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Wednesday, 12 December 1973

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Primary Industry) -I did see the statement attributed to Mr Ridd. In answeing a question yesterday concerning statements by Mr Smith, the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, I said that Mr Smith was irresponsible in making public statements on a matter so important as the wheat stabilisation agreement which is currently being negotiated between the Australian Government, the State governments and the industry. If Mr Ridd made the statement that he is now alleged to have made he was equally irresponsible.

There is no suggestion on the part of the Government of bringing into effect a scheme which will increase the price of bread in Australia. As I said yesterday, I do not intend to spell out the details of these negotiations. They will be continuing until the Australian Agricultural Council meeting in February. Until such time as those negotiations are complete, I have no intention of commenting on them.

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