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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr BADMAN (Grey) .- I regret that the time allotted for the consideration of the motion before the House is so short as to prevent a lengthy discussion of this important subject. I support the arguments of the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Marwick), and I am surprised to notice that those honorable members on the Government side of the House who represent large numbers of wheat-growers have not done likewise. I refer to the honorable members for Calare (Mr. Breen), Riverina (Mr. Langtry) and Darling (Mr. Clark). I cannot understand how they will attempt to justify their present attitude when they have to face the wheat-growers. A great deal of argument has arisen from the Government's proposal to spread the guaranteed price of £27,000,000 over the entire crop of 153,000,000 bushels instead of over the 140,000,000 bushels for which provision was made. I cannot believe that this Government, or any other government, would take charge of the entire crop without compensating the growers in some way for the additional 13,000,000 bushels that has been produced. Surely the Treasurer will agree that, after the farmers have received the guaranteed price of 3s.10d. a bushel f.o.b. ports in bags for the 140,000,000 bushels, they should receive some payments for the excess. The wheat industry has been made a political football on more than one occasion, but I urge this Government to put aside all political considerations and make a fair payment to the growers for the excess of 13,000,000 bushels, because they have been penalized already by the low prices that are operating to-day. I repeat that I am surprised at the attitude of those honorable members on the Government side of the chamber who represent wheat-growers; I am certain that in future the growers will not trust them as they have done in the past.

Motion (by Mr. Archie Cameron) put -

That the question be now put.

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