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Thursday, 13 October 1904

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) - I almost regret that so much heat has been shown to-night in regard to ' the Manufactures Encouragement Bill ; although I am quite sure that the leader of the Opposition referred to the matter out of consideration to myself as one upon whom he conceived that some indignity was intended to be placed. Whatever my own feelings may be, the interests at stake are so. large that I hope I shall never allow any personal and private considerations to prevent me from assisting to pass a mea'sure for which I have fought, not only in this Parliament, but for many years in the State Parliament of New South Wales. When I was. Premier in that State, I very nearly brought the proposal to a successful issue, and I think I am safe in saying that no public man has fought over a long political life as I have for the establishment of the iron industry.. When I left the State, an agreement had been prepared, and was awaiting signature, with a. powerful company to establish extensive works, and if that had been carried to a conclusion by my former colleagues, the iron industry would now be established in New South Wales. I was not asked to consent to the Bill being placed in the hands of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro. After it had been publicly stated that he was going to take charge of the measure, the secretary of the Protectionists'' Union in Sydney asked me if I intended to combat the proposal. My reply was that whatever my feelings might be, I should certainly not do that. I should not allow a consideration of that kind to influence my attitude towards the Bill. At the same time, I desire it to be understood that 1 assisted the right honorable member for Adelaide, when he was Minister of Trade and Customs, in regard to the Bill, and that when I took charge of his Department, I slightly altered the measure, and re-introduced it. When the Watson Government came into power, and announced that they would not deal with the matter - I agree with the honorable member for Kennedy that such a measure should be taken up by the Government - I asked that an early opportunity should be afforded me to bring it forward. The Prime Minister gave roe that promise, and had it not been for the vote which displaced the Government, I should, have dealt with the matter the following week. I do not say that this is a proper thing for a private member to do. If there is a Government in power in sympathy with the matter, they ought to take up a measure of the kind; but I feel that we may resort to any means a Ministry is prepared to allow, for the purpose of obtaining the desired result.

Mr Thomas - Is the honorable member prepared to go on with the matter if the Government will give him time?

Mr Reid - It is rather too late to make a suggestion of that kind.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The other day, when I was speaking on this matter, the Minister of Defence interjected what I regarded as a technical -remark. The honorable gentleman said to me, " I thought you said you would not take anything from the Government." I at once replied that I would not take such an attitude on a question of this kind. It is, true that I should not like to be under an obligation to the Government, but in this instance I should propose to give the Government something - to give them this important measure which is lying dormant at present. Personally, I shall do nothing to thwart or prevent this measure from being carried. Any feeling I may have in the matter, I shall "be prepared, as I always have been, to disregard. I have been " there before " - I have been associated with the right honorable gentleman in a State Parliament.

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