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Thursday, 20 November 1941

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I am sorry if I imparted any heat in my observation?, but I feel very strongly on this question, and I suggest to the Leader of the Senate (Senator Collings) that in his effort to whip us into submission, he simply drew a red herring across the trail. Perhaps on this occasion a red herring is rather appropriate, and there is nobody more capable of drawing red herrings across the trail than the Minister. I assure him that my observations were not made in a party spirit. If I were the only one holding the view which I expressed I should still vote against the item. It may be that I am the cause of all this trouble, but I do feel that in the interests of the nation the amendment should be agreed to, or we shall do an injuryto an important industry. I suggest to the Leader of the Senate that two wrongs do not make a right. My conscience was offended when the 5 per cent. sales tax was originally placed on this item. As the honorable senator knows, that imposition was made in very gravecircumstances indeed, but the wrong should not be perpetuated. Nobody recognizes more than I do the burden which has been cast on honorable senators opposite who have just takentheir places on the treasury bench. However, I urge them to look upon this matter in a broad sense. It appals one to think that for a mere £3,000 a Government would take this action against an expanding industry. Honorable senators opposite surely are not seeing things in their proper perspective. I realize that similar arguments could be advanced in relation to other items, but this industry is of national importance. It is vital to the future of this country. I askthe Minister in charge ofthe bill to review the matter again before finally rejecting the amendment, I am sure that the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McLeay) does not wish to obstruct the Government. I believe that honorable senators opposite hold the same views on this amendment as we do; if theydo not, they are not acting in the best interests of Australia.

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