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Friday, 23 October 1914

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - I am afraid we shall have to take this Bill very much on trust. The fact that we did not have copies of it until we came into the chamber prevented me from glancing over the measure, and, as I understand the Minister desires to have it passed as soon as possible, it means that we shall have to accept the Bill in good faith. I do not know if that was altogether necessary. I think we might have had the Bill sooner. It might have been put into our hands when it passed another Chamber. I hope that if another measure of this character should be necessary the Minister will take the precaution to let us have it a little time before we have to consider it. It is not desirable that nearly the whole of the members of the Senate should be able to say that they are accepting a Bill without any knowledge of it.

Senator Russell - The delay was owing to the Bill having been amended in another place.

Senator DE LARGIE - No doubt there was some reason for it. As to the objects of the measure, it is hard, in times like this, to know what is the best thing to do, because, as Senator Stewart pointed out, only a few months ago we were endeavouring to increase our trade with these very people. We were actually sending agents to Germany to canvass trade. I well remember even the present High Commissioner sending bulletins to Australia describing his great efforts in Germany to increase the trade of the Commonwealth with that country. I remember also the Agent-General for Western Australia referring to the great things which had been done for Western Australian products in the Hamburg market. We have had reports from almost every Agent-General in London that their efforts in the German market have been crowned with success, and the prospects of opening up a bigger and better meat market in Germany were improving. To-day we are legislating against that very trade.

Senator Russell - Only during the currency of the war.

Senator DE LARGIE - I hope that when the Tariff is brought forward, it will help us to do a great deal more of our own manufacturing, and that in the near future we shall have very little necessity to import. If that is done, legislation of this sort will be quite unnecessary, because, if there is one country more than another that can be made selfcontained, that country is Australia. We ought to make all our own products instead of having to bring them from Germany or any other country in the world.

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