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Wednesday, 19 June 1946

Mr RANKIN (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) - Recently, there has been a complete upset in the pig market in Victoria becauseof the threat by the Department of Commerce and Agriculture that persons who paid more than £6 15s. each for baconers would be prosecuted. That threat or instruction apparently has now been withdrawn, and the market has returned to normal. Will the Minister for Commerceand Agriculture say what action he proposes to take to reimburse the producers who were robbed of £2 10s. to £3 a head on thousands of pigs sold during recent weeks, and will he say to whom this money has gone?

Mr SCULLY -As to the fictitious thousands which the honorable member claims the producers have lost-

Mr Rankin - They are not fictitious; I have given the facts.

Mr SCULLY - A ruling price has been established right throughout the pig industry. We know, however, that buyers have illegally pierced the ceiling, as they ha ve done on a number of other occasions. They are now rightly reaping the reward of their illegal acts. Quite recently, a conference was held inVictoria - -

Mr McEwen - Who attended the conference?

Mr SCULLY - Representatives of the Meat Industry Commission and of the producers. I was informed by the Meat Controller only a few days ago that a definite agreement was reached at the conference and that the prices have now been restored to their former level.

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