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Thursday, 12 July 1906

Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) , - I wish to say, in answer to the remarks of the deputy leader of the Opposition, that I never intended for a moment by my interjection to impute to him disloyalty to Australia. All I intended to convey was that there area great many people who appear to think that neither Australian machinery nor Australian manufactures of any kind can be as good as are the imported articles. The statement w being continually made. I know from experience that there is just as good machinery made in Australia as is made in any other part of the world, and still better machinery would be made if the young life of the country were given anything like a fair chance. It is not given a fair chance. Our own people are continually disparaging our products and making it appear that we are fit for nothing except soldiering. The honorable member for Parramatta spoke of protecting the miners. He knows that we cannot impose a dutv upon coal, but if a lot of the articles which are now being imported were made in our factories, a much larger quantity of coal would be used, and the miners would be infinitely busier than they are at the present time.

Mr Johnson - Let them show a little more independence of spirit instead of 'always leaning upon the Government-

Mr MAUGER - The honorable member talks about independence of spirit.

Mr Johnson - Yes. That is what we are sapping by means of this class of legislation.

Mr MAUGER - I venture to say that there is as much independence of spirit amongst the people of America as there is in my honorable friend, and yet they are pretty well protected.

Mr Johnson - They have free-trade amongst a population of 80,000,000.

Mr MAUGER - And we have freetrade amongst a population of 4,000,000. I trust that the time is not far distant when we shall have ten times that number. I can assure my honorable friend that the reduction of the duty upon strawboard has proved most serious to that industry, and that, notwithstanding the introduction of improved machinery, a much larger number of hands would be employed if an increased dutv were imposed.

Mr. JOHNSON(Lang) {7.59].- Tn spite of the statement of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports-

Mr Mauger - I did not make any statement.

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