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Monday, 18 December 1911

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I can quite understand my young friend going off at a tangent in protectionist Victoria. But if he had had the experience in connexion with farms that I have had, he would not speak as he has done. I have sometimes been compelled to put two of these tanks on a waggon, and to cart water in them for the stock during the summer months. The honorable senator said he did not know of any other section of the community which was being treated in the way that the tank makers are being treated. But I would ask him what Parliament has done for the farmer? It has imposed taxation upon machinery for revenue purposes.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - The farmer is getting his machinery made in Australia.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - And he has to pay stiffly for it. Before I was elected to this Parliament, I stated that, having been connected with farming pursuits all my life, I would do my best to see that the producing interests were fairly represented. To say that a duty should be imposedon these tanks for the sake of a few men, is to argue in the wrong direction. We ought to encourage the primary producer.

Senator Stewart - The farmer will be ruined.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - If the honorable senator had his way, he would impose a stiff single tax, and the farmer would suffer severely. But, thank God, he has not the power to do that. Although he belongs to the Labour party, he is a " wee bit cronk " in that respect. I hope that, on the present occasion, the Committee will take the same stand as it did on a previous occasion, and fight for the interests of the primary producer.

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