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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr LAZZARINI (Werriwa) .- Whatever interpretation the Minister puts on this clause, the fact remains that the clause as it is now drafted provides that the mere ipse dixit of the Minister may deprive a grower of his right to export. All that the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Frost) wants is that the grower in such circumstances should have the right to appeal to a police, stipendiary, or special magistrate. I am unable to understand the opposition of members of the Country party to this amendment. They should be wiling to do everything within their power to protect primary producers against unfair treatment. To give power to the board to withdraw a licence to export smacks of star chamber methods. The proposal is absurd and is opposed to elementary justice. I appeal to members of the Country party to realize that the amendment moved by the honorable member for Franklin does not ask too much. If tha clause is left as it stands at present, a combination of circumstances may arise in. which a number of interstate exporters may be able to frame-up a charge against a grower and be instrumental in having his licence withdrawn. It has been done before. The history of this* country contains many injustices inflicted on individuals by boards such as that proposed in this bill. If a grower has done something which, in the opinion of the Minister, warrants the withdrawal of his licence, he should, in common fairness, be given the right to appeal to a magistrate. We are content to allow magistrates to adjudicate in criminal cases, and there is no reason why a magistrate should not act as fairly and impartially in an appeal against the decision of the board to cancel a licence as he would in a criminal case. I appeal to the Minister to give this matter his very serious consideration. The Parliament of a democratic country should not, in any circumstances, deny elementary justice to any person.

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