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Friday, 12 June 1914

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - It would be a pity to allow such a transparent piece of humbug as this Bill to pass the Senate without saying a word or two upon it. It is quite evident that the measure is nothing more or less than a drop of political chloroform, which is intended to be used on the eve of a general election.

Senator Needham - It is political bird-lime.

Senator DE LARGIE - It is birdlime which will not catch on. It would be a very simple bird indeed that would be caught by any such transparent device. The Bill is only brought forward as a piece of make-believe. It will not accomplish anything in the way of gaining fresh information in connexion with the export of meat. Let us take the position of the meat trade in Western Australia. We know that that trade has been in the hands of a ring ever since the gold boom on the West Coast. The Bill will have no effect on the meat trade of Western Australia, because it is a well-known fact that practically all the meat raised in the West is consumed within the State. It will in no way remove the ring that has been in existence in Western Australia for so long, and that is likely to continue in the years to come. Of what interest then is this measure to the people of Western Australia ? The Meat Ring does not go in for meat exportation, and until recently we could not get meat nearly as cheaply as the people in the east could. It is only since the Western. Australian Government stepped in that prices have come down, and the Meat Ring knows that we have a Government there prepared to fight it in the interests of the public. The people cannot take measures of this kind seriously, because they know well that the Ministerial party have for years blocked all our efforts to secure for this Parliament powers which would enable us to legislate effectively on the subject. Yet they bring in this miserable, futile Bill, and expect the people to believe that they are in earnest. The measure is not worth a decent burial. It is so transparent a piece of electioneering that it is not worth the paper it is printed on. The electors will see through this election dodge.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee:

Clause 1 -

This Act may be cited as the Meat Export Trade Commission Act 1914.

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