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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I was rather astonished at the statement of Senator St. Ledger, and at the warmth which he displayed. I have always been under the impression that " he who goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing." I agree with the Government that, if possible, we ought by all means to pay our way as we go.

Senator St Ledger - But what if we cannot pay our way?

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -I think that the warning applies there, too. When the time comes that we may have to borrow we can face the matter.

Senator Walker - How about the Northern Territory?

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That question will be dealt with by the Government byandby. I cannot forget that, during last session, we repealed the Naval Loan Act which had been passed at the instance of the previous Government to sanction a loan of£3,500,000 for establishing a navy. But the greater portion of the money required for that purpose has been found out of revenue. For the Defence Department, as well as the Postmaster-General's Department, money is required, and the Government's policy of last session is still in force, although it was denounced by the last speaker, and his colleagues, as one of the worst things which possibly could happen. It was described then as unjust, unfair robbery, scandalous robbery, and in other ways, but we do not hear much about the policy now. The result of its adoption has been that, instead of borrowing, we have found £3,500,000, practically out of revenue, and the muchdenounced tax of last session has produced for the Commonwealth about £1,400,000. Those who hold large valuable properties are now called upon to pay their just and fair quota of the taxation. Surely they ought to find the means for protecting their estates.

Senator St Ledger - That does not touch the question of permanent reproductive works.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I would be very sorry, indeed, to deliver such a speech as the honorable senator has just made.

Senator Chataway - You could not.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I do not think that I could, because, when I speak, I know what I mean, and I think that honorable senators on the other side know, too. I have not risen to kill time. I am glad that the Government are taking the stand which they do. I am proud that, while Labour is at the helm, we, as a Federal Parliament, are determined to pay our way as we go, and not to heap up burdens for those who have to come after us.

Senator St Ledger - How shall we build that railway in the Northern Territory ?

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - At the present time we do not need to borrow. Thank God for the change of politicians. Thank God, also, that the Fusion Government, which wanted to borrow money and put the Commonwealth in a wrong position, is no more, and that justice is being done.

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