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Friday, 11 May 1928

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES (Boothby) . - I am not in agreement with the proposal of the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) although I agree with him in disliking the general provisions of the bill. If the amendment is agreed to, the whole business will be left in the air. It may be a good thing from the point of view of the growers to have complete control of their industry, but we must bear in mind the possible effects of this proposed legislation upon the general public. I do not think that a handful of current-growers, or for that matter the growers of any other kind of dried "fruit, should be able to dictate even under an act of Parliament, the conditions under which they will market their fruit.

Mr Gregory - The Minister is not bound to accept their recommendations.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - If he does not do so the object of the bill will not be achieved. I submit that the last word in respect of the administration of any act of Parliament should rest with the Government and not with any " prescribed authority." Under paragraph (/) of the clause the proposed prescribed authority would, if the amendment were carried, even have the power to say what power should be conferred upon it, and under paragraph (g) it would have the power to fix the penalties for any breach of the regulations or conditions of a licence. These are matters which should rest ultimately with the Government. If the amendment is agreed to, the power of the Miniser will be undesirably curtailed.

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