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Thursday, 15 July 1926


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia Vice) (President Executive Council) . - I understand that there is no amendment before the committee, so that those honorable senators who are opposed to the appointment of the commission will vote against the clause. If it is struck out the bill will be worthless.


Senator Lynch - Not necessarily.


Senator PEARCE - Absolutely. Without the clause providing for the appointment of a commission, the 'bill will have to be dropped.


Senator Findley - !That would -not matter very much.


Senator PEARCE - I can -understand Senator Findley -saying that, because .'he is. entirely opposed to migration.


Senator Findley - That is a wrong statement to make.


Senator PEARCE - I base my conclusion on the honorable .senator's speech, and on the fact that he voted against the bill on the .second reading.


Senator Findley - I voted against the second reading because I am opposed to the one-sided .agreement upon which it is based.


Senator PEARCE - Senator Findley is opposed to the 'migration proposals of the Government, lock, stock, and barrel. I am afraid that 'Senator Lynch has misunderstood the purpose for which the commission is to be appointed. He seems to be under the impression that the only responsibility of the commission will be in regard to the liability of the Commonwealth to pay interest on the loan of £34,000,000. because' repeatedly he quoted the interest; payment- of £5.00Q>000. If, that were all, the commisssion had to do,, we should not propose' its appointment.. The; point to bear in. mind is that, apart altogether from our obligations in regard to interest, we shall have to provide for the expenditure of a capital sum of £34,000,000 on our migration proposals'. Necessarily various schemes will be formulated', and to ensure the wise expenditure of the money available, it. is imperative' that all proposals shall be thoroughly examined by a. body of competent men specially charged with that responsibility. I have no doubt that every State can, in connexion with soldier settlement, produce some scandals due to> incompetence audi absence of thorough investigation, I recall one such scandal' im Queensland,, namely, the settlement of returned) soldiers on an area known as Beerburrum. When I was Minister for Defence in 1909-, we asked the Queensland Government if- it could offer us a suitable area, of worthless land within reasonable, distance of the principal centres of population which we could utilize as a manoeuvre area. The Government of the day* offered us this Beerburrum area, which, it was stated'., was worthless for cultivation purposes.

Debate, interrupted under sessional order.

Sitting suspended- fromfi. SO to 8 p.m.







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