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Monday, 21 March 1927

Senator MILLEN (Tasmania) . - I listened with pleasure to the statement of the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce), but I point out that the services of the Development and Migration Commission and the Council for

Industrial and Scientific Research arcavailable to all the States.

Senator Pearce - Yes, but they arc not in the same category. At present these two bodies are concentrating their efforts upon Tasmania.

Senator MILLEN - There is no doubt that certain gentlemen associated with these two bodies, particularly Dr. Finlay, are doing remarkably good work in Tasmania ; but a number of years must elapse before Tasmania, as the result of the work of the commission, can possibly reach a sufficiently increased stage of development.

Senator Pearce - That may be; but these bodies can submit preliminary reports.

Senator MILLEN - The report to be submitted will, I think, be a good one, because I know that the gentlemen conducting the investigation are in every way qualified for this important work. The difficulty, however, is that in Tasmania the production per head is estimated at about £50, whereas that in the other States is about £68. To bring the productivity of Tasmania up to that of the other States will take a number of years. A definite and reliable report cannot be submitted until considerable time has elapsed and experiments have been conducted. I give these two bodies every credit for the work they are doing; but I feel that while they are conducting their experiments, as they have been for six months, Tasmania has to be financed. We have to consider the position of the Tasmanian Treasurer and the Tasmanian people.

Senator Pearce - These proposals are to assist in that direction.

Senator- MILLEN.- Yes. Sir Nicholas Lockyer visited Tasmania, and, although he was only there a month, be submitted a remarkably good report, which disclosed on his part a close knowledge of Tasmania's requirements. The Government, however, decided to jettison the report, although that which will be submitted by the Development and Migration Commission will, doubtless, be similar to it.

Senator Givens - How does the honorable senator know that?

Senator MILLEN - If it is of any interest to the honorable senator I may say that I have that impression.

Senator Pearce - I do not know what it is likely to contain, although I am the Minister controlling the department under which it is operating.

Senator MILLEN - I suggest that Senator Givens should read Sir Nicholas Lockyer's report, in which specific recommendations are made concerning production in Tasmania, and the direction in which it should he financially assisted. I feel in this instance that "Western Australia has also the assistance pf these two bodies, and that the grant should be paid to Tasmania for five years, as is being done in the case of Western Australia. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to leave out the word " two " with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word " five."

Senator Pearce - I rise to order. I submit, Mr. Temporary Chairman, that the requested amendment just moved is out of order ; it is governed by the ruling recently given by Mr. Deputy President. It would undoubtedly involve an increased charge or burden upon the people.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Duncan - In view of the decision already given that it is not in order to move a request for an amendment the effect of which would be to increase a proposed charge or burden, upon the people, I rule that the request is out of order.

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