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Thursday, 11 June 1970

Mr TURNBULL (Mallee) (12:17 PM) - I will not keep the House very long - for only about 5 minutes, lt has been said that no member of the Australian Country Party has spoken during the debate. 1 listened to the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) attack the Country Party. Since I have been a member of this House I have learned, if nothing else, that members of Parliament always attack a party which they fear. If the honourable member for Dawson fears any party, he fears the Country Party. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The honourable member spoke about this subject. He said that he wanted to hear from members of the Country Party. If he had been awake, intelligent and aware of what was happening he would realise that in speeches in the last 2 months members of the Country Party have mentioned tariffs on quite a number of occasions.

Dr Patterson - When?

Mr TURNBULL - I will show them to the honourable member in Hansard. The Country Party does not need always to speak during a debate such as this. The honourable member for Dawson sets himself up as an expert. He said that he believed in this and that and he did not accept that. I do not accept a lot of things that he said but I do not speak against him in a personal vein. He attacked the Country Party because he fears it. The honourable member said that the Labor Party believes in secondary industry, in protection, in supporting primary industries and in a number of other matters. Why has the Australian Labor Party been in office for only 17i years during 70 years?

The Country Party knows that progress has robbed the primary industries of being big employers of labour. With big machines a farmer can work 2,000 acres of wheatland with not more than 2 employees to help. The Country Party wants to build up the population. Secondary industry is the big employer. The Country Party supports tariffs but does not support tariffs gone mad altogether. I believe tariffs are protecting our secondary industries against imports from countries with a low wage standard. If we allowed their goods to be imported, most of our secondary industries would be put out of business. This is practical talk, not some of that airy-fairy stuff that we have been hearing. The Country Party believes that primary industry should receive equivalent financial support so that it can enjoy the same progress and prosperity as is being enjoyed by secondary industry through tariff protection. The honourable member for Dawson cannot say much truthfully against the Country Party because it has always been to the fore as the specialist party for primary industry. But the Country Party realises that this country needs more population. An increased population means more consumers in the home market. The home market is the best market if only it can be built up enough. If primary industry could sell all its goods in that market where it buys the goods it needs for production, then the industry would not need any assistance. Therefore the Country Party says that primary industry should have price support for surpluses of goods that are sold overseas of a nature that will give the same financial advantage as secondary industry is getting through tariffs.

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