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Wednesday, 2 December 1936

Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - I desire to bring under the notice of the Senate and the Government the following telegram which

I received to-day from tlie Primary Producers' Association of Western Australia raising a point which is regarded as important in that State -

Please obtain definite statement from Minister in charge referenda bills your House if adoption clause 92A will give Federal Government power to proceed with marketing legislation with four States if other two States demur. Also wired Marwick.

As the constitution alteration covered by the bill has to go to the people by referendum, it is essential that the fullest information on points on which they are not clear should be given to them as quickly as possible, without waiting for the distribution of the pamphlets. It will, in any case, be difficult to induce the people of the smaller States, and particularly of Western Australia, to support an amendment which may be construed as giving infinitely greater powers to the Commonwealth. The Minister will assist Senator Marwick, who has discussed this matter already with the Attorney-General (Mr. Menzies), myself and others who are supporting the measure in the interests of orderly and organized marketing in the primary industries, if, when closing the debate, he will give a full and plain reply to the question contained in the telegram.

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