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Wednesday, 24 July 1946

Mr BREEN (Calare) (12:38 PM) .The honorable member for Deakin (Mr. Hutchinson) has suggested a plan for putting a floor in the meat market. The difficulty experienced in the past has been to evolve a plan which would be practicable, and at the same time would not leave on the hands of the board a greater supply of meat than could be sold. Certain primary producers have suggested that the Government should fix a floor price for meat on the hoof. That matter has been discussed at meetings of branches of the New South Wales Graziers Association, and has been sent on to the Graziers Federal Council, but no organization has evolved a concrete plan by which the Government could establish a floor price for meat by buying stock.

Mr Abbott - Does the honorable member suggest a permanent plan?

Mr BREEN - I am confining my remarks to the principles of the plan, and am not referring to one that might be suitable for a limited period. The purpose of the bill is to stabilize the industry, and a plan which might prove to be unworkable in the near future should not be allowed to place the Government in such a position that it would have to standor fall by it. The principle written into this plan will enable the Government to amend it, if necessary. If a great deal of meat came on the market and could not be cleared, the Government might be able to evolve a temporary expedient. I cannot visualize the Government trying to put a floor in the market by buying meat. It might utilize price fixation, but . if buyers did not wish to pay the price fixed, the producers might be left with their stock.

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