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Thursday, 18 July 1946

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member is getting wide of the mark.

Mr ANTHONY - I am drawing an analogy, and I am not wide of the mark. Just as the Communist party has secured key positions in the unions and has thus become enabled to dictate the whole policy of powerful industrial elements in the community, so will it also be able to put its policy into operation without effort whenever it chooses, if it can obtain control of what ought to be grower-controlled organizations. That may seem to be farfetched and a figment of the imagination, but it is not. The Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) has demonstrated what- tremendous influence this party wields in industrial matters. If the Minister wants the growers to have control of this board, he should not persist with the amendment. He will be able to exercise control by reason of the power to be vested in him to nominate the chairman of the board. In my view, the elected representatives on the board should have the right to choose who shall be the chairman of it. The Minister wants to make doubly sure of having control of the board. He may be unconvinced that the chairman will become solely his instrument; consequently, he now proposes to take to himself power to direct the activities of the board. .If that is not the power that is to be conferred on him, let him make a denial of my submission, by withdrawing the amendment. I know that the amendment will be carried, because the Government has the numerical strength to ensure its acceptance. "Every ministerial supporter, whether he believes in the amendment or not, will vote with the Minister. The honorable gentleman has exploded the claim that the policy of the Government is to enable the growers to control their own organization.

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