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Friday, 13 May 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - I was opposed to the original agreement, and the reasons given by the Minister for Repatriation (Senator E. D. Millen) in support of the Bill now before the Senate only increase my opposition to the proposal, because the objections urged against the original agreement have been shown to be well founded. It was anticipated that there would be difficulty in raising the necessary capital, and a proposition which in the early stages suggested a glorious prospect does not now seem so inviting.

Senator JOHN D MILLEN (TASMANIA) - In that case the thing to do is toreducethe liability.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Itis nota difficulty in raising capital; but having eliminated the country elevators from the original scheme, the company do not now require as much capital as they previously required.

Senator GARDINER - I feel that I am in the position of a director of a financial concern that agreed to advance money for what was a glorious proposition, and the people to whomwe agreed to advance the money now say, " Thething is not as good as we thought, and we will not do what we said we would do. We will not construct the country elevators, and, therefore, we want you to alter the agreement you made with us." I think that that confirms me in my attitude in regard to the first proposal, and justifies me in continuing that opposition to the proposal now before the Senate; though I shall not continue that oppositionas I might do until the time at our disposal expires.

In New South Wales there are some indications that the working of the elevatorsis going to be more costly than the old system of handling wheat. We should not condemn a new systemon theresults of its first trial.Possibly when it is in full working order it will prove to be a splendid system . The money required by this company should be advanced by the Western Australian Government. It is purely a State matter. Money should be advanced by the Commonwealthonly on the condition that the proposal has the indorsement of the Western Australian

Government. The members of that Government know what is being done in their State, and if it is not good enough for them to say to their own farmers " We will pledge the State's credit to the Commonwealth Government to obtain the money you require," we should not enter into any undertaking of the kind.

In New South Wales at the present time there is a proposal well afootby which a number of unionists hope to establish woollenmills. The mills are to be established inconjunction with the New South Wales Government. Provided the State Government agree they are going to take over the old gaol at Parramatta - because in New South Wales, as a result of practically ten years of Labour administration the number of criminals has been reduced to such anextent that the gaols are going entirely out of use.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That may arise from a hesitancy or disinclination on the part of the New South Wales Government to lock up criminals.

Senator GARDINER - I am very pleased to be able to saythat sinceLabour has been a dominating influence in the State, the records show a considerable decrease in. the number of criminals. This shows that the more intelligent Labour method of dealing with affairs has brought abouta very desirable result.

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