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Thursday, 25 October 1956


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Timson) - Order! 1 must say that, during the last ten minutes or so, the company that has been mentioned has received quite sufficient advertisement, and I do not intend to allow it to receive any more.


Mr TURNBULL - I could not agree with you more, sir. I made that remark merely in passing.

I wish now to reply briefly to comments made by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), who is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The honorable member said that, if it were possible, it would be better to prohibit the importation of such things as tractors, as was done in 1930. At the present time, we are subsidizing the manufacture of tractors in Australia and also allowing other tractors and machinery to come into the country from overseas. The honorable member, however, has missed the real point completely. We are subsidizing the manufacture of tractors and helping to extend production, rather than clamping down in the way that would be necessary if the suggestion of the honorable member for Melbourne were adopted, and if imports were restricted to the degree suggested by him. He also said that we should not allow goods to come to this country from countries where a 48-hour week is worked, to compete with us because Australians have the advantage of a 40-hour week. What we have to remember is that if we are to make a success of the 40-hour week, we have to produce effectively, efficiently and in quantity comparable with that of the countries where the working week consists of 48 hours. After all, we are a unit of the great trading nations of the world. The isolationist attitude of the honorable member for Melbourne, in this respect, cannot be described by any other word than " deplorable ".

I appreciate the action of the honorable member for Moore in supporting the case for the primary producer, when the honorable member for Melbourne said - and 1 wrote it down - that the farmers had had a very good run with Commonwealth governments, through wheat stabilization, subsidies, and so on.


Mr Bird - Hear, hear!


Mr TURNBULL - Of course, 1 do not expect honorable members from metropolitan areas to have any knowledge of these matters. Therefore, 1 hope to be able to give them some, information. How much money have the wheat-growers received from stabilization of the wheat industry?

The answer is not one penny, and every supporter of the Australian Country party will agree with that statement. What is the position of the dairyman in relation to subsidies? There is not the slightest doubt that when the honorable member for Melbourne used the word " subsidy " he was referring to the dairy-farmer. Actually, the subsidy is a consumer subsidy, because it keeps down the price of butter to the consumer. The dairy-farmers at the present time, as is evidenced by meetings of dairyfarmers, are trying to tell the people that, at the moment, they are receiving only the bare cost of production. Therefore, the subsidy with which the honorable member for Melbourne found fault is really assisting considerably the people whom he represents in this Parliament, particularly those who live in the City of Melbourne.

It is remarkable that members of this Parliament should make statements such as those made by honorable members opposite to-night. The honorable member for Melbourne said, in effect, " Do not stay in the cities. Go out into the country and see what is happening in the wide open spaces of Australia." I suggest that he should do so himself, because if he did, he would see what the farmers have to contend with. After all, the people in the cities are reasonably well protected, but if the farmer experiences a drought, a flood, a bush fire, or some other calamity, he may lose the whole of his production for the year. But he has to put up with that. The whole trouble with the honorable member for Melbourne is that he objects to people making a success of a private enterprise. He wants socialism.


Dr Evatt - No!


Mr TURNBULL - Of course, his leader says " No ". But it is on record in " Hansard " of the night before last that the honorable member for Melbourne said, by way of interjection, "lama socialist ".

I support this bill and am pleased, on this occasion, to be on the side of the men from Western Australia. I had the great pleasure of viewing this tractor in the early stages of its production. There was a factory at South Melbourne at which the same kind of tractor was being, produced, and I was invited to go and inspect it. I am not suggesting, of course, that the project was not commenced in Western Australia, because the Western Australians would be up in arms if I did so.

When the honorable member for Melbourne was speaking I interjected, " You cannot always sell and never buy", meaning, of course, that you have to buy, as well as sell, if you wish to take part in world trade. He immediately went on to say that our balance of payments in the United Kingdom had been depleted since this Government came to office. I suggest that he overlooked the fact that we must have imports because we, in this country, have a great developmental programme in hand. In my opinion, the way in which the country has been developed since Labour went out of office in 1949 has been almost miraculous: If this Government had continued petrol rationing, which existed in the days of .Labour and which throttled the progress of the country, of course our overseas balances would have been kept at a high level. But, on the other hand, we would not have had so many motor cars and so much machinery with which to increase production in- the pastoral and agricultural fields.


Mr Haworth - Why does not the honorable member say something about the bill?


Mr TURNBULL - By the way, I always find, when I get interjections of a hostile nature, that they come from members with city interests who sit on either side of the House, and when I make a plea on behalf of the primary producer, whether my interjector is a member of the Liberal party or the Labour party, if he is opposed to the man who produces the main commodities which comprise our national wealth, 1 invariably make an appropriate retort.

Mr. ACTING DEPUTYSPEAKEROrder! The honorable member will confine his remarks to the subject-matter of the bill.


Mr TURNBULL - I believe that the man on the land should have the greatest possible support in this Commonwealth Parliament in the fostering of his great work.







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