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Monday, 18 December 1905

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) - In the circumstances, there is only one course to adopt, and that is either for one side to secure the defeat of the Bill, which nobody wishes to do. or to arrive at a reasonable compromise which would secure the enactment of the main principle of the Bill, but with a modification to meet the divergence of views. What we have been fighting for has been the recognition of a sliding scale as an intimation to the sugargrowers in Queensland that there is a period beyond 'which we are not prepared to go in .granting assistance to their industry. It is a minor matter whether the period of the sliding scale be two, three, or four years. I should much prefer a period of four years, but that cannot be secured as the Committee is now constituted. Therefore, I hope that honorable senators will adopt the suggestion of Senator Playford, unsatisfactory as I think it is.

Senator Mulcahy - We ought to be sure that the Government will accept it. ,

Senator MILLEN - I am quite prepared to accept the assurance of the Minister of Defence, not merely as an intimation of what he will do personally, but as an intimation that he will endeavour to press his view upon his colleagues.

Senator O'KEEFE(Tasmania).- I do not think that the Minister has made a very reasonable effort to meet the views of many honorable senators. If he had wished to make a reasonable compromise, he might have offered the continuation of the bounty for three years, and a sliding - scale for the next two years. But I recognise that it is of no use for me 10 fight for the entire position that I have taken up. But the main principle for which we have been fighting is the recognition of a sliding scale, and the intimation to the planters that a period must be put to the bounty. I am willing to take his assurance - on behalf of the Government - that the suggested amendment will be accepted in another place.

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