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Thursday, 30 August 1906

The PRESIDENT - I must ask the honorable senator not to discuss other schemes.

Senator CLEMONS - I am not discussing any other scheme.

The PRESIDENT - I was not referring to Senator Clemons, tout to the honorable senator who interjected.

Senator CLEMONS - It is a significant fact that the Labour Party should at the present juncture be endeavouring to bring about, not the nationalization of the drink traffic, but the nationalization of the tobacco industry. I repeat that I have heard no prominence given by the Labour Party to the question of controlling the drink traffic by means of State ownership.

Senator O'Keefe - T - Then the honorable senator cannot have read the report of the debate in the Tasmanian Parliament the other day, when the labour members of that Parliament gave great prominence to the question.

Senator CLEMONS - I am dealing with the Federal Parliament, and I challenge any member of the Labour Party to show an instance within the last three years of that party bringing into prominence the question of the State ownership and control of the drink traffic.

Senator de Largie - What about the Papua Bill?

Senator CLEMONS - Yes ; honorable members advocate the State ownership and control of the liquor traffic in New Guinea, but they are prepared to permit any number of public-houses in Australia. That' is the attitude to which I object.

Senator Givens - The honorable senator desires a Socialism which will suit himself, and not a Socialism which suits others.

Senator CLEMONS - I do not desire, and I am not advocating, Socialism, but merely drawing attention to the attitude of the Labour Party on the drink traffic.

Senator O'Keefe - I h I hope we shall be able to give the honorable senator an opportunity of voting with us on the question.

Senator CLEMONS - I shall vote against the second reading of the Bill, because I think that under the canteen system of disposing of liquor there is a much better opportunity to effect the same sort of control - and I saythis advisedly- that may be Obtained by the State ownership and sale of liquor. In my opinion, the Bill would not promote the cause of temperance in our Military Forces, but, on the other hand, would do harm; and for that reason, and for no other, I shall vote against the second reading.

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