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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr MOUNTJOY (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I shall disappoint the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt), because I shall be re-elected. The honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen) and the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) are astute politicians. The honorable member for Barker is endeavouring to get " on side " with the wheat-growers in his electorate and to put the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Lemmon) and myself " off side " with our constituents. If the honorable gentleman thinks that it required the speech of the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully) to stiffen our attitude, or that he cam cause a split among honorable memberson this side of the chamber, he should think again. We recognize that the amendment has been moved for political purposes. When the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony), who represents the banana-growers, considers that the wheat-growing State of Western Australia should be given another representative on the Australian Wheat Board, I immediately become suspicious of the whole proposal. The representation of New South Wales and Victoria might be reduced. It is- true that in the export season when the price of wheat is high,, the exporting States of South Australia and Western Australia will contribute to> the. stabilization fund; but when pricesdecline, the wheat-consuming States of New South Wales and Victoria will contribute a greater amount to the fund.

Mr ARCHIE Cameron - That is not correct.

Mr MOUNTJOY - It is. On present indications, the home consumption price of 5s. 2d. a bushel will be very valuable to wheat-growers in future. Honorable members on this side of the chamber will not " fall " for this obvious, political propaganda of the Opposition. We are convinced that the bill is sound, although it may be improved at a later date in. agreement with the States. Perhaps the time will come -when the people of Australia will realize that if the National Parliament is to pass national legislation,, it must be granted full sovereign- powers.

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