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Thursday, 19 August 1920

Mr RYAN (West Sydney) .- I support the amendment, and I am surprised that the Minister (Mr. Greene) does not see the reasonableness of it. It is obvious that its purpose is to secure that the consumer shall be represented on the Pool. The Minister, when speaking on the second reading, referred to Mr. Sinclair ashavingone to London as one of the delegates to represent the producers. Now he tells us that the same gentleman is to represent the consumers. It is difficult to know where the Minister stands. The Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) accused honorable members on this side of advocating low and cheap prices for the consumer. I do not like those terms, and, after all, it is by the use of misleading terms that a good deal of propaganda against the policy of the Labour party is carried on. As a student, I was taught that one should speak not only to be understood, but so that he cannot be misunderstood. I can quite understand what an honorable member, speaking from this side of the House, means when he refers to low prices, and what a Ministerial member means when he uses the same term. It is a term that can be understood, but it can also be misunderstood, or if it is not misunderstood, it can be misrepresented. The policy of the Labour party is founded upon the emancipation of human labour from all kinds of exploitation. If the producer has to sell his commodity at less than the cost of production, his labour is being exploited. No member on this side of the House advocates that. We stand for reasonable prices, meaning thereby prices which will give the producer a reasonable return for his labour.

Mr ROBERT COOK (INDI, VICTORIA) - What is a reasonable return ?

Mr RYAN - We all understand what that means. The producer must be recouped the cost of production, plus a reasonable profit. I rose to make our position clear, and to draw attention in Hansard to the tactics honorable members oppositeuse in order to furnish ground upon which they may subsequently misrepresent the Labour party. They do not misunderstand us, but they wish to lay the foundation of subsequent misrepresentation .

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