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Thursday, 15 September 1949

Mr WARD (East Sydney) (Minister for Transport and Minister for External suspension of the sitting, the honorable member for "WarringahMr. Spender) observed satirically that the budget now being debated was the last that this Government would present. The honorable member is not often completely right, but sometimes he is partly right, and this is such a time. This is the last budget the Government will present before the general election. But I am quite certain that the Australian people have too much sense to turn this Government out of office, and return to the conditions that prevailed1 in October, 1941, when the Labour Government first came into power. People can remember what the conditions were like in those days. They can remember that the defences of Australia were in such a deplorable state that even anti-Labour newspapers were castigating the antiLabour Government then in power, 'and doing everything they could .to bring about a change. Many people and organizations not ordinarily the friends of Labour supported' the Labour party at that time because they were afraid. They knew that Australia was in real danger, and they knew that only a Labour government could place the defences of the country on a proper basis. After the danger had passed, some of them returned to their former political love. The honorable member for Warringah would have been correct if he had said that the next elections would be the last chance for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies). I think it is .generally accepted that if the anti-Labour parties fail to win the next election they will be looking for a new leader. I should regret that very much, because I should like to see the present Leader of the Opposition go on in his present position for many years. Not only is he unable to lead a party successfully so as to win an election, but he is also unable to make accurate forecasts. Not long ago, he went overseas. He was in the United States of America at the time of the last presidential election, and he delivered several addresses there. Everywhere he was introduced as the Dewey of Australia. As a matter of fact, that is a very good title for him, because he will win as many bouts in the political field as Dewey did.

The honorable member for Warringah seems to think that the Government is depending on this budget to win the next election. That is not so. Apart from the budget and its proposals, the Government has to its credit a list of achievements that is quite capable of winning the next election for it. The Government has done a tremendous amount of good' since it has been in office. Only to-day, the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Holloway) told honorable members that fewer than 3,000 persons were unemployed in the whole of Australia. In October, 1941, although the country had been at war for two years, there were approximately 200,000 persons unemployed. That was under an antiLabour government. It is not likely that the people will throw away present benefits by changing the government at the next election. If time permitted, many illustrations could be given of the way in which anti-Labour governments misgoverned' the country, and of how they played up to big business. For instance, the honorable member for Warringah, when he was Minister for the Army, sacked a boot inspector, Mr. S. G. Gill, at the request of big business, because that officer refused to pass inferior footwear for the armed forces. Mr. Gill insisted that the footwear for which the Government was paying should be of the proper quality. Honorable members have not forgotten the scandal about the supply of bread to the armed forces. I am pleased that the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) is aware of the conspiracy in this country and in other countries to destroy all progressive governments, particularly in those countries where the greatest progress has been made. A few years ago, there was a controversy .on the proposal that Australia should become a party to the Bretton Woods financial agreement. I was one of those who were rather suspicious of the proposal, and who advocated caution. I suggested that we should not rush into an international arrangement of that kind. In to-day's press there is published a news item which indicates that my fears were well founded. It is reported that Mr. Eugene Black, president of the International Bank, in referring to social welfare schemes, said that many countries could not afford such ambitious programmes. In the same newspaper reference was made to the fact that the cost of social services in Australia had increased from £16,000,000 under anti-Labour governments to approximately £100,000,000 for this year. No doubt Australia is one of the countries which, in the opinion of Mr. Eugene Black, cannot afford its ambitious social welfare programme. The Prime Minister and the Labour Government do not share Mr. Black's views. At the conclusion of his budget-speech, the right honorable gentleman said -

From a social standpoint we have greatly extended the range and value of services available and experience has shown not merely that we can afford these services but that they have a positive worth in keeping up demand for goods and hence employment and investment.

Although honorable members opposite criticize the Government's peace-time programme, they have not stated that the Government should not have granted any of the social welfare benefits that have been introduced in recent years. As a matter of fact, more progress has been made in this direction under Labour governments during the last few years than during any comparable period in the history of Australia. As the Prime Minister pointed out, it has been possible to extend our social services only because of the Government's policy of full employment, and because the national revenue is buoyant. Honorable members opposite have twitted the Government because each year the budget has shown' a surplus. In my opinion, it is better for a government or a business to finish the year with a surplus than with a deficit, as was customary when anti-Labour governments were in office. The honorable member for Warringah was once Treasurer, so he might be expected to know something about finance. Indeed, he has more than once tried to bandy figures with the leader of the Government. The honorable member quoted an amount in Australian currency and the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) asked him to state the equivalent of it in sterling. The honorable member for Warringah replied, in effect, " It is quite simple; you multiply the figure by five and divide by four ". That is how the honorable member for Warringah, who was formerly Treasurer, converts Australian currency into sterling. Obviously, he does not know anything about the subject. Yet, he tries to parade himself in this chamber as an authority on finance.

It appears to me that there is an international conspiracy against Labour governments. I shall not be in order in referring to debates which have taken place in this chamber during the current session, but it is quite obvious from speeches made in these recent debates that honorable members opposite who bad formerly been loud in their protestations that they were pro-British have suddenly become anti-British because the people of Great Britain have placed a Labour government in control of that country. Those honorable members are prepared1 to go to any lengths to destroy the British Labour Government, just as they are anxious to destroy this Government. I am certain of one thing. The anti-Labour parties during the next federal general election will not be 'short of finance. Their coffers will be full. Already, they have so much money that they do not know how to spend it. The private banking institutions are now releasing certain of their employees from their ordinary work to go out and do a little political campaigning for the Opposition parties. All of these things are being done because the result of the next general election will be of the utmost importance to them. In order that the Opposition parties may present some semblance of a united front to the people, they now pretend that they have no differences of opinion or policy and, in fact, are united. It would be interesting on some other occasion to examine what some of them have said at various times about their present colleagues. For instance, the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) said that he would not serve in any government under the present Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) and the Leader of the Opposition resigned from a government because he disagreed with the leader of it. Honorable members will recall the national service group, as it was termed. The honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) was a member of that group, the main purpose of which was to restore the right honorable member f or Kooyong to the leadership of the Opposition and to afford those who were prepared to support that objective easy entry into his cabinet should he ever again become Prime Minister. After that group had served' its purpose, it was allowed to go out of existence. The right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) had something to say about that group. He published a pamphlet in. which he set out his opinion of it; and the honorable member for "Wentworth would do well to read it to get the right honorable member's real opinion of himself and of the leader behind whom he serves to-day.

It is interesting to note that the Opposition has always fought the Labour Government's attempts to extend social service benefits. The British Medical Association has the support of the Opposition parties because they have never favoured the extensions of social services. Opposition members know that it is impossible to extend social services and, at the same time, reduce taxes. They want to reduce taxes, but not for the benefit of the ordinary worker and the lower income groups. They continually tell us in their speeches that the taxation policy of the present Government is retarding the extension of private enterprise in this country. It is to be regretted that the people are being taxed to pay for social services benefits which, up to date, they have not been able to obtain in full measure not because of any failure on the part of the Government, but because the British Medical Association and the Opposition parties have so far proved to be too strong and have been able to prevent the Government's social services scheme from being fully implemented. Let us examine one of the election promises which the Opposition parties have handed out. They have promised the people that if they are returned to office at the next general election they will provide endowment for tho first child of a family. However, they have not said anything about the basis on which the basic wage is fixed or indicated that their purpose in making that promise is to give something with one hand and to take it back with the other. If their promises were worth anything, they would also assure the people that the foundation upon which the basic wage is fixed will not be varied and that tho people will, therefore, get some real benefit from the endowment provided for the first child. However, the people know that from the moment endowment is provided for the first child the Arbitration Court will reduce the basic wage on the argument that the first child has thus been provided for. The anti-Labour parties in this country, so long as I can remember, have always argued that a single man should not receive the same wage as a married man. They do not believe that the single man should be given an opportunity to save for the time when he will undertake the responsibilities of a married man.

The Opposition parties have never believed in a policy of full employment. Honorable members will recall that when the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) and Mr. Forde, who was then deputy Prime Minister, were at San Francisco fighting for the inclusion of the principle of full employment in the United Nations Charter they were attacked in this country by the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues. The Opposition parties then said that the Government was trying to get around the decision of the people at the referendum of 1944. They implied that the people were stupid enough to record a decision against the provision of full employment. At that time articles appeared in the anti-Labour press attacking the Minister for External Affairs because of the efforts he was then making to have that principle included in the United NationsCharter. Then, we had Professor Hytten telling a conference in Tasmania that the ideal proportion of unemployed' in the economy of a nation would be 8 per cent. That might be regarded as being ideal by Professor Hytten, but if he happened to be one of the 8 per cent, whowere unemployed he would not regard the position as satisfactory. We are well aware of the attitude of the anti-Labour parties on the subject of unemployment. On a previous occasion I quoted from an article which was written by the financial editor of the Sydney Morning Herald under the heading, " Is Depression Necessary?". I shall quote from it again as follows : -

Despairing references to prevailing indiscipline, and the difficulty of securing conscientious work, all too frequently conclude with the ' remark that only another depression will restore industrial efficiency and output . . Admittedly, depressions have had the redeeming feature of restoring efficiency to set against the misery of the unemployed.

That is the attitude of the Sydney Morning Herald and of the Opposition parties on the subject of unemployment. In a recent debate in this chamber the Leader of the Opposition said that it was quite obvious that the cost of production ought to be reduced; but he did not say how these costs should be reduced. The antiLabour parties have only one policy on this subject, and that is to slash the wages of the worker, to lengthen his hours of work and to reduce social services benefits. The honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) said by way of interjection in a debate in this chamber not many weeks ago that he would vote to-morrow to abolish the 40-hour week. The honorable member now nods his approval of that statement. That shows conclusively that if an anti-Labour government were returned the first thing it would do would be to abolish the 40-hour week. It is rather amusing to hear honorable gentlemen opposite lecturing the workers of this country and telling them that they ought to accept arbitration and observe the decisions of the Arbitration Court. In this instance, after a proper investigation was made by the tribunal which was set up to determine the working week and that tribunal after hearing evidence from employers and employees and conducting an investigation which extended over a long period prescribed a 40-hour week, this self-styled democrat, the honorable member for Barker, says that despite the court's finding he would vote tomorrow for the abolition of the 40-hour week. I think that the people of this country will vote to abolish him before he has an opportunity to vote for the abolition of the 40-hour week. Some members of the Opposition parties have rather quaint ideas of how production costs should be reduced. The honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White) is one of the bright boys of the Opposition. That, of course does not say much for his colleagues. During the depression period his suggestion to this Parliament, according to Hansard, was that the basic wage should not be paid to young men until they reached 23 or 24 years of age.

Mr White - That is a complete misrepresentation,

Mr WARD - I can produce the Hansard report to support my statement. Is it any wonder that the Australian people are not prepared to trust the affairs of this country to a government composed of men of that type? They know that there would be an immediate attack on industrial and living conditions in Australia.

The Leader of the Opposition, unconsciously I have no doubt, paid a compliment to the Prime Minister, when he said during a recent debate, that employment in the Australian transport industry had increased by 60 per cent, whereas in coalmining, the increase had been only 1 per cent. Surely that is a rather strange admission after all the talk we have heard about the advantages enjoyed by the coal miners. We have been told about the excellent working conditions that coalminers enjoy. Why then has employment in the coal-mining industry increased by only 1 per cent.? It rather looks as if governments have not yet gone far enough in improving conditions in that industry. Certainly the statement of the Leader of the Opposition belies the claim so frequently made by some of his colleagues that the coal-miners are being pampered by the Australian Government. However, the Leader of the Opposition at least admitted that there had been an expansion of employment in both the industries that he mentioned, and I cannot understand what he hoped to achieve by introducing that note into the debate.

I come now to the Leader of the Australian Country party (Mr. Fadden). I have secured a copy of a speech that the right honorable gentleman delivered on the 28th July, to a Country party conference at Brisbane. The copy was not forwarded to me with the compliments of the Leader of the Australian Country party, but I have means of securing these things. Here is a statement that the right honorable gentleman made -

My message to youto-day is one of the utmost urgency. It is a call for immediate and purposeful actionto save this country from socialistic despoilers . The task is too vital for delay. We must work at this conference and consistently and resolutely thereafter to end, in crushing defeat, the Chifley Government's rule of regimentation and ruinous restriction.

Then he went on to state what he believes to be the policy of the Labour party. He made some rather strange statements. He has said often in this Parliament that the Opposition proposed, if returned to power, to repeal entirely the 1945 Commonwealth Bank Act and thus hand the affairs of this country back to a bank board representing big business, but here is the right honorable gentleman's statement to the conference -

During the Banking Bill debate in 1947, Mr. Dedman was challenged to show that his Government had a mandate from the Australian people for the legislation. He said: "Nationalization of banking has been part of the official policy of the Australian Labour party for a generation. This fact is very wellknown and was well-known when the people of this country returned Labour to power at the last elections. There has never been any secret about it. By returning Labour, the people endorsed the banking legislation of 1945".

The Leader of the Australian Country party apparently does not agree with that. He does not believe that the people endorse the action of the Government, because he indicated in. his speech to the conference that the Opposition, if returned to office, would repeal this beneficial legislation. It is quite true that Labour has not been able to go as far as it would have liked with its banking policy. The Leader of the Australian Country party referred also to the decisions' of the Labour party to abolish appeals to the Privy Council. He said that the people of this country should beware because the Labour Government, if returned, might pack the High Court. I think that one newspaper reported the right honorable gentleman as having spoken of the decision of the Government to "corrupt" the High Court. He said that the Government wanted a pliable judiciary. That is a reflection on the legal profession from which members of the judiciary are drawn. I am not hypocritical enough to say that I have so much faith in the legal profession in Australia, that I do not believe that some members of it could be corrupted. I have had a recent experience that leads me to the opposite view-

Mr White - Yes, we read about it.

Mr WARD - It is to be hoped that the honorable member understood it. If he did not, I shall be pleased to explain it to him some. time. Obviously, what the honorable member is upset about is that a judge, appointed to his office by an anti-Labour government, completely exonerated me from any responsibility. I realize that I shall not be permitted to say very much about a matter thathas already been discussed in this chamber,, but it would be rather interesting if members of the Opposition, including the honorable member for Balaclava, were to offer to expose their private financial affairs to the same independent scrutiny that I sought for mine. They probably would not survive such an examination as well as I did. I had nothing to hide and therefore I did not try to run away from the issue. I do not think that any Labour man has talked of packing the High Court. No Labour man wants the High Court to be packed. Our only concern is that the courts of this country should not be packed against Labour. We want impartial courts. Apparently honorable members opposite are quite agreeable to the selection of Labour's opponents for appointment to public offices and 'believe that such appointments only amount to "packing" when the selection is made from the ranks of Labour supporters. However, just a few names occur to me. I emphasize that I make no charges against any of these gentlemen. The present Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir John Latham, was a prominent member of an anti-Labour government, and a leader of an antiLabour Opposition in this Parliament. Mr. Justice Drake-Brockman was an antiLabour senator in this Parliament. Chief Judge Dethridge, prior to his appointment to the bench, was president of an employers' federation. There are many others that I could name. Therefore, if there is any suggestion of " packing " the charge should be levelled by the Labour party. The Leader of. the Australian Country party said that the High Court had .proved a saf eguard, and he mentioned in that connexion, airlines, banking and petrol. Let us see what he said about petrol. Here again I quote from the right honorable gentleman's speech to the Country party conference at Brisbane. He said -

The .petrol case showed that the socialists were continuing the illegal rationing of petrol which had to be stopped.

That is what the right honorable gentleman told the conference, but a few weeks later he and the Leader of the Opposition signed a joint statement advising anti-Labour State governments to reintroduce petrol rationing. He does not know where he stands and never has known. Probably the right honorable gentleman has the same opinion about the decisions of the High Court as I have. There are many people in this country who believe that when Australia was in danger the Government could have done anything without a successful challenge of its authority, but as the danger receded and that with the end of the war any challenge of the authority of the Government could be regarded as having more than an even money chance of success. Statements made by honorable members on this side of the chamber are invariably distorted by honorable members opposite and by their supporters. I remember on one occasion at a Labour gathering saying in respect of the proposal for the nationalization of banking, " Once the Labour movement has spoken, the fate of the banks is sealed ". That statement was misrepresented and an attempt was made to prove that I had advocated the utilization of unconstitutional means to bring about the nationalization of banking. I said that the Labour movement is the popular political movement of the people of this country, and that whilst occasionally, because of misrepresentation, it suffers setbacks, inevitably Labour cannot be kept in opposition. As soon as the people realize how they are sold by anti-Labour governments they again turn to Labour. So, as long as the Labour party stands by its decision, the nationalization of banking will be brought about. Tests of the constitutionality of Labour's .proposal may be made by certain authorities, but surely no honorable member opposite would argue that any authority is greater than the voice of the people. If the people continue to return Labour governments that are pledged to the nationalization of banking, why should not such a policy be put into effect? By answering the arguments of our opponents we hope to make it clear to the people that in their own interests the banking institutions of this country should be nationalized.

The Leader of the Australian Country party has said that it is Labour's policy to abolish the Senate. He regarded that as a dreadful proposal because if it were carried out all power would then be vested in one House of Parliament at Canberra. Honorable members opposite who support the rights of the States do so only because they want to bring about as much disputation about the authority of governments as they can foster. They have more faith in the courts of the land than in its parliaments. They realize that if a popularly elected chamber were given complete political authority in this country they would no longer be able to maintain the privileged position of the financial backers of the political parties to which they belong. They know that the will of the people would then prevail. I see nothing wrong with the proposal for the abolition of the Senate. Honorable members opposite predicted dire consequences when the Queensland Upper House was abolished. They do not level the same criticism at the British system under which the British Government is not hampered by having to answer to a number of State authorities. They have not criticized the system in operation in New Zealand where the Government is free from the restrictions that hamper the Australian Government. At the conclusion of his speech at the Country party conference the Leader of the Australian Country party asked -

Does that sound startling?

I will bet he scared all the old ladies who were present. It certainly did not sound startling to me. The right honorable gentleman believes that all controls indicate a socialistic policy on the part of the government responsible for exercising them. Recently, I happened to pick up an old newspaper cutting headed, " Spender on Money as War Cause ", which is rather interesting in view of the honorable member's speech in this debate. The extract reads - " If the use and development of the world's raw materials is to be left in substantial measure to huge interlocking and international combines, there can be no safety for the future of our children," said Mr. P. C. Spender, H.H.R., on Radio 2UE last night.

Mr. Spendersaid the fight of powerful trading interests of on,: country, or group of countries, against another, for raw materials, must inevitably result in war. "Until international trade is controlled so as to prevent spasmodic and unbalanced development of the resources of the world, there can be no permanent peace," said Mr. Spender.

How can there be any control of international trade and development unless there is control of national trade and development? The honorable gentleman, in effect, admits the necessity for national control. Only when he attacks the Labour Government does he begin to criticize controls. If a government composed of members of his party were in office to-morrow it would not only do certain things which were done by its predecessors but also improve on them. I have heard the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison), the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, complain frequently that the Government stifles criticism of its, actions. Perhaps the honorable gentleman will allow me to quote from an old newspaper cutting what the then chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Cleary, once had to say about him. Mr. Cleary's remarks are interesting because of the frequency with which the honorable member protests against what he describes as the ' Government's clamping down on criticism. The extract reads -

Incidents of attempted interference with the Australian Broadcasting Commission's news services before the present Federal Government took power were mentioned by the Chairman of the A.B.C., Mr. Cleary, during his evidence before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Broadcasting.

In the course of his evidence Mr. Cleary said that Mr. Harrison had telephoned from Canberra and said that the Cabinet objected to any criticism of the Government going over national stations.

Mr Pollard - That is lovely!

Mr WARD - Quite so. The extract continues - " At 4 o'clock in the afternoon," Mr. Cleary added, " I was given a direction by telephone purporting to be in compliance with the Act, and making me personally responsible for seeing that ' The Watchman ' did not, from that moment, criticize the Government. " To test the matter, I asked whether ' The Watchman ' could criticize the Opposition. The reply was that they were not concerned with that, but he must not criticize the Government ".

Mr Sheehy - One way traffic !

Mr WARD - Yes. The extract proceeds - " I asked for confirmation of that in writing, but I did not get it. I was obliged to write that day, to confirm my remarks, and my confirmation was never challenged."

Mr Pollard - Was that our Eric Harrison ?

Mr WARD - Yes, it was the same gentleman who was a prominent member of the New Guard organization and who believed in using armed force to overthrow constitutional government, but who now poses as a democrat and a defender of the freedom of the people. The people would indeed be in serious danger if they depended on him to defend them. During the debate on the censure motion earlier in the week honorable members opposite without realizing the fact, made an attack on private enterprise. The Leader of the Australian Country party claimed that it had been left to the private oil companies to find supplies of petrol for Australia. The right honorable gentleman stated that ample supplies existed but that the oil companies were engaged in a war among themselves. If the producing and marketing companies are fighting among themselves and amassing supplies of petrol which the world requires, how can honorable members opposite expect the Government to obtain supplies for this country? The Government has no control over the international oil combine, and therefore it cannot do' anything about that situation. However, it could do something about controlling affairs in this country, and that is exactly what it has done. I was not surprised at the attitude adopted by the Leader of the Opposition because, before he entered this Parliament, the right honorable gentleman was the legal -adviser of the Shell oil company. I recall that on one occasion, when that concern had been ordered by a royal commission :to produce its books for inspection, the company, acting on the advice tendered to it by the -right honorable gentleman, refused to do so.

In order to win the next general election, members of the Opposition believe that all they have to do is to continue to cry out that the Government is doing something to f avour communism in this country. Now, that trick has been tried on many occasions, "and, in any event, I do not share the opinion of some honorable members that there is a real menace of communism in this country. I think that we give the Communists too much free advertising. We build up their importance. There is no real need to give them so much publicity. I think that the real danger to this country is fascism - and probably the Opposition regards it as a good tactical move to cloak that danger by continually talking of the menace of communism. If men like the honorable member for Wentworth and the honorable member for Warringah, and ethers like the honorable member for Barker, were again placed in control of the affairs of this country we can imagine what would happen. Of course, those honorable gentlemen hope that the people have short memories. Undoubtedly that accounts for "the attempts of the honorable member for Barker to parade .as a democrat. I remember that when he was Postmaster-General he not only forced a Labour radio station off the air, but, when he was questioned, he refused to explain his reason, saying, " One radio station is enough for one Christmas ". Then he went into seclusion on Kangaroo or Rabbit Island or some other island off the coast of South Australia, just like a rabbit running for his burrow. On another occasion when he was asked about the rights of women in this country, he stated that he would not give women a vote. In fact, he would not give .them any say in public affairs at all. He is fascist-minded. He is recorded in Hansard as having said that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Yet he is a member of a political party which includes a woman amongst its representatives in the Parliament. In the honorable member's electorate there is quite a percentage of German settlers, who have been here for -many years, and many of *whom have proved to be very good settlers. I understand that the honorable gentleman has a knowledge of the .German language, and I am fold - although I do not know whether or not it is true - that in the past the .honorable gentleman, who is a very astute campaigner, used 'to broadcast to them in their national tongue, instead of encouraging them to speak the English language, which is the language of the country of their adoption.

Honorable mem'bers opposite such as the honorable mem'ber for Barker have not an Australian outlook. In the course of a debate in this Parliament the Leader of the Opposition said -

Australia should not have a foreign policy. You cannot have all the Dominions talking with a divided voice. Britain ought to speak for us all.

Of course, the right honorable gentleman and his followers do not sing the same tune now, because a Labour administration is governing Great Britain. They no longer advocate that we should follow Great Britain. Now they adopt an attitude which is not so much antiBritish as it is anti-Labour. Incidentally, I am disturbed by the suggestions made at the current international economic discussions that Great Britain should be compelled to reduce its industrial costs. I think that the British Labour Government has done a marvellous job since it has .been in office, and I hope that it will not be influenced to alter its policy by pressure from outside sources, whether that pressure comes from the International Monetary Fund or direct from Wall-street. On the contrary, I trust that it will continue to implement its policy. -If the Australian Government is to be criticized because it has supported the progressive policy of the British Administration, then supporters of the Government must meet that criticism. To rebut that criticism I point out at once that the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) is continually complaining that primary producers in this country are being compelled to sell foodstuffs to Great Britain at lower prices than they might otherwise obtain. I remember the time when the right honorable gentleman was always advocating that we could not do enough for Great Britain. Is our attitude to Britain to be determined on a commercial basis or on a humanitarian basis? It is of no use for us to talk about the great sacrifices of the British people and the need for us to stand beside them in their hour of trouble, if we are going to complain at the same time that we are not charging them enough for our products. The present Government will go to the election with the confidence that it has made a very real effort to improve out position, and although I should like it to have gone further in some directions, it cannot be denied that real progress has been made. If Labour is returned to office that progress will continue.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr. Burke). - Order! The Minister's time has expired.

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