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Tuesday, 17 June 1902

Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - I hope that the Treasurer will not proceed with this Bill. I think it is too early in our political history to enter on the down grade by borrowing for unproductive works, or works that will be, at best, only reproductive to a very limited extent. A great many of them can stand over for the present, and the few which cannot possibly stand over should be constructed out of ' revenue. After a year or two we shall know our position better.

Sir W illiam McMillan - The honorable member would not stop the expansion of thetelephone service.

Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - I do not see anything desperately pressing about that matter. We have not yet passed the Tariff. We do not know what our revenue is to be ; we are groping in the dark, and will be doing so for some time to come. By allowing these works to stand over for a time - and there is nothing so desperately pressing about them that they cannot stand over for a limited time - we shall know our position better. I sympathise with the Treasurer in his desire to carry out works for which the different States are clamouring, but we know that it is not always wise to do so.. It .appears to me to be too early to commence the system of borrowing for unproductive works. I do not wish to take up any time in discussing this matter ; I do not think it is necessary, because a few words explain our position as well as if we were to speak for half an hour. I certainly cannot support this Bill at the present time.

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