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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I support the case submitted by the honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen). My view is' that the problem of a wheat surplus will be created by two factors, one, the acreage in the different countries, and, the other, seasonal conditions in the different countries. It stands to reason that the creation of a surplus in Australia will depend on acreage plus seasonal conditions. Therefore, if there is any section on which the growers are entitled to representation more than any other, it is in the section in which the creation of the problem will take place. It is interesting that the Government is prepared to concede the growers representation on a board so soon as the problem has been created, but not on the board concerned with the prevention of its creation. We do not know what the State legislation will contain. If we did, perhaps our attitude would be modified. It is singular that yesterday, on another clause, we had a first-class debate about State representation. On the proposed board that will be concerned in the creation of the problem, the States are to have equal representation, but on the board that will have to handle the problem when it has been created, the two States with the greatest home market will each havetwo representatives and the two States with the greatest export trade will each have only one representative. Whatever way we measure it, this clause is completely wrong and should be withdrawn and redrafted. The Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman) talked about the responsibility of the States for acreage. The States are also responsible for acreage in other directions. Consider, for instance, what the Minister must know of the acreage of wine grapes. Notwithstanding that the State government is supposed to limit the acreage of these grapes, it is governed by a Commonwealth act. I was in this Parliament when it passed the legislation under which the prices to be paid for wine grapes was fixed by the Commonwealth board, not a State board. So there is nothing in logic, administration, or lack of precedent to deny the validity of the case that the honorable member has put forward ; but, knowing the temper of the committee, the axe having fallen, I leave it at that. I know what the growers will think of it.

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