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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Dr EVATT (Barton) (Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs) (1:46 AM) . - The committee must have been impressed by the speech of the honorable member for Ballarat . (Mr. Pollard), who said that those who control the marketing of a primary product in its early stages of production can readily gain control of it at the next and succeeding stages. The honorable member's illustrations were clear and effective. In the definition' which I propose, the normal meaning of the term " primary products " will apply, with the wide interpretation given by the honorable member for Ballarat. In addition, it will be extended to flour and other wheat products; butter, cheese, and other milk products; dried fruit and other fruit products ; and sugar. Having consulted with the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully), I am also prepared- to add meat and meat products, although I had always thought that meat was a primary product. Even with those extensions of the normal meaning of the term " primary products " there will be some border-line cases; but I am confident that, if this Parliament has power to organize the .marketing of primary products, there will be no stage in their marketing which cannot be handled effectively. I am obliged to members of the Australian Country party for their suggestions, and I ask them to accept what I have offered as an earnest of my desire to solve a difficult problem.

Mr Archie Cameron - Would the definition as extended include honey?

Dr EVATT - Honey is the most pri-. mary of- primary products.

Mr Archie Cameron - Would it include salt, which is a most important primary product of my electorate?

Dr EVATT - If the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron), with his special knowledge of salt, says that it is a primary product, I am prepared to accept his definition, and I am sure that any court would take a similar view.

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