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Thursday, 19 November 1936

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I have raised no doubt as to the meaning of " marketing ", although the Minister has rather laboured that point. I thoroughly understand what the word means, but my object is to restrict marketing legislation to certain classes of industries.

Senator Millen - As the clause stands, " marketing " covers practically every activity.

Senator PAYNE - That is my objection. I desire this bill to cover only industries of the kind to which marketing legislation has been successfully and usefully applied in the past.

Senator Brown - The honorable senator wishes to limit the powers of the State and Commonwealth Parliaments so that they will be less than they were prior to the recent decision of the Privy Council.

Senator PAYNE - The honorable senator would ask the people to confer on this Parliament wider powers than are required to achieve the avowed object of the Government. I do not wish to give this Parliament complete powers regarding the marketing of all products concerning which some States may desire to legislate, although in other States such legislation may be regarded as prejudicial to the interests of the people.

Senator Brennanwas rather caustic regarding the language of my amendment. He asked what I mean by the phrase " at the request of the States ". I merely mean what those words clearly imply. He said that a letter from the Premier of a State, or a verbal request made in conversation between a State Premier and the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth would amount to a request from a State. The wish of a State is expressed not by its Premier or the other members of the Cabinet, but by its parliament, and the objection raised by the Minister is a mere quibble. Surely the term " at the request of States concerned in the disposal of the products " implies a request from the parliaments of those States which, as in the past, would ask this Parliament to enact legislation complementary to that of the States.

Senator Sir George Pearce - The honorable senator's amendment involves a limitation of the power which this Parliament had prior to the Privy Council's judgment.

Senator PAYNE - The Leader of the Senate must admit that he and every other member of the Government have stated more than once that they are seeking no greater power than this Parliament was believed to possess prior to the decision of the Privy Council. I am anxious that this Parliament should have the same power as before but no greater authority. I desire that the power we thought we had should be restored by the acceptance of the proposal to be submitted to the people. Throughout Australia, and I can speak particularly with regard to Tasmania, the people will examine the proposal very carefully before they will give an affirmative vote.

Senator Sir George Pearce - When the dried fruits legislation was passed, we did not have a request for it from every State in Australia, but only from one State. The other States subsequently passed similar legislation. Under Senator Payne's amendment the parliaments of the six States would have to pass the marketing legislation before the Commonwealth could act.

Senator PAYNE - Does the Minister suggest that if Victoria approached the Commonwealth and if the other States did not notify the Commonwealth that they were prepared to fall into line-

Senator Sir George Pearce - Previously it was not necessary to get the consent of all the States, but this would be required under the amendment.

Senator PAYNE - There is a possibility of the term "marketing" being given so wide a meaning as to be a direct infringement of section 92 of the Constitution.

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