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Tuesday, 21 June 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - I was not able to hear the first portion of the honorable member's question. Apparently, some persons in this chamber observe the principle of equality of the sexes, because they have interrupted her as much as they interrupt some honorable gentlemen. No representations have been made to me recently for an increase of the price of sugar. However, as the honorable member probably knows, representations were made to me some time ago for that purpose, and I think that an increase of one farthing per lb. was granted. The honorable member for Moreton, by interjection, has stated that that increase merely restored the amount by which the price of sugar was reduced during the regime of the Lyons Government. 1 have heard rumours that representations for an increase of the price of sugar are likely to be made to me. I understand that the honorable member has asked that when those representations are being considered, I shall provide an opportunity for consumers to be represented at the discussions.

Mrs Blackburn - Domestic consumers.

Mr Fadden - The Prime Minister, himself, is a consumer of sugar.

Mr CHIFLEY - I should be a very good representative of the consumers if I were present at such a conference. I shall consider the honorable member's representations, but it is most unlikely that a member of the general public would be included in discussions between the Government ;and official todies about the price of sugar. However, I shall ensure that the representatives of consumers have an opportunity to submit their case very fully against any claim foi1 an increase of the price of sugar.

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