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Friday, 16 July 1920

1.   That the pool scheme of marketing wheat established by the Labour Government in 1915 be placed on a permanent basis, and that the whole of the grain trade be taken over and controlled by the Federal Government, and that silo and bulk handling of wheat be kept free from agents and brokers in the interests of the producers and consumers.

2.   That a Federal Grain Board, with equal representation of the producers and consumers, with a chairman appointed by the Government, be established, such Board to have control of all business in connexion with grain for export or Australian consumption.

3.   That Grain Boards be established in each State, with equal representation of the producers and consumers, with a chairman to be appointed by the Federal Government, such Boards to conduct the business in each State under the control of the Federal Board.

4.   That local Grain Committees, elected by local farmers, be appointed to supervise all grain handling at country stations, with expert sampling and weighing officers under the control of the Board.

5.   That a minimum milling quality standard be fixed, and all payments be made on a sliding scale and in accordance with the milling value of the grain.

6.   That jute goods and twine be imported direct by the Federal Government from the manufacturer, to be distributed by the Wheat Boards without the intervention of private middlemen.

7.   That grain for exportbe given preference in shipping space.

8.   That the Labour party's 1914 election policy, "Commonwealth line of steamers," under which the Commonwealth service was established, he expanded to cover the whole of Australia's requirements in shipping, thus providing for the carriage of our products at reasonable rates.

I want honorable members to take par ticular notice of the following: -

1.   That farmers be paid for wheat consumed in Australia at a fair price, based upon the cost of production, to be ascertained by the application of the formula set forth in the succeeding paragraph.

2.   The price of wheat for home consumption in Australia shall be ascertained by an investigation in each State, and thereafter upon an average of the result of those investigations based upon the following: -

(a)   The average cost of working a living area sized farm in each State over a period of five years prior to the first fixation of price, and that such cost be kept up to date from year to year thereafter.

(b)   The payment of a union wage to all persons, including the farmer himself, and any member of his family employed in the production of the wheat crop.

(c)   The cost of necessary farming implements at ruling Australian prices, together with allowance for depreciation and renewal.

(d)   The ruling rate of interest on essential capital employed in operating the farm to be allowed in computing the cost of production.

(e)   An allowance, as profit to the farmer, of an amount equal to the ruling rate of interest, on the necessary capital employed in operating the farm.

3.   The Commonwealth Government shall retain in Australia at least one year's supply of wheat towards meeting any unexpected shortage in the annual production.

4.   That the farmers be paid the world's market rates for all export wheat, less cost of administration, thus preventing the exploitation of Australian farmers by other countries, as was the case in 1916 and 1917.

5.   That farmers be paid in full for their wheat delivered at rail to Government representatives by a special note issue made legal tender,such notes to be withdrawn and retired as settlements of wheat sales are effected.


Mr Prowse - That would be to the advantage of the big farmer.







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