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Thursday, 2 May 1957


Mr POLLARD - I know, but 1 am prepared to use the honorable member's proposition for another reason which could achieve the same objective, possibly, that the honorable gentleman is seeking, but by a more satisfactory method. The honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam) made an interesting and sound suggestion in regard to the same matter. He suggested a different remedy. The honorable member pointed out that there are accumulations of pyrites in Western Australia which it is not economic to work because of the freight problem. Probably, it is also due to the freight problem that it is not economic to work certain stacks of pyrites in Queensland. As pointed out by the honorable member for Werriwa, it would be possible to overcome a constitutional difficulty by the Government's providing in its giants to Western Australia sums of money which would enable the bounty to be sufficient to encourage the use of the Western Australian stockpiles.

During the war, Western Australian pyrites were used and, to some extent, are still used for the production of sulphuric acid. In one case, the limitation of profit probably prevents the stockpiles from being utilized to the extent that they should be. It is not right to remove the profit limitation provision from the bill in order to help one company if the removal of that provision would enable other companies, which are more fortunately situated, to profit unduly. But it would be sound to apply some other method, as suggested by the honorable member for Werriwa, whereby the States could be given an amount to assist the people who have operated stockpiles to achieve what is, in effect, an evasion of the Constitution by obtaining a bounty which would enable utilization of their materials. Looking at the question from the national point of view, what State needs assistance more than Western Australia? The production of gold in Western Australia has been assisted by a bounty that has resulted in gold being dug out of -i hole in the ground in Western Australia and put into another hole in the ground in the United States of America or Great Britain. However, the gold bounty is essential to the State of Western Australia.

Likewise, it can be said that a pyrites bounty of sufficient amount or of a differential nature is possibly justified for

Western Australia. Consequently, the Opposition supports the postponement of this clause in order to enable that proposition, and the propositions of the honorable members for Werriwa and Capricornia, to be considered. We will support the proposition of the honorable member for Capricornia in order to obtain a postponement not for the motives for which he wants the postponement, but for the motives for which we want it, although in both cases the same desirable result may be achieved. In these circumstances, the Opposition will support the amendment moved by the honorable member for Capricornia.







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