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Wednesday, 9 November 1904


Mr McCOLL (Echuca) - I have listened with considerable interest to the speech delivered by the honorable memberfor Kennedy, which was very timely, seeing that the Government proposes to deal specifically with the sugar bounty question during next session. The honorable'member has thrown a side light on the manner in which the industry is conducted, and has certainly afforded me much information. I do not think that the request that the Government should at this stage make a statement as to their intentions in reference to the. industry should be pressed by the representatives of Queensland.


Mr McDonald - I am not pressing any such request.


Mr McCOLL - Honorable members should be satisfied with the assurance of the Minister that the matter willreceive consideration during the recess. The point I should like to emphasize is that it should be the duty of the Government to make an absolutely impartial inquiry, by their own officers, not only in Queensland, but in the other States, as to the actual conditions of the industry. The inquiry should be thorough, but need not be an expensive one. As has been said, the other States are sacrificing a good deal with a view to further the principle of a White Australia, and to establish the great natural industry of Queensland on a firm and secure basis. If there is to be any extension of the period during which the bonuses are payable, it should be granted only on clear evidence adduced to the House that the industry is going to prosper, and in time will be a benefit not only to Queensland but to the whole of Australia. I would therefore ask the Government to give special attention to the statements made by the honorable member for Kennedy, and to institute an absolutely impartial inquiry, so that the fullest information may be given to the House next session, when the whole question will have to be dealt with.







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