Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 18 July 1946


Mr POLLARD (Ballarat) .- The amendment of the honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen) was submitted in a comparatively reasonable manner. The honorable member said that the clause does not specify the term of office of representatives of the growers on the Australian Wheat Board. He also said that the chairman and the representative of the flouiMmi.il owners are to hold office during the pleasure of the Minister. He did not take exception to that provision, but appeared to be in doubt as to the wisdom of allowing the Minister to be the judge of what should be the term of office of the representatives of the growers. According to my interpretation of the clause, the Minister will decide the term, of office of the representatives of the growers, as well as of the chairman of the board and the representative of the flour-mill owners. I .am glad that the honorable member foi' Indi agrees with une.


Mr McEwen - I do not, and . I shall give reasons for my disagreement.


Mr POLLARD - The honorable member concedes that the Minister will have the power to decide the term of office of the representatives of the growers.


Mr McEwen - That is so; but I am opposed to his having that power.


Mr POLLARD - The honorable member did not object to the term of office of the chairman of the hoard and the representative of the Hour-mill owners being at the pleasure of the Minister. He has proposed that the representatives of the growers shall hold office for three years, apparently, he is willing that the matter should . hi; left open in regard to the chairman of the board and the representative of the flour-mill owners. The matter may -safely' be left to the Minister, as the clause provides. Procedure which was regarded as good by the Government that introduced statutory, rules with respect to the appointment oi' the first Australian "Wheat Board, under the Wheat Acquisition Act 1939, should be equally good in the present instance.


Mr McEwen - At that time, everything necessarily had to be done by regulation.


Mr POLLARD - Regulation 3 of the statutory rule under the Wheat Acquisition Act 1939 provides -

For the purpose of these regulations, there shall be an Australian Wheat Board,which shall consist of one person representing the Commonwealth Government, two persons representing the wheat-growers of Australia, two persons representing the wheat marketing pools, three persons representing wheat merchants, and one person representing bulk handling, who shall be appointed by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette, and who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Minister.

The honorable member for Indi and the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) would have been logical had they proposed that not only the chairman of the board and the representative of the flour-mill owners, but also the representatives of the growers, shall hold office during the pleasure of the Minister. The Minister is satisfied that he will have the power to provide that the representatives of the growers shall hold office during his pleasure. It would be unwise to limit the term of office of the representatives of the growers, as the honorable member for Indi has proposed. We all hope that for the first two years, and perhaps also in the third year, they will have a comparatively easy passage to. negotiate. By the fourth year, or the fifth year, they may find themselves in a difficult position, with the export price of wheat far below what it is to-day. They might find . the problems of the industry becoming more intricate and involved. Some change might occur in Australia's internal economy, with resulting difficulties. The honorable member has proposed that the term of office of growers' representatives shall cease at the expiration of three years, but has not suggested that the Minister should have the power to re-appoint them.


Mr McEwen - Representatives of the growers should be elected, not appointed, to the board.


Mr POLLARD - Having gained considerable experience during a period of three years, it would be exceedingly unwise to require them to submit themselves to another ballot of the growers. The provisions of the bill are satisfactory. The honorable memberfor New England has said that these men might even hold office for life. The honorable gentleman knows that under the Wheat Export Charge Bill, which is complementary to this measure, tax will be collectedfor five years, and no member of any government would allow the members of the board to hold office at a time when this legislation was no longer required.







Suggest corrections