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Thursday, 17 November 1921

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap (TASMANIA) - I must ask the honorable senator not to discuss the subject in a too general manner. This request deals with wire.

Senator LYNCH - The request has to do with that vast body of inarticulate people in this country who do not waylay members and Ministers. They cannot leave their work, and their flocks and herds, to come to Parliament, as can the manufacturers and their agents and touts. They are too busy trying to make an honest living by working long hours. The other day in Senator Newland's electorate 1 saw a man working with a binder at a quarter to 7 o'clock in the evening. He was trying by this extra work, in common with the other 230,000 odd men who grow wheat in this country, to make ends meet, and he had no regard for clocks, watches, or anything else. Were the directors and managers of the city industries, or their workmen, working at a quarter to 7 o'clock on that evening? I want to hit all and sundry in the cities; they are engaged in a conspiracy, aided and abetted by this Government, to secure a degree of protection to which they are not .entitled, and to the possibility of obtaining which they awoke only recently. Even at this late hour I ask the Senate to stand firm and not to indorse the attitude of a complacant Government which comes forward with the -one' stereotyped advice that we "should not press the request." I have never met such an unresistant Government in my life. Of the ninety odd items which constitute the difference between this Chamber and the other House, we ought to be entitled to at least half. Of the 800 odd items in the Tariff schedule passed by the House of Representatives, 800 of them were indorsed by this Chamber, and the two Houses have differed in regard to only ninety items. By all the rules of the game, by arithmetic, by the simple elements of justice, and by virtue of every principle that should operate in disputes among men, the Senate ought to get forty-five of those items. Instead of that, the House of Representatives has agreed to over forty items of a most insignificant character - items which do not matter the weight of a snuff as far as the vital interests of this country are concerned. The suggested duties on the principal items, which include wire, agricultural implements, and superphosphates, have not been agreed to; but they are the ones to which we shall have to hold fast. Another place has agreed to the requests we have made in connexion with perfumes, artificial flowers, and engine waste and so forth, that do not matter a row of pins.

Senator Drake-Brockman - And accepted all the increases.

Senator LYNCH - Of course, like sharks pursuing their prey. I trust the Committee will rise in its majestic might on this occasion, and safeguard the true interests of those who, may I say, are voiceless and speechless on the present occasion. The primary producers have not sent a representative to this chamber to waylay Ministers and honorable senators right and left and on every flank. These men, as I have said, are too busily engaged working long hours in earning an honest livelihood to attend here and pour pitiful tales into the ears of Ministers and honorable senators.

Senator Bolton - Many of them are riding in their motor cars.

Senator LYNCH - Good luck to them if they are! If by their ability and indefatigable enterprise they have reached that stage when they can ride in their " Tin Lizzies," we should not object.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - The honorable senator's time has expired.

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