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Thursday, 4 May 1939


Mr GREEN (Kalgoorlie) .- The following letter sent to Senator Fraser by Mr. T. H. Powell, president of the Wheat and Woolgrowers' Union of Western Australia is self-explanatory and will interest honorable members :

I am enclosing herewith a copy of a telegram I have forwarded to the Prime Minister protesting against the non-inclusion of wheatgrowers' organizations at a conference to be held at Canberra next week to discuss vital interests of wheat-farmers.

I may state that the conference referred to concluded its sittings to-day. The letter continues -

I desire to point out to you that at a recent conference held at Canberra the following members were appointed to represent the wheat industry on the Provisional Council of the newly formed Australian Producers' Federation: Messrs. E. E. Fields (New South Wales), F. M. Cullen (Victoria), and T. H. Powell (Western Australia). These members were deputed to make representations to the Federal Government in connexion with wheat problems.....

I would be very grateful indeed if you will ask a question in the House why these recognized wheat organizations were not invited to confer with the Government and why political and business interests only were represented. I bring this matter before you in the full confidence that you will do your best to ventilate the position.

This is a matter which, I consider, should have the attention of the Minister for

Social Services (Sir Frederick Stewart) who represents the Minister for Commerce in this chamber. Some explanation should be forthcoming from the responsible Minister. I have no objection to Mr. Teasdale being asked to attend the conference. I do not know what method was adopted in selecting the two representatives from "Western Australia. Mr. Teasdale may have been chosen, but at least some courtesy should have been paid to the president of the other association. As honorable members are probably aware, in Western Australia there is a Wheat and Wool Growers Union and also a Primary Producers Association. The latter organization is housed in an extensive warehouse, and is engaged, not only in buying, but also in storing and selling primary products; so it is not entirely a wheat-grower's concern. I have nothing whatever to say against Mr. Teasdale's ability as an expert on wheat, but I think that instead of there being two representatives of the one association at the conference, thus giving a political colour to the appointment, the president of the Wheat and Wool Growers Union should have been selected also. Then there would have been no argument about the matter. The honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) is a prominent member of the Primary Producers Association, but there are in other legislative chambers representatives of the Wheat and Wool Growers Union. I feel that in this matter the Government has not done the right thing. It happens torepresent the big business interests of this country, and it has shown its hand plainly in connexion with this conference. I hope that an explanation will be forthcoming after the Minister for Social -Services has consulted with the Minister for Commerce.







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