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Wednesday, 17 May 1939

Mr GREGORY (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - That is no excuse for allowing the exploitation that has taken place.

Mr BEASLEY - I very definitely agree with the honorable member. As a matter of fact, I know one very big industry in this country protected by Labour so that it has become a monopoly, which is one of the worst industries that we now have from the viewpoint of the workers. Having obtained a monopoly through our protectionist policy, it no longer welcomes any interest that we might show in it, but regards us as a menace on account of our demand for a higher standard of wages and better conditions. (Sometimes I feel that I should like to be a member of a government which was in a position to treat these people as they deserve, and to give them no quarter. It is strange, however that by reason of the circumstances of the time, we are often forced into doing things that we would not ordinarily do but which are afterwards proved to be of great benefit to this country. That particularly applies to the action taken by the Labour Government in 1930.

I should like to be told how the new department is to operate in relation to the Tariff Board and the Ottawa Agreement and other trade agreements.

Mr GREGORY - That is what we want to know.

Mr BEASLEY - It appears to me that in future the Tariff Board will have to be asked to consider matters referred to it in the light of adequate preparation for defence.

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