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Wednesday, 18 November 1936

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - Speaking to the amendment, I desire, first, to comment on the remark made by the Minister in charge of this bill (Senator Brennan) when replying to the second reading, that the amendment should not be accepted because it would mean returning the bill to another chamber, with, possibly, a long discussion there, before it came back to the Senate. Even if the business of Parliament were likely to be delayed for a few days, or even a fortnight, that would not be a sufficient reason for rejecting the amendment. If a proper discussion of this measure necessitated Parliament sitting after Christmas, the time spent would be immaterial if the job we are sent here to do were done better. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) spoke of honorable senators supporting the Government's proposal in a defeatist attitude. It is never wise to underrate the strength of one's opponent. It is sound policy to recognize his strength, and, in my opinion, he is handled much better if approached cautiously than if attacked without thinking.

I regret that I am unable to support the amendment of my colleague, Senator Badman. I know that he is honest and sincere in his intention. He realizes the difficulties associated with carrying a proposal of this kind in South Australia. I am, however, convinced that we are acting legally in seeking to restore what we thought was the position in regard to marketing before the Privy Council announced its decision; but I confess that I do not know what would happen if the proposed new section had to run the gauntlet of a law court. The legal meaning of words and phrases is beyond the understanding of a layman. The amendment reads -

The provision of the last preceding section shall not apply to laws with respect to the marketing of either mw or processed primary piroducts being foodstuffs.

One of the greatest difficulties which will confront those who advocate the carrying of the Government's proposal will be that of overcoming the objection that the cost of living will be raised thereby.

Senator Badman - That has already been said.

Senator JAMESMCLACHLAN.Yes, and it will be repeated again and again. I can imagine the hoardings being covered with placards, reading somewhat as follows: "Vote for the referendum. :and starve the working man's child ". The inclusion of the word " foodstuffs " will supply the Government's opponents with a weapon that will be used to defeat its proposal, and, therefore, I regret that I cannot support the amendment moved by my colleague.

SenatorDUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) [9.45 J. - I arn very interested in the amendment proposed by Senator Badman, because it serves a useful purpose, which 1 shall explain in a moment. First, I rather deprecate the phrase " orderly marketing ".

Senator Collings - It means organized marketing.

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