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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr LANE (Barton) .- I was rather surprised to hear the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Forde) talking as he did of appeals against the decision of the board. I am even surprised that the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Frost) should suggest that there should be an appeal from the decision of the board to a police, stipendiary or special magistrate. Consideration of this bill reveals that in order to appease the desires of the fruit-growers a board is to be appointed, on which representatives from practically every State will be appointed. Tasmania is to have four representatives, Victoria two, New South Wales one, Queensland one and Western Australia two. Provision has also been made for the appointment of representatives of exporters. Why does the honorable member for Franklin doubt the integrity of a board which is to be elected by the growers? It is presumed that the growers will elect fair-minded men of sound judgment. Nearly all primary producers are very fair minded, except -when they come to this Parliament asking for bounties. Before this bill was drafted the then Assistant Minister for Commerce (Mr. Archie Cameron) travelled through the States and sought the opinion of the growers, and it is presumed that the bill represents what the growers themselves want. -I am unable to understand why the honorable member for Franklin should doubt the ability of the board to test the credibility of witnesses who may appear before it. in connexion with some misdemeanour by a grower which has led to the cancellation of his licence. 1 see no reason for hampering the administration of the board in the manner suggested by the honorable member. The board itself is eminently suited to deal with infringements by growers. It has been said that when a licence has been suspended by the board the grower has the right of appeal to the Minister

Mr Frost - The board has no power to cancel the licence issued to a grower. It must be done by the Minister on the recommendation of the board ; but a grower whose licence has been cancelled will not know of the cancellation until he is so informed by the Minister.

Mr LANE - The grower will know thai immediately his licence is cancelled or withdrawn by the board the Minister will be called upon to adjudicate in the matter. Apparently, the honorable member for Franklin is not willing to trust the Minister, or the board. In this matter, he and those who support him are not doing justice to the people engaged in the industry. He has told us that Tasmanian fruit-growers are well served by the existing board, which is responsible for marketing arrangements on the mainland, and for the export of surplus fruit. My chief complaint is that the best of the Tasmanian fruit is not sent to the Sydney market. I feel sure that growers in Western Australia will not approve of the amendment and I hope that it will not be carried.

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