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Thursday, 21 July 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I move -

That the clause be amended by adding the following* sub-clause : - (2). The Tariff Board shall, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this Act, perform the functions heretofore exercised by the Bureau of Commerceand Industry, which is hereby abolished.

A good deal of opinion has been expressed in the* Senate against the creation of unnecessary- Boards, particularly on the score of economy. If we examine the functions of the Board to be created under this Bill, as set out in clause 15, and the functions carried out by the present Bureau of Commerce and Industry, it will be found, broadly speaking, that they overlap in almost every particular. Where they do not overlap, a slight amendment in clause 15 will enable the proposed Board to carry on the work now undertaken by the Bureau of Commerce and Industry. We have, I am informed, a growing Department of Commerce and Industry, the head of which is drawing a high salary from Commonwealth revenue.

Senator Fairbairn - Will the honorable senator read the functions of the Bureau of Commerce and Industry?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Yes. The first is -

The effective organization of -each industry from within in order to secure the employment of modern methods in all stages of production and distribution.

That represents a pious hope more than anything else.

Senator Wilson - It has not accomplished anything.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - No. But it has expended a very large sum- of Commonwealth money without achieving any results. The second function is -

The encouragement of new, and. further development of established industries.

That is a function that could be exercised by the proposed Board, as the whole object of the Tariff is the encouragement of new industries and the development of those already established.

Senator Payne - I cannot see any relation between the functions of the Bureau of Commerce and Industry, and those provided in clause 15.

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