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Wednesday, 30 July 1930

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- Ilistened with interest to the comments of Senators Dunn and Hoare. I should not be human if I took lying down all that those honorable senators said about me. I strongly resent the suggestion that I am trying to destroy the effectiveness of this measure. Senator Hoare alleged that I endeavoured to destroy the Cotton Industries Bounty Bill when we were discussing a provision similar to that contained in this clause. Some honorable senators appear not to be endowed with sufficient intelligence to realize that certain provisions ijj. the bill may totally defeat the object for which it was introduced. The stipulations in this clause, , to which I have been directing attention, will, in my opinion, go a long way in that direction, notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary by its supporters. I remind honorable senators that, as there is no market for flax fibre in Australia, the producers will have to accept world parity for it. In view of this fact, how can the industry be developed if we insist upon the observance of artificial conditions comparable to those obtaining in a number of our secondary industries? It is time we called a halt. I deny absolutely that I am an advocate of low-wago conditions, and I resent the suggestion of Senator Millen that I have implied that the workers in Tasmania were not as well paid as are workers in the mainland States.

Senator Millen - Then why did the honorable senator raise this issue?

Senator PAYNE - Because I thought it was the right thing to do in the circumstances. In any case, I do not take my orders from the honorable senator. I expected to receive support from him in this matter, because I thought I had adduced arguments to show that the retention of this provision would be prejudicial ro the successful development of the industry. This is my last word on the matter. I have no desire to see anything approaching conditions of slavery introduced into the primary industry of Tas mania. I submitted my amendment in the full belief that it was the right course to adopt.

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