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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill is necessary in consequence of the Sugar Bounty Bill which we passed yesterday. It provides that the Excise on sugar shall be 4s. per cwt., as against the present Excise of 3s. The present rate would, under the existing Act, remain in operation until January 1907. The Bill, as it passed the other House, imposes no limitation of time, but it has been pointed out to me, and my colleagues confirm the suggestion, that it would be well to adopt a similar system to that which has been adopted wilh regard to the bounty - so as to limit the operation of the Excise to the end of the year 1913, and also to have a sliding scale for the two last years.

Senator Millen - Would not that be undoing what we did yesterday ?

Senator PLAYFORD - It is considered by another place that it would be advisable to make the latter alteration. My own opinion is that if we pass the Bill as it stands we shall confer an advantage, not only on the .producer of sugar by white labour, but also on the employer of black labour. That it is not proposed to do.

Senator Pulsford - An amendment has not been proposed by the other House.

Senator PLAYFORD - It is desired.

Senator Millen - How does the Minister know ?

Senator PLAYFORD - From the Prime Minister.

Senator Millen - He cannot know the opinion of another place. The statement is most improper.

Senator PLAYFORD - I thought it advisable to let honorable senators know the feeling of the other House. I do not see any harm in such an alteration. We can discuss th"e question better in Committee, and therefore I will say no more in moving the second reading of the Bill.

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