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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) . - I do not wish to add much more to this debate, since I realize that the Government have brought to heel some of those honorable senators who showed a little sweet reasonableness last night.

Senator Earle - There you go again.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am not blaming the honorable senator, who, from my pointof view, has most consistently disregarded the requirements of the primary producer. My complaint is of those honorable senators who blow hot and cold - who vote one way to-day and another to-morrow. They have no consistency whatever, and when the Government " crack the whip " they come to heel like a, lot of puppy dogs. That is the position taken up by some honorable senators.

Senator Pearce - I should like to have their names.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - If it were necessary to tell the honorable senator the names of these honorable senators I would do so, but he has only to look at the division lists to discover them; he has only to throw back his memory and he will locate them without effort. I despair of some of these honorable senators who try to impress the electors that they have as much consideration for the primary producer as they have for the man in the city, but who, at every opportunity, load the primary produce) and the pioneer with more and more duties. What consideration are they showing those who plough the lonely furrow? What consideration are they prepared, to give the pioneer who goes into the lonely backblocks and opens up new mining fields ? Who really gets the benefit? Is it the pioneer ox the man who comes after every time? Why should those who are patriotic and enterprising enough to go into the lonely interior and make these discoveries be burdened with more and more duties? Why should. we not take up the same attitude as the State Governments and, instead of penal- iking these men, encourage them?

Senator Lynch - The State Governments reward such men for every discovery they make.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - They do. The Government of Western Australia, as well as some of the other State

Governments, I understand, provide such men with the necessary kits. They supply them with batteries to treat the ores discovered by them; they provide the necessary scienlists to advise them and the necessary geologists to examine the country so that they may know in which direction to go. The State Governments do much to encourage mining enterprise. Arc we to make it more difficult for the State Governments to provide such facilities and more and more difficult for the men who go into the interior to exist? Some honorable senators would do so; their attitude is beyond my comprehension. I can understand the consistency of those who, believing that high duties make for low prices, vote for such duties. It is a curious sort of mentality that produces such a belief, but there are honorable senators who entertain it. As to others, who blow hot and cold, I cannot understand them.

Senator Lynch - It is a bad thing, with a duty of this kind in force, to be

a)   pioneer.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - My honest opinion is that, in view of the whole of this cursed Tariff schedule, it is a bad thing to be a pioneer. Protection is all very well, but to impose almost prohibitive duties, designed to put more and more burdens on the most essential men to the community - the- pioneers - is detestable.

Senator Lynch - It is abhorrent, abominable !'

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The honorable senator was right when he said that if I dared ask in this Chamber for what I would like I should request that all these duties be removed. It- is because I have some regard for the honest convictions of honorable senators that I have asked only for a reduction which I think it is possible may be conceded. I once again appeal to honorable senators to have some regard for the Australian pioneer.

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