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Wednesday, 13 August 1902

Mr FOWLER (Perth) - I shall not detain the committee at any length, because I am afraid that further discussion would be useless. When the honorable member for Melbourne Ports spoke in very optimistic terms of the position of the manufacturing industries of Victoria, he reminded me of an article which I read some little time ago. Mr. J. H. Curle, a gentleman who represents the Economist, one of the best financial magazines in the world,recently paid a visit to Victoria, and expressed the opinion that the equipment of the mines in that State was in some cases 30 years behind the times. Some honorablemembers may he inclined to sneer at Mr. Curle, but he is a man of world-wide experience in mining matters, and in view of the unsatisfactory position now occupied by the mining industry in Victoria, the probability is that there is something radically wrong in the methods at present adopted. Mr. Curle speaks not with a view to injure mining interests in Victoria, but simply with a desire to see a promising field for investment worked to the fullest advantage. He recognises that there are large and valuable deposits of gold in Victoria, and he urges that the best and most up-to-date machinery should be employed in their development.

Sir John Quick -Who is Mr. Curle?

Mr FOWLER - He is recognised as an expert of world-wide experience.

Sir John Quick - I never heard of him.

Mr FOWLER - Perhaps that is because the honorable and learned member does not pay much attention to the course of events beyond his own State. It is remarkable that Victorians discover that they are behind the times only after they leave their own State. Many of them havemade this discovery on visiting the mining fields of Western Australia, and I should be sorry indeed to see the policy which has proved so injurious to. Victoria extended to Australia in general, and my own State in particular.

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