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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) . - 1 agree with the honorable member foi Wannon (Mr. McLeod) that wheat prices may fall, but let us examine the position from that point of view. World parity for wheat is about 10s. a bushel f.o.r. ports. Now that the 1945-46 harvest is to be- included, the stabilization plan will cover the next four harvests. Suppose that four years hence wheat toboggans to 5s. a bushel. That would mean an average, price over the five harvests of 7s. 6d. a bushel. The wheat-growers are to receive half of the difference between the guaranteed price of 5s. 2d. a bushel and the realization, and, taking the realization at an average" of 7s. 6d. a bushel, we have left in the pool ls. 2d. a bushel for every bushel grown in the five years. In order to simplify .the reckoning, I take the difference left in the pool as ls. a bushel, which, for 1,000 bags, amounts to £150 a year, or £750 for five years. That would be the cost of the scheme to a grower who disposed of 1,000 bags a year.

Another reason why I believe that the price should be at sidings, instead of f.o.r. ports, is that the wheat belongs to the growers, and the Victorian growers favour a price at sidings. I have quotedfrom the Warracknabeal Herald before in order to show that the farmers agreed to the proposal made by the Perth conference of the Australian Wheat Growers Federation. The newspaper, reporting a meeting of farmers at Warracknabeal, =aid that it decided -

That pending the settling up of the commission of inquiry to ascertain the guaranteed floor price, the 5s. 2d. be accepted as first advance payment only; that any difference between the 5s. 2d. f.o.r. as a first advance payment and the determined guaranteed floor price as found hy the commission be made up by retrospective payments to the guaranteed floor price.

That was what the Perth conference decided, and that is what the meeting at

Warracknabeal enthusiastically agreed to. The Minister has said that the Australian Wheat Growers Federation does not support that, but in order to disprove him I shall read another report, published after the interview that the representatives of the federation had with the Minister in Sydney.

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