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Friday, 14 November 1930

Senator CARROLL (Western Australia) . - Owing to the peculiar circumstances under which the motion was submitted, it falls to my lot to reply to the debate. I shall be as brief as .1 can. I assure Senator Hoare that the motion does not mean the abandonment of what we iu Australia regard as our national policy. I am of the opinion that, wo have carried that, national policy beyond reasonable limits; it needs modification in certain directions, hut that modification need not in any way interfere with our own industries. I remind Senator Hoare that Australia imports a tremendous quantity of timber from overseas, the great bulk of it from the United States of America. Our sister dominion, Canada, has enormous forests of similar timber. There is an instance where we could extend preferential treatment to a sister dominion, and increase intra-Empire trade.

I commend to honorable senators the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Pearce). The right honorable gentleman struck the right note when he said that in dealing with this problem we should have something solid behind our minds, and not merely pass a pious resolution. I remind the Senate that the motion does not touch upon anything new. It is only asking for an extension of a policy that has been in operation for a great many years. We have asked and have received from the Old Country certain preferences with regard to our products. The motion merely urges that the position should be examined, and that we should extend the policy where that can be done to the mutual advantage of the different components of the Empire. I do not think that even Senator Rae would object to trading with a sister dominion when that would result in as much advantage as would accrue from trading with a foreign country, a country which might conceivably use the proceeds to punish us later, as was done in the Great War. If anything could convince me of the righteousness of this motion, it is the opposition that came from Senator Rae. My experience shows that the honorable senator will oppose anything that promises to benefit the British Empire. I commend the motion to the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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