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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr SHEEHY (Boothby) .- I have listened with close attention during this debate to what has been said by honorable members on both sides of the House. There are no wheat-growers in my electorate, but there are many consumers, and I cannot see any reason for the hostile reception' which this amendment, has received. Under the amendment the Minister would still be responsible to -Parliament, which in turn is responsible to the people. Honorable members opposite have often complained that we are seeking to take away the power of Parliament and to hand it to outside bodies, but to-night they are complaining of the opposite. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Turnbull) become all hot and bothered in trying to explain what he had said. I wrote down his exact words. He said,. " I don't want this bill to go through ". Later, he said, I am not here to destroy the bill ". I do not know any more effective way pf destroying a bill than to prevent it from being passed. Honorable members have complained that the Minister is a dictator who will use the Government's majority to force the bill through. Honorable members seem to forget, however, that the Government enjoys its majority because the people, during the darkest hours of the country's history, gave it a mandate to govern. I have on a previous occasion explained where the election funds for the party opposite come from. The Labour party has been accused of being under the domination of Communists, but I remind honorable members opposite, -that on the day that war broke out the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) issued an invitation to the Communist party to broadcast over the national stations. This clause- provides that the board shall consist of seven representatives of the growers, elected by them, a miller and a chairman nominated by the Government. If that does not provide for democratic control, I do not know what the term means. Evidently, the honorable member for Wimmera does not want the bill to be passed, because it would give the control of the industry to the growers. He wants the industry to be controlled by the interests for which he works.

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