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Monday, 20 May 1957

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question which does not fall within the province of any State government or any Commonwealth department other than his own. Did the Minister over a year ago approve of a Commonwealth extension service grant for two officers of the Western Australian and South Australian Departments of Agriculture and an officer of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics to proceed to the United States to study means of raising the efficiency of our poultry industry? Is it a fact that the three experts arrived in the United States last July and returned to Australia six months ago but have still not presented a report? Will the Minister, as a matter of urgency, ascertain the main views of the members of this team, so that he can take into account the comparative efficiency of our poultry industry when considering submissions for assistance to it? If these officials have found that Australian poultry farming methods compare well with those in the United States, will he inform the public of this fact to dispel any wrong impression created by the Prime Minister's statement that the industry should put its house in order before receiving assistance?

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