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Tuesday, 16 July 1946

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

1.   Has he seen the report of a speech in the House of Representatives of the New Zealand Parliament by the Minister for Supply (Mr. Sullivan) in which he stated that his government had arranged to pay the world parity of9s.1d. a bushel for locally grown wheat this year, and that an arrangement had been made by which Australia would supply that Dominion's requirements for the next four or five years at the ceiling price of 5s. 9d. a bushel, and, if there were any fall in the world parity or any factors justifying a reduction New Zealand would get the benefit?

2.   Has the Government made an arrangement with the New Zealand Government for the sale of Australian wheat out of either the last crop or future crops at 5s. 9d. per bushel f.o.b.?

3.   If so, were the sales made by the Australian Wheat Board, or with the knowledge and/or approval of that board?

4.   Is the Government legally able to enter long-termcontracts before the Wheat Industry Stabilization Bill is law?

5.   If a sale has been made at 5s. 9d. per bushel f.o.b. at a time when the Wheat Board's price for bagged wheat to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and the London Food Council is 10s. 41/2d. per bushel f.o.b., does the Government intend to make good to the wheat-growers the amount by which this sale falls short of export parity?

Mr Scully - The Government sold 4,500,000 bushels of wheat to New Zealand in January last at the price at which all other sales were being made at the time. This was done in consultation with the Wheat Board and with its full knowledge. The Government undertook to meet New Zealand representatives at a future date on the subject of future sales. This meeting has not yet taken place.

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