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Thursday, 11 September 1958

The CHAIRMAN - Order! It is not the function of the Chair to examine whether statements are correct or not, and since the statement by the honorable member for Macarthur does not reflect on the honorable member for Wilmot, the honorable member may proceed.

Mr JEFF BATE - In this connexion, the Government of New South Wales was. corrupt. It was afraid to bring its files before the court. Of course, that statement could be verified from the court proceedings before Mr. Denton, S.M., about 1951 or 1952. The views of the dairying industry were expressed by Mr. Eric Roberts, chairman of the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation, who came here on Tuesday and said - and I am referring to the longterm and short-term views on this problem -

It is necessary for future development to be planned so that production shall be expanded as becomes necessary with the increasing population.

Indiscriminate development of new areas for dairying should not be carried out because of the serious effects it must have not only on the new settlers themselves but on the industry as a whole.

The question of the control of butter substitutes

And I also refer to milk substitutes which the honorable member for Wannon (Mr. Malcolm Fraser) referred to this morning - is of the utmost importance for dairy fanners as it is impossible for them to compete on an economic basis with margarine manufacturers.

I do not think that we should allow new producers of margarine to come to Australia and invest their money when they will do so much damage not only to themselves but also to the economy as a whole. Mr. Roberts also said -

It is pleasing to know that the Government is pressing forward a bill for sales promotion and' research of the dairying industry. I hope it will1 contain a bias towards research into the development of new products and the opening up of new markets.

I cannot say how greatly impressed many of us are and how much we really admire those persons in the dairying industry who have, gone ahead with new products and have taken part in the revolution in merchandising in Australia. They are supplying goods that are well-wrapped for the self-serve markets. That development is appreciated because it provides for the quick and economic disposal of dairy products.

At this moment of world crisis in the butter market, the first thing to do is to ensure that confidence shall be restored to the dairying industry. Members of this Parliament and of other parliaments which are represented in the Australian Agricultural Council must do everything possible to make the industry sound, secure and confident. That can be done. We have the proposals; and we appreciate the words of Mr. George Coombes, of Queensland, because he has had a far-reaching effect on the industry. We believe there should be an ad hoc Commonwealth advisory council for the purpose of restoring, rehabilitating and supporting the dairying industry so that it can carry out the enormous task imposed on it of producing whole milk, butter and ice cream, cheese and all those products which are very important to the national diet.

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