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Wednesday, 13 April 1921

Senator LYNCH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I wish to make a personal explanation. When I last had an opportunity of addressing myself to the Senate, on 7th April, I made certain remarkswhich have been recorded, as usual, in Hansard.I have found, on going through the report, which represents, by the way, an uncorrected reproduction of my speech, that there are a few inaccuracies. I believe that I express what isfelt universally by honorable senators when I say that the gentlemen intrusted with the important work of reporting speeches made in the Senate reproduce our remarks with remarkable fidelity. On this occasion, however, whether it was due to my peculiarities of pronunciation or some other cause, a few slight inaccuracies have occurred in the report, to which I wish to direct attention. In one part of the report the following statement is attributed to me: -

The high cost of living in this country is contributed to largely by the loafing which takes place amongst our workmen.

What I meant to say, and what I believe I did say, was that the high cost of living in this country is contributed to too largely by the loafing which takes place amongst our workmen. I have said that previously on many occasions. I have repeatedly attributed the high cost of living in this and in every other country, first of all, to the scarcity which arose out of the war, in the second place to the rapacity of traders, and, possibly, in the third place, to the strikes and go-slow policy maintained in this country. I have no words but those of praise to apply to our Australian workman. He has held his own on the field of combat in a matchless way, and with equal success in the peaceful arena of industry. But some of our workmen have listened, as I said in my speech, to the evil advice of people to whose career and work I have frequently addressed myself in this chamber and elsewhere.

In another part of the report of my speech I am reported to have said -

It in very difficult to make some persons understand unless one gives them the "straight griffin." But any honorable senator who cares to do so may turn up Knibbs, and he will there learn that in the output, not merely of gold, tout of our manufactured articles, there has been a positive declension.

In those remarks I referred to " coal," and not to "gold," for the simple reason that the figures supplied by the 'Statistical Department did not warrant me in saying that the output of gold had declined. I used the word " coal " because the figures supplied to me showed that in respect of coal and metalliferous mining, as well as general manufactures, there has been a diminished output in Australia of recent years. J have said that repeatedly, taking my stand on figures given to me and to the public by the Commonwealth Statistician, Mr. Knibbs. While so far as gold is concerned the figures show no diminution of output, there has been a diminished output in respect of the articles I mention.

The next point to which I wish to refer is that I was induced as the result of an interjection by Senator Sir ThomasGlasgow, to say something about Northern Queensland. And what I said has not been quite accurately reported. What I intended to say was that I chose Queensland as a place where I could ramble about tempting the devil without temptingother people to take notice of me. I did not desire, and do not now desire, that my remarks in this connexion should apply to that large body of Queensland ctizenswhose thrift and industry has made Queensland. I wish the remark I made to apply now and hereafter to that body of Queensland citizens who have never in any sense made Queensland, but have been making only trouble and noise all the time.

Senator Crawford - Mostly recent arrivals from the other States.

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