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Wednesday, 1 October 1958

Mr LESLIE (Moore) .- The honorable member for Grey (Mr. Russell) has asked me whether I know anything about cows. All I can say is that those who have had the misfortune to listen to the remarks of the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) must agree, to use a pure Australian colloquialism, that it was a fair cow to have to listen to such rubbish. We are dealing with a bill for the purpose of providing for research into the dairying industry. If T understood the honorable member for Wilmot correctly, one of the things that the research council should inquire into is the pop tune that will get most milk from cows in Tasmania. He said that milk production had been increased by having music in the dairy. So there is the answer to the problem in Tasmania. I do not know whether it is the answer to the problem throughout Australia; but apparently it is part of the answer. The honorable member for Wilmot confirms my remarks. Therefore, I suggest to the Minister for the Army (Mr. Cramer), who is at the table, that it might be appropriate to spend a few pounds in inquiring into which tune will produce the extra drop of milk from the cow.

The honorable member for Wilmot has revealed, so I understand, his lack of knowledge of the dairying industry. He mentioned "A.I.S. " I am sure that he believes that " A.I.S. " means Australian Illawarra shorthorn. I think he has that impression, although I would not be sure. The honorable member said that he did not want the primary producers to believe that they were the salt of the earth. Yet he said that one section of them, the small men. were the salt of the earth. I had the privilege of serving in a State House of Parliament and there I heard the leader of a Labour government warn the primary producers in these words: " Let the primary producer not think that he is the salt of the earth". At that time, the Country party was putting forward a proposal to which it believed the primary producer was entitled. That statement by the leader of the Labour government was symptomatic of the attitude of the Labour party to the reasonable requests of the primary producer. Let him not think he is the salt of the earth! Is he not the salt of the earth? Of course he is, because all wealth comes from the land.

I do not want to prolong this debate. I hear honorable members interjecting, " Hear, hear! " I knew that I would get an encore for that statement. I drew it out to make sure that I did get one. I am now encouraged to continue my remarks. I did not rise in this debate to engage in argument as to whether this bill is good; bad or indifferent. It is a good bill; but it is concerned with research into the dairying industry and sales promotion. This morning, the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. McMahon) advised the House that the Government had decided to adopt certain measures in order to afford assistance and relief to the dairy industry, which is in trouble. There is no doubt about that. We have had experience in the past of relief being given to a primary industry which was temporarily in trouble.

The honorable member for Wilmot said that when the primary producer was in trouble he approached the Government with a view to obtaining assistance to socialize his industry; but when the primary producer was not in trouble - when he was well off and gaining from his industry - he made no approach to the Government. I remind the honorable member that when the primary producer has been in good financial circumstances he has been called upon to make substantial sacrifices in the interests of this nation. When the primary producer has been able to dispose of his products overseas at substantial prices which have been well beyond the prices obtainable in Australia he has agreed, of his own accord, to a limited home-consumption price.

Mr Pollard - Do not point at me.

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