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Thursday, 8 October 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - During the temporary absence from the chamber of the Assistant Minister (Senator Brennan), I shall deal briefly with the relationship between the orangegrowers and the Government. While there is no difficulty in South Australia, where the bulk of the oranges are grown in the Murray valley, where there are large packing sheds under control of cooperative organizations, I am inclined to think that there is no way of overcoming the possibility of isolated cases of fraud such as have been predicted by Senator Badman. Sub-clause 2 of clause 6 provides -

The exporter of the oranges shall pay to the grower of the oranges the amount of the bounty received by hint in respect of the oranges, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the Minister that he purchased or otherwise acquired the oranges from the grower or his agent . . .

He must satisfy the Minister. If honorable senators will refer to clauses 8 and 9, they will see that adequate provision is made to enable the Minister to make the necessary inquiries and for the imposition of penalties. The growers, who must have been fairly treated in the past, otherwise the Department of Trade and Customs would undoubtedly have heard of it, are alive to the fact that they are entitled to the bounty, and the only way to pay it is through exporters. I assure honorable senators that the provisions made in the clauses I have mentioned are sufficiently comprehensive to prevent exploitation. It may appear at first that the drafting is somewhat loose, but this method has to be adopted in order to facilitate the payment of the bounty. It is almost impossible even for exporters who contemplate adopting unbusinesslike tactics to deprive the growers of the bounty.

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