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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr LISTER (CORIO, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Whether the statement published that it is the intention of the Defence Department to increase the price of "Defence Tweeds" is correct? ,

2.   If so. has the Minister seen a paragraph in the Melbourne Herald, of 24th August, 1920, in which it is alleged that a protest was made by a branch of the Returned Soldiers League, who,in " demanding an inquiry into the matter," resolved to handle no more material until the result of such inquiry was announced?

3.   Will the Minister make a statement setting out the reasons for increasing the cost; and if any inquiry as desired was made, what are the results of such inquiry!

Sir GRANVILLE RYRIE - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   Yes.

2.   The paragraph referred to has been brought under the notice of the Minister.

3.   When the contract between the Department and the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia was entered into, wool was obtainable from the Wool Pool for local consumption at appraised rates; but provision was made in the contract that, if the price of wool altered, the price of the tweed would be increased to cover any increase in the cost of manufacture due to such alteration in the price of wool. In view of the fact that the Central Wool Committee requires all wool ear-marked by manufacturers prior to 30th June, 1920, and put into manufacture after 1st July, 1920, to be paid for at enhanced prices based on London parity, it has been found necessary to increase the price of the tweed. The reason for increasing theprice has been explained to the Defence Tweed Committee of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, and no inquiry is necessary.

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