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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator LYNCH - Yes, the fusion is making barbed wire, wire netting,the finer qualities of wire work, and speak of making wire rope as well as nails. What I have said about Mr. Delprat has to be remembered. I value his abilities very highly, but still we must not forget that this new company is merely, at least to an extent, an off-shoot of the Broken Hill Proprietary. I do not know the exact amount in shares held by the Broken Hill Company, but I do know that Mr. Delprat is in both companies. Under the circumstances, we have to ask ourselves whether it is possible for an independent company to start in opposition; it may be or it may not be, but, so far as I can see, the chances are very slender. In this fusion of two companies, operative in kindred activities, there are all the beginnings of what may finally become a Combine. I do not wish to stress that point; far from it. , I believe there are Combines which, up to a certain point are useful. In the old Labour days, I said that in the industrial field it is sometimes absolutely necessary to combine in order to wipe out suicidal competition'; and, as a victim of such competition, I >say the same now. When that phase has been passed, however, another phase presents itself, and it is a phase which will take all our resourcefulness and courage to combat. I have read quotations regarding the two necessary articles of barbed wire and wire-netting, and have shown that the Americans can compete successfully, so far as barbed wire is concerned. We have to ask ourselves whether or not we are giving too much consideration and protection to what is certainly the germ of a Combine. When the wire is taken and bent into all shapes and forms, by this new company, formed on a very respectable foundation, we ought to ask ourselves whether we are not giving too much protection. In my opinion we are, and too much protection has been given all through to these industries. I am putting in a plea for those people who have to use barbed wire, and Senator Gardiner has shown the difficulties of the users in the interior of the country. This duty particularly affects people engaged in opening up new territory, and if we handicap settlers with burdens which they cannot bear, there will be a natural disinclination on the part of others to follow them.

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