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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Mr FADDEN (Darling Downs) (Leader of the Australian Country party) (1:50 AM) . - The way in which the Attorney.General (Dr. Evatt) has modified the previous., ambiguous definition of "primary products" gives iis reason to have a careful look at his proposal in order that we may determine what primary products are included or are deemed to be included in the definition now proposed and assess its total inadequacy. The right honorable gentleman has enlarged in his own way on the various aspects of processing of primary products. He has added to the list meat and meat products, but what of maize and maize products, peanuts and peanut products, fish and sea shells? As honorable members know the fishing industry and the shell industry are very important in dustries in north Queensland. I suppose the fishing industry presents greater potentialities for expansion than do many primary industries. Is fish to be included iri the definition? Before the Japanese war the gathering of trochus shell, beche-de-mer and pearl shell .was most important. It is obvious that some protection must be given to those products, and other products that have hitherto been controlled by various commodity boards. As a Queenslander, I can speak with considerable knowledge about . these commodity boards, which have been long' established as State instrumentalities with producer-control, for the purpose of orderly intrastate marketing. We have the Canary Seed Board, the Arrowroot Board and the Egg Producers' Council. Nothing is said about eggs and egg products. The further one goes through the list, the more one realizes the total inadequacy and ambiguity of this proposal. It is all very well to say that the High Court will define what is a primary product and what is a processed primary product or a by-product, but why should the various branches of primary industry have to go to the High Court for an adequate and proper safeguarding definition. This is the place where legislation should be made thoroughly clear, but I submit that the proposal before the committee is far from clear. The amendment proposed by the Attorney-General makes confusion more confounding. Its ambiguity leaves too much open to doubt. For that reason I -submit that the Attorney-General ought to give further consideration to the amendment submitted by the honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page). The various commodity boards operating' in the States have to be taken into consideration and regard has to be paid to the knowledge that has been gained by virtue of collaboration between the States and the " Commonwealth. If the Government proposes to usurp all the functions of ' the State instrumentalities and to broaden the- definition . of " marketing " to embrace " production ",' there will be chaos. The Australian Country party stands for orderly marketing, but not the sort of orderly marketing that will result from the totally inadequate and improper definition proposed by the Attorney-General.

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