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Thursday, 19 November 1936

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - I and my colleagues have been particularly silent on this measure, and on the amendments, because we are in favour of the bill, and we think that it is futile and a waste of time to debate fine points when it is quite obvious that a majority of the Senate is prepared to curry the original proposal. I regret that a number of honorable senators opposite do not agree with that view. I hope that Senator Marwick understands the explanation just given by the Assistant Minister. It would be competent for a State to isolate itself by standing out of any system of control. That, however, would be a suicidal policy for any State to adopt. Actually, all a State could do in that respect would be to isolate itself, because, with, its greater powers, the Commonwealth, although it could not directly compel a State to fall into line with the other States, could, indirectly, compel it to abide by the results of its own action in isolating itself whilst the other States were enjoying the benefits of organized marketing.

It has been suggested in this discussion that there is, automatically, an objection on the part of the* majority of the committee to any amendment of the Government's proposed. That inference is unfounded. If any suggestion of that character were made by the Government in relation to this, or any other, measure, J would be the first to enter a protest.

It has been manifested that what is objected to is the proposing of amendments which are entirely unintelligible to a majority of the senators, and obviously aim at destroying the real value of the original proposal. I take exception to such tactics, and to amendments which, with all respect to their supporters, I contend disclose no serious attempt to improve the measure but rather make it less effective. I protest against the waste of time which has occurred in this discussion.

Senator Grant - Why does the honorable senator waste time now?

Senator COLLINGS - I know that the honorable senator believes that any time I occupy is wasted. So soon as he is convinced that I am contributing something of value to the debate I shall know that I am definitely wrong. I should not have risen at this juncture but for the fact that I decline to have the Opposition, small as it is, placed in a false light, by statements made in a general way by honorable senators who, I suggest, in the circumstances, are so mentally obfuscated and mixed that they do not know where they are. In this debate we have had learned dissertations as to the meaning of such words as "marketing" and " concerned ". The debate on this bill was concluded for all practical purposes when the division was taken last night. I point out that there are important measures on the notice-paper yet to be considered. Probably when they are brought forward next week, or in the following week, some honorable senators will complain that we had no time to discuss them. I note in this respect the obstructionist speech made by Senator Duncan-Hughes this morning on another measure. The honorable senator will have to repeat all his remarks on a later occasion. I again protest against the waste of time which has occurred in this discussion because of the tactics adopted by some honorable senators.

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