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Thursday, 19 December 1912

The PRESIDENT - I point out to the honorable senator that the matter to which he now refers is not dealt with in this measure. The Acts set out in the schedule do not refer to any bounty on oil.

Senator ST LEDGER - This Bill proposes the extension of the system of bounties, and, before I give my assent to that, I hope I am entitled to ask what has been the practical effect of the money we have spent in bounties in the past. Notwithstanding the fact that under this measure certain -matters are to be referred to a Court for determination, we have to consider the general interests of the public who must meet the cost. I mentioned incidentally the bounties paid for the production of shale oil as an illustration of what has been done under this system. Who on earth has discovered a gallon of oil in Australia as the result of the payment of that bounty? Who will say that this further proposed expenditure will be productive? I find that we have paid £20,000 by way of bounties to the iron industry.

The PRESIDENT - Order ! I call the honorable senator's attention to- the fact that it is not competent for him to discuss that matter under this Bill. He may discuss it under the next Bill on the noticepaper.

Senator ST LEDGER - I thank you, sir, for your reminder. Possibly what I desire to say on the subject may be more appropriately said on the next Bill. I bow to your ruling.

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