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Wednesday, 23 March 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - In accordance with my remarks on the second reading, I move -

That all the words after " vote," sub-clause 6, be left out.

The sub-clause, if amended as I suggest, would read : -

Each producer, whether ah individual or company, shall have one vote.

As it stands at present, each producer would be entitled to a vote in respect of each pearling vessel or attendant steamer owned by him, and I can easily see how the small men engaged in the industry would be swamped by the big men. One pearler with six boats, and another pearler with five boats, could outvote the small boat owners. I think that we should follow the system of electing control boards provided for in the legislation dealing with the export of dairy produce and dried fruits. That system gives each producer one vote.

Senator Duncan - The honorable senator suggests that no matter how many cows a dairy farmer may havehe does not get a vote for each cow.

Senator NEEDHAM - And no matter how many orchards a man may own he does not get a vote for each orchard. In the choice of the board to control the export of pearl-shell the voting should be on the truly democratic and co-operative principle of one man one vote. Otherwise the pearler with a fleet of boats and an attendant schooner may dominate the whole industry. I am afraid that this bill was put through another place rather hurriedly ; otherwise I am sure this provision which may defeat the whole object of the measure would not have passed unnoticed.

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