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Wednesday, 5 March 1947
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Mr McEWEN (INDI, VICTORIA) - I ask the Prime Minister whether he has seen the report, 01 if he has not seen it whether he will examine the report, of a statement made by Mr. Thompson, former general manager of the Australian Wheat Board, in which Mr. Thompson is stated to have said that the Australian Wheat Board, as such, was never consulted at any stage during the Australia-New Zealand negotiations for the wheat agreement, and that Sir Louis Bussau and himself were consulted only in the early stages.


Mr Scully - That is what I said.


Mr McEWEN (INDI, VICTORIA) - Has the Prime Minister seen the Hansard report of last Thursday's proceedings in this House, in which is recorded the statement of Mr. Scully, the former Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, that the Australian Wheat Board was consulted throughout the discussions? Will the Prime Minister also examine Mr. Scully's subsequent statement, published in Tuesday's press, that he, Mr. Scully, could not recall ever having said that the board was -consulted throughout the negotiations.


Mr Scully - That statement was never made. It is an incorrect statement un the Sydney Morning Herald.


Mr McEWEN (INDI, VICTORIA) - The Minister's conflicting statements have been made more conflicting by a statement made at Mount Gambier by the present Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, who said -

When he came into office after the federal election and looked into the matter, he discovered that Australia was morally committed to the agreement.

In view of these conflicting statements, and of the generally suspicious circumstances which surround the agreement, will the Prime Minister lay on the table the whole of the relevant communications and documents, together with an official statement from the Australian Wheat Board on the part which it played in the negotiations ?


Mr Chifley - The Minister for Commerce and Agriculture will reply.







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