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Thursday, 19 March 1931

Senator BARNES (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - One would be justified in wondering at the need for this motion asking for further information, in view of the fact that apparently the whole of the information on the subject is in the hands of the honorable' senator.

Senator Sir HA L Colebatch - I have only these two letters. I wish to see the whole of the correspondence.

Senator BARNES - The honorable gentleman suggested that the Government, by imposing these duties, played deliberately into the hands of certain individuals who held large stocks of

Oregon, and were now exploiting the people of this country. In support of his contention he quoted a letter written by a representative of the Labour party in South Australia. I have no doubt that the gentleman in question will be gratified to know that he has such a stalwart champion in. this chamber. I can, however, assure the Senate that in framing its tariff schedules the Government acted in the interests of the people. Its one desire was to encourage local industries. Unless we are prepared to face the situation in this way we shall always be at the mercy of exploiters overseas. The Government has no desire to smother up any information relating to these duties, and if the honorable senator will agree to the amendment of his motion so as to provide for the laying of the papers on the table of the library instead of the Senate, I shall accept it. I make this request because, if the papers are laid on the table of the Senate they become the property of this chamber, and are not so readily available for reference purposes by the department.

Senator Hal Colebatch - I accept the Minister's suggestion.

Amendment (by Senator Barnes) agreed to -

That the word " Senate " be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word "library".

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

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