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Tuesday, 22 November 1938

Mr NOCK - At times it is, and at times it is not. For the last two and a half years it has been an advantage. When the preference was granted the stocks of wheat in the dominions available to supply the British market were so great that it did not give a cash advantage. On many occasions since the huge stocks in Canada were used, Dominion growers have had the full 2s. a quarter advantage price paid to Rumania, Russia, America and Argentina. The follow ing table shows the market figures for Winnipeg and Ottawa during the months from May to October, 1938, and reveals the effect of the August rumours, since confirmed, that the preference was to be cancelled : -


Liverpool options quoted the 18th November, 1938, are further convincing evidence of the loss, that day's quotations being March delivery for contracts made before the announcement 4s. 57/8d. May 4s. 6¾d. compared with contracts since the announcement of cancellation of preference. March 4s. 33/8d., May 4s. 4½d., a per cental loss of2½d. and2¼d. to Australian farmers.

The final point I wish to touch upon is in respect of the border telegraph rate of1s. 4d. I have brought this matter forward on several occasions, and the departmental officers have admitted that there is no justification for the continuance of the' higher charge. Surely 38 years after the inception of federation it should be wiped away. It is only a matter of 4d., but its removal would increase business, while its continuance is a pinprick which turns border people against the Federal Government. I also urge the Postmastor-General (Mr. Archie Cameron) not to be satisfied merely to extend the 15 miles principle where telegrams may be sent across the borders for 9d., but to meet the requests of residents of towns contiguous to the borders by making the charge1s. for 50 miles, or remove the 4d. altogether and have1s. for 16 words established throughout Australia.

Progress reported.

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