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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - HUGHES Price is an important factor. I submit that if a control board cannot say whether or not there shall be a minimum price for its commodity it cannot be said to control the marketing of that commodity.

Senator Hardy - That wouldbe the case if we defined the word " control " in the same manner as the honorable senator defines it.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - We all know, for instance, that the Tariff Board has no definite control. Its duty is to advise the Minister and the power of control remains in the Minister - I should like to think that it remains in the Parliament. We are told repeatedly that our producers have control over their products, and, in this instance, that wineproducers exercise that control through this particular board. I hope that the Minister will have something to say on the point which I have raised, because, particularly in view of the approaching marketing referendum, it is definitely a matter of interest to the public as to whether these elaborate boards, which are increasing in number and incurring much expense for their upkeep, exercise real control in respect of their particular commodities. I am prepared to agree that they are composed, in the main, of qualified men, but I raise the point as to whether these men have, in fact, any real control over the product with which they are concerned, or whether it is not rather a case of the last word remaining with the Minister.

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