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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr FADDEN (Darling Downs) (Leader of the Australian Country party) . -My reason for rising is to answer the specious argument of the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear). If he is correct, the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully) is incorrect. The Minister stated in his second-reading speech that there are between 60,000and 70,000 wheat-growers in the Australian wheat industry. The honorable member for Dalley based his argument on a total of 57,000 growers- 19,000 in New South Wales, 14,000 in Victoria, 12,000 in South Australia,8,000 in Western Australia and 4,000 in Queensland - and stated that the representation was two representatives each for New South Wales and Victoria and' one representative each for South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. On the illogical basis of his argument, South Australia is being very badly treated compared with Western Australia. He, and those who are trying to extricate themselves from the very difficult position in which they have been placed by the amendment, have overlooked one point. It must be appreciated that this wheat stabilization scheme will be dependent entirely on the exports of wheat from Australia. The stabilization fund is to be built up by having paid into it one-half of the difference between the fixedhome consumption price of 5s. 2d. a bushel and whateverpricemay be received for wheat exported. It cannot be denied that Western Australia and South Australia are responsible for the bulk of our exports.

Mr Scully - That is not correct.

Mr FADDEN - In order to determine what is proper and just representation, we must ascertain how many of the 57,000 growers mentioned by the honorable member for Dalley are exporters. The amendment was framed, and has been presented, on that basis. The statistics given by the honorable member for ' Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) are indisputable. Western Australia has the largest proportion of the growers who, as exporters of wheat, will be directly responsible for the stabilization fund. The amendment is designed to give representation to those who rightly deserve it. Honorable members from Western Australia have to decide whether they will support those growers.

Question put -

That the amendment (Mr. Archie Cameron's) be agreed to.

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