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Wednesday, 13 December 1905

Mr BATCHELOR (Boothby) - In the absence of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, I move the amendment of which he has given notice. As honorable members have already discussed the principle involved, there is no necessity for me to further explain the object of the proposal. The only question at issue is as to whether the bounty shall be continued for five years, and then abruptly withdrawn, or be further renewed, or whether it shall be made to automatically vanish by means of a sliding-scale. Of course all who desire that the bounty shall cease at some time or other will support the adoption of a sliding-scale.

Mr Mahon - Not necessarily.

Mr BATCHELOR - In my opinion it would be utterly impossible for us to abruptly discontinue the bounty. The only way in which it can be terminated without affecting a serious disturbance in trade conditions is by means of a sliding-scale. I ask honorable members not to vote against the amendment, because they may not happen to agree with the suggestion of the honorable and learned member for Corinella as to the form which the slidingscale should take. That is a matter which we can settle after we have decided the principle of the amendment. I move -

That after the word "rates," line 6, the words " on the sliding scale " be inserted.

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