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Tuesday, 15 March 1966

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Monaro) . - I second the amendment. The purpose of the Australian Labour Party in submitting this amendment is to divide the House on this issue. The House will be rising in a few minutes for dinner. I hope that a vote will be taken before then, because tonight it is proposed to debate another topic. The cases for and against the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement have been argued and the facts are now before the electorate. The most important service that I can render to the great dairying electorate that I represent is to ensure that every member of this House is called upon to record his vote upon the matter. Therefore, I hope that there will be no delay and that the House will be enabled to vote on this issue before we rise for dinner.

It will be very interesting indeed to see how members of the Australian Country Party vote on the amendment. The amendment contains these words -

.   . the Agreement is detrimental to the interests of the Australian primary producers.

The reasons for this statement have been put clearly, not only in this place this afternoon, but also by leaders of the dairy industry throughout Australia. If the members of the Country Party vote against the amendment and against the interests of the Australian primary producers, they will be voting against the wishes of the dairy industry of Australia.

Mr Robinson - Rot. You know it is.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not know how many members of the Country Party will care to show themselves to be false shepherds as has the honorable member for Cowper. The speech delivered by the honorable member was a piece of special pleading and of deception of his own constituents, whose interests he ought to be representing in this Parliament. I believe that the vote on this amendment will demonstrate once again that the Country Party is simply a carbon copy of the Liberal Party and that, when the chips are down, members of the Country Party are prepared to allow themselves to be dragged by their tails by the Liberal Party to vote against the interests of the country people whom they are supposed to represent.

I was very glad to notice a few days ago a report that, after a lapse of 20 years, the Country Party is again to contest the seat of Eden-Monaro. On the last occasion on which the Country Party contested EdenMonaro its candidates lost their deposits. The more candidates in an election the better. The wider the choice for the electorate the more are the interests of democracy served. I conclude my remarks by saying that I want to see a demonstration for the benefit of the dairy farmers of EdenMonaro that a Country Party candidate for the seat would be bound, just as much as members of the Country Party in this

House are bound, to follow the dictates of the Liberal Party whenever called upon to do so and to vote solidly with it on all issues on which the Liberal Party finally calls the tune and which involve the sacrifice of the interests of Australian primary producers.

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