Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr LEMMON (Forrest) .- When I obtained leave on the 25th July to continue my remarks I had completed what I wished to say on the. necessity for the introduction of this bill. I intend now to discuss the policy being applied under the existing legislation, and, in particular, to devote some attention to the need to encourage the marketing of beef, lamb and pig meats on the weight, and grade basis. This, in my opinion, is absolutely necessary if we are to ensure a better return to the producers. Sales by auction on commission should be abandoned. It is also necessary to take action to avoid the wastage that occurs in stock through trucking and untrucking at auction sale-yards. We have heard a good deal in the course of this debate' about the high quality of New Zealand or, as it is called, Canterbury lamb. One important reason why New Zealand lamb and young beef can be marketed in such good condition . is that the stock is not required to undergo long train journeys. In fact, only a minimum of time, elapse? between the removal of the stock from the pastures and the slaughtering of it at the abattoirs. The procedure in Australia, is quite different, for generally speaking, our lambs and young cattle have to be trucked for long distances from the pastures to the sale-yards and the abattoirs or factory, and during such journeys the stock suffer considerable wastage. In New Zealand the abattoirs "are usually situated close to the pastures, and as a rule only about 8 hours elapse from the time that the stock leave the pastures until the meat is hanging in the chilling chamber. In Australia it frequently happens that three days elapse. The wastage starts immediately the stock leave the pasture. This occurs through the absorption' by the animal of juices or, as the trade says, the sap, owing to the animal being without food. The retention of this sap is important if we desire to win a better name on the English' market. The sap, or " sogginess ", is retained in the New Zealand, meat. I believe that our auction sale system, involving, as it does, long train journeys, results in heavy economic loss in weight and quality. We must do everything possible to avoid this.

The attitude adopted by the honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen) to this bill was extraordinary. Early in his speech he objected to the provisions in the measure which conferred certain powers on the Controller of Meat Supplies. He said that the Minister ought to have more direct responsibility and should not be able to shelter behind the Controller. He then objected to the transfer of power from the Controller to the board and later said that, as the Minister would have certain authority over the board, the Minister would be in the position of a czar. First of all, therefore, the honorable gentleman objected to the transfer of power from the Controller to a board, and then he objected to the Minister having authority over the board in certain respects. He also criticized the actions of the Controller during recent times, although his colleagues, the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) and the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott), highly praised the Controller for the work he had done during .very difficult days. The honorable member for' Indi attacked the controller because of actions taken by him to oblige processors to observe the law 'of the land in regard to price control.

Mr Anthony - That is ridiculous.

Mr LEMMON - It is not ridiculous; it is the truth.

Mr Anthony - The law of the land has nothing to do with ceiling prices.

Mr Scully - Of course it has.

Mr Anthony - The honorable member for Forrest is misrepresenting the position.

Mr LEMMON - The honorable gentleman objected because the Controller of Meat _ Supplies was endeavouring to ensure the observance of the economic policy of Australia, which includes prices control. That policy is breached only by persons who place food on the black market. It is rather strange, that the honorable gentleman should have defended actions of that kind on three occasions in this House. He did -so when there was black marketing in fodder, again when there was a strike by meat operators because they could not make enough profit to suit themselves, and on the third occasion when there was black marketing in pig meats. Yet, he will flap the Union Jack in this House until it is in shreds.

Mr Anthony - I take the point of order that the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Lemmon) is' reflecting upon a member of this House. 'He has stated that the honorable member for Indi supports black-market operations. That is not only incorrect, but also objectionable te the honora'ble member for Indi and other honorable members on this side of the House.

Suggest corrections