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Thursday, 8 March 1928

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - Senator Carroll is opposed to the increased duty on the ground that it will be of no benefit to the maize growers of Australia. Adopting that line of reasoning, they would be just as well off if there were no duty. Why should they not get some material advantage from duties that are imposed, with the object of encouraging maize growing in Australia? Upon whose shoulders does the blame rest?

Senator Carroll - I did not argue that point.

Senator FINDLEY - The maizegrowers are entitled to the fullest consideration of both this Parliament and the people of Australia. It appears to me, however, that they are not looking after their own business. They should organize, and unitedly use their influence to ensure a fair return for their commodity. In the years, that have gone labour was regarded as a commodity, and some employers acted on the principle that the conditions of employment should be governed according to the law of supply and demand ; but when labour organized, a different tale was told. I do not know what is the number of maizegrowers in Australia, but surely they have sufficient strength to demand complete recognition even from a combine!

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It does not take the whole of the production.

Senator FINDLEY - According to an official return, the quantity of glucose utilized in the Commonwealth for the year ended the 30th June, 1927, was- 8,265 tons. The quantity produced in the Commonwealth was 6,993 tons, audi the importations from the United States; of America totalled 1,272 tons. Wehave a fair distance yet to travel beforewe shall overtake the Australian market.. I shall avail myself of every opportunity that offers to give those who are engaged in either primary or secondary industries the measure of protection that I 'consider is justified. If the maize-growers have an ' organization, they should make their voices' ring. I am satisfied that the' members of this committee, and of the Federal Parliament as a whole, will listen to their plea, and see that the combine does not secure all the advantages of increased duties, which are intended principally to encourage the primary producer. I shall not vote for the highest measure of protection to encourage monopolies that will not give a fair and square deal to those who are engaged in other spheres of activity. If the maize-growers are not being treated fairly by the combine, I shall 'protest on their behalf as vigorously as I cac, both in this chamber and elsewhere.

Senator Crawford - They have organized, and have expressed themselves in favour of the proposed increased duty on glucose.

Senator FINDLEY - That is an effective reply to Senator Carroll. It shows that they are minding their own business. Apparently they believe that the increased duty will be materially to their advantage.

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