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Friday, 6 March 1942

Senator FRASER (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for External Territories) - The Minister for Supply and Development has supplied the following answers: -

1.   726 tons rug tow held Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australian Flax Mills.

2.   574 tons rug tow sold including118 tons which has been processed and sold as conditioned tow.In addition160 tons conditioned tow has been despatched England on consignment - 29 tons of which has already been sold.

3.   Names of purchasers are British Government, James Miller and Company Proprietary Limited, Geo. Kinnear and Sons Limited, and Edward Bentley and Company Proprietary Limited.

4.   Unprocessed rug tow sold exclusively Australian on clean sliver basis of £A1 per cent. Average price £A33 per ton. Processed rug tow sold as conditioned tow to British Government at prices ranging from £45 to £65 per ton sterling c.i.f. United Kingdom.

5.   595 tons have been processed, of which 317 tons held in stock awaiting shipment United Kingdom.

6.   Tow subjected to various processes at most of the Victorian and Tasmanian Mills. Carding, conditioning, decorticating and devilling machines and two experimental machines were used to process the tow.

7.   Twelve new mills and ten new deseeding depots were established in the various States to process additional acreage sown in 1941. None of the new mills has been supplied with scutching machines which are in process of manufacture, but these will not be required until the end of April. Deseeding machines have been installed in all new mills and depots to enable the straw to be deseeded and retted when it will be ready for scutching. In some cases, however, power has not yet been connected. Every effort is being made by the Department of Interior to supply power at earliest possible date.

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