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Thursday, 4 September 1902

Mr FOWLER (Perth) - I intend to support the Government in regard to this and all the remaining items in the schedule. I heartily indorse all the remarks made by the acting leader of the Opposition last night, and I am sorry that I cannot follow him to-day in his attempt to modify what he said then.

Sir William McMillan - I do not desire to modify what I said last night.

Mr FOWLER - The impression made upon my mind was that the honorable member did want to modify the remarks he made last night. The Tariff as it will remain when this schedule is dealt with, will not be entirely satisfactory to me; but I recognise that an honest- -attempt is being made to -secure a settlement of the differences between the two Chambers by agreeing to a mean in regard to most of the rates proposed. ' We on this side must remember that the supporters of the Government are as much opposed to reductions of duty as we are to the rates as they stand. What chiefly influences my action in this matter, however, is the fact that I represent a large commercial constituency, and, knowing the difficulties and annoyances which the present position entails upon business people generally, I am anxious, above all things, to have the apparently interminable discussion of . the Tariff finished. Whatever we say, and however we vote, the position will not be materially changed. For that reason I do not feel justified in making political capital out of a situation which, although to some extent unsatisfactory to me personally, is, I believe, one which under the circumstances must be acquiesced in.

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