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Friday, 11 March 1932

Mr SPE AKER - I ask the honorable member for Melbourne Ports to withdraw that statement.

Mr Holloway - In deference to the Chair; but I am of the same opinion still.

M r. SPEAKER.- The honorable member's withdrawal must be without quali fication.

Mr Holloway -In deference to you, Mr. Speaker, I withdraw,

Mr SPEAKER - I call the attention of the honorable member for Angas to the fact that this motion is made to discuss the definite matter of employment, and he is not entitled to discuss irrelevant subjects.

Mr GABB - Because the subject of the debate is unemployment I feel keenly, and I am trying to expose some of the political trickery that is taking place.

Mr Makin - I take exception to the statement that the party with which I am associated is engaged in political trickery.

Mr SPEAKER - As the expression is unparliamentary, I ask the honorable member for Angas to withdraw it.

Mr GABB - I withdraw it. The Prime Minister has asked for suggestions as to the ways in which unemployment may be relieved. I urge him to place before the Premiers Conference a proposal to utilize the single unemployed in group settlements for the production of primary products that can be exported overseas.

Mr Ward - Can they be sold?

Mr GABB - Yes, at a price. Australian governments are expending £13,000,000 a year on doles, and have nothing to show for the money. If some of it were applied to make good the loss on the export of primary products, the net cost to the Australian people would be much reduced. While we are concerned to meet our oversea commitments, the labour of thousands of our young men is being wasted. The only way to meet our- liabilities is by the production of goods. I shall be told thatI want men to be employed at half rates. We must put this country in a position, which will permit every person to derive some benefit. We must get rid of the hide-bound ideas of the past. We must place our young men on group settlements, so that they may develop their brain and muscle, instead of hanging round street corners wasting their substance. Another suggestion which I shall make is really a State matter, but the Prime Minister is meeting the Premiers in conference shortly, and he could have it discussed there. Is it not possible to arrange with the land-holders of this country to employ men clearing lands that are notat present being put to full use? Even between Canberra and Goulburn one sees dead wood lying all over the country. 1'n other places the land is infested with fern, boxthorn, bracken and other noxious weed, which prevents it from being put into production. I suggest that the landholder should provide the men with food and lodging, and that the Government should pay them wages for two days' work, and that the men should work a further two days for their food and lodging. That would bring this country to greater production, and the money that is now expended in providing sustenance would be used in helping our land-owners to grow products for sale overseas. Surely there is some way of solving this pressing problem. Why should we stay here discussing the bills that are placed before us?

Mr Rosevear - Including legislation relating to wine.

Mr GABB - I do not care whether the legislation deals with wine or water. I agree with the writer of the letter which was quoted by the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Watson) that unless we do something for the unemployed, they will do something with us.

Mr SPEAKER -The honorable memher's time has expired.

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