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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Dr EVATT (Barton) (Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs) (1:20 AM) . - A good deal of discussion took place during the second-reading debate about the desirability of inserting a definition, in order to make it clear that tlie term " primary products " was not too limited in its scope. Therefore, I propose to- move later for the insertion of the following new sub-section: - ( 1 a.) Without in. any way limiting the generality of the expression "primary products " in paragraph. ( 1a ) of sub-section ( 1 ) of this section, that expression shall be deemed to include flour and other wheat products, butter, cheese and other milk products, dried' fruit and other fruit products, and sugar.

The term " primary products " has the meaning that would be given to it by the courts, considering the common use of the phrase in Australia. The courts might' refer to contemporary newspapers, ' including the journal of the Australian Country party. If an attempt were made to specify all primary products 1 do not know how long the list might be, and I do not desire every primary product to be mentioned in the Constitution. The proposed amendment sets out that without in any way limiting the generality of the expression "primary products", it should be deemed to include flour anc! other wheat products. Obviously it would also include wheat.

Sir Earle Page - That would include breakfast foods.

Dr EVATT - I shall deal with that point presently. The proposed amendment goes on to mention the inclusion of " butter, cheese and other milk products, dried fruit and other fruit products, and sugar ". Products- such as wheat, wool, skins, chickens, snails, and everything else that could be called a primary product all covered by the definition. Wheat products other than flour include bran, breakfast foods, macaroni, pollard, rice substitutes, semolina, sharps, spaghetti, and wheat-meal. Milk products include dried .and powdered milk, infants' and invalids' foods essentially of . milk, sweetened full cream milk, unsweetened milk, and skimmed milk. Fruit products include canned apples, apricots, berry fruits, peaches, pears, pineapples and prunes, and also jams and marmalade, fruit pulp, fruit juices, fruit salads and wines. Dried tree fruits include dried apples, apricots, peaches, pears and prunes, whilst dried vine fruits include dried currants sultanas and lexias. Under the proposed definition I have included everything that could be called a primary product. The amendment submitted by the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) is too narrow. My only fear is that my proposed amendment would widen the definition of "primary products " too much.

Mr McEwen - Would canned meat be included ?

Dr EVATT - I would not say that. Are we to have organized marketing for all canned products?

Mr McEwen - I hope that we shall have in respect of canned meat.

Dr EVATT - We should try to keep as near as possible to primary products.

Mr Bernard Corser - What about the processed forms of the various products enumerated?

Dr EVATT - They appear to have been covered by my proposed amendment. I shall consider the point raised by the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bernard Corser), but I ask the committee not to accept the amendment submitted by the right honorable member for Cowper.

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