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Friday, 3 September 1920

Mr HUGHES - On Wednesday last the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin) asked me for a reply to a question which he had placed on the notice-paper on the 22nd July, in regard to the reported congestion at the London docks of foodstuffs exported from Australia. I was under the impression that I had already furnished the honorable member with the following reply, which' I had prepared on receipt of a cable from the High Commissioners' Office, on 4th August : -

I am now in a position to inform the honorable member that a cable has just been received from the High Commissioners' Office, in response to my inquiry, from which it appears that the reported congestion relates only to meat. The cable states that there is at present, difficulty in finding space for frozen meat cargoes; that the Naldera has gone into dry dock, with a. portion of mutton cargo; that the. Port Albany, which carried, approximately,. 42,000 quarters of beef, is unloading, but. that space has only been found so far for 12,000- quarters; that the British Ministry of Food states that there is nothing alarming in the meat storage position, and has promised to furnish a statement regarding the matter. The cable adds that there is plenty of room at the dock-sheds for canned and other goods."

The High Commissioners' Office subsequently cabled that the Ministry of Food had reported that all necessary arrangements for the speedy discharge of meat were being made, and that space had been provided for 19,000 quarters of the Port Albany beef.

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