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Wednesday, 23 November 1938

Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- I also protest against this proposed interruption of the budget debate. The plight of the wheat-growers is not nearly so serious as that of tens of thousands of unemployed industrialists in this country. The wheat-growers have never had to come cap in hand to governments for a dole, but industrialists who lose their employment are forced to accept the dole. I protest against the postponement of the budget debate also because it is a further expression of the policy of intimidation and dictatorship that the Country party is implementing in respect of the United Australia party. The Country party loses no opportunity to imperil the progress of our secondary industries. It invariably asserts that the wheat industry should receive paramount consideration. We are quite prepared to treat the wheatgrowers justly and even generously, but we are strongly against the re-imposition of the bread tax, which will place an almost intolerable burden upon the working people of this country.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member will not be in order in discussing any subject except the time at which consideration shall be given to the message of the Governor-General.

Mr JAMES - Many of us sat here all last night, but very few members of the Country party did so.

Mr Fadden - Thirteen out of sixteen of us were here.

Mr JAMES - The Minister for Commerce was not one of them. I regret that the Country party assisted the United Australia party yesterday to apply the gag to the discussion of the important problem of unemployment. The Minister for Works (Mr. Thorby) was the only honorable gentleman in the

Ministry who thought the subject of sufficient importance to discuss it. We all know that the bill which the Government is now seeking to introduce will receive the strong support of the Country party, for some of its wheat-growing members in this Parliament will receive bounties if it should be passed. I have no desire to be personal on this subject, but it is well-known that some honorable members who support the Government have been paid bounties in respect of their wheat production in years gone by.

Mr SPEAKER -I must again ask the honorable member to confine his remarks to the subject before the Chair. It will not be in order for him to discuss bounties at this stage.

Mr JAMES - I lodge an emphatic protest against any interference with the normal order of business, and particularly against any further postponement of the budget debate. We are all well aware that if the bill which the Minister for Commerce now wishes to introduce is passed bounties will be paid to many individuals in this country who are at present in receipt of a taxable income.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member must obey the ruling of the Chair.

Mr JAMES - I protest against any interruption of the budget debate.

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