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Friday, 15 December 1905

Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania) - I rise, as a moderate protectionist, to say that if this is a sample of the encouragement to be given to local industries by a protectionist Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Customs, I am heartily disappointed with it.

Senator McGregor - Is it not moderate protection ?

Senator MULCAHY - It is exceedingly moderate. We are asked to say in this Bill that if Parliament pleases it may, at some future time, when an industry has been established, give that industry some encouragement so that it may be established. If ever there was an illustration in legislation of putting the cart before the horse, this measure is one. In connexion with one measure introduced this session, the Minister of Defence was frank enough to admit that it was a sham and a fraud, and I think that the same terms might be appropriately applied to the Bill we are now asked to deal with. I quite agree with Senator Symon, that it will do neither harm nor good. The only qualification of the statement which I would make is that it may do some little harm by deceiving people. It will, certainly not add to the reputation of Mr. Deakin and Sir William Lyne as solid protectionists anxious to encourage the industries of Australia.

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