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Thursday, 17 November 1927

Senator CARROLL (Western Australia) . - "Whilst I recognize the truth of the Minister's statement, I candidly confess that I intend to support the amendment, not because of its inherent worth, but as a protest against the inaction of the Government towards the gold-mining industry. I appreciate the danger of any body advancing money for gold-mining purposes. There is always the risk that it will not be repaid. At the same time, it cannot be denied that the industry has done a tremendous amount of good for Australia, whilst Australia has done very little for it. As Senator Lynch has pointed out, it is the only industry that suffered during the war, and yet received no return. Its costs increased on every, hand, but it did not .benefit from a corresponding increase in- the value of the commodity produced. Senator Lynch also mentioned that the tariff on mining machinery had been increased enormously. He placed the increase as high as 40 per cent. I believe that he understated it, because on some mining machinery it was 6.0 per cent. That action was taken when it was well known that the industry was in a languishing condition, and there was a doubt as to whether it could exist even without additional burdens. We have been told that a bounty on gold is uneconomical. Admitting that it is, I submit that bounties on any other product are equally uneconomical. They can be defended only on the ground that they render assistance to industries that, are suffering from heavy costs of production, and. other factors due to the condition of world affairs. If Senator Lynch presses his amendment he will have my support.

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