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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - Although I have risen for another purpose, I desire to associate myself with all that has been said in the way of thanks, felicitations, and good wishes. This morning I was asked questions by two honorable senators, and promised to try to let them have the answers before the sittingconcluded.

Senator J B Hayes asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs -

1.   What was the total production of butter in Australia for the year ended the 30th June last?

2.   What was the approximate proportion of the output that was made on farms and sold as "dairy butter"?

The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following answers -

1.   Approximately 191,481 tons.

2.   It is estimated that 4 per cent. was made on farms, but no. information is available as to the quantity which was sold as "dairy butter ".

I, as representing the Minister for Commerce, was asked bySenator DuncanHughes -

Has anything been done (and if so, what) concerning recommendation No. 4 on page 9 of the supplement to the First Report of the Royal Commission on the Wheat, Flour and Bread Industries-that an expert committee be appointed by the Government to consider and report whether maintaining a home price in excess of world parity is the best means of assisting primary industries?

The Minister for Commerce has supplied the following answer -

No, but the matter was thesubject of detailed discussion at a conference representative of all sections of the wheat industry, and has also been deliberated on by the Australian Agricultural Council.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch). - Before putting the motion moved by the Leader of the Senate, . and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, I wish to identify myself with the expressions of goodwill and fraternity that have fallen from the previous speakers. It is well that a season of this kind should occur from time to time, filling the minds of men with feelingsof peace and goodwill towards their fellows. It is good that we should, at times, cast aside the jarring and warring ideas that too often beset out minds. It does us good to indulge even for a few brief moments in kindly feelings towards our fellow creatures. It : must be remembered that in public life, in the discharge of our task of making the laws and rules of the community, a greater tax is imposed at times upon our patience:. than is the lot of the ordinary citizen. The necessity for consideration and forbearance has, in our case, always to be kept in mind, in order that the proceedings of this chamber may be conducted in the most orderly fashion. There is no reason why, whilst we hold conflicting opinions, we should not concede to our fellows - the right to hold - their opinions also: - To my mind the man who arrogates to himself the right to hold an independent opinion whilst denying it to his fellows is the worst kind of 'tyrant, however much, he may masquerade as a friend of liberty. So far as the staffs of the several departments of the Parliament are concerned, they have acquitted themselves with their usual zeal, good faith, industry and desire for cooperation, whilst doing their best to make the lot of members as easy and comfortable as possible. It is a characteristic of the staffs of Parliament that they have behaved in that way for very many years, and it is but doing them bare justice for us to bear witness to the uniform courtesy, kindness and devotion to duty which it has invariably been our happy lot to experience at .their hands.

Question resolved. in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned 12.10 a.m. (Friday) till a day and hour to be fixed by the President.

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