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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (Hindmarsh) . - I want to support the remarks of the honorable member for Angas (Mr. Giles). What has puzzled me throughout this debate is the fact that the AttorneyGeneral has not attempted to explain in a lucid and understandable fashion why the Government has abandoned the original proposals put forward by the Chief Justice, Sir Garfield Barwick. This has had me completely puzzled. I suspect that the AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Snedden) himself is personally very unhappy with the decision of the Cabinet to ride roughshod over the original decisions or Sir Garfield Barwick. I heard the speeches made by the honorable gentleman when he was in the back benches and when he outlined in a most eloquent, lucid and fluent way to the Parliament the terrible injustices, wrongs and evils of the restrictive trade practices that were going on. I used to look at the honorable member when he made those speeches and think to myself: " If only he could become Attorney-General one day, if only this gentleman could be given power to give effect to his beliefs and opinions on private enterprise and restrictive trade practices, this would be a lot better country in which to live." Now we find that he has the portfolio but not the power. He is not allowed to sit in the Cabinet. I suspect that the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) looked at the honorable gentleman when he appointed him to the Ministry and thought: "This man's ideas are too dangerous for us to have him inside the Cabinet. We will keep him out of the Cabinet while we inside it, with the Ian Potter complex, will make the decisions. He will then carry out the proposals that we agree to. This will guarantee that the dangerous thoughts entertained by the honorable member when he was on the back bench will never be given concrete expression and the public will never get the benefit of them."

I started off by saying that I agreed with the honorable member for Angas when he said that the Attorney-General had never given a satisfactory explanation of the abandonment of this proposal. Another matter that has puzzled me - and no doubt it has also puzzled the honorable member for Angas because he is an alert gentleman - is that not one single member of the Country Party has so far spoken on this Bill, and not one member of the Cabinet bas so far participated in the debate.

Mr Giles - That is totally wrong.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - Which one participated.

Mr Giles - The Minister for Shipping and Transport.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - He is not in the Cabinet. I said that not one member of the Cabinet has so far spoken on the Bill. But I want to turn at once to the other point made by the honorable member for Angas when he referred to the position of migrants coming here and desiring to enter certain fields of activity. The honorable member mentioned the furniture trade.

Mr Stokes - They cannot get trade certificates because the union will not allow it.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - I beg your honour's pardon?

Mr Stokes - They cannot obtain trade certificates because the union prevents them from doing so.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - I want to quote from a document which has the title " Australian Proposals for the Control of Restrictive Trade Practices and Monopolies ". We no longer have any proposals for the control of restrictive trade practices, but only trade practices, and we have abandoned the proposal of the Chief Justice for the control of monopolies. Let me quote from this document which was published under the authority of the Chief Justice. It contains the G. L. Wood Memorial Lecture for 1963 which was delivered at the University of Melbournt on 16th August 1963. This is what the Chief Justice said about the point raised by the honorable member for Angas. It is germane and rather important at this stage of the debate.

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