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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3092

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the 'Minister for Sugar', or the Minister for Northern Development, who apparently has been slighted by the Prime Minister in relation to another portfolio. I ask the Minister: Is he aware that his colleague the Minister for Health, in a letter to the Australian Sugar Producers Association, has described sugar as a second rate food, a third rate drug and a third rate poison? Does the Minister agree with his colleague's description, and does he agree that his colleague's intentions will be detrimental to the marketing of sugar in Australia?

Br PATTERSON - I am aware of the personal views expressed by the Minister for Health. I have some personal views of my own on this matter.

Mr Collard - What are they?

Dr PATTERSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Northern Development) - I will tell the honourable member. Sugar, for example, is often stated as being a very valuable energy food, particularly for people who engage in hard physical work, as is well known. It is interesting to note that some of the world's top athletes, cyclists and fooballers chew sugar. If I may I will give the House my own personal experience. When I was young my grandmother had a recipe consisting of rum, sugar and onion juice and it was guaranteed to kill all worms. Looking at the honourable member who asked the question, I should point out that sugar is also reputed to be a cure for baldness. When I was looking up the references on sugar I also found the claim that in actual fact it adds years of life to the virility of men.

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