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Friday, 9 August 1946


Mr FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - I address a question to the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, relating to the payment of subsidy on sweet cream. I appreciatethe information which the honorable gentleman has already supplied to me, governingthe position in the butter-producing districts. This question concerns the position in the districts which supply whole milk to the metropolitan area. By way of explanation, I point out that when the original arrangement was made for the payment of a subsidy to the suppliers of whole milk, nothing was done in regard to sweet cream. Evidently, because of the prohibitionof the use of cream, so little was being used that it was not thought to . be worth troubling about. Since then, however, the use of cream has increased as people have, and quite rightly, become aware of the conditions under which cream can be obtained by medical prescription. Thus, an item which was previously unimportant, has now assumed importance for those who supply whole milk. Can the Minister say why a subsidy should not be paid on sweet cream, seeing that it costs as much to produce the milk from which it comes as to produce milk sold in the form of whole milk, and seeing that the farmer does not know from week to week how much of his milk he will have to separate ? Finally, seeing that sweet cream is used for the benefit of those requiring medical treatment, is there any reason why farmers should be penalized in respect to that part of their product which is used to help the sick?. Should not the burden be borne fairly by the whole of the community through the payment of a subsidy?







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