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Wednesday, 9 July 1930


Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) . - This agreement cannot be altered by the Senate. It must be either accepted or rejected. No amendment can be made to it without reference to the parties responsible for the agreement. I realize fully the responsibility resting upon all those honorable senators who intend to vote against it, because the Government, through the Prime Minister, has entered into an arrangement with the Government of Western Australia to guarantee the amount advanced by the Midland Bank to the company. There was ample opportunity for the Government to bring this measure before the Senate much earlier in the session. Parliament met in February this year. The Government should have taken the earliest opportunity to inform members of both chambers that it was committed to this agreement, subject to its ratification by Parliament.I am convinced that, in any event, Parliament will be called upon to pay the money if the bill is passed. I know from our experience in Tasmania that the Government always has to foot the bill in connexion with all proposals to assist mining companies, and there is no reason to hope that Wiluna will be any exception to the- rule. Consequently, the Government of Western Australia will have to find the money, and, in pursuance of the agreement made by this Government, the Commonwealth Parliament will be asked to vote money to reimburse the State Government. On the question of principle I intend to vote against the bill.







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