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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr FULLER (Hume) .- Yesterday, I said that members of the Opposition were making a political football of this bill - that they were, in fact, trying, to destroy it. I .have here an article which. was published in the Ouyen and North-West Express, from which I quote the following: -

Desperate, efforts are being made by members of the Australian Country party to discredit, not only the Scully . Wheat Plan, but also the whole stabilization scheme, and with it orderly marketing. without which the wheat-grower is doomed.

Over a number of years we have seen what portfolio-seeking politicians have done to the wheat industry. The grower has been used as a " political football ", especially by men such as Mr. McEwen, M.P., and other Australian Country party members. The game is on again - and God help the grower if he takes notice of the propaganda being poured out by these men who, in the past, have sold the industry.

We think that the daily prayer of such politicians must be : " Please God, give the wheat-grower a short memory, and let us forget (publicly) what we did to him in the past". This sudden concern for the poor wheat-grower is, to put it candidly, stinking hypocrisy. What did Mr. McEwen do for the grower when he had the chance? How much did the growers lose on the price of 3s. lod. per bushel so graciously given by the Government which these men kept in power? What, indeed, has the Australian Country party ever done for any primary producer? Looking back over its sorry history all one may say is that it wept tears over him when it was out of office - and laughed his genuine need to scorn when it was in office.

That is exactly what I told honorable members yesterday. Those who sit in opposition are trying to sabotage the bill. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Turnbull) admitted yesterday that he was here to destroy it.

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) - I wish to make a personal explanation. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Fuller) said that, in the course of my speech yesterday, I admitted that I was here todestroy the bill. Never on any occasion did I say that, and nothing could be farther from the truth than the honorable member's charge.

Mr FULLER - The honorable member said that he was here to destroy the bill.

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) - The word "destroy" has an entirely different meaning from the word I used. I will not have words put into my mouth by the honorable member. I demand that he withdraw his statement and apologize.

The ' CHAIRMAN.- The honorable member for Wimmera has made his personal explanation.

Mr Archie Cameron - On a point of order: I understand that it is the practice' to require an honorable member to withdraw a statement to which another honorable member objects. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Turnbull) has asked that the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Fuller) be required to withdraw the statement to which he has objected.

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