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Friday, 16 October 1931


Sir RIORDAN (Kennedy) .- For the information of honorable members, and of the workers whom I represent, I should like the Prime Minister (Mr. Scullin) to make public the replies received from the judges to the requests that they should accept a reduction of their salaries and their pensions.

The other evening I raised the subject of freight charges on wool from Australia to Great Britain, stating that, in my opinion, the freights were too high. . I suggest that the shipping company might be induced to do the fair thing by the producers if the Postmaster-General's Department used the subsidies paid on mail contracts as a lever in the negotiations.

I again urge that steps be taken to deal with the buffalo fly pest in Northern Queensland. This matter may not seem serious to some honorable members, but it is of the greatest importance to cattlemen in the north, particularly to those in a small way. The big cattle-grower can work his cattle down to South Australia, and get them in as store cattle to be fattened next year ; but the man with 200 or 300 bullocks to be put off each year has no chance of getting them away. As his area is limited he must destroy the increase, or give them away for practically nothing, because his land will not carry them.

I desire to know what has been done by the secretariat appointed by the Premiers Conference to go into the matter of unemployment. Have any schemes been submitted from Queensland.? We were given to understand some time ago that steps were being taken to relieve unemployment. We know that. £3,000,000 has been made available for the assistance of wheat-growers, but the unemployment situationis so serious, with men tramping all over the country looking for work, that something should be done. The sum of £3,000,000 is to be devoted to the payment of a bounty on wheat to bring the price up to 3s. a bushel. I noticed in to-day's press that the price of wheat in Sydney is now 2s.11d. a bushel, so that, if the bounty is to be paid on this year's wheat, the bankers will have to find only 1d. a bushel. If this amount is not made available to the farmers, it should be diverted for the relief of unemployment, and to my knowledge there are plenty of schemes, independent of any secretariat, capable of providing interest and sinking fund. I trust that these matters will receive early consideration.







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