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Friday, 24 August 1906

Mr KNOX (Kooyong) . - When giving my general support to the Bill on the motion for the second reading, I said that in Committee we should expect, and1 would be entitled to receive, from the Minister of Trade and Customs, some information as to how the proposed bounties would be distributed, but we are still in the dark in regard to the intentions of the Government. All we have been told is that the Minister will have control of the payments. We have not been told what machinery will be provided, or what scheme will be adopted. I have already ventured the opinion that it would be better to propose assistance to some specific industry which can be' benefited by the giving of bounties than to offer bounties which may be ineffective, unsatisfactory, and resultless. Only the baldest statement of the intentions of the Government has been put before us. If the Government, simply because they have a large majority behind them, insiston forcing measures through, withoutaffording honorable members sufficient information, all we can do is to enter our strongest protest against such an improper conduct. It was fully expected that we should have been afforded some information as to the reason why the Government propose to distribute over a. variety of industries small bounties, which bounties are not .likely to have any beneficial results. As one who supported the second' reading of the measure, I think that I am entitled to know how the Bill is to beadministered, and under what supervision) the bounties are to be distributed.

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