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Thursday, 1 July 1937

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The bill is to amend section 5 of the Primary Producers Relief Act 1935-36, which relates entirely to the closing date for the receipt of applications for the subsidy of 15s. a ton, payable to primary producers in respect of artificial manures used during the year ended the 30th June. 1 936, in the production of primary products other than wheat. A condition of the payment of the subsidy is that the primary producer has, upon application lodged by him with the secretary of the Department of Commerce on or before the 31st day of December, 1936, obtained a certificate in writing from the secretary of that department that the primary producer has furnished satisfactory evidence that he has used the quantity of artificial manure stated in the certificate. The point involved is that a number of applications signed by the primary producer on or before the 31st December were not, in fact, received within the time specified in the act. Although applications were posted within the time prescribed in the section, they were not received by the Department of Commerce. Apparently, a number of persons relied upon the three days' grace which is common in commercial transactions. The Government, having considered the position, has decided to amend the act, and the department will now accept the applications, the declarations in respect of which were completed on or before the 31st December, 1936, hut which were actually received by the department after that date. Some have inquired as to what became of their applications, and a search of the records has disclosed that such applications were not received by the department. If such applications were forwarded - there were quite a number - they must have gone astray. Applications pass through a number of hands and some may have been lost. This class of person is also being met by the insertion of a provision that, if the Minister is satisfied that an application was signed before the 31st clay of December, it shall be accepted. In all, about 420 claims will be affected by the bill, and the amount of the subsidy involved will be approximately £1,350.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

Sitting suspended from 11.20 a.m. to 4.10 p.m.

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