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Reply to Dinner Address


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Author Austin JD


I am honoured and very pleased to have been given the opportunity this evening to say a few words of thanks not only on behalf of all the guests but especially for the delegates and accompanying persons attending the 13th Congress of the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutions. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Sir Hamilton Whyte,KCMG for his most interesting address. In his far ranging talk, when he showed knowledge of widely diverse subjects, I had a brief fear that he was going to be talking about the details of support methods in deep level mines, or how to avoid flotation problems in multi-metal mines. Although he did not go that far, he touched on subjects which have arisen this week – long term planning and secure supply of minerals at acceptable prices. The dire predictions of the Club of Rome have been debunked with a far more elastic supply of minerals having been proved. Combined with the importance of a falling birthrate in some parts of the world, this will lead to many changes in the future, when hopefully governments will take the long term view rather than look at the next budget or the next election. Maybe some of them are not too lazy to do this for all of us. However as a fellow Ukranian, I feel that he might have been called something different if he had been in Australia. Sir Hamilton, thank you for your talk. Once upon a time – and this is not a fairy story – there was a cobbler who had two sons; one very bright who became a professor of mathematics; the other, dim, who became a millionaire shoemaker. Asked for the secret of his success, the millionaire attributed it to a vital piece of economics which his father had imparted, “Be content with small margins on a large turnover.” “So”, said the millionaire, “I make my shoes for $2 a pair and sell them for $5. I am very happy with the three per cent profit.”