Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 5 December 1935

Senator ABBOTT (New South Wales) . - I can assure Senator Brand that the propaganda of which he speaks in opposition to the renewal of the Sugar Agreement is by no means confined to Victoria. I, like other honorable senators from New -South Wales and also those from the other States, have for a long time been bombarded with the literature circulated by various organizations in the Commonwealth. In view of the valuable and interesting contributions to the debate, I feel that I can hardly introduce any new matter, yet I feel that I cannot record a silent vote in support of this measure. I intend to support the bill and I urge other honorable senators to do so on broad national lines.

Senator Sampson - We have not heard anything in opposition to it.

Senator ABBOTT - That is so. That reminds me of an incident, which occurred in the Legislative Council of New South Wales, when a fluent debater of Hibernian extraction said, " I have listened with great pleasure to the remarks of the honorable gentleman who has spoken in favour of this measure, but I have also listened with no little misgiving to the ominous silence of those who have said nothing". Possibly, the silence may be ominous in this instance, but those contemplating opposition should reconsider their attitude. I intend to support the bill on national grounds, and particularly for the reasons mentioned by Senator Brand. It is of great concern to Australia that the settlement of the tropical portions of Queensland should not only be maintained, but also increased to' the fullest possible extent. Like Senator Hardy, I do not altogether agree with some of the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings), but I congratulate that honorable senator upon the speech which he delivered in support of the industry. He showed the value of the industry to Australia,' and proved that by supporting it we are assisting the effective settlement of the north-eastern portion of the Commonwealth. Is it likely that we shall record a vote which may tend to destroy settlement in this important part of Australia ? "What a sorry spectacle it would be for the nation if this industry and the prosperity which it has brought were destroyed. We should encourage those men and women who are doing such splendid pioneering work and assisting to build up the nation. I ask the Senate to support this measure, and, by doing so, to send a message to those engaged in the industry that Australia appreciates their work and will not attempt to destroy it or interfere with the prosperity which they are entitled, to enjoy. Those who complain of the retail price of sugar should remember that, in maintaining this industry we are assisting the defence of Australia. The Leader of the Opposition quoted interesting figures showing the wonderful growth of population which has taken place on the sugar lands. Those honorable senators who contemplate opposing the bill should pause before doing so and dis.regard whatever pressure has been brought to bear by those with a restricted vision. We should invite them to consider the future of these tropical districts and to assist to make Australia secure. I support the bill.

Suggest corrections