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Thursday, 25 October 1956

Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- The Opposition agrees wholeheartedly with this bill. It is a small bill, but a vital one. Having spent a lot of my early life on a farm, I can appreciate the value to the farming community of a measure of this kind.

I, like many others on this side of the House, particularly my Western Australian friends, give full credit to Chamberlain Industries Proprietary Limited, in Western Australia, for entering the field of heavytype tractors against rather stiff opposition from bigger combines in Australia, and from some with associations outside Australia. I know that, during the last eighteen months, Western Australian members within the Government ranks have put up quite a fight to ensure that this firm would receive a better spin than it has been getting. The tractor is almost entirely of Australian construction. It is gradually winning friends in the eastern States. Admittedly, they are a long way from the place of manufacture, but this tractor is winning friends rapidly amongst the farmers of the eastern States.

One important aspect of this bill is that it will enable the bounty to be paid on tractors with 70 horse-power engines, as well as on tractors with 55 horse-power engines, as at present. In other words, the bill enables Chamberlain Industries Proprietary Limited to increase the size of the engine in the tractor by 15 horse-power. That is a very good move indeed. This firm is catering for the heavier type of work on farms. The tractor is being used extensively where breaking-up work has to be done on newly won land, where power is of prime importance. This bill will give a great boost to this splendid industry in Western Australia.

The Tasmanian Farmers Federation thinks very highly of this tractor. That federation has about 9,000 members, and is affiliated with the Australian Primary Producers Union, which held a big conference in Canberra this week. Recently, one of the top men of the federation decided to have a look at this firm for himself. He went to Western Australia and made a thorough investigation of the factory. He came back to Tasmania with a very high regard for the whole set-up, and gave a report to the central executive of the Tasmanian Farmers Federation. This is the only tractor, to my knowledge, that this big farmers' organization is personally fathering, or in which it is personally interested. That speaks volumes for the quality of the workmanship of this firm.

Mr Chaney - Where is that factory'?

Mr DUTHIE - In Western Austrafia. It is good to know that the island State of Tasmania is taking Chamberlain tractors from Western Australia to help boost the economy of our far western State.

Mr Bird - Western Australia might buy some Tasmanian jams.

Mr DUTHIE - It would be a good idea if Western Australia bought some Tasmanian jams. We would then have a very nice two-way traffic. I commend the bill on behalf of the Opposition. We fully support it and we wish the Western Australian firm of Chamberlain Industries Proprietary Limited the success it so thoroughly deserves.

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