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Tuesday, 8 March 1932

Dr EARLE PAGE (Cowper) . - I wish to record my impression of what has just happened. A few minutes before the conclusion of the discussion on the tobacco industry the Prime Minister gave me his personal assurance - repeating what he had already said when speaking to the motion - that the representations which have been made today by honorable members would receive the early and urgent consideration of the Government. It was on that understanding that I crossed the floor of the House.

Mr Scullin - Did not the right honorable member intend to vote for his amendment ?

Dr EARLE PAGE -I did, and still do; but I think it is reasonable that all the members of this Parliament, and particularly those who represent tobaccogrowing districts, should have an opportunity to participate in the debate on the subject before they are called upon to record a vote upon it. I am not concerned whether the Labour party, the United Australia party, or the Country party get kudos out of the discussion; but I am concerned about the welfare of the tobacco industry. I desire to see this industry stabilized at the earliest possible moment. I take it that the assurance given to me by the Prime Minister was an honorable un dertaking given by an honorable man, and that it will be carried out in an honorable way.

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