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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Dr EVATT ("Barton) (Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs) (2:35 AM) . - in reply - We have . listened to three remarkable speeches. There has not been any attempt to curtail the debate on this bill. Every suggestion for .amendment hasbeen listened to. At the second-reading stage, we did not hear of any proposal for a definition of " primary products ". That was made only to-night, by the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page). The Leader of the Australian Country party (Mr. Fadden) expressed disgust at the manner in which the matter had been handled. In the bill as it is now before us, there is a satisfactory and complete definition of " primary products ". I do not know of any primary product in respect of which orderly or organized marketing has been suggested, which has not been clearly included.

Mr Fadden - What about peanuts.

Dr EVATT - Are they not a primary product? Every boy who eats them in Queensland knows that they are.

Mr Fadden - What about meat?

Dr EVATT - Meat has been specifically included.

Mr Fadden - When was it included, and why?

Dr EVATT - I appeal for support to those members of the Australian Country party who have shown themselves really interested in a clear definition. We know who they are. There will be no challenge in the courts of this country, because the possibility of one has been excluded by the definition of " primary products ". Had we not done as much as we have done, there might have been the possibility of that eventuality occurring. The definition of " primary products " covers the whole field, including doubtful cases. It will be for the Parliament to determine whether it will pass a law for the orderly marketing of any commodity embraced by the definition. I am pleased that the leading members" of the . Australian Country party intend to support the third reading of the bill. That surely implies that they believe that the power to control organized marketing in the wide field embraced by primary production should reside in this Parliament irrespective of the provisions of section 92 of the Constitution. They should be consistent, and support the proposal in their electorates.

Question put -

That the bill be now read a third time.

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