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Tuesday, 8 November 1910


Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - If we were to carry the Minister's last argument further, we might ask why he should not pay the bounty on oil produced during the previous twelve months, if, during that period, the prescribed conditions were complied with?


Senator Pearce - Because that would not be within the financial year.


Senator ST LEDGER - If no better reason than the advantage to be gained from the keeping of Commonwealth accounts can be advanced for the proposal, I suppose the Committee must accept it, but I do not think that any such proposal has previously been made. The Minister cannot escape the fact that the Bill will be retrospective, and I wish it to be clearly understood that, under it, it is proposed to give assistance by way of bounty to a company that has a monopoly in the industry. I should like to know what special virtue there is in debiting our accounts with the bounty paid during twelve months, rather than with the amount paid during nine months. We are dealing with a fairly wealthy company, with a capital of £1,250,000. I say all honour to their enterprise, but they are scarcely subjects for a gratuity of this kind. It may be of advantage to us to be generous in this matter, but we should not forget that we are dealing with the money of the taxpayers, and ought to be strictly just.


Senator Pearce - We are only following here what was done in the Bounties Act. It was passed on 28th November, and dated back to 1st July of the same year.


Senator ST LEDGER - I was going to ask the Minister what course was followed in the Bounties Act. If it was made retrospective in the same way there is no reason why we should make an exception in this case.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 3 to 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 - (1.) The person claiming any bounty under this Act shall in making his claim certify to the Minister the conditions of employment obtaining, and the rates of wages paid by him to employees, in connexion with the production and manufacture of the goods on which the bounty is claimed. (2.) If the Minister finds that the rates of wages and conditions of employment, or any of them -

(a)   are below the standard prescribed by any Commonwealth or State industrial authority ; or,

(b)   in the absence of any such standard applicable to the case, are below the standard applicable in the same State for similar work; or,

(c)   in the absence of any of such- standards, are, on application by the Minister to the President of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, declared not to be fair or reasonable by him, or by a Judge of the Supreme Court of a State, or any person or persons who compose a State Industrial Authority, to whom he may refer the matter, the Minister may withhold the whole or any part of the bounty payable.....







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