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Tuesday, 23 July 1946

Mr BREEN (Calare) .- I knew that if the members of the Australian Country party were given enough rope they would hang themselves. The honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) expressed concern as to- what would happen to money in the Wheat Industry Stabilization Fund in the event of the winding up of the stabilization scheme. I remind him and his colleagues that section 6 of the Wheat Industry Assistance Act 1938 provided -

There shall he kept in the fund an account to be known as the Wheat Tax Account to which shall be credited out of the receipts of the fund all moneys collected under the Flour Tax (Wheat Industry Assistance) Assessment Act 1938, on wheat exported from Australia or upon wheat produced and sold in Australia.

That tax is similar to the tax provided for in this legislation.

Mr SPEAKER -Order ! The honorable member had better deal with this tax.

Mr BREEN - The protestations of the honorable member for Richmond about a " steal " by this Government in imposing a charge on wheat exported from Australia and then allocating the proceeds for certain purposes are baseless, because the proposal in this legislation is on all-fours with the -legislation of 1938, which was passed when the honorable gentleman was -a Minister. This bill provides that excess money in the fund shall finally be refunded to the wheat-growers who provide -it. This legislation is more ethical than was the 1938 legislation,- because the money raised under it was distributed to distressed wheat-farmers, who may not have paid one penny into the fund. What honorable gentlemen opposite do when in power is frowned upon by them when in opposition.

Mr Spender - Mr. Speaker-

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member spoke after the amendment was moved, and therefore is not entitled to speak again.

Mr Spender - I thought I spoke before the amendment was moved.

Mr SPEAKER - No. The honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen), who moved the amendment, spoke from 4.19 p.m. onwards, and the honorable member for Warringah followed at 4.52 p.m.

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