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Thursday, 18 August 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) .- A little while ago I quoted from a' document issued with the compliments of the Australian' 'Industries ' Protection League, whose motto .is, "My country first."". I had hardly resumed my seat when I, was handed a further document from the same .source' containing a circular' referring to . the shocking 'lack of . education of members of Parliament. Judging by what .they say, I must be held up' as a very had example. The circular says - .-.

Tho 'education of bur public. men, politicians, and others as to -the- necessity from an economic and national 'stand-point of protecting out home industries is, a difficult matter, out is not impossible, of achievement. The Australian Industries Protection League during the past two yean has . done much useful work in this direction.

I am sorry that the league did not take me in hand years ago, instead of starting at a time when I am too old to be educated by correspondence! They might more advantageously apply their energy and teaching abilities to the instruction of tho young. I ask 'them tq. spare me, any further .attempt . to educate., such a backward pupil as myself. Reverting to the question of wire netting, the, fruit-grower needs this material. . One gap. in his netting may mean the. loss, df -years of work' through the inroads of rabbits. It will take a great deal of education to. bring people on the land, who are faced with the necessity, for shutting put' rabbits, to realize that they, should pay for the establishment of industries , in Sydney or' Melbourne. The duty upon wire netting will be paid by the users, of the .article, and they are mostly a comparatively few primary producers. It far better i or- the Government to. .-adopt -the less evil, method of paying a bounty to the "manufacturers, even to such an .extent that the. article might he supplied free to those who require it; because it is one of the saddest of sights Ito see the devastation caused by rabbits on a holding whose owner has not .sufficient capital to purchase wire netting. The Government are adopting a roundabout way of .saving the primary producer .in proposing to wait until a certain industry develops, and the article produced by it becomes cheaper by competition among, the manufacturers. There no competition among .the -manufacturers of . wire netting. . We have been shown several -, times tonight that the companies are -combining: One manufacturer is using -the workroom of another. .Yet these companies' are to be. helped at the expense, of the fruit-growers, the farmers, and the pastoralists. I regret that Senator Lynch's request is not more drastic.

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