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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr RIORDAN - That is an obsession with some honorable members. Most of our trouble has been due to the cry of stinking fish on the part of the members of both Federal and State legislatures. The position of New South Wales to-day will soon be the position of the Commonwealth and. the other States. We have to meet this year an interest bill of £59,000,000. The more we throw people out of production the more revenue we lose. The year before last we expended about £8,000,000 for unemployed sustenance". This year we have expended about £12,000,000, and next year we shall need to expend about £15,000,000. At the same time, we have to meet a big interest bill. The Commonwealth as well as the States is drifting on to the rocks. To-day it is the turn of the State of New South Wales. To-morrow it will be the turn of some other State.. This Government, instead of passing harassing legislation bristling with difficulties, would be better engaged in making provision for the employment of our people in industry. The high cost of transport is ruining the very people upon whom we rely for revenue to meet our interest payments. The attention of the previous Government was drawn to the exorbitant shipping charges on our primary products, particularly wool, and yet no action was taken to compel the shipping companies to give relief to the wool-growers. Australia has lived on the back of its sheep for many years, but cannot do so for ever. The mining industry is languishing. There is a clamour for gold, which is bringing £7 an oz. What effort' is being made by the Government to encourage the mining industry, and to put this country on the road to progress? The Cabinet or the Loan Council meets the bankers, who stress the fact that the note issue must be curtailed, otherwise inflation will be brought about. They say, " We must dismiss more men and take a few more shillings from the unemployed : to provide employment we must substitute a week for a 44-hours week". The only effect of that would be to throw more people out of work. How is the money owing by a State to the Commonwealth to be collected? I remember the incident of the Warwick egg, which hatched the Federal Police Force. Is that police force capable of enforcing penalties under this legislation ? Is the police force of New South Wales likely to accept instructions from the Commonwealth? This Government says that it will put a receiver into Th: banks of New South Wales, but if I am any judge of Mr. Lang he will not put his money in the banks. He is a wise bird. We have, since the opening of this Parliament, wasted nearly a month in beating the air. The bill is not worth the paper on which it is printed, and is so much humbug and rubbish. In any case, I do not think that the High Court would give a decision in opposition to the voice of the people.

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