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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr DRUMMOND (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - 1 ask the Minister for Primary Production whether his attention has been drawn to figures produced by the Commonwealth Statistician showing the serious impact of the shortage of potatoes, and, to a lesser extent, of onions, upon the basic wage. Has he also noted in regard to the problem of the egg industry, which has been raised previously this afternoon, that from time to time price rises tend to curtail consumption of this health-giving food? If so, will the Minister, who is interested in disposing of our eggs at a price which the consumer can pay, and which is also profitable to the producer, confer with his Treasury colleagues, and any other relevant department, with a view to ascertaining whether it would not be wise and expedient to pay a subsidy, guaranteeing the home-consumption price, so that this healthgiving food may be used more freely? This would not only remove the surplus and improve the health of the community, but also would be a means of stabilizing the basic wage.

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