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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - Some time ago the Senate discussed s motion for the disallowance of a regulation relating to the sale of Werribee beef. There was considerable talk of '* wogs " and tapeworms. Senator Gibson painted such a painful picture and. expressed his arguments so forcibly that my judgment was affected. Since then, the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. Riordan) has inspected the Werribee farm from which the meat in question comes, and from the information which he has given to me, I have come to the conclusion that meat from that farm is quite fit for human consumption. Some weeks ago my attention was drawn to an article written by Mr. G. F. Cottam, an organizer of the Meat Industry Employees Union of Brisbane, which appeared in the Meat Industry Journal of Queensland. As those honorable senators who were so solicitous for the health of the people of Melbourne would probably be interested, I shall read some extracts from the article referred to. I hope that the statements contained in it are not true, but I urge the Minister concerned to see Mr. Cottam in order to ascertain the truth or otherwise of his. statements. Speaking of military contracts, the article stated - 1 have Been uncovered trays of meat being loaded on to wagons with millions of greenbacked flies crawling all over it. Again, just recently, I saw a number of slicers working at a table cutting away the outside of what appeared to me as shin beef. The outside of this meat was as green in colour as the shades worn on St. Patrick's Day . . . Apparently, the position appears to be no matter how green or smelly the outside of the meat might be, our slicers just cut the outside away, which goes to the pots, but the inside of the meat, once freed of its overcoat of green and stench, goes to the soldiers. Many of our members have seen pork sausages which, through age, have turned pink and give off rather an unpleasant smell; these are packed into tins and Bent to our soldiers.

Those honorable senators who had so much to say about Werribee beef should insist on this charge being thoroughly investigated. I hope that something will be done in the matter.

I draw attention to matters associated with the freezing of paper stocks used for the publication of small journals. In some instances, although stocks sufficient for a number of years are held, they are still being frozen. I cannot understand this action, because I am informed that the paper that I have in mind is not used for other purposes. One gentleman who is interested in this matter is connected with a journal which contains a good proportion of light reading and humorous items. In these difficult times, such publications serve a good purpose. I am the last man to say that paper should be used in this, way if it is required for more important purposes; but if it be true that the paper in question has no other use, and if there be sufficient stocks available, this man should be allowed to use it until the supply is exhausted, when of course nothing more can be done. I hope that inquiries will be made into this matter.

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