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Wednesday, 29 August 1906

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The statement of the honorable member for Echuca is quite correct. After this clause had been discussed for some time, a suggestion was made by the honorable member for North Sydney, the adoption of which would have the effect of limiting the yearly allocation of the bounty to £75.000. The Vice-F resident of the Executive Council, who was in charge of the measure, stated that he was perfectly willing to accept a proposal of that character. I do not know whether the Minister of Trade and Customs is aware of the position of matters at the time when the count-out occurred. Here is the Hansard report upon the subject : -

Mr Ewing - Honorable members are directing my attention to all portions of the Bill. I have no desire to discuss clause 3 at this stage. I wish to confine my remarks to the suggestion of the honorable member for North Sydney, who wishes to add a proviso to the clause under consideration which would have the effect of limiting the expenditure in any year to ^75,000. Tr> Government are perfectly willing to accept tha" suggestion.

Sir William Lyne - I have an amendment to submit.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Upon Friday last I pointed out that even the adoption of the course proposed was not necessary, since we can always fall back upon the Estimates in case we require to spend anything in excess of the amount which is mentioned in the Bill. For that reason I think it would be better to allow the measure to pass in its present form. I quite agree that it is necessary to provide for some elasticity so far as the allocation of this money is concerned. It will readily be seen that an industry may earn nothing during one year, and that the following year it may require the payment of a double amount of bounty. That condition, however, can always be met by placing the necessary suan upon the Estimates, and Parliament may always be trusted to deal fairly with any industry in accordance with the terms of the contract which. will exist after the passing of this measure. Upon the other hand, I would infinitely prefer to see the amount of elasticity which is proposed in the yearly allocation of the bounty to the granting of the original sum proposed by the - Minister. If the honorable gentleman is prepared to make the alteration suggested, I am quite willing to allow it to pass unchallenged.

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