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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (BarkerPostmasterGeneral) . - I shall be glad to hear the views of honorable members of the committee on this amendment. Personally I am not at all enthusiastic about the proposal. The export control boards already operating deal with insur ance at their discretion. That, I suggest, is proper. If these authorities are to be set up they should be given a reasonable measure of control. Several strong arguments may be advanced against the amendment. One is that many of the British insurance companies are operating in Australia and so will be in a position to tender for the business. As the honorable member for Riverina (Mr. Nock) has suggested by interjection, the money to pay these insurance premiums will be provided by the fruit-growers, and they are, therefore, entitled to make the best arrangements possible. I have not heard any protests about the procedure adopted by our existing export control boards, although it varies. The Dried Fruits Export Control Board, as the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) has stated, does its insurance business mainly with companies operating in Australia. But the Dairy Export Control Board let a three-year contract last December, at a very low rate, to a company not operating in Australia. It must be remembered that wo are dealing with an export product, which will be consumed overseas, chiefly in Great Britain. In most cases these products are bought before they leave our coast and are carried abroad in British ships. The Government is not likely to he insulted if honorable members carry the proposal of the honorable member for Fawkner, but personally I cannot see that any particularly beneficial purpose will be served by inserting such a provision in the bill.

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