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Wednesday, 30 November 1938

Mr BLACKBURN (Bourke) (4:58 AM) . - The acceptance of the amendment of the honorable member for Watson (Mr. Jennings) is an admission by the Government of the validity of my contention that, although the Commonwealth cannot directly control prices, it can indirectly affect State action in this regard, in that it can oblige the State authorities to comply with certain prescribed conditions. I compliment the honorable member for Watson upon having induced the Government to accept this amendment which will, in a measure, protect both the wheat-growers and the consumers of bread in respect of any prejudicial action by the State authorities. Now the honorable member for Watson proposes that that protection, which, was only given to the wheat-producers, shall also be given to the consumers. That is to say, if the Commonwealth Government is satisfied that the State is not fulfilling its obligations to the wheat-growers, or is not protecting the consumers of wheat products, payment may be suspended during, or in respect of, the period in which the default takes place. I hope the amendment will be accepted. It will force the States to pass legislation providing for the fixing, not only of the price of flour, but also of the products manufactured from flour.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 11 to 13 agreed to.

Clause 14 -

1.   In addition to any amount granted by way of financial assistance to the State of Tasmania in pursuance of section six or section seven of this act, there shall, subject to this section, be granted out of the fund to that State, in each year by way of financial assistance, such amount as the Minister determines :

Provided that the amount paid to that State in any year shall not be greater than the sum (if any) by which the amount collected in that State in that year under the Flour Tax (Wheat Industry Assistance) Assessment Act 1938 (other than moneys collected as tax upon wheat exported from Australia or upon wheat produced and sold in Australia) exceeds the total amount paid to that State in respect of that year under section six and section seven of this act:

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