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Tuesday, 21 May 1957

Mr FAILES (Lawson) .- I would not have taken any notice of the buffoonery of the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) if it were not for two facts. One is that he obviously did not know whether or not the amendment to which he was speaking was that which had been put to the committee earlier, dealing with the representation of trade unions on the committee which is to be set up under the bill. The other fact is that he recommended to the committee that this matter should not be dealt with on party lines. Then he made an accusation concerning the support that is received by the Australian Country party, and his statement calls for correction. The honorable member suggested that we were supporting the inclusion in the committee of those people who had supported us financially as a party. The primary producers representatives, whom the Government has proposed shall be appointed to the committee, are to be two nominees of the Australian Wool Growers Council, and two of an organization known as the Australian Wool and Meat Producers Federation. I challenge the honorable member for Grayndler to bring any proof to this House that those organizations give financial support to the Australian Country party. Any support that the party receives from the wool-growers is given by way of voluntary contributions. There is no compulsory levy on the growers such as is paid by members of trade unions and handed over to the Australian Labour party. Any support which the Australian Country party gets-

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I do not want the honorable member to develop that subject.

Mr FAILES - I think, Mr. Chairman, that in fairness you must let me deny the accusation that has been made. I deny that any support given to us is not entirely voluntary.

The honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) in suggesting that the Australian Primary Producers Union should be represented on this committee, made out a very poor case. The Australian Primary Producers Union, to my knowledge, is not a federal organization. The Minister for Social Services (Mr. Roberton) has pointed out in this debate that it was quite open to State organizations to apply to be represented on the committee, but that the aim of the Government, in such cases, has always been to obtain representatives of organizations which cover the whole of Australia. That principle has been observed in this bill. No doubt, the Australian Primary Producers Union has a fairly large membership in Victoria. It has a smaller membership in New South Wales. It might have a number of members in South Australia, but I have no knowledge of any membership in Queensland or Western Australia. I am not knowledgeable on this subject. The reason that I do not know about it is that the honorable member for Wilmot has not given the committee that information. He has not stated the number of wool-growers who are represented in the organization. When, by interjection, I asked him what percentage of wool-growers were members of the Australian Primary Producers Union he was not able to tell me.

It has been said also that the Australian Primary Producers Union represents the small grower. Does the honorable member for Wilmot know that it represents the small grower? He has not given any information to the House on that score. There are some members of the Australian Primary Producers Union in my electorate and they are not small growers. In fact they are some of the biggest growers. They have been persuaded to join this organization although they are members of other organizations. If organizations are to be considered on a State basis, I suggest that hundreds of organizations with woolgrower members might consider themselves fit to be represented on a council such as this. After all, what function is this committee to carry out? The function is laid down very carefully in the bill. The purposes for which money may be paid are specified in clause 9. They include scientific or economic research in connexion with the production or use of wool, or of goods made wholly or partly from wool. I suggest, therefore, that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and the universities are suitable bodies to be represented on the committee. Expenditure may be approved also in relation to the application of the results of research. That is a matter on which those who carry out the research are able to advise. Money may be spent also on the training of persons in connexion with the wool industry. Surely the representatives of the Australian Wool Growers Council and the Australian Wool and Meat Producers Federation - men who know the industry from the time the lamb is dropped until the wool goes into the bale and is sold at auction - are best able to train persons in connexion with the wool industry.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! We are not discussing clause 9. That has already been passed.

Mr FAILES - I am not attempting to discuss clause 9. I am attempting to discuss clause 12, which sets up this research committee. The question of the qualifications of the members of the committee has been raised, and it is suggested that the Australian Primary Producers Union would be able to make representations of greater value than would other members of the committee mentioned in the clause. I have pointed out that one member will represent the Australian universities engaged in research. Surely such a representative will be ideally qualified to deal with " the dissemination of information and advice relating to scientific, economic and technical matters ". There is also to be a representative of the Commonwealth Scientific and

Industrial Research Organization. He, too, I suggest will be quite capable of carrying out the asks mentioned in clause 9.

I submit therefore that clause 12 provides for the appointment to the committee of persons who will be thoroughly competent to carry out their jobs. What good purpose could be served by adding the representative of another organization, the qualifications of which have not been explained, and which possibly are not even known to the honorable member for Wilmot? We should be content to let this clause rest. It is capable of fulfilling what is required of it under the bill and I for one am perfectly satisfied to leave it as it stands.

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