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Thursday, 31 July 1902

Mr MCDONALD (Kennedy) - I regret that the honorable member for Werriwa has not adhered to his original proposal to make the year 1904. 0

Mr Kingston - Surely it is better to deal with a specific case than with a lot of cases altogether.

Mr MCDONALD - The country had no idea that such a Bill as this was to be introduced.

Mr Conroy - In order to meet the desire which has been expressed, I ask leave to so alter my amendment as to fix the year 1904 instead of 1903.

Amendment amended accordingly.

Mr. MCDONALD(Kennedy).- It is very important that the country should know exactly what course the Government intend to take.

Mr Kingston - There will be no concealment. I shall tell the honorable member, with pleasure, what the Government proposals are.

Mr MCDONALD - Then honorable members will know exactly how to act. Are the Government prepared to stand b}' the amendment in clause 3, which was carried the other night ?

Mr Kingston - The Government propose to ask the committee to deal with the Bill on the distinct understanding that an endeavour will be made to recommit clause 3 for the purpose of striking out the words which limit the operation of the Bill, so far as the benefits are concerned, to the States, and prevent encouragement being given toprivate enterprise.

Mr MCDONALD - That amounts to a fair' invitation to honorable members to stone-wall this Bill, if such a course be deemed necessary.

Mr Kingston - I think not.

Mr MCDONALD - If the Government were honest, so far as accepting the opinion of the committee is concerned, there should be no attempt made to alter clause 3. We are in the position that, if the Bill be recommitted and clause 3 is altered, it is probable that there may be a desire to remodel the whole measure. If the benefits of the Bill are given to private enterprise, the Commonwealth should be safeguarded in every way possible. Up to the present we have dealt with the Bill on the assumption that the amendment carried the other night will be adhered to, and that there will be a State monopoly. If clause 3 be altered, and private enterprise is allowed to benefit

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