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Friday, 17 June 1904


The CHAIRMAN - Order. The honorabe member for Gippsland has accepted the honorable and learned gentleman's denial.


Mr McLEAN - I do not go so far as to say that this legislation is the cause of our losing our population. I do not think that it has had much to do with it, but I do say emphatically that it is. since we began this legislation that a serious loss of our population has occurred. I say, further, that I know from personal experience - though I do not admit that there was a justification for it - that this legislation has been the cause of the withdrawal of a great deal of capital from investment in industries that would have given a great deal of employment in Victoria.


Mr Spence - Not in those industries which come under the Wages Boards.


Mr McLEAN - I believe that those who possess capital were unduly alarmed, and without sufficient cause, but that they were alarmed I know, because in my own experience I am aware of many individuals who have withdrawn capital from industrial enterprises. I know also of persons who have been deterred from establishing industries here by the fear of what might result from this kind of legislation. I know that when we go too far in this direction we run a great risk not only of closing some of our existing industries, but also of preventing people investing money in the establishment of new industries, which, if established, would give a great deal of employment, and would -attract population t'o our shores instead of driving it away. I feel strongly upon this matter, because I am perfectly sure that the extent to which it is proposed to push this legislation seriously menaces the future welfare of the Commonwealth. I wish, at least, to have the satisfaction of placing my views on record, although, in the present temper of our honorable friends opposite, I fear that they will have but very little effect.







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