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Thursday, 30 April 1942

Senator UPPILL (South Australia) . - Following on the statement of Senator Aylett regarding the shortage of foodstuffs and of labour for primary production, I wish to say, as a member of the Joint Committee on Rural Industries, that as long ago as last year we saw difficulties arising in every State and tabled an interim report early in the new year drawing the attention of the Government to this matter.

Senator Ashley - There is not a shortage of foodstuffs.

Senator UPPILL - There is a shortage of labour. It has not yet had its effect, but we can foresee a grave situation, of which the Minister probably knows. The committee tabled an interim report early this year, and since then it has visited New South "Wales and South Australia, and has found that the difficulty is becoming even more acute. The members of the committee are sure that very great danger will arise with the further influx of troops. There will be difficulty of transporting foodstuffs from one city to another, and there 'w,ill be accentuated trouble in New South Wales because of the shortage of fodder caused by the drought. Another factor is that this is the planting season, and unless the Government takes notice of the facts, this country will be faced with a shortage of foodstuffs. During the last session of Parliament the committee sent in a further recommendation to the Prime Minister again pointing out that a serious position could easily arise. I hope that these facts will be brought to the notice of the Government.

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