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Wednesday, 3 August 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I wish to reply to, a few of the assertions made by Senator Crawford and others. During the course of this debate, honorable senators must have been struck by the extreme modesty of senators coming from Queensland...

Senator Crawford - Why remark upon the obvious?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Perhaps it has been so obvious as not to require remark. So successful have the re- presentatives of Queensland been in their-' last effort at brigandage, shall I call it, that perhaps they have been encouraged to make another effort in the same dire&tion. Australia, with extreme generosity in granting assistance to the sugar industry of Queensland, has made the people engaged in that industry a present of some £23,000,000. That is a fair sum of money. One section of the Queensland people has succeeded in extracting this sum of money from the pockets of the rest of the people of Australia, and, encour-aged by that success, other sections of the peop.le of Queensland are now attempting ano'ther feat of the same sort.

Senator Sir Thomas Glasgow - They could not get a railway across a -desert.

Senator Crawford - The Commonwealth is losing £500,000 a year on the transcontinental railway.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I was not a party to assisting the Queensland sugar-growers to get this money out of the people of Western Australia, and I am not going to be a party to enable Queensland banana-growers, who are already adequately protected, to extract more money out of the pockets of the people of the State I represent.

Senator de Largie - We got the transcontinental railway in spite of the votes df Queensland representatives.

Senator DRAKEBROCKMANThatis so, but I am not at present discussing the merits of the transcontinental railway.

Senator Crawford - That is something that the honorable senator would rather not discuss.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am now discussing the demerits of a proposal to impose a duty of 8s. 4d. per cental on bananas. I want to analyze the extraordinary modesty of senators from Queensland. In the face of the figures we have received fromSenator Gardiner, from the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Russell), and other honorable senators, they ask for an extraordinarily high protection on this article, which amounts to prohibition.

Senator Russell - I am not responsible for this duty.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I know that the Minister does not in the least agree with the duty in its present form. No reasonable man could, unless he were prejudiced by an extraordinary position and an extraordinary past success in a similar venture as honorable senators from Queensland are.

Senator Crawford.- I do not think that Senator Drake-Brockman should make such a personal matter of this.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I have said that honorable senators from Queensland are very modest people, and I am analyzing their modesty. Senator Crawford drew a picture to indicate how badly the people of the north had been treated as compared with the people of the south. He may have a grouse on this subject.

Senator Duncan - However badly we treated them, they were never treated half so badly as by their own Government.

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