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Wednesday, 11 May 1921

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon T Givens (QUEENSLAND) - I ask the honorable senator not to discuss the wool question.

Senator GARDINER - May I not refer to it as an illustration by suggesting that as last week the wool interests succeeded in getting a resolution passed by the Senate which has already had its effect on the English wool market, so possibly the discussion of the position of the silver-lead industry on the motion of Senator Earle may have the desired effect in the quarters he desires to influence? But if this Parliament is to be used for such- purposes I misunderstand its purpose altogether.

I rose merely to express my sympathy with Senator Earle. I realize the importance of the industry to which he has referred. It is more important to the people I represent than to any others in Australia, because the great silver and lead-producing centres are in New South Wales. The honorable senator might strengthen his position in replying to the debate. -I listened for something in connexion with which I could help the honorable senator, but he failed to put anything forward of a sufficiently definite character to enable me to give him very much assistance, willing as I am to assist in connexion with 'anything affecting the mining industry, and particularly the silver-lead industry.

SenatorEARLE (Tasmania) [4.4].- I desire . to thank the Leader of the Senate (Senator E. D. Millen), who has intimated that serious consideration will be given to the matter I have brought forward this afternoon, and that every effort will be made to see. whether a full inquiry into the industry cannot be carried out. That is all I ask for. If the Government can see their way to have an investigation 'by an expert officer into thecost ' of ; smelting, and to ascertain whether the' considerable increases which have been made in smelting charges are justified* the . purpose I had in view in directing attention to the matter will have been served. '

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator understands that I did not give, a definite promise to have an inquiry.

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