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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr PATERSON (Gippsland) . - Whilst I have a great deal of respect for the opinion of the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony), I disagree with his argument. Always, when marketing legislation relating to other primary industries has been under consideration, the strongest arguments against the appointment of boards has been that they might lead to political control, whereas the intention has been to give producer control to the industry concerned. If we adopted the suggestion of the honorable member for Richmond, we should simply be substituting political control of the apple and pear industry for control by its representatives.

Mr Anthony - Under the clause as it stands, the Minister cannot act without a recommendation from the board.

Mr PATERSON - Exactly. It is inadvisable for any Minister to take drastic action without first having a recommendation from a board elected by the growers themselves. Sub-clauses 3, 4 and 5 should be considered together. Subclause 3 enacts that any person who exports pears from the Commonwealth -

(a)   in contravention of the regulations made in pursuance of this section (including the prescribed conditions and restrictions) ; or

(b)   in respect of which a permit has not been issued under the last preceding subsection shall be guilty of an offence.

Then there follows mention of a maximum penalty of £100. Sub-clause 4 provides -

Where the Minister is satisfied, on report by the board, that any person to whom a licence under this section has been granted has contravened or failed to comply with the prescribed conditions and restrictions, the Minister may, on the recommendation of the board, suspend or cancel the licence.

I take it that it is not mere accident that these two sub-clauses come in that sequence.I assume that, before the Minister will be satisfied that the holder of a licence has contravened or failed to comply with the prescribed conditions, either the exporter will have admitted that he has flouted the regulations or, his contravention will have been proved. In either case, the amendment would have no force. Sub-clause 5 contains provisions for the restoration of a licence or the issue of a. fresh licence if the person contravening the regulations gives an undertaking that he will comply with them in future.

Mr Rosevear - Does not that suggest political control?

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