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Thursday, 31 July 1902

Mr HUGHES (West Sydney) - The committee are divided into two sections; one of which is in favour of private enterprise, while the other desires State monopoly. The Government are only wasting time in discussing the matter at this stage, because, if the industry is to be left to private enterprise; conditions different from those necessary in the case of State control will have to be imposed. If the industry has to be conducted by the States it does not matter whether the Bill comes into operation next year or the year after, because that will not constitute a monopoly as we understand the word. If the Government do not desire to waste time we should at once get through the Bill and start with its reconsideration. Why not as soon as possible reach clause 3 on which we understand the Government have certain information which will affect the deliberations of the committee? We may not discuss the effect of the communications from the various States, but the committee might be placed in possession of them before proceeding with the discussion on the various clauses. All this bother and delay arises simply because the Minister seems to shrink from coming to the crucial test. The Minister has charge of the measure and could have made* the suggestion for a recommittal, but it was only when the honorable member for Kennedy spoke, that the right honorable gentleman condescended to explain that an opportunity would be afforded for a reconsideration of the whole Bill.

Mr KINGSTON - The position is that the first time honorable members ask that a certain course shall be adopted, I express myself as in perfect agreement with them. For the honorable member for West Sydney to speak as he has spoken is simply " ridiculous. I again suggest that we should deal with the remaining clauses en bloc.

Mr Conroy - I am in favour of the course suggested, and ask leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 4 to 10 and schedule agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments, and (on motion by Mr. Kingston,withconcurrence) recommitted.

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