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Tuesday, 4 May 1920


Mr HUGHES - On the 29th April the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory) asked me the following questions : -

1.   How many bales of wool were shipped from Australia during the quarters ending 31st December, 1919, and 31st March, 1920?

2.   How many bales is it estimated will be shipped during the quarter ending 30th June, 1920?

3.   What surplus of the British Government purchase is it estimated will be waiting shipment after the 30th June, 1920 ?

4.   Can the Prime Minister give any reliable estimate as to when this surplus will be shipped from Australia?

I then promised to have inquiries made with a view to furnishing the information desired. I am now in a position to supply the honorable member with the following replies : -

1.   For quarter ended 31st December, 1919, 461,884 bales; for quarter ended 31st March, 1920, 549,946 bales. The above periods included 100,000 bales shipped for sale in America, and 113,000 bales shipped for sale in Antwerp, and the quantities shown are in excess of that shipped during the quarter ended 30th September, 1919, namely, 414,857 bales.

2.   On the basis of shipping space allotted for April, and also those quantities which have been cleared during April, the estimated quantity to be shipped for the quarter ending 30th June, 1920, is 490,000 bales. This is based on theoretical calculations, which, in practice, have rarely been confirmed.

3.   From a minimum of 1,250,000 to a maximum of 1,500,000 bales.

4.   Owing to the uncertainty regarding shipping space allotments and the absence of information regarding requirements for countries other than the United Kingdom, it is impossible to fix a reliable date by which the surplus wool will have been shipped from Australia. The Central Wool Committee are not hopeful of the carry-over wools from 30th June, 1920, being shipped before the end of 1920 or early in 1921.







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