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Thursday, 28 May 1942

Senator McLEAY - Unanimously ?

Senator FRASER - Yes, that is the policy on which the then Minister, Sir Earle Page, based the plan. The resolution read -

That when the marketable crop exceeds the quantity on which the guaranteed price is payable and the realizations from the sale of that crop do not return to growers the guaranteed price of 3s. lOd. per bushel f.o.b. ports bagged basis, payment of 3s. lOd. per bushel on the guaranteed quantity be averaged for the whole marketable crop for tho year.

I would point out that the wheatgrowers' representatives on this occasion conferred by themselves regarding this resolution and unanimously decided to support its recommendation to the Government. There is no indication that the Minister for Commerce accepted or rejected this recommendation, but it is obvious that it was a recommendation made to the Government through the Minister and as such expressed the views and the wishes of the majority of the wheat-growers of Australia. The Minister for Commerce, when he made his statement in the House of Representatives recently that he intended to pay the average price for the total receivals, adhered to the terms of the resolution which I have mentioned. I would point out that the total receivals by the Australian Wheat Board in respect of ibis season's harvest- were 153,000,000 bushels or 13,000,000 bushels, in excess of the marketable crop of 140,000,000 bushels. When Senator McBride moved the second reading of the bill dealing with the matter, he assessed 20,000,000 bushels as "the excess of receivals by the Australian Wheat Board.

Senator E B Johnston - That quantity represented the wheat held on the farms.

Senator McBride - The extra production accounted for the excess of 1.3,000,000 bushels.

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