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Wednesday, 5 October 1910
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Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - Senator Henderson has not brought forward one argument in reply to mine. I showed that Victoria and New South Wales had conducted experiments with trawlers, and proved the idea to be a failure. The men who gave mie information on this subject are equal in respect of knowledge, if not superior, to the honorable senator. I do not care twopence about the honorable senator's remarks concerning me, because when people read them, they will attribute them to his ignorance. Instead of attempting to reply to my arguments, he has simply resorted to abuse, because I maintained that previous experiments with trawlers had been a failure. I have a perfect right to maintain that contention, and if the honorable senator disagrees with it, he should bring forward arguments, instead of making abusive remarks about my conservatism: I venture to say that I am a better Liberal than he has ever been, and have proved it all my life. I am not going to be "choked off" my opposition to this project by abuse. The honorable senator has talked about my being " oneeyed." There is an old saying that "in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king," and there are quite a number of politically blind people on the Ministerial side. The honorable senator has told us about the emerald isles in the north-west of Australia, where there are beautiful fish to be caught. I have given him the results of experience of schnapper fishing in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. It is a remarkable thing that there are no schnapper between New Zealand and Australia. I suppose he would say that there is schnapper in Tasmanian waters. But he does not know. The honorable member can make a speech, but I do not believe that he really knows one fish from' another. Yet he has posed as an authority, whilst any person who differs from him is met with abuse instead of argument. There has been no proof in any of the reports that there is any prospect of making a financial success of this enterprise. Are the Government spending this money on a mere plaything? To make a financial success of -anything of the kind it has to be proved that there are sufficient marketable fish to be obtained by trawling. I maintain that we have not, except in rare places, a bottom where we can successfully use a trawler. We have no places like the Dogger bank or the Newfoundland bank where fish can always be obtained in this manner. These facts have been demonstrated by the Victorian and New South Wales Governments time after time. Yet we are told that we are not to learn from previous experience. We are voting money that we might just as well throw into the sea.

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