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Thursday, 15 July 1926

Senator GRAHAM ("Western Australia) (1:36 AM) . - This clause provides that the chairman shall be appointed for a term not exceeding seven years, the vicechairman for a term not exceeding six years, and each of the other members for a term not exceeding five years. There is no guarantee that the persons to be appointed will be fit for the positions and, therefore, the terms of appointment, in my opinion, are too long. There" is no reference in the clause to the remuneration to be paid to members of the commission, but we may take it that the chairman will receive not less than £4,000 a year, and the other members £3,000 and £2,000 respectively. Since our export trade in primary products is already well established, there is no justification for the appointment of commissioners to advise our primary producers as to the marketing of their produce. The Minister for Markets and Migration should be entrusted with this responsibility. I venture to say that Sir Victor Wilson, who, until recently, held that portfolio, carried out his duties in an efficient manner, and I have no" doubt that his successor will be as conscientious in the discharge of his duties. The Minister made reference to a certain mineral which, he suggested, might be discovered by the commission, and might prove of inestimable value to the Commonwealth. I challenge the Minister to state definitely what this mineral is, and, if he has any information on the subject, to disclose ;t. Why does not the Minister take the committee into his confidence? And why have we not heard from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in connexion with the matter ? As I am interested in mining, I trust the Minister will name the mineral to which he has referred, even if he does not disclose the. locality in which it is to be found; otherwise the commission will doubtless receive credit to which it is not entitled.

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