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Tuesday, 30 April 1957

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I think it is usual that at about this time of the year there is a shortage of poultry meal in Western Australia. On this occasion, I do not think it is due to the fact that the Commonwealth Government, on the recommendation of the Western Australian Government, agreed to the export of whale meal. Whale meal is hydroscopic and will not last for more than, say, eight, nine or ten months. Therefore, if any attempt were made to compel the producers to stock whale meal for a period of longer than nine months, it would rot and would be of no use to the poultry producer or any one else. You, Sir, know that the problem confronting the poultry industry and the problem relating to the production of whale meal are matters for the State governments. Some time ago, the Western Australian Government asked for approval to export 700 tons of whale solubles, it being known that if approval were not granted the meal would probably rot. Therefore, the Commonwealth Government, acting in accordance with the usual custom, granted approval. I am glad that the honorable member has raised this problem, because it is one that I can now refer to the department so that the problem can be kept in mind for the future. I assure him that, if approval had not been given for the export of whale solubles, the probability is that they would have rotted and then could not have been used.

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