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Thursday, 23 April 1936

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - I fully anticipated that after Senator Guthrie had spoken the debate would close, because he submitted his case so logically and efficiently for the consideration of the Senate. In view of the circumstances, I did not expect that Senator Collings would seize the opportunity to endeavour to make political capital out of what is one of our greatest national industries. To suggest that we might stabilize the wool industry by changing the social order, or by seeking to discover somebody who can wear a woollen loin cloth, was not in keeping with the sentiments usually expressed by the honorable gentleman. What does Senator Guthrie propose? He pointed out that throughout the world a substitute was threatening the existence of the wool industry. In order to avert that disaster he advocated international co-operation amongst all wool-growers in an endeavour to increase the use of wool ; and he added that the industry did not seek financial assistance from the Government; all that it proposed to do was to place a levy on. wool grown in Australia, and to ask the Government to co-operate in order to make the levy efficient. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) was not prepared to accept that statement, but upon the use of the term " co-operation " he took the occasion to make an attack against the existing social order and the Commonwealth Government. When the existence of an industry of such significance to Australia as is the wool industry is at stake, every honorable senator regardless of his political views should cooperate to ensure its safety and to endeavour to stabilize it.

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