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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator FRASER (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - That is determined by the market. At present this is one of our most profitable industries. I pointed out at a recent meeting of the Agricultural Council that the present price of from 8s. to 9s. per lb. is a record, In the last war the highest price paid to suppliers for best grade skins was 20d. per lb., whereas the price last week on the Sydney market was 123d. per lb. I have previously suggested that it may be necessary, in view of increasing prices, and the consequent cost to the Government as a purchaser of military hats, to peg the price of rabbit skins. In view of the fact that wages are pegged, that procedure would be fair. However, the Government takes the view that as the board now has a deficit, it is preferable to allow it to finance itself in this way, rather than attempt to peg prices, in which case the Government itself would have to take over the board's present liability.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 (Charges on export of rabbit skins).

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