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Wednesday, 22 April 1931

Senator FOLL (Queensland) .- The financial proposals of the Government, to which Senator Daly has ju3t referred, evidently include the Fiduciary Notes Bill, which was defeated by the Seriate last week. If that measure, which provided for the issue of fiduciary notes to the extent of £18,000,000- of which £12,000,000 was to be used in giving employment at the rate of £1,000,000 a month - had been passed, only £3 6s. 8d. per month per man would have been made available for the 300,000 unemployed.

May I point out that in Queensland the Moore Government, since it came into power, has been reducing public expenditure with a view to balancing its budget. That Government has demonstrated that it is possible to reduce public expenditure, and at the same time to reduce unemployment. That is the point I wish to em'phasize. But for the exchange position and the fact that it has been dragged down by another State, Queensland would have been able almost to balance its budget this year. In proportion to its population, Queensland has probably the smallest deficit of any State, and its unemployment figures are also lower. This shows that when once a government sets to work to place its house in order unemployment is reduced. One of the arguments of honorable senators opposite has been that when governmental expenditure is reduced employment is also reduced, but the fallacy of that contention is demonstrated by Queensland's experience under the present Nationalist Government. New South Wales has a larger deficit than any of the other States; it also has the highest unemployment figures. As a result of sane administration Queensland is in a better position than any of the other States.

Senator O'Halloran - That is owing to the surplus inherited from the previous Labour Government.

Senator FOLL - Queensland had a bitter experience under the previous administration.' Prior to the coming into office of the Moore Government its unemployment figures were higher than these of any other. ,

Senator O'Halloran - That is not so.

Senator FOLL - According to the figures supplied by the Commonwealth Statistician the position was as I have stated, and it was only when the Moore Government came into power and made an honest attempt to balance the budget by reducing expenditure, that unemployment was reduced. As a result of the efforts of the Moore Government, the unemployment figures in Queensland are, in proportion to population, only one-half of those of New South Wales. The man Lang, the present Premier of New South Wales, has, by his cowardly action of repudiation, thrown upon the other States, including Queensland, the responsibility of his Government. lt is one of the most cowardly actions ever taken by any State Premier. I endorse the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition concerning the position of the other States. It is unfair and dastardly ' that the other States, which are endeavouring to conduct their affairs on sane and businesslike lines, should be dragged down by the negligence and ineptitude of a government such as that now in office in Now South Wales, and by the Government of the Commonwealth, which is making no attempt to balance its budget. If it did so, it would reduce the unemployment figures for the Commonwealth.

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