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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Mr Francis s asked the Acting Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   Did Mr. E. V. Beven, a director of one of the biggest trading firms of India, come to Australia recently?

2.   Did he plan to place £700.000 -worth of orders here ?

3.   Was every assistance offered to him by the department in the placing of those orders?

4.   ls he returning without placing £50,001) worth ?

5.   What is the reason for his curtailment of orders ?

Mr Dedman - The answers to the honorable member's questions are a* follows : -

1.   Yes.

2.   Substantial contracts were' sought for regular supplies of a variety of goods.

3.   Yes.

4.   On Mr. Beven's return to India his com pany will consider offers additional to contracts already negotiated* which exceed, the sum mentioned.

5.   He has curtailed present visit due to immediate supply difficulties and limited responses by Australian manufacturers to proposals for forward export allocations.

Wheat Industry : Compensation to Western Australian Wheat-growers.

Mr Bowden n asked the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, upon notice -

1.   How was the £285,000 provided in this year's Estimates for compensation to Western Australian farmers for the compulsory reduction of their wheat acreage for the last season distributed ?

2.   How many farmers received payment for not growing wheat last season ?

3.   How many acres were compulsorily reduced by this method in Western Australia?

Mr Scully - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The payment is made on an acreage basis to growers through the Australian Wheat Board.

2.   None, but 8.000 (approximately) received compensation for compulsory reduction in areas.

3.   400,000.

Woollen Industry.

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) l asked the Minister for

Commerce and Agriculture - upon notice -

1.   Is the Mr. Mather, who is stated in the press to be seeking permission to raise £20.000.000 for the establishment of 30 woollen mills throughout Australia, the same whom the Minister appointed as his wool adviser some months ago?

2.   If so, did he dispense with Mr. Mather's services; if so. why?

3.   As the proposed company has come in for adverse press criticism, will he investigate the bona fides of the proposal, so that investors may be safeguarded?

Mr Scully - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - 1 and 2. Mr. Mather was engaged in a consultative 'capacity in 1042 on a particular assignment and his association therewith terminated with its conclusion.

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