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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - The honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Pollard) stated that if a representative were appointed to the board for a period of three years he might at the expiration of his appointment merely have learned a job only to find himself replaced by some one else at a time when events of the highest importance to the industry were pending. All members of the board, including the chairman, should be appointed for a definite term and not merely hold office at the pleasure of the Minister. They could then be called upon to give an account of their stewardship at the expiration of their terms of office. For that reason I support the amendment.

Amendment negatived. , Mr. McEWEN (Indi) [4.43].- I move -

That, at the end of the clause, the following sub-clause be added:- " (f>. ) The representatives of the wheatgrowers shall- be entitled to make reasonable reports to wheat-growers relative to the progress of marketing operations.".

The right of the growers' representatives to report on the progress of marketing operations has on several occasions been questioned. As the growers' representatives on the board will be dealing with the realization of a commodity owned by those who elected them, surely they should be entitled to report from time to time the progress achieved by the board when growers' representatives have commented on the prospects of the realization of wheat pools, or on current marketing operations, they have been charged with breaking faith. Surely the custodians of the property of their fellow wheat-growers, worth many millions of pounds, should not have to regard themselves as members of a secret society. They cannot usefully perform the functions of their office if they are bound to secrecy. I can see no provision in the bill which binds them to secrecy, and I do not expect the Minis- ter to say that they are so bound; but I should like to put the matter beyond doubt.

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