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Thursday, 15 July 1920

Mr RODGERS (WANNON, VICTORIA) - I have followed the remarks of the honorable member very closely, and I would like him- to show me, under paragraphs a and 6 of the censure motion, exactly how the Labour party stands towards the primary producers. Those paragraphs are in direct conflict with each other.

Mr RYAN - That is where the honorable member is wrong. They 'ive not in conflict. The producers of the country can be treated unfairly, and so also can the consumers. The producers of Australia have been treated unfairly by the Government in that they have not obtained an adequate return for their ' primary products which were sold overseas. That is quite a consistent attitude to take up. in a country which produces a large quantity of the necessaries of life. It is only just, however, that those who live in that country should be able to purchase the commodities which it produces at a reasonable price, which at the same time will allow a fair return to the producer. We require prices which give a fair return to the producer, and provide the consumer with commodities at a reasonable price. What is the position to-day ? The honorable member for Cook (Mr. J. H. Catts) stated during the course of his speech that we were exporting certain necessary commodities to foreigners at a cheaper price than they are being sold to the- people of Australia.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - He said so, but it is not true.

Mr RYAN - He said so, and it is true.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - It is not true.

Mr J H Catts - Jam, at 5d. per lb.

Mr Hill - What is being supplied at cheaper rate ?

Mr RYAN - Meat.

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