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Friday, 20 July 1917

Mr FINLAYSON (Brisbane) . - On behalf of the honorable member for Cook, I move -

That the following words be added to subclause 3: -

Provided that the representative of each State before mentioned shall be a practical farmer, approved by the recognised farmers' organization of such State.

In view of what the Prime Minister has just stated, I have little hope of the amendment being accepted. The Prime Minister informed the Committee that the Commission would probably comprise himself, as representing the Commonwealth, and either the Premier or Minister of Agriculture of each of' the States concerned. Clause 5 provides that not less than half the members of the Commission can form a quorum, and it is obvious that if the Commission is to be composed of the official representatives he has mentioned, the probabilities of it meeting are very small. Practically meetings will be held only at long intervals, and at considerable inconvenience to the gentlemen concerned. ' I should like to know whether, under sub-clause 3, which allows the Governor in Council in each State to appoint the State's representative, whether it is proposed to confine the representation of the State to a member of the Cabinet, or to allow the Cabinet in each State to choose any representative. The States might be trusted to select their own representative, and I understand there will be no objection if they decide to appoint persons other than the Premiers or the Ministers of Agriculture.

Mr Hughes - Not at all.

Mr FINLAYSON - Will that occasion any serious difficulty in the way of the Commission holding meetings 1

Mr Hughes - The Commission will first call for tenders for the design. In Victoria this has already been done, for I have the advertisement by me. The designs, will then be presented to us, and we shall select one. At our request, the

States will proceed with the erection of the buildings, either on sites chosen by the Commonwealth or approved, after selection, by the States.

Mr FINLAYSON - Then there will be no need for frequent meetings of the Commission 1

Mr Hughes - No.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 (Meetings of the Commission).

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