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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 4377


Mr MALCOLM FRASER (Wannon) - Mr Speaker,I ask your indulgence to make a short statement. Some days ago either in a speech or perhaps by interjection I said something about a former distinguished member for Lalor in this House who had been Minister for Commerce and Agriculture in a former Labor Government. My statement was incorrect. I said that the Minister as he was at the time, in a Labor government shortly after the War had sold Australian wheat to New Zealand below the world price and cost of production to assist a New Zealand Labor government. That was not correct. It was the predecessor of the Minister for Labor who made the sale, and the files would reveal that. The Minister did what ought to have been done by the Labor government at the time. He carried the can himself and did what he could to see that the matter did not become public. Perhaps he should not have done that, but he carried the responsibility for it courageously. It was his predecessor in the Labor government who sold Australian wheat below cost to help a New Zealand government. If the present Minister wanted to open the files to the public in the true concept of open government, I am sure that they would reinforce what I have said.







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