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Tuesday, 18 May 1920


Mr McWILLIAMS (FRANKLIN, TASMANIA) - The honorable member for Illawarra (Mr. Hector Lamond) has stated repeatedly, " Oh, that is provided for." When I asked him "Where?" he said, "In the amended, schedule."


Mr Hector Lamond - An atrocious misrepresentation !


Mr McWILLIAMS - I ask the honorable member and the House if it is fair, on an important matter like 'this, that an amended schedule making vital alterations in the Bill should be produced here by the Prime Minister, and discussed by him before honorable members have had an opportunity of seeing it?


Mr Jackson - He told us all about it on the second reading.


Mr McWILLIAMS - When honorable members learn the rules of debate, and the procedure of the House, they will find that principles should be discussed in the House, and that the details of those principles should be dealt with in Committee. We have been told of a clause which it is said affords the protection that some of us ask for. Clause 14 of the agreement, as amended - the only clause that I have seen in the new form - provides that where the Commonwealth believes that the company is charging an unfair price it may open the Customs House door, and allow competition. Competition from whom? From one of the greatest monopolies in the world. In spite of everything that has been said, the AngloPersian Oil Company does control the Refinery Company. It has a majority of four out of seven on the board of directors. Whilst the Commonwealth retains the majority of the shares, it can elect only its own three directors, while the other four, comprising the majority of the board, are elected by the company.


Mr Maxwell - That is an argument against the second reading of the Bill, and not in favour of the appointment of a Select Committee.


Mr Mcwilliams - I shall be glad if the honorable member will allow me to make my own speech in my own way. The Commonwealth Government has been fighting a Combine. If honorable members look up the speeches of the Prime Minister and the then Minister for the Navy (Mr. Poynton), they will see how bitterly they resented the attempt made by the Inchcape Shipping Combine to crush the Commonwealth line of steamers. Inchcape, who controls that Combine, is the man who represents the British Government on this Combine. The Inchcape combine entered into an alliance with the Morgan combine to control the shipping of the world. Who can say that the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, under the presidency of Lord Inchcape, will not enter into a similar combine here with the Amerioan oil companies to controlthe oil supplies of the world ?


Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - He is statutorily prevented from doing that.







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