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Friday, 2 December 1938

Mr GREGORY (Swan) .- While I regret that the Senate made the amendment which we are now considering. J am prepared, as the representative of a very large body of wheat-growers, to agree to it. Queensland has, in my opinion, been marvellously generous in its attitude towards the principal wheatgrowing States. It. should be borne in mind that the prime, purpose of this legislation is the stabilization of tho wheat industry. A secondary purpose is the removal of farmers from marginal and uneconomic are.*1.'. Queensland is scarcely likely to bc intimately concerned with this problem, and for that reason its generous gesture in respect of States in which the matter is serious, is to be commended, i was very surprised to hear the honorable member for Henty (Sir Henry Gullett) and the honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White) accuse the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) of inconsistency in connexion with this amendment. It is mie that when the bill was before this chamber earlier this week the Leader of the Opposition opposed certain of its provisions, as did the honorable mom her for Henty and the honorable member for Balaclava; but I cannot see that this justifies the accusation that, because that honorable gentleman is now willing to accept this amendment, he is inconsistent,.. Surely there cannot be more inconsistent, honorable members of the committee than the honorable member for Henty and the honorable member for Balaclava, though, perhaps, their attitude is due not so much to inconsistency as to resentment at their treatment by the Cabinet. When they talk about inconsistency in this connexion they should think of the previous enactments of the excise tax on flour to which they were parties, and of the sugar agreement, in respect of which they certainly have been inconsistent. T have every confidence that the representatives of the Government who may be called upon to consider matters that may arise if this amendment is accepted will bear in mind the general purpose of the legislation, and will act accordingly. Although T would prefer to see the bill passed in its original form I am prepared to vote for the amendment.

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