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Thursday, 4 June 1970

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - There is no point of order. I will ask the honourable member for Grayndler again to confine his remarks to the Bill.

Mr DALY - I thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I was- only complimenting the Country Party on having a knowledgeable man in the Chair who knows about the subject of the debate. I come back to the Bill. The honourable member for Mallee comes from a big wheat growing electorate, if I am not mistaken. At least, from the way he speaks on the sale of wheat in Australia and on the allied problems 1 assume he comes from a wheat growing area. He is on record as having said that the Minister for Primary Industry is only a messenger boy and no-one takes any notice of him. He said in the Parliament - and consequently today when I blame the Minister for the failure of the wheat industry in this country - the words of their own Minister being quoted in support - he is inclined to scoff at the proposition. Any government that has had the primary production ministry under its control for the time that the Country Party has had it must bear the brunt of the responsibility for the failure of the wheat industry and the wheat position today. No interjection and no approach from the Country Party can deny the fact that the wheat industry today is in a parlous state. The honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) has indicated the men who are going broke in his electorate. The honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) and others - even Country Party members - know it is not droughts that are sending some of them broke. It is the failure to sell the wheat they have produced at the instigation and with the support of and with the incentives given by this Government to increase wheat production.

Let me finalise my remarks by saying that I am here today to sheet home the blame where it really belongs - on the backs of the Country Party members in this Parliament for the policies they have followed in the wheat growing industry. If they do not believe me. any collection of farmers will tell them that that is the position, and apologies and praise for the Minister and talk of what went on in days gone by in the wheat industry and talk of sales will not suffice and will not solve the problem as far as their own responsibilities are concerned. Having said so much I conclude by expressing the hope that the farmers when the next opportunity offers will take full advantage of it and elect a government led by Mr Whitlam which would have the honourable member for Dawson as the Minister in charge of this important industry and in that way have some hope of salvation which is not apparent at this rime.

Mr Turnbull - Mr Deputy Speaker, the honourable member for Grayndler said - I wrote it down - that the member for Mallee had said that the Minister for Primary Industry was a messenger boy that no-one could take any notice of. Then he said: 'He said in the Parliament*. Hansard will have that down. If the rest of what he is saying is as far wrong as that one cannot take any notice of it at all. Let me explain. I did not say that in the Parliament on any occasion at any time in any way.

Dr Patterson - Where did you say it?

Mr Turnbull - I did not say it. This was not said anywhere. I will explain what was said, lt was at the big wheat growers' meeting at Bendigo. This is the way that the honourable member for Grayndler twists things. What was happening then was that I. was explaining that when a deputation-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hallett)Thehonourable member for Mallee cannot debate the question.

Mr Turnbull - Can I not explain how this was said?

Mr Daly - I rise to order. As the honourable member for Mallee is a new member will you give him a little latitude?


Mr Turnbull - Mr Deputy Speaker, 1 cannot hear you for the noise. If I should be sitting down instead of standing do not blame me because I cannot hear you. Can I explain what happened?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member cannot debate the question. He will have an opportunity to make an explanation later.

Mr KING(Wimmera) {4.46]- After listening to the honourable member for Grayndler (Mr Daly) this afternoon talking about the various problems within the wheat industry, I would like to make one simple suggestion and that is that he sticks to aircraft noise. That is about all he knows of the wheat industry. He talked about an economist by the name of Mr Donath and quoted what he said. If the honourable member would speak to the wheat industry and ask the industry what its views are on Mr Donath I do not think he would be so vocal in referring to Mr Donath in this House. If it was not for the fact thai < have taken a fairly close interest in the wheat industry over a long time I would be very confused after listening to 2 or 3 speeches this afternoon by the honourable member for Grayndler, the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) and the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) anil previous remarks by the honourable member for Lalor (Dr Cairns). I wish to make a brief reference to what the honourable member for Lalor said, lt goes back a little while but nevertheless he is on record in Hansard at page 2243 as having said on 25th October 1967:

Wheal is the business of the Australian Country Party. 1 have no objection, not one scrap of objection, to die way the Australian Country Party has handled Australia's wheat in recent years through its Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) and his assistant.

I presume his assistant was the present Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony). He went on to say:

I have nol one word of objection to offer about it.

T have listened to some of the other stories we have heard from time to time and I wish to quote some of those too. The honourable member for Dawson on 10th March - and this can be found in Hansard at page 207 - said:

Parliament must take note of the very serious problem of the consequence of making large advances to anyone when that money has been spent and the product for which it has been advanced has not been sold.

On this occasion the honourable member was referring to the huge amount of money arranged by the Commonwealth to pay the first advance on the wheat harvest. He continued:

The Opposition gives warning that if this state of affairs arises next year very serious consideration must be given to it.

How does this tie up with what the honourable member for Riverina said? He is trying to get more money for the wheat industry. Strange as it may seem, the honourable member for Dawson in his remarks this afternoon said, if my memory serves me correctly, that it is time that the Government arranged an early second advance on last year's harvest. Is that correct?

Dr Patterson - For the small farmer.

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