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Tuesday, 6 December 1938

Mr LANE (Barton) .- It seems to me that the members of the Country party can come along at the eleventh hour in practically any period of any parliamentary session and get what they want.

Mr Curtin - The honorable member should realize that this bill relates to the past.

Mr LANE - All I know is that it relates to certain persons who were late in making application for the fertilizer subsidy. If any other section of the community is late in making application for various benefits provided by the Government, it has to suffer the usual penalty of lateness and go without; but the primary producers seem to be in a privileged position in this respect.

Mr Curtin - The honorable member does not seem to understand that certain primary producers did not know, when they put in their crops, whether they would cut them for hay, or reap them for wheat.

Mr LANE - I know that they were late in making their applications for this bounty. Why should the wheat-farmers be in a favoured position?

Sir Earle Page - The farmer who grew wheat did not get any fertilizer subsidy.

Mr LANE - The procedure of the Government in this connexion is wrong. I submit that if the regulations prescribe a date by which applications must, be made, only applications received by that date should be considered.

Mr Anthony - The honorable member does not understand the real position.

Mr LANE - The primary producers seem to be able to request their representatives in this. Parliament to come along here at any time, but particularly in the closing hours of a session, and say, " We have not. been given enough; we want a few more hundred pounds ". I am accustomed to the actions of the members of the Country party in the State parliament, and I know that this is their general procedure. It seems that the Labour party is at present aiding and abetting the Country party in this matter. I protest against the practice that has been followed. Lf the Leader of the Country party (Sir Earle Page) wishes to sweeten his constituents a bit, and bind them to him with the cords of love and mopey, he should adopt some other method to do it.

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