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Wednesday, 10 October 1956

Mr JEFF BATE (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question to the Minister for Primary Industry is supplementary to that asked by the honorable member for Lyne. Is it a fact that bank returns show a fall in the funds available for agricultural purposes? ls it also a fact that funds flowing into hire-purchase companies have resulted in farm equipment being readily available under hire purchase at interest rates of not 5i per cent., but up to 20 per cent.? Is it further a fact that the shortage of credit is forcing farmers to fall back upon their own resources, and causing consequent hardship to their families? I ask the Minister whether instead of reducing costs, this has the opposite effect of raising them, at a time when Australia's produce must be able to compete with that of other countries in oversea.*, markets.

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