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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr PATERSON (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - No, because in each case the Minister must have a recommendation from the board. If he might act without first receiving a recommendation from the growers' own board, his action would savour of political control; but if the board must first recommend such action to him the matter will be largely taken out of the political field and controlled wholly by the board elected for the benefit of the industry by the growers themselves.

Mr Rosevear - If the Minister were to reject the board's recommendation, would there not be political influence ?

Mr PATERSON - I suppose that is always possible, because it is unthinkable that in a parliament constituted as is this one, a Minister must necessarily adopt the recommendation of a board. We have had a good deal of experience with respect to the refusal to grant a licence, to guideus in these matters, because there are five different export boards already similar in their constitution, with powers almost identical with those proposed in regard to this board. Two of them have been operating for fourteen years, and two others for some nine or ten years. In no case that has come to my knowledge has this power beenabused in any way. What right havewe to assume that the power will be abused in connexion with the apple and pear industry, when no wrong advantage has been taken of it in connexion with the dairying, dried fruits, canned fruits, wine and meat industries?

Mr Rosevear - Why do we assume, in sub-clause 6 - which provides for arbitration - that the board may be wrong? That shows that the board will not be infallible.

Mr PATERSON - That relates to entirely different matters, which are dealt with under sub-clause 1. I cannot for the life of me see the necessity for this proposal. It seems to me that, in bringing it forward, the assumption has been drawn that an exporter may be unjustly prevented from obtaining a licence. I cannot imagine such a situation arising. I can only conceive of an exporter being refused a. licence after he had actually contravened the provisions of the act. If we are to give a police or stipendiary magistrate the power to override the stipulated conditions, we might as well not pass the bill, because its objects could be nullified by such action. I am entirely opposed to the amendment as drafted.

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