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Thursday, 4 June 1970

Mr BRYANT (Wills) - Three thousand million people in the world and we have to draw the honourable member for Mallee (Mr Turnbull). It is the astonishing conceit of honourable members opposite that they think they are the only ones who can speak for the farmer; the only people who are concerned with wheat. 1 represent 120,000 people. True they live in only 11 square miles. True they rally there so that they can get decent representation. It is also true that the honourable member for Mallee and his farming fraternity could not survive for 1 week without the work, research and skills of the people who make up the industrial areas of Australia. They are the people who carry the wheat to market, the people who conduct research, the people who mill the wheat into flour, the people who load it onto the ships - the people about whom the honourable member for Mallee is continually abusive. They are the people who buy the flour and eat it.

Who speaks for the wheat farmers in this House? The old worn out auctioneer. the storekeeper from indi, the lawyer from New England, the political chameleon from Kennedy, who has been a member of every political party. Who is the Minister for Primary Industry? He is a retired banana bender from Richmond. No wonder the Country Party cannot find any answers to our questions. I have listened to the debate this afternoon and follow similar debates year after year and nol one answer have we had from the Country Party, lt is no longer relevant to the Australian political scene as it applies to primary industry. I stand here briefly tonight to record in Hansard the fact that nol one answer has come from the total membership of the Country Party today. 'I Throughout the afternoon they were consumed with mistrust of the Labor Party and spent their lime denigrating the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) and the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby). Nol one answer have we found in their speeches. We have just listened for 30 minutes to a catalogue of cliches from the honourable member for Mallee (Mr Turnbull). We heard the honourable member for Gwydir (Mr Hunt), a man who came in to this place with a fanfare of trumpets, with a high position in the Country Party but wilh a very small majority. Not one thing did he have to offer. That has been the pattern of the speeches of Country Party members. Very few people on this side of the House have participated in this debate because we admit that it is not our principal interest, concerned as we are with the economics of Australia. Il is from people such as members of the Country Part> thai we ask for answers. This evening we have listened in vain for them.

Tonight a thousand million people in various parts of the world will go to bed hungry. Tonight we have heard people in one of the wealthiest countries talking about the over-production of wheat and not one answer have they attempted to find or pose. I do not think they are even aware of the problem. This evening we witnessed another act of great disgrace. There is a terrible tragedy being enacted in South America. The Minister for External Affairs (Mr McMahon) came into this House and told us that we have $15,000 to spend for 30,000 lives. Yet, we have hundreds of millions of bushels of wheal with which we do not know what to du, and not one member of the Country Party poses an answer. I hope that the people of Australia will note the simple fact that with people going to bed hungry all over the world and hundreds of thousands suffering, homeless and starving across the Pacific, not one of the members of th Country Party thought that Australia ought to find an economic answer. All they arc worried about is over-production. The lack of drive and dynamics in the way that honourable members opposite have approached this matter will cripple the wheat industry, lt is not that the world has too much wheat but that honourable members of the Country Party have not enough notts to find the answer.

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