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Wednesday, 28 July 1920


Sir ROBERT BEST (Kooyong) . - If any honorable member doubted which way he should vote upon this measure he should have been persuaded to vote in its favour as the outcome of the speech of the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton). The honorable member furnished some of the most cogent reasons why the Bill, as introduced, should be passed. His great point was that the measure would bring about still further overlapping; he enumerated several instances where that occurs throughout the States to-day. He pointed to the fact that experts in several of the States are engaged in branches of research and are actually performing a similar class of work. That indicates a waste of energy and a serious amount of overlapping. The very object of the Bill is to prevent that. The Director is told by the Bill that he must co-operate with existing organizations throughout Australia, with a view to preventing unnecessary overlapping. There must be complete control in. the matter of co-operation and co-ordination.


Mr Tudor - The Commonwealth has complete control over quarantine, but after the States had agreed that the Commonwealth should be supreme they all broke away last year.


Sir ROBERT BEST - That may have been so, but the point is not really cogent to my argument. The very essence of this measure is co-operation with respect to scientific research. The best results can be achieved only by co-operation. The Federal Institute, so far as possible, should undertake general supervision and be in a .position to direct and assist the several States along the lines in which their energies should be bent. If there is a supervising and co-ordinating authority, such as this measure proposes, there will be effective results.

The honorable member for Melbourne (Dr. Maloney) referred to one point on which we disagree. It would be ringing the death knell of a scientific institution, such as is here proposed, if salaries were to be limited in the manner suggested by the honorable member. Such limitation would at once preclude all hope of our securing the best men.


Mr Gabb - I call attention to the state of the House. [Quorum formed.]







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