SUGAR AGREEMENT. Mr. Lang's Criticism.
SIR PHILIP GOLDFINCH'S REPLY.
Following a bitter attack by Mr. Lang on the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, Ltd., in the Legislative Assembly last night, Sir Philip Goldfinch, general manager of that company, made a spirited reply, in his maiden speech as a member of the House.
Sir Philip Goldfinch said the sugar agree- ment did not benefit the company. The company did not seek a reduction of wages before the Federal Arbitration Court. It was not a fact that the Knox family held 40,000 shares for their personal benefit.
He explained the circumstances leading up to the sugar agreement, which was made, he said, largely to carry out the Federal Govern- ment's plan to protect the Australian sugar industry. Mr. Lang's statement that the company had recently given £7,000,000 to shareholders was ridiculous. The distribution was merely a financial re-arrangement.
During yesterday's sitting the budget debate was concluded, and consideration of the Estimates was entered upon.
Mr Sinclair, resuming the debate on the Budget, praised the Government for its work of rehabilitation and stimulation of industry. It had been responsible, he said, for general economic improvement in the country, and had brought about a balance between the primary and secondary industries. The lack of such a policy during the depression had accentu- ated distress. The Government during the last three years had remitted £12,000,000 in taxation previously borne by the small man.
Mr Shannon said two recent by-elections for the City Council had disclosed that the city rolls contained the names of men long since dead, and that in other ways the rolls were in a deplorable state. Postal voting was badly misused, and many forms of fraudu- lent voting were used at every election. The Government should legislate to strengthen the city election system and the rolls should be cleansed. He referred to deplorable condi- tions at the Crown-street, Bourke-strcet, Blackfriars, and Cleveland-street schools. Many of the scholars lived in dingy homes, and should have their lives brightened a little by studying in clean, well-ventilated class-rooms. The Government readily made money avail- anle for country schools, but showed little con- sideration for the city.
MR. WADE'S SELF-DEFENCE.
Mr. Wade said that Mr. Davidson had charged him with getting for himself money that belonged to tobacco-growers at Ashford. Many charges had been made against him from time to time, and he had refuted them. The present was the last time he would go to the trouble. When he first entered Parlia- ment a tobacco-growing company at Ashford suggested that, instead of the Government giv- ing the dole, the recipients should be put to growing tobacco, and asked him to get the dole money diverted to keep the men at that occupation. After inquiry, the Government adopted the suggestion, and it fell to him to
get the money for them.
A member: And you were interested In the
tobacco they grew.
Mr. Wade: I had no interest in the money. Only as member for the district did I ask for
it. I was in the tobacco business, but no one who grew for me ever asked for money.
Mr. Shannon: What about your evidence at the committee of inquiry?
Mr. Wade: I gave no evidence.
Mr. Shannon: Here it is in print in the committee's report.
Mr. Wade: I never went before the com- mittee. (Opposition uproar.)
Mr. Wade: I did not give evidence. The officials were never on my property, nor did they interview my growers. Two of them saw me in my office.
The next charge, Mr. Wade said, was that he left one of his men to die in the bush. The truth was that a casual worker dropped dead in the bush where casual workers camped. He
was alone, and was not missed. It was no fault of theirs that he was not discovered at once. Of the 200 men working for him (Mr. Wade), all but 10 had been with him for from 10 to 25 years. It was said that men were living in hovels on the tobacco ground. They were road workers, and it was customary for them to live like that. They were well cared
"I challenge Mr. Davidson," he said, "to re- peat outside his defamation of me uttered here under privilege—his statement that I was in- terested in the tobacco money."
Mr. Davidson: You don't like it.
Mr. Wade: No, I don't. You attacked Mr. Moulder, one of the best men in the State— you and your friends who live on the working men's backs. The first thing you people think of when faced by a man with a bit of push is to put the boot in. You utter dia- bolical lies about men who try to do some good in the land. I came into the House to find some men ready to pick up the cudgels they were used to so as to attack a man. Their methods are unfair, unreasonable, and un- parliamentary. They try to drag me to their level, but I will not succumb to them.
MR. DAVIDSON'S REPLY.
Mr. Davidson, replying to what he described as the "filthy criticism of Mr. Wade," said that it was a serious thing to charge officials with forgery, for that was what his statements regarding the signatures to the committee's document amounted to. If the Government had one atom of decency it would compel Mr. Wade to apologise to the House and to the men who signed the report.
MR. WEAVER'S SPEECH.
Mr. Weaver said it always fell to his lot to pour oil on troubled waters. When he entered Parliament he understood that every member enjoyed the right of free speech, which gave to every member his only chance of representing his constituents. Some Government supporters had been directly (and sometimes indirectly) threatened that if they spoke their mind something would happen. All members should enjoy the right of free speech, otherwise they were in danger of being ruled by a dictatorship, as in Europe. They had had a costly experience by an assumed dictatorship which had split the Labour Party. If something was not done to preserve freedom of speech, it would probably under- mine the United Australia party. Threats had been made to invade his electorate, but whenever that had been attempted he had been returned by an increased majority. He claimed, at all times, to express his own opinions on any new measures.
? Mr. Weaver said he regretted that greater .proilslon had not been made for the hospitals. Mullens of money was made available in taxa- tion and remissions in railway freights and , bam fares and relief to farmers, without cor-
responding provision for the health of the
i Mr. Davies: Why did you not aller it when
?ou ncre there?
Mr. Weaver: You cannot make £800,000 »ut £2,000,000. I am not attacking the Minister. I am blaming the Government. It 'Ultim a lottery, but why not a £1,000,000 'lottery to cprry out hospital extensions'!1
Mr. Weaver said that hospital accommo «Hon was still hopclesly deficient. Patients ¡<tre walting while hospitals were over-Ailed, ,«4 out-patients could not get nttentlon. Good lotteries could correct all that.
. Mr. Kelly: why did you not give them
1 wen In office?
Mr, Weaver: Because I had a boss. The Werlcs were under the Premier.
HJ urged that school children .hould be t (Tried free on trams and Government buses ."yll as on trains. The congestion at Wyn- ard was intolerable and unnecessary. The ,Maspcrt administration wrapped the Har
jr Bridge lu swRddllng clothes and would 1let buses use it. He objected to the over- ate of trams and Government buses while i Blute bus owners were prosecuted for over wdmg. He condemned suggestions that mem , 5çrs -were not free men. There were active Ternmcnt supporters who knew that there i «aid be nothing worse than to assist the Witton to the Treasury benches. There . S ',, was Proud to give his adherence to
? «e u.A p.
Äer*)11.'' Go home now. (Opposition
¡Mi. Booth: There is a brave politician. Ula ast words were to ask forgiveness. This strong -IMIX? weake>' and weaker. We expected w near the thunder of the mountauis, but we
'lWhterTeeCh 0i a 12-months' squallcr.
The Budget vote was agreed to.
MR. LANG'S ATTACK.
.th<i oUng' 5Peaking on the Estimates, said ¡«w, according to reports, the present was S tiÄ**1 m which Mi. Stevens would '«tom « r_. The Posing of the Premiership ¡ than , Stevens to Mr. Spooner was more ^toiimii,?"6 transference of office from one 'the «i mir I?.emb« of the same party. It was '.Uitoin ihJ?E point ta tht= changing condl
tw » Se Govel'nment party during the last '¡«nmeni <"ee.years' The anti-Labour Gov *iDder,ni,"n Australia had always been owned iuidtvÄby the b'B financial institutions Î'Aflî "ëSS? that dealt wIth the People's
tb-msri.,, Hlthcrto the controllers had not !Wír,cediíom° lnto Parliament, but had *."*eic.I th?i s_PP°rted men who, once elected, .'iffl han h» dl.tat«s. Apparently that sys r^s" him. It und unsatisfactory, and the , hemfeiíWn PwSlnB of Mr- Stevens from the '»«seil lili ."* «LanB continued, they wlt " Politic. %h J" the mercenary leaders In ' «Hnibtr m Premiership would pass to a '8(nsr»l ehelio"Br.lat bankers' ring. At the
rombine «_. the nead oî a great millers' ' Person t_ moP% tnoae returned. No less
than "the fountain-head of that
Great octopus, the sugar cambine," became a member of the House Just on the eve of the last elections, Mi Weaver told how the combine and financial magnates pulled the «¡titags behind a U-A P Government He told now Mr A O Davidson, the head of the Bank of New South Wales had brought about his dismissal from the Ministry because, when ÏÏ-.'W11' lle had defled the power- ful B M A Parliament should tell the Federal Government that it was opposed to the renewal of the sugai agreement unless the interests or the consumer were mole adequately pio
The sugar combine said Mr Lans had been o-§enfrous. c(.ntributoi to anti-Labour funds, and itb principal shareholders had lareelv directed the affairs of that party Now the
£w_TiLÍ_d ^1wn dlrec* representatives in the House Not long ago the Federal Gov einment brought down a bill to amend the ïh»?meJa"X "cî A" distributions of bonus shaies made before December 31 1934 were CÄ52, "?!Ä WaS ai?,open tavltatto'to all mSní- ?Í? égorge themselves of concealed a ?Pts _ "* .er the chairman of the Colonial ri|Ur!^o,Rfnin_ C,0' Ud announced that the ?iÄ» A" decK_d to «"»tribute £7,000,000 ?*f BJ£LSh*ares The Government should pro Ä^^nVS?*'1 Sf the SUBar agreement
m its present form To test Parliament on
rXKyVl6 m°Ved that the **^& be
SIR PHILIP GOLDFINCH'S REPLY Sir Philip Goldfinch said, in leplv to Mr Lang, that he had no idea'when he entered _iirlt5?întHU,Bt-1ïl Would be balted «"soon ?_.,?-_..leadei li the Opposition It was a Ia»wSt_Vdf_ "^ S!r Thomas Bavin was elevated to the Judiciary to make the Gordon ?fT l,bl*rribrbon seat for hlm That sugges
Û.t1? **** wouId not be taken sort
ously by anyone
,J!LWns î£ld uhe? r came ln here that they Goldfinch, "and if this is an attempt to drive me out of Parliament, it will fail dismally SS?.*.8 ,ccrtaln ls that Mi Lang, like Mr White in 1932, does not know what he is
"we fai_ th,a5 the ^gai agreement did not protect the Colonial Sugar Refining Company m any way It merely stipulated that the Commonwealth Government would keep foreign sugai out of Australia as long as the price to the consumer did not exceed a cor- bin flguic That price was fixed by the Commonwealth Government without consult- ing the company at all In 1915 after the outbieak of wai, the Commonwealth Govern- ment decided that £1 a ton was a reasonable charge to make foi services rendered by the companj which lind rennel les in each State, foi leflntng the sugai for the people of Aus- tralia That figiue was fixed undei the Hist and second agieement, and It had nevel been alteied Theie was no such thing as a bountj which had never been paid to the company Mi Lang seemed to think that the sugai agreement benefited the company, which had nevei i. dulged in "lobbying" in Canbena or anywheie else He (Sh Phillp Goldfipchi had not the slightest interest In the New South Wales Pal .lament from the point of view of the CSR Co, which had no fa\ours to ask fiom elthei the State Gov- ernment oi the Fedeial Government
With îegaid to shaie-holdlng Sh Phillp Goldfinch said I hat he could undei stand Mi Ling's eiroi in hinking that the Knox family held 40 000 shares The position was that the head of the Knox family held in his name a latge numbei of shares which weie left in tiust foi admlnlstiatlon foi the benefit of a large numbei of employees in the Industry Theie weie in the company a vast number of small shareholder, and the shales weie held in such high esteem that that numbei would be îapldly incieased if theie weie shares
' I am kcenlv inteiested in the welfare of the employees " said SU Philip Goldfinch
'Only this week I have had befoie me a pro- posal foi a new supeiannuation scheme The company 1ms not approached the Fedeial Aibitration Couit foi a reduction in woikers' wages but owing to the comple\ situation that has arisen from conflicting State and Fedeial awaids the company has appioachcd the Fedeial Aibitration tiibunal hi the hope of securing an adjustment and claiifylng tbe
In any case, SU Philip Goldfinch said the question of wages did not affect the pioflts of the company
Mi Tully The company fixes ictail pilces
Sli Philip Goldfinch Theie is no fixtd
Mi Lang was an astute man, he said ana it was hard to undeistand how he could say the CSR Co handed out £7,000,000 to the shareholders When the capital value was in line with the assets those shares were issued and the rate of dividends was halved The shareholder got two 10/ notes for one £1 note At no time had the company paid more than 5 pel cent on the assets When the piice of sugai went to £14 a ton the company could not make pioflts When profits weie made, the reserves were incieased, and when that incicose was put Into capital the shareholders weie satisfied Mi Lang had said that as a íesult of the sugai agiee- ment shares went up 30/, but most people, Including Mi Lnng, knew that the ngi cement did not affect the companys profits
An Opposition membei Did you sell some
of youi shares?
Sli Philip Goldfinch When shaies go up you sell, as in gold mining when they go down you buy again If Mi Lang thinks hi3 attack will give the company a hot time, I can sa. it will not
PREMIER PRAISES SPEECH
The Premiei said membeis were indebted to Sh Phillp Goldfinch foi the cleai, concise, and detailed statement he had made to the House, against a good deal of abuse of him- self and all and sundiy which was not an uncommon thing in Pailiament The fact lemained that there was evidenced a willing- ness on the part of a representative of a gi eat corporation to give the community the benefit of information that was of value to it He explained that when the sugar agreement passed the Pcdcial House it had the full sup poit of Laboui members, only three voting against it The one mistake Sh Phillp Goldfinch had made was when he credited Mr Lang with a desire to be sinceie It had been suggested by Opposition membeis that eel tain membeis were to retire and representa- tives of laige concerns elected to the vacan cíes, but the House knew how far they could believe that statement The íecord of the Government had been consistent all through It knew no sections but legislated foi all
Its record was as consistent as any Govern- ment that had preceded it Every member knew that eveiy responsibility of the Govern- ment had been discharged Whatever might be insinuated by Mi Lang, he (the Pi emier) believed that Mi Jackett and Sii Phillp Gold- finch were in Parliament in the inteiests of theil constituency and not for the furtherance of matters outside of it
The closure was applied, and Mr Langs amendment defeated
Mi Lnng piotested against Government Advertising being tiansfeired fiom the Piemlcr's Depaitment to the Country Press Co-operative Co
The Premiei, in reply, said that the Govern- ment, by giving the contract to the Country Press Co-operative Co had saved expense and secuied gieatei efficiency The company ie teivsd no payment but obtained the usual newspapei commission and the Government
had saved about £2000 a year
The vote in ícspect of the Premiei s Depait- ment was agreed to, as was also that of the Department of Tiansport
PUBLIC SERVICE RETIR-EMENTS
The Piemler (Mi Stevens), in reply to Mr W Ross, stated that the question of retiring Public servants who had passed the age of 60 years had not been definitely decided The Government's proposal to retire such servants had not been withdrawn All proposals regard- ing the matter had been discussed between him and the representatives of the Public Ser- vice Association last week An Executive Coun- cil minute to be published towards the end of the week would give effect to the Govern- ment's pioposals
The Mlnlstei for Tiansport (Mi Biuxnei) in îeplv to Mr Ness said that experimental work had been carried out successfully with trolly buses, and the department was ready to increase the number of these vehicles when necessary , _,
The Minister for Tiansport îeplying to Mi Heffron said he had leceived a îeport from the police that it was only on race days that there was any dangei to children at the Daceyville Public school, when crossing Nine Ways and on those davs a policeman was stationed there Only 3 per cent of the children had to cross The Police Department did not think any change was necessary
The Minister for Labour (Mr Dunningham) told Mr Davies that no instructions had been given to withhold any Christmas parcels for the unemployed or relief workers till after
The Ministei foi Agriculture (Mr Main), replying to Mr Kilpatrick said that large quantities of wheat were arriving at various counliv stations but he was not aware that at silo stations the silos were not being made a\ ¿liable On the conti ary, he had been told that some silos had been opened too eaily
The Premiei, In reply to Mi Lawson, who asked whether workers on the bordei railway were being asked by the Taxation Commis- sioners to pay income tax on money that was being paid them bv the Victorian Government, said the matter had been brought under his notice before when he had suggested that the Victorian Government should exempt the men fiom Victorian taxation Whi'e the men were citizens of New South Wales, they must he subject to the laws of the State
At 31 JB p m, the House adjourned lo 2 30
p m to-day