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Victorian Country Party UNITY. WITH PROGRESSIVES ALMOST CERTAIN. A UNITED COUNTRY PARTY DESIRED. ! The whole of the country districts of Victoria will be pleased- to see the probability of the re-union of the two branches of the Country Party ; that is the V.C.P. and the, Progress ive Country Party. Although the latter is much smaller and less influen tial, its very existence is a disability, when the country interets on any vi tal matter, demand a united front. Writing on this subject last week the "Herald" says : "It is almost certain that unity between the Country Party and the Country Progressive Party will re sult from a conference of the executives and Parliamentary repre sentatives of the groups to be held at the Temperance Hall, Melbourne next Wedness~ay. The Parliamentarians will include Federal as well as State members. The main issue dividing the parties --the cause of the division at the Bal larat conference in 1926--is that of composite Ministries. Those mem bers now constituting the Country Progressive Party objected to the policy which provided that the Coun try Party might participate in a com posite Ministry if a majority of the central council approved. S60 P.C. MUST APPROVE The position has been changed by the resolution of the last Country Party conference at Benalla that a composite Ministry should not be countenanced except by the vote of 60 per cent. of the council. This extra safeguard is acceptable to a large section of the members and supporters of the Country Progres sive. The first move towards the confer ence to be held next week was the sending of the Benalla resolution by the Country Party to the Progressives The Progressives suggested that the decision should form the theme of a unity conference on a ran-and-file basis. To that course the Country Party objected on the ground that such a congress would be unwieldy. As an alternative, the Country Party suggested an executive-politician par ley. That basis was accepted by the Progressives. "Little Between Us." No definite procedure has been laid down for the discussion. The leader of the Country Progressives Parlia mentary group (Mr. Dunstan) said that there would be a round- table talk. His party had no definite line of action to suggest. 'Relations between the two' par ties," le said. "have been steadily im proving. Ther is very little between us. We have a common bond in that we represent rural interets. Our programmes are almnost identical. We disagree on methods rather than on principles." Mr. Dunstan would not say what lie expected from the conference. The same attitude was adopted by the leader of the Country Party (,Mr John Allan), except that Mr Allan said that a united party was desirable. If unity was achieved the combined for ces would be a big factor in State polotics."

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