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Thursday, 8 October 1936

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - I think that I can be acquitted of any charge of innocence in this matter, for I have had a fairly long commercial experience and have never hesitated to say what I think of the. astuteness of those engaged in private enterprise. But the grower of oranges does not usually send his fruit away to be packed; he either packs it himself or has it packed in a community packing shed, which preserves the identity of his product. The cases containing his fruit are branded with his name or other sign of identification.

Senator Badman - No.

Senator COLLINGS - If a grower consigns 1,000 cases of oranges through an agent, those cases are branded with certain marks, and the agent must account to the grower for the oranges sent to the destination marked on each case. In his account sales he will show that, of the total number of cases of oranges purchased by him, so many were sold locally, so many in another Australian market, and the remainder exported by a certain vessel or vessels. If the agent does not keep accounts of that nature, and provide the grower with those details in his account sales, I can only say that business methods- have changed considerably during recent years. In Queensland some time ago, the agents of primary producers did not keep such records which prevented produce from being traced. Some growers who visited the city to see their produce sold, discovered, when they received their returns, that the prices alleged to have been received were much lower than those actually paid. The State government then compelled every grower to brand his packages, and made the agents supply a definite statement showing the destination of each brand, what had become of the produce, and the prices obtained. In Queensland, there is now no opportunity for fraudulent practices to be adopted. It appears to me that there is nothing in the contention of Senator Badman that the growers will not receive the bounty. In spite of the fact that I have not got a very good opinion of some commercial men, I would be sorry to learn that there are men who would do as Senator Badman suggests.

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