certainly be justified in appointing a Select Committee to deal with the Bill.

Mr Crouch - Would the honorable member place any members of the Opposition on that Committee? None of them will be here next session.

Mr POYNTON - Every one knows that all parties in the House would be represented on any Select Committee that might be appointed. It has been said that this ' Bill is something in the nature of a bribe to the electors. I would point out, however, that the number of electors who would benefit by its passing is so infinitesimally. small that such a suggestion is absurd. It might just as well be said that those who are opposed to taxation of any kind are holding out a bribe to the electors, since nine out of ten believe always in taxing " the other fellow." This Bill will not benefit more than 200 people.

Mr Mcwilliams - Then they will have a substantial " cut in."

Mr POYNTON - I do not know about that. I understand that some of the industries named in the schedule are alreadywell established. The honorable member for New England said that I was anxious to support the Bill because it provides for a bounty on the production of olive oil, as T represent a district in' which olives are produced. As a matter of fact, there is not an olive grove in my electorate. In some parts of it a few trees may be grown, but they are certainly not cultivated for the production of olive oil. I have not heard that there is any strong demand on the part of South Australia for a bounty to promote the olive oil industry. I trust that the Minister will consider mv suggestion that the Bill be referred to 'a Select Committee. I should like to test the question.

Sir William Lyne - If the honorable member's proposal be carried, the Bill will not be further proceeded with.

Mr Johnson - So much the better.

Mr POYNTON - Surely the Minister knows that if my proposal were carried the Bill would be referred to a Select Committee.

Sir William Lyne - No, it would be dropped.

Mr POYNTON - Why should the honorable 'gentleman take up that attitude?

Sir William Lyne - Because the proposal, if adopted, would destroy the Bill.

Mr Johnson - The Minister has no right to threaten the Committee.

Mr POYNTON - I am not frightened by anything he may say in that regard. I should be prepared, if I thought fit, to vote against the Bill, although I certainly am prepared, if the Minister is reasonable, to vote for it. Should I be in order, Mr. Chairman, in moving that, contingent on the passing of clause 2, the Bill be referred to a Select Committee?

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