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Thursday, 15 July 1920


Mr SPEAKER - Order!


Mr RYAN - At the present moment, meat, which is lying in our cool stores, has been sold under an Imperial contract at 4£d. for beef, and 6Jd. for lamb, but is being released for public consumption inAustralia at a higher price.


Mr Gibson - At an increase of1/8d. per lb.


Mr RYAN - A much higher price.


Mr Gibson - Those are the official figures.


Mr RYAN - I want honorable members on the corner benches to understand that it is a much higher price, and that these are things ofwhichwe complain.


Mr Fleming - Is the honorable member jn favour of breaking a contract already entered into ?


Mr RYAN - No; but I desire to see the people of Australia secure the meat at as cheap a price as that at which it is placed f . o.b. for shipment overseas. All I am concerned with at this moment is to see that the party to which I belong is neither misunderstood nor misrepresented, if I can prevent it. Our friends on the corner benches, whether they mean it or not, are misrepresenting us.


Mr Stewart - We have no desire to misrepresent you.


Mr RYAN - The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart) may have no desire to misrepresent us, and his vote on one or two occasions has indicated that. Perhaps there are one or two members of the Country party who are prepared, to assist us. We call honorable members occupying the corner benches the members of a party, but we find that when the division bells are rung there is usually a sufficient number of those honorable members on that side of the chamber to keep this middleman Government in power.


Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - This is a powerful attack on London parity.

Several honorable members interjecting ,







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