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Primary Producers Union WHY IT WAS STARTED "Prior to the advent of the V.F.U. the primary producers of the State were in warring politicial camps some Liberal, some Labor, but none in a Country; Party", says Mr. J. J. Hall, General Secretary, Prima.ry Producers' Union. Proceeding, Mr. Hall says. "It was considered necessary for the country's good to institute a Country Party, which would combine these hitherto contending elements in the country. The obvious way. therefore to secure unity, and to get these war ring factions together, fighting for each other instead of against each other, was to form a strictly independ ent political party. That was the foun dation upon which the V.F.U. was er rected. "With that policy and those prom ises the V.F.U. had very rapid growth from nothing in 1916 to 13,667 mem bers in 1920-21. Then a debacle oc cured, because the promises were vio lated, and the first steps were taken to impair the independence of the move ment. In 1922 the membership had dropped to 8650 and in 1925 to 7720. The cause was set out as follows in a minority leport of the members of the Central Council V.F.U. and submitted to the annual conference of that body held at Ballarat in 1926 : (a) The failure of the Parliamen tary, parties to endea'vour to have car ried into effect the progressive mea sures advocated by the movement, notably the compulsory organised marketing of our primary products a reduction in the excessive tariff duties-establishment of a rural bank, and the failure to even attempt to grapple with the growing evil of cen tralisation. (b) The making of pacts and com posite ministeries, and their intimacy with .nother party. (c) The failure of Central Council to see that the mandates of conference were respected and carried out; the failue to. see that the rules of the organisation were observed, and gener ally the failure to exercise executive 'uthority on the occasion of such lapses, as well as the timidity in em phasising and securing the observance of the vital principle of the movement. "The remedy could have been sup plied by the conference cutting the hamstrings, of pdlitical pacts and coa litions, which had disunited insteadl of united the prooducers. However, the
conference did;- not doi sbo. and the Central Co-ncil of tii V.FiU. and the parliamentarians have interpreted the decision as giving them carte. blanche to' go :on making these ;political ar-' rangeniens, :' o, " As the door hais Leen slammed, barred and bolted against them, there was only one thing left to those who desired to bring about unity amongst produicers; and that. wes to 'establish an independent political organisation which would unite and not disunite all sections of primary producers. Hence the starting of-the PrimarytProducers' Union. " In launching the PP U. provision has been made.in the rules. a'gainst a repetition of the lapses of ,the past. The P.P.U. is making good progress. To date over 70 branclhes have been formed or'are in course of formation, and new branches are being formed .every day. " The: P.P.U. mankes its appeal not so miuch to.tli? ireminairiihg ·iembers of the V.F.U., 'but:to -the great mass. of producers who hav~e left that :body, or who, perhaps;, hlavene'v~i joirned it. .The P.P.U. belihves. tJlia?the few thou sands who are s'-ill members of the V.F.U. will, in the course of the next few months,, and, as the result of .political hapiepings thbe more thb?n convinced thatf he?'startiing of the Pi'imary Producers' Uilion was, not only an absohlute necessity, but that unity in the country can only be achieved ,by a strictly independent political party. " Pacts and coalitions certainly have got 'ministerial portfolios for the Country Party, but at the expense of vital matters of policy."