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Friday, 13 November 1936

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) . - During the delivery of an excellent speech, Senator Arkins challenged the members of the Opposition in this chamber, who represent a State where an affirmative vote is assured, to visit New South Wales and some of the other States where there is strong opposition to the Government's proposal, in an endeavour to convince the people that an alteration of the Constitution is in the interests of the nation. I suggest that some honorable senators who support the Government and who have advocated the passing ofthe bill should also visit those States in which they think an adverse vote may be recorded. This measure is supposed to be a non-party matter, and the members of at least two of the political parties are divided upon it.

Senator Herbert Hays - Surely not the Labour party?

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - The members of the Labour party are divided. The honorable senator will recall that when a tariff debate was under consideration in this chamber the Government, in order to secure the passage of certain items, had to depend upon the support of the members of the Federal Labour party and of the NewSouth Wales Labour party. Ever since Labour governments have been in power in Queensland they have taken the primary producers under their wing by increasing governmental control over primary production and marketing. From time to time members of the Labour party have been charged with opposing the farmers' interests, but that charge cannot be substantiated, particularly as the Labour Government in Queensland, by appointing boards and pools to control production and marketing, has done more to assist the primary producers in that State than any antiLabour government has ever clone. Thirty-five years ago, a friend of mine who built a butter factory, told me that the farmers in the district in which he lived were too cowardly or too cautious to start a factory on their own account. They believed in co-operation, but they were not sufficiently courageous to spend the money to build a factory. As a speculator, he incurred certain risks by building a factory, but when it was in successful operation he was askedby those who had declined to assist him in the enterprise to sell it at their own figure and go out of business.

During the la3t 30 years, the principle of co-operation among farmers all over the world has grown to such an extent that it now covers, not only production, but also marketing. The Labour party in Queens land, for more than twenty years, has helped the farmers in the marketing of their produce. At first this was done in the teeth of bitter opposition from the political parties represented by honorable members opposite, but now those parties in Queensland support our policy. In fact, they have adopted our legislation as part of the fixed policy of the State of Queensland. That is why Senators Foll, Cooper and Crawford will be found supporting this bill. They know bow much it means to the farmers.

Senator Dein - Why does not the Labour party in the other States support the bill?

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