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Tuesday, 19 July 1904

Mr STORRER (Bass) - I hope that the mention of the fiscal question will not cause the other measures of relief mentioned by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports to be lost sight of, and that, not only will as much work as possible be made available for the unemployed, but that the Government will see that there is no importation of goods which may be manufactured in the Commonwealth. It is our duty, as members of Parliament, to think of the unemployed. We have no right to protest against the mention of them here. While we are drawing our salaries, it is well for us to remember those outside who at the present time find it so difficult to obtain a living, and if we can devise any means which will bring peace and comfort to homes where they are now lacking, it is our duty to try to do so. Both the Commonwealth and the States should encourage local manufacture, even if the locally-manufactured article should cost a little more than the imported article, because, as the money is spent amongst our own people it all goes to swell the national prosperity. The Government should also see that as far as possible public works are undertaken in the winter months. In the summer time persons can live more cheaply and more comfortably than they can in the winter, and more work is then offered by private employers. In the winter months, however, living is expensive and employment restricted. The honorable member for Parramatta tried to throw dust in our eyes when he said that the exports from Victoria are now worth £2,000,000 per annum more than they were prior to Federation, and tried to show that those figures indicate that there is now more manufacturing in this State than there was formerly. In making any comparison of the kind, regard should also be had to the imports of the State. We know, of course, that since there has been Inter-State free-trade, Victorian manufacturers have sent their travellers into the other States, and greatly increased their export business.

Mr Watson - But there is a considerable amount of re-exportation from Melbourne to Tasmania.

Mr STORRER - Yes, and to the other States.

Mr Crouch - To every State but New South Wales.

Mr STORRER - Yes. I wish to support the honorable member for Melbourne Ports in doing all I can for the unemployed of Australia.

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