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Thursday, 28 March 1957


Mr LESLIE (Moore) .- There is one aspect of this legislation to which I want to direct the attention of the House quite briefly. Before I get on to that point, may I, for the education of the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie), point out that there is a vast difference between an organized marketing scheme and socialization. We believe in organized marketing, and recognize that the product remains the property of the producer. The supporters of socialization do not believe that. The socialist policy is confiscation, so that the product becomes the property of the government or of the community. There is the essential difference. How the honorable member can associate orderly marketing schemes with socialization and, as a socialist, support them, I do not understand.

In connexion with the honorable member's complaint about the rising shipping freights, let me say that we are just as vociferous as he is, or perhaps more so. I suggest that he assist us in registering our protest with the Western Australian Labour Government against the exorbitant increase in shipping freights which it has imposed through the monopolistic shipping line which it operates. So the sin, if there is sin, is not only on one side. Of course, one side cannot see the sin in its own supporters.

This bill provides for an increase in the levy to be made on the producers of apples and pears for export for the purpose of meeting the additional costs of trade promotion activities. The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. McMahon) pointed out in his second-reading speech that the Australian Apple and Pear Board was participating in the overseas trade publicity drive in co-operation with other statutory commodity boards and the Commonwealth, and requires increased revenue for this purpose. I want to point out, before I proceed with my remarks, that this bill highlights the fact that the apple and pear growers, in conjunction with the rest of the primary producers of this country, are willing to help themselves in their own interests, because the bill is being introduced with their agreement. That is an essential feature of primary-producing industry. Primary producers favour selfhelp, even if it means taking a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of their products to assist their industry on a wide basis. Other industries are also to receive benefit from the Government's trade publicity drive. That is the point that I come to.

I am hoping that the Minister is able to assure me that the export primaryproducing industries alone will not be asked to carry the full burden in order to create a greater demand for their products. The other export industries - and there are some - must make sure that they also are contributing adequately to this co-operative effort to put Australian products on the market. If they do, the apple and pear growers will be quite satisfied to meet the increased costs of £10,000 a year, just as the other primary-producing industries will be satisfied.

It is very hard for those of us who are interested in all industries, but in primary industries in particular, to accept the willingness of those persons who are engaged in primary industry to help themselves to this degree when we suspect that there are other export industries, and other sections of the community, which are prepared to accept the indirect help which the contribution of the primary-producing industries makes to campaigns and to government activities of this nature. They not only are willing to accept that but also often insist that the Government, and therefore the general taxpayers, including the primary producers, shall bear a portion of the costs involved in helping their industries. So it will be refreshing and welcome to receive from the Minister an assurance that other industries are contributing not indirectly as taxpayers but directly from the proceeds received for their goods, to these publicity campaigns to assist the development of their own industries, as the primary producer will do in this instance. I support the bill.







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