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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I support the remarks of the honorable member for Darwin (Sir George Bell) and the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Guy). Peas are grown in my electorate, but, our experience is totally different from that of Tasmanian growers. No guarantee was suggested to is, even by implication. The crop was harvested in late December and in early January, and was sold on the open market at prices ranging from 4s. 6d. to 9s. a bushel. Three months later, the unfortunate growers learned through th

Mr Scully - Is the honorable member aware that I asked the Premier of South Australia and the Minister for Agriculture, whether they desired the Commonwealth to acquire the .South Australian crop under the same conditions as the Tasmanian crop? They rejected the offer. That occurred before we acquired the Tasmanian crop.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - The Commonwealth Government cannot always " pass the buck " to the State governments.

Mr Scully - What more could I do? South Australia rejected the proposal. I delayed the introduction of the scheme for a. fortnight until the Premier of South Australia reached his decision.

Sir George Bell - Why did not the Commonwealth ask the Tasmanian Government the same question?

Mr Scully - The Tasmanian Government pressed for it.

Sir George Bell - That is not correct.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - The explanation of the Minister will not satisfy me. The Commonwealth Government does not ask a State whether it objects to the acquisition of a particular crop. It has acquired wheat, wool, and barley, regardless of whether the producers liked the terms and conditions. In nearly every instance, the Commonwealth acquired the commodity compulsorily at, a price that was announced before the crop matured.

Mr Scully - Is it not the custom, before the Commonwealth acquires a crop, to secure the acquiescence-

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