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Wednesday, 29 April 1936

Considerable difficulty is experienced in making an actual comparison between the prices for agricultural machinery in various countries owing to the differences in the actual machines used; even when the machines are somewhat similar, differences in size, weight, &c, occur. I consider that a most reliable comparison can be made, in bushels of wheat, between a 6-ft. reaper and binder made in the United States of America, and a similar machine produced in Australia. On the 29th May, 1934, the world's parity price for wheat at Chicago and Winnipeg was 73 cents, and the net prices which farmers received were 62 cents at Chicago and 5S cents at Winnipeg. On the same day the Australian farmer could not have received more than 2s. a bushel, taking into consideration the various costs in the several States. A farmer living within an average distance of Chicago would be required to produce 331 bushels of wheat in order to purchase a reaper and binder ; a Canadian farmer would be obliged to produce approximately the same quantity in order to procure the same implement in the dominion, because in Canada the prices quoted are on a basis slightly different from those in Chicago. The Australian farmer, however, would have to grow 682 bushels of wheat - more than double the amount required by the American and Canadian farmers - in order to purchase the same implement in the Commonwealth.

Senator Sampson - I understand that reaper binders are not now used on a farm; therefore, why would the Australian farmer require such an implement?

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