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Wednesday, 28 July 1920

Mr HIGGS (Capricornia) .- This clause will confer very great powers upon the Director, and I have some hesitation in agreeing to it. Whilst there can be no objection to the Director initiating and carrying out scientific researches, there may be some objection .to allowing him to establish and award industrial research studentships and fellowships and to permitting him to make grants.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - He cannot do any of those things without the approval of the Minister, who will necessarily be guided by his ability to get the votes through Parliament.

Mr HIGGS - The Minister's interjection reminds me that when I asked him if he had calculated the cost of this Institute, he replied that the matter would come up for discussion on the Estimates. Whilst I have been a member - of this House I have known Estimates involving an expenditure of £4,000,000 or £5,000,000 to be passed with, only four hours' consideration.

Mr Mcwilliams -I do not think that that will happen again.

Mr HIGGS - .That may be so, because we are now living in a time of peace* Political parties are more evenly divided than they were during the war ; and, with great respect ' to Ministers, it is a good thing for the country when there is a strong Opposition. However wellmeaning the Minister may be, the Director of the Institute will be authorized by this Bill to make grants

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - But he can only make them subject to Ministerial approval.

Mr HIGGS - It does not say so.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - Yes, it does.

Mr HIGGS - I beg the Minister's pardon; I had quite overlooked that fact.

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