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Thursday, 11 August 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) (2:23 AM) . - It is very hard for honorable senators to record an intelligent vote when we have not been supplied with sufficient information. I should like to have further details concerning the industries which are supposed to be in a bad way.

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - I did not say that any of them were so circumstanced.

Senator Russell - Has the honorable senator taken into consideration the increase in the capital employed and the cost of machinery as compared with prewar days?

Senator LYNCH - If we take into account the statements published by the Bureau of Commerce and Industry we should reduce the duties rather than increase them.

Senator de Largie - Where does Mr. Stirling Taylor obtain his figures?

Senator GUTHRIE (VICTORIA) - He has a committee advising him.

Senator LYNCH - He has the advantage of coming in contact with the men engaged in this particular undertaking, and he has a reputation' to protect. What Mr. Stirling Taylor said has been supported by evidence concerning the Government mill, and even if we ignore his statement there is ample ground on which to oppose any increase in view of the evidence to which I have referred.Reference has been made to the fact that the mills were working three shifts per day; but I do not think that has anything to do with it.

Senator Reid - The Government guaranteed a certain amount to place them on a sound basis.

Senator LYNCH - Senator Reid ought to explain why the growers of sugar cane, who have been fully protected, have not overtaken the consumption.

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable senator is not entitled to discuss the production of sugar on this item.

Senator LYNCH - There is nothing extraordinary in an industry working three shifts a day, and there is no valid reason why extra profits should be claimed on that account. There are ^ other industries which have to work.three shifts per day throughout the year in order to remain solvent. The Golden Mile and other mines in Western Australia have to work three shifts, and blast furnaces used in smelting have to operate continuously. These industries do now show a profit of 30 per cent. In the absence of further information concerning the Government Woollen Mill, I must support the request submitted by Senator Payne.

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