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THE COMMISSION'S REPORT.
Reply to Mr. Teasdale's Criticism.
The Minister for Lands (Mr. M. F. Troy), replying yesterday to the state ment made before the wheat section of the Primary Producers' Association by Mr.
J. S. Teasdale, president of the section, that the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on bulk handling had been so framed by the Government that 'if there was any possible chance of condemning this self-help measure (Co-operative Bulk Handling, Ltd.), it had been amply pro vided for' said that Mr. Teasdale's state ment was entirely contrary to facts. 'It is absolutely untrue,' Mr. Troy said, 'and is a statement which no fair or re sponsible man would have been guilty of making.' Mr. Troy said that clause 6 of the terms of reference of the Royal Commis sion instructed the commissioners to in quire into the best method of handling the wheat harvest in Western Australia 'hav- ing due regard to all relevant and material considerations in relation thereto.' It was in compliance with this reference and this only that the Royal Commission reported in favour of a continuance of the Co operative Bulk Handling scheme. In their report the. commissioners stated: — 'Your commissioners necessarily have been largely influenced in their deliberations on the best method or system to be employed in handling the wheat harvests in West ern Australia, and who should control the handling, by the existing relevant and material considerations relating thereto.' They stated some of the most relevant and material considerations were as follows: — '(1), The efforts of The Westralian Farmers, Limited to establish bulk handling of wheat in. Western Australia, culminating in the formation of Co-operative \ Bulk Handling Limited, which company hand led over 11,000,000 bushels of wheat dur ing^its .first season's operations, namely that of 1933-1934; (2), the encourage ment given to that company by the grant ing of seven years' leases of sites at 53 of the most important railway sidings in the Fremantle Zone; and (3), the expendi ture by Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited of approximately £150,000 in pre liminary investigations and the establish ment of bulk handling facilities at the 53 country sidings referred to.' 'Had the terms of reference not made it obligatory on the commissioners to give consideration to the facts quoted, the commissioners may have reported other wise,' Mr. Troy said. 'This is borne out by the commissioners' further statement od page 46 of their report, that 'had it not been for the foregoing relevant and material considerations already existing with regard to the bulk handling of wheat in Western Australia, we would have fav oured the vesting of' the control of all operations connected with bulk handling In a board somewhat similar to that con stituted under the Victorian Grain Ele vators Act, No. 4270 of 1934.* 'As the Primary Producers' conference is a purely political and sectional gather ing, Mr. Teasdale might be excused for exaggeration, but no excuse can be offered for a wilful and deliberate misstatement of the facts.'