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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr ADERMANN (Maranoa) . - I appreciate the reasons advanced by the Minister (Mr. Scully) against the amendment; but- there is also another viewpoint, namely, that growers should receive reasonable reports from time to time in order that their confidence might be retained. It is the practice of the Peanut Board, with which I am associated, to convene at least two meetings a year at which the whole position of the industry is frankly discussed with the growers. ' Certain, grower-controlled organizations in Queensland admit the press to their meetings, and there is a good deal of opposition if a board member opposes the issue of an invitation to the press to be present. I do not suggest that the press should be invited to meetings of the Australian Wheat Board, because, after all, the board is engaged in a confidential business, the details of which it may be unwise to publicize. I suggest that the wording of the amendment might be varied slightly to provide that reasonable information may be passed on to growers by their representatives.

Mr Scully - Does not the honorable member believe that it would be better for such information to be passed on by the chairman at the discretion of the board? I am sure that the Peanut Board operates in that way. The honorable member would bo loath to agree that every member of the Peanut Board should be free to hand out information, the publication of which might prejudice the successful operation of the industry.

Mr ADERMANN - Grower members of the Peanut Board are elected from three districts, and each of them gives a resume. to the growers in his district. I trust the Minister does not imply that a member of the Australian Wheat Board should not give to the growers in his own State at least a general outline of the position of the industry?

Mr Scully - He should do it only with the approval of the board.

Mr ADERMANN - He should have the right to give anything but confidential information to those whose interests he represents.

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