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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr HILL (ECHUCA, VICTORIA) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

Whether, in view of the various statements which have appeared in the press regarding probable increases in the cost of phosphates to the farming community, the Prime Minister will please state -

(a)   What operations are now being carried on in the Island of Nauru?

(b)   What is the cost of phosphate rock, f.o.b. Nauru, exclusive of administrative charges - (i) now; (ii) for the year prior to the war?

(c)   What rates of wages have hitherto been paid to workmen on the island?

(d)   Is any alteration of rates intended, such as would increase the f.o.b. cost; and, if so, to what extent per ton?

(e)   What amount will be added to the cost per ton of the proposed annual output by the royalty or other payments under the mandate, plus the expenses of Commonwealth administration?

(f)   At what price per ton will the phosphate rock be sold, f.o.b., to purchasers?

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