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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Dr EVATT (Barton) (AttorneyGeneral and Minister for External Affairs) (2:15 AM) . - The honorable member for Gippsland (Mr. Bowden) is entitled to an explanation of the matters which he raised. He fears that this power involves a power to control production. It does nothing of the kind. It simply gives to the Commonwealth Parliament power to organize the marketing of commodities after they have been produced. Therefore, there will be no possibility of control at the point of production. That makes the amendment absolutely inapplicable to this situation. It is perfectly true that after the goods are produced, the power begins to operate in respect of them, and that enables the producers or the Government, through a scheme of producer-control or producer plus government control, to organize collectively the , marketing of primary products. The pooling of primary products and selling them as a group through the Government or the producers' body to ' the best advantage, is an example. That, in one sense, is an instance of socialization not of the means of production, but of the method of distribution. That is a part of the policy of the Australian Country party, the members of which believe in certain forms of socialization.

Mr McEwen - That is co-operation.

Dr EVATT - No, it is not merely co-operation. It involves direct Government legislative authority to do it. That is a particular aspect of the nationalization or socialization of the means of distribution in relation to one product. That is exactly what it is. That is a general disquisition ; - it finds a good illustration in the pools conducted in Queensland, such as the peanut pool. The product is put into the pool, and the Government sells it, gets the cheque for it and distributes the money among the growers, interfering at every stage with the ordinary right of the individual to sell according to his own desires.

Mr McEwen - The Government of Queensland does not sell the peanuts.

Dr EVATT - The board consists of the representatives of the growers and of the Government. I have studied that particular act. It is completely destructive of the inalienable right of a producer to market his own goods. We cannot reconcile that with complete freedom. It is a form of socialization at the point of distribution, 1 but that is what organized marketing is. Organized marketing is a part of the policy of the Australian Country party.

The honorable 'member for Gippsland will be satisfied that this power does not involve control of production. It comes into existence only after the product itself has come into being. Therefore, I ask the committee to reject the amendment.

Question put -

That the words proposed to be inserted (Mr. Bernard Corser's amendment) be so inserted.

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