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Wednesday, 7 December 1938

Mr WARD - Is the Prime Minister aware that, prior to the passage of the legislation imposing an excise tax on flour, bread could be procured over the counter in many industrial suburbs of Sydney at 4d. a' loaf and that to-day bread cannot be purchased at less than 5$d. a loaf? ' Does the right honorable gentleman consider the prevailing price of bread a reasonable price for consumers to pay ? If not, what action docs the Government propose to take iri view of its assurances that suitable action would be taken to prevent an increase of the price of bread ?

Mr LYONS - I cannot accept the figures cited by the honorable member until I have had an opportunity to investigate them. I therefore suggest that ho should put this question on the noticepaper. Further/ 1 suggest that he should be a little more courteous in the tone in which he asks questions or they will not be answered at all.

Mr ROSEVEAR - Yesterday in the New South Wales Parliament a statement was made by a member of that Parliament, that during the discussion of the legislation imposing an excise tax on flour in this House, assertions were made that the tax would not affect the price of bread, to which the Premier replied that he could hardly believe that such assertions had been made in, the Federal Parliament, and further that no such statement had been made in the State Parliament. 1 ask the Prime Minister whether the conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers, which agreed to the submission of the legislation, was or was not of the opinion that the excise tax on flour would increase the price of bread?

Mr LYONS - I cannot recall the statements made by the members of the conference to which the honorable member has referred. If the question is placed on the notice-paper I shall be able to look up the report and inform the honorable member exactly as to what was said.

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