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Friday, 6 December 1935

Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - I trust that, before the Senate rises to-day for the Christmas vacation, we shall be told how the money raised under the flour tax legislation is to be distributed amongst the wheat-growers, and that the distribution will be made promptly. I hope that funds which the Commonwealth will distribute from its abundant revenue, and from the amount collected under these measures, will be an amount similar to that distributed last year, and that at least 3d. a bushel and 3s. an acre will be made available.

Senator Sir George Pearce - I rise to a point of order. I ask, sir, whether on a hill which provides for the imposition of a sales tax upon flour until a date fixed by proclamation, it is competent for an honorable senator to discuss at length the method by which the money is to be distributed.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch). - This measure empowers the Government to raise money by a certain specified means, and I think that it is competent for any honorable senator to ask how the money to be raised is to be distributed. I therefore rule that Senator Johnston is in order.

Senator E B JOHNSTON - I trust that the money will be spent in giving assistance equal to that granted to the industry last year, and that the wheatfarmers will receive the consideration which they deserve. The Senate is about to rise for an indefinite period, but the wheat-growers have no idea of the extent to which they are to be assisted. The Senate is being asked to approve of the raising of nearly £2,000,000.

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