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Wednesday, 11 December 1974
Page: 3364

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -I ask the Minister for Agriculture: Has his attention been drawn to the Canadian Government's decision to increase the first advance payment on its current wheat crop by 67 per cent? When making the announcement the Canadian agriculture Minister said that the move was to give wheat growers cash when they most needed it, that is, at the start of the season. To give real impetus to interest in growing wheat with the present world shortage of that cereal which provides the staff of life, will the Minister reconsider increasing the amount of the first advance payment for the current harvest?

Senator WRIEDT -There is no proper analogy between the Canadian position and the Australian position. As I have outlined here on 3 occasions in answer to similar questions concerning liquidity in the wheat industry at present, the payments to Australian wheat growers this season are double those of last year. The last time I was asked this question I said that I did not want to bore the Senate by going through all the details again. They are in the record in Hansard in an answer to a question from Senator Young three or four weeks ago. Canada is in an entirely different situation. Its production figures are not comparable with ours, that is, as between this season's production and that of last season, and the liquidity of Canadian growers may have demanded and warranted the increase that the Canadian Government is paying. That is not the case in this country.

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