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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) .- I am not going to rub it in.

Senator Brennan - What is there to rub in?

Senator LECKIE - If the honorable senator interrupts me I might reverse my original intention. I fought to save the cement industry, and I considered that the attitude adopted by the Commonwealth Government in regard to the Ottawa agreement was absurd. This latest proposal seems to be the best that can be obtained for the cement industry at the moment, and, for that reason, T shall support it. The Government acted most unfairly towards the industry. It is now saying, in effect, " We know that you are going to die, but we shall give you six months in which to say your prayers ". Before the end of that period I hope that a reprieve will be granted. The latest proposal is better than nothing.

The statement by the Leader of the Opposition that the Government had cracked the whip over its supporters, is enough to make the gods laugh. For a member of the Labour party, hidebound and tied between two walls, who cannot vote, or even think, against his own party, to cry out that honorablesenators have had the whip cracked over them is too ridiculous for words. Surely honorable senators should exercise somecommon sense in this regard. I recognize that the Government is not satisfied. with the compromise, and that it would not have given the industry six months in which to say its prayers, had its plans worked out differently. Nevertheless, I shall not growl. It does seem to me peculiar that the Ottawa agreement was drawn up to cement the feeling bet wee o the peoples of the British Empire; and now, as far as the cement is concerned, the " darn thing has gone bung ! "

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