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Tuesday, 6 December 1927

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - I do not wish the remarks of Senator Findley concerning the activities of the Development and Migration Commission, particularly in Tasmania, to pass unchallenged. I happen to know what it has been doing in that State, and can say that its efforts are very highly appreciated. There are in Tasmania hundreds of intelligent farmers who realize that much good will result from the commission's activities in the near future. If Senator Findley cares to visit Tasmania during the recess, I shall give him an opportunity to meet some of the men who speak so highly of its operations, and of witnessing the result of the work done by Dr. Findlay amongst the farming community. I have no doubt that much good will follow Dr. Findlay's recommendations.

Senator Kingsmill - Good results have already been obtained.

Senator PAYNE - Yes. "We ought not to expect too much from this commission, which is as yet in its infancy. A good deal of preliminary work has to be undertaken, and at this stage of its activities it is necessary that its members should travel in order to evolve schemes which will eventually be of great benefit to the whole community.

Senator Findley - They are not evolving any schemes.

Senator PAYNE - I read only to-day in a Tasmanian newspaper, a fact which was apparent months ago, that there is widespread interest amongst the rural population in this movement. Many farmers and rural workers attend meetings arranged under the auspices of the commission in large numbers, and many highly intelligent settlers are placing their difficulties before Dr. Findley, who is always anxious to give them the benefit of his advice. The result will doubtless lie better marketing, which will be of advantage to the whole community. I understand that similar work to that which is being done in Tasmania is also being carried out in other parts of the Commonwealth. Although the proposed expenditure in this instance is large, I intend to support the vote, because it is only reasonable to assume that some time must elapse before we can say whether the appointment of the commission is justified. As Senator Findley opposed the appointment of the commission in the first place, I suppose he considers that - be is justified in adversely criticizing its work. If he refers to some of the items of expenditure he will see that they relate tothe training of domestics overseas, the care of migrants on their arrival, and placing them in occupations. It also covers the training of farm hands and in other ways helping migrants to make useful citizens.

Senator Needham - Could not that be done by the Department of Markets and Migration ?

Senator PAYNE - Certainly not. The honorable senator should be aware that the staff of that department, which does not consist of experts, cannot possibly deal" with problems such as the Development and Migration Commission is handling. It was never suggested that it should do so.

Senator Sir George Pearce - That department does not deal with migration at all.

Senator PAYNE - No. I understand the migration branch has now been transferred to the commission. I trust that the commission will be given a fair opportunity to carry out the useful work it was appointed to perform, and that honorable senators will not criticize its activities before it has had an opportunity of really getting to work.

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