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Friday, 26 February 1932

Mr LYONS (Wilmot) (Prime Minister and Treasurer) .- The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin) asked when the House would be given an opportunity of debat ing the tariff schedule. I am unable to state exactly when we shall he able to begin the discussion. The time will depend upon the progress we make with the legislation now before us, and upon when that legislation is returned to us from the Senate. It could not be next week, but wo hope to make a beginning before the Easter recess. We cannot guarantee that; but we undertake to give to the House an opportunity of debating the schedule as early as possible after Easter, if not before it.

Regarding the representations of the States on the subject of unemployment, there is no need for that matter to be delayed until May. The report of the special Transport Committee recently set up by the Premiers Conference will, I understand, be available next week, and the representatives of the States will desire to discuss the recommendations in that report much earlier than May. I anticipate that there will be a meeting of State Government representatives in the near future, when the subject of unemployment will he brought before them.

The right honorable member for Cowper (Dr. Earle Page) asked the Government to hasten its decision regarding the continued payment of a subsidy towards the cost of combating the spread of the cattle tick pest in New South Wales. This matter is giving the Government very serious concern, both as to the amount of money involved, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the methods employed. The admission by the right honorable -member regarding the continued spread of the pest indicates that there is at least some doubt as to the efficiency of the methods taken to check it.

Mr Martens - Are not the farmers in the affected areas antagonistic to the methods employed?

Mr LYONS - I cannot say ; the honorable member may know that. We are keeping the subject in mind, and I promise the honorable member that an early decision will he reached.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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