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Friday, 6 December 1935

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - When this subject was being discussed in this chamber a year ago, Senator O'Halloran outlined a complete scheme showing how a pool could be inaugurated and a good home-consumption price paid to the wheat-growers, without increasing the price of bread.

Senator Badman - A hom-consump-tion price could not be fixed without also affecting the price of bread.

Senator BROWN - We contend that, at some stage between the producer and the consumer of bread, exploitation takes place and that this could be overcome if the industry were properly organized and the distribution of its product were controlled.

We contend, however, that a flour tax is unjust because it presses most heavily on that section of the community which is least able to bear it. Discussing the principle of the flour tax, Sir Henry Gullett said -

I object to the bread tax on the ground that it is a benighted, mean and cruel tax against the people of humble means in this country.

The whole of Sir Henry Gullett's speech constituted a severe criticism of the flour tax. One would have thought that owing to the buoyancy of its revenue, the Government would have adopted some method other than a flour tax to secure the money necessary to relieve necessitous wheat-growers. We hope that it will not be long before thorough and proper means are put into operation to give full justice to the wheat-growers without, at the same time, increasing the burdens upon the poorer people of Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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