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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr GILES (Angas) - The honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) has quite accurately described the machinery of the Bill and there is no need for me to repeat what he has said. I will however touch on it initially in order to make One more comment. The Canned Fruit Excise Fund, which is controlled by the Australian Canned Fruits Board, is the fund in which the surpluses described by the honourable member for Dawson are held. As the honourable member for Dawson explained, these excess funds are to be paid back to the canners under the terms of this legislation. I am not quite clear whether the growers will receive any part payment of this amount from the canners.

I would add only one thing to his general argument. He mentioned quite properly the agreement following which the industry or perhaps the Board decided, after some negotiations, to discontinue as from 1st January 1969 its promotional activities in the West German market.I think one can continue this argument just a stage further and say that there is a lesson in what has happened for members of Parliament. The

Fund is a government fund, although the contributions came from the industry itself; the moneys are not held by the industry.

My understanding of what happened is that one signatory to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in this case I think the United States, objected in some way to our trade promotional activities on the West German market. The lesson to be learned from this situation is that it is very difficult, whether by growers funds or governmental funds, to subsidise some forms of primary industry without running into this type of objection from signatories to GATT who happened to be concerned with a market outlet.

That is about all I wish to add to the remarks of the honourable member for Dawson. This is nol an important Bill. It is a very minor one. But it will provide the machinery to allow the surplus funds held in the Canned Fruit Excise Fund by the Australian Canned Fruits Board to be disbursed to the canners. There is one other point. It is the intention of the industry to mount a bigger and, I suppose, a more expensive type of promotion fund in 1970. Some of the moneys for this will come from the excess presently held in the Canned Fruit Excise Fund. 1 support the Bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Third Residing

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr Anthony) read a third time.

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