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Tuesday, 23 July 1946

Mr McEWEN (Indi) .- For the first time in my experience honorable members are called upon to debate a measure which has not been explained by the Minister who introduced it. One would not expect a Minister to treat even a minor measure in such a cavalier fashion ; but this is not a minor measure. It is one of tremendous consequence to the people engaged in the wheat industry. We are obliged therefore to read the bill, and to understand it to the best of our ability. The views that I hold in regard to the measure have been formulated after reaching my own conclusions about the wheat industry, bearing in mind the Government's record of administration of that industry, and after hearing the expressed views of wheat-growers themselves following various conferences. On numerous occasions, the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully) has said that the Government's plans for the wheat industry are in complete harmony with the views of the Wheat Growers Federation, which organization the Minister accepts as being representative of the growers. The Minister will have to offer something more than this bald assertion to prove to me and the House, let alone the wheat-growers, that the Government's policy has the approval of growers' organizations.

Mr Spender - Of whom is the Australian Wheat Growers Federation composed?

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