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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr COOK (Indi) (8:59 AM) .- We all appreciate the contention of the honorable member for Gwydir (Mr. Cunningham) that the States should make good to the wheat-grower the difference between the market price for his product and the cost of production. But that principle, if applied to wheat, should apply to all primary products, and I fail to see how the finances of the country could stand the strain. I' take strong exception to the statement made by the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Lambert) that the farmers are. loafers on the State. I feel sure the honorable member for Gwydir did not appreciate that remark.

Mr Cunningham - There are loafers in all walks of life; there are loafers in this House.

Mr COOK - I protest strongly against the remark of the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Lambert). It is a distinct insult to a large number of people represented by honorable members opposite.

Mr Cunningham - On a point of order, I understood you to rule, Mr. Bayley, that the amendment of the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) was out of order, because it increased the appropriation. I point out that it is quite possible that no appropriation will be made under this Bill. Possibly you overlooked that. When we deal with messages from the Governor-General a certain amount is usually mentioned to cover a particular liability. This is simply a guarantee. Honorable members on the other side have taken the stand that the guarantee shall be so small that it is unlikely that any appropriation will be required.

Mr Charlton - On the point of order, I draw your attention, Mr. Bayley, to sub-clause (4), of the clause, which reads -

The Treasurer may pay out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is hereby appropriated accordingly, any amounts which become due and payable under any guarantee given by him in pursuance of this Act.

Noamount is mentioned in that subclause. I submit, therefore, that it cannot be said that the amendment proposed by the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) will increase the appropriation.

Mr Bruce - It is desirable that we should keep within our Standing Orders. It must be clear to honorable members that, if the word " three " in sub-clause (1) is altered to "four,'' and an appropriation became necessary, more would have to be paid than if the word " three" remained in the clause. It is obvious that the amendment must increase the liability of the Consolidated Revenue. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr. Bayley). - I cannot alter my decision in regard to the amendment.

Mr Charlton - I had not noticed that the amount payable was to be appropriated out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. I think you are perfectly right, Mr. Bayley.

Clause agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment. Motion (by Dr. Earle Page) proposed -

That the report be adopted.

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