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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

An orgy of shopping occurred in Brisbane yesterday following the announcement by the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) that clothes would be rationed. Thousands of women who Invaded the city took part in panic buying and many stores had to close their doors against the rush and admit customers in relays. The appeal to the people by the Prime Minister to observe the spirit of the regulations had had the opposite effect to that intended, waa the opinion of business executives.

The Melbourne Herald, under the heading " Buying Rush ", reported as follows : -

Like a pre-war bargain hunt was the scene In Melbourne shopping centres to-day when housewives poured in for the last day of free buying of clothing. So great was the rush that several large stores and many small shops had to close their doors by 11 a.m.

Similar occurrences took place right throughout Australia. In every State capital and every large town there was the same kind of rush as a result of the unfortunate announcement of the Minister on Friday afternoon. In my opinion, the Minister for War Organization of Industry either bungled the matter hopelessly, or he has some deeper motive than is apparent on the surface. We know his political views; we know that he is one of the most advanced socialists in the Government.


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