I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. For some time it has been considered possible to form a mutual insurance against shipping risks. The advent of the war brought that more to a point. I should say from the time the war started a scheme has been under consideration but it took some time to hammer out a proper scheme. It is a pity we had not this scheme going from the beginning of the war because we would have got a proper, decent fund now. This is not the time to bring in a mutual scheme but considering the position in which we now are, we think it is right to bring this in but not to have it brought into operation until the appointed day. No one would think of fixing the appointed day under the present circumstances. We have to wait for either stable war conditions or stable peace conditions. This measure is modelled on the lines of the Slaughtered Animals (Compensation) Act, 1928, which has since been amended by two other Acts. The board itself would be entirely responsible for the working of this scheme. The present rates of insurance between here and Great Britain are very high. The rate from port to port varies from 7/6 to 10/- per head for cattle; the rate for sheep from port to port varies from 7/6 to 10/- per head, store cattle 7/6 to 10/- per head, and pigs 12/6 to 15/- per head. This is for war insurance and it includes ordinary insurance as well. Roughly, the numbers of cattle exported would be about 600,000; sheep 350,000 and pigs 55,000, so that any Deputy can make a calculation of what the total amount is. This Bill provides for a board of eight elected by the National Executive of the Cattle Trade Association. They will be appointed by the Cattle Trade Association for a period of five years.
At least one of these eight must be a pig exporter, and at least four must be cattle and sheep exporters. They will create a fund by levying what they consider is a fair amount per head on cattle, sheep, lambs and so on. The levy will be fixed by the Minister for Agriculture after consultation with the board. This leavy will be payable by stamps, and the stamps will be supplied to the shipping companies and will be affixed to the shipping documents. The stamps will be printed by the board and supplied. There are the usual penalties for those trying to use false stamps and so on. The exporter declares the value of his animals. He must declare the full value himself; if he does not declare the full value nobody is going to interfere, but if a claim arises he will be paid on the declared value. There is no great danger as far as that is concerned. If he does not want to insure his live stock at the full value he is not compelled to do so, but he uses his own valuation and he is paid on that valuation. He will not be paid more than the value, so that over-valuing is not going to do him any good.