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Thursday, 10 September 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [5.1]. - by leave - Following the decision of the Privy Council in the James case, the Ministry has given the most careful consideration to the best course to be taken by the Commonwealth to safeguard the interests of primary production, the joint Commonwealth and

State schemes for the orderly marketing of primary products having been rendered unconstitutional as a result of the decision.

The Government feels that it is expressing the view of the large majority of the people when it says that it would be disastrous for Australia as a whole if the system of orderly marketing of a number of important primary products were allowed to lapse into chaos.

It is assisted in this conclusion by the fact that the Privy Council's decision has disclosed a gravely anomalous position, i.e.j that there is no power in any Parliament, Commonwealth or State, to provide for1 the effective and stable control of marketing. This gap in the constitutional powers of the Parliaments can be filled only by popular vote at a referendum. Therefore, the Government has decided, after an exhaustive examination of all the possibilities, to seek an amendment of the Constitution. An announcement of its exact nature will be made to Parliament as soon as possible.

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