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Thursday, 31 July 1902

Mr SPENCE - What about the railways?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON - If Australia had been in a position to secure the introduction of capital for the construction of railways, it would have been in a very much better financial position to-day than it is.

Mr Watson - There would have been no opening up of the country for settlement but for the Government railways.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON - That is so ; and I commend railway construction to that end to the fullest extent. I say it was inevitable in the interests of Australia that railways as well as roads and bridges should be constructed on a very large scale. I think I may claim for myself, as one who has been in office in Tasmania for a very long time, that no man has exceeded me in his efforts to get railways and other public works constructed.

Mr Fowler - That is State socialism.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON - I admit it, and because of the necessity of the occasion I approve of it.

Mr Fowler - But surely the right honorable member is not a socialist ?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON - A State socialist to that extent. I do not desire to labour this matter. I have only to add that I believe in the Government proposal as a movement which may tend to great national advantage, and I would ask what is the use of providing that the bonus for the local manufacture of pig-iron shall be offered solely to the States Governments which will not touch it ?

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