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Friday, 24 August 1906

Mr BAMFORD (Herbert) . - Wha't has fallen from the honorable member for North Sydney is well worth the consideration of the Committee, though he takes a rather extreme view when he says that the whole amount may be spent in one year.

Mr McLean - It could be so spent if the amendment were agreed to.

Mr BAMFORD - Yes ; and for that reason I shall vote against the amendment. I fear that it may happen that for several years no bounties will be given, and the whole amount may be distributed over, perhaps, the last five years of a decade. There are several industries which could be benefited by immediate expenditure - the production of coffee, cotton, condensed and powdered milk, oils, and rice, for example.

Mr Fisher - An>d the production of sisal hemp.

Mr Lonsdale - The honorable member wishes us to make a gift to a number of other Queensland industries such as we have made to the Queensland sugar industry.

Mr BAMFORD - I have never done the honorable member the honour to interject when he was speaking, and' I trust that he will not interrupt my remarks. In my opinion, the amount provided for annual expenditure on bounties is rather small, and I should like to see it doubled. Other countries have established and brought industries to perfection by the granting of bounties, and I see no reason why we should not do the same. It would be dangerous, however, to empower the Minister to spend .£500,000 in one year, because such a provision might do a great deal of harm. With reference to the suggestion of the honorable member for Lang, that instructors should be appointed and agricultural colleges established to train persons in the best methods of carrying on the industries which we wish to encourage, I would point out, in the first place, that there are already agricultural colleges and experimental farms under the control of the States, and, in any case, it would take some considerable time to impart the instruction of which he speaks, whereas there are many men who already possess experience and knowledge which would enable them to at once enter upon the cultivation of certain products, if bounties were offered to them.

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