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Wednesday, 7 December 1938

Sir FREDERICK STEWART (Parramatta) (1:35 AM) . - As one who has demonstrated the beneficial effect of superphosphates by practical tests as well as by educational effort I am always prepared to encourage their use in order to benefit pastures and to increase production; but I am definitely of the opinion that the time has passed, particularly in the circumstances now confronting us, when the payment of this subsidy should be discontinued. A few moments ago some one asked why the wheat-growers do not participate in this subsidy, and as one who was pretty close to the throne when this arrangement was first entered into, I can answer that question most effectively. Assistance was provided in this direction as a solatium to those who would not participate in the wheat bounty.

Mr Prowse - That is the first I have heard of that.

Sir FREDERICK STEWART - 1 was the Minister concerned at the time, and consequently know something of what occurred. If funds were available, the Government could spend money in worse ways than this; but when there i3 such a parsimonious display in connexion with the development of our social services, one of which was referred to by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) - others could be mentioned - it is time to exercise some discretion in respect of those who receive the bounty. I do not believe that I should be assisted in this respect.

Mr Frost - Does the honorable member claim the subsidy?

Sir FREDERICK STEWART - No. I realize the benefits to be derived from the use of fertilizers and although I have been entitled to claim the subsidy I have never done so. For these, reasons I do not intend to support the Government's proposal.

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