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Friday, 2 July 1920

The following appears in this morning's press - quotation begins: -


"Mr. HUGHES'PROPOSALS. " GROWERS AND BROKERS ACCEPT. " As the result of a Conference of Pastoralists and Woolbrokers recently held in Melbourne to consider the scheme proposed by the Prime Minister for the disposal of the 1920-21 wool clip and for the distribution of the profits that have accrued in London from the disposal of the wool sold to the British Government representatives of the Conference had a long interview with Mr. Hughes on Wednesday afternoon. " It was explained by the Chairman of the Wool Council that the proposal to deal with the new clip and the other proposal submitted by Mr. Hughes relating to the surplus from the London sales had been considered separately, and that it had been decided to accept the Prime Minister's proposals as a basis for the sale of the forthcoming clip, and to authorize him to put his proposals before the British Government as follow: - " 1. No export of the new 1920-1921 clip from Australia prior to 1st October, 1920. " 2. No auction sales of Australian wool in London after September 30th, 1920, until May 1st, 1921. " 3. The earliest notification of this to be given so that buyers will know that Australian wool will be procurable only in Australia between the dates mentioned. " 4. No auction sales to be held in Australia until October 1st next. From this date on Australian woolbrokers would auction the 1920-1921 clip on owners' account and proceed with the auctions without interruption until May 1st, 1921, from which date onwards normal conditions would prevail, viz., the British Government would resume selling its left-over wool and auctions could be held concurrently in Australia of any small quantity that might then be left of the 1920-1921 clip.

Mr. Hughes explained that in formulating his proposals and laying the item before growers, he had been offering advice which he felt assured was in their best interests. It would not only be against the interest of growers, but a disaster also to Australia to allow the coming clip to be sold anywhere hut in Australia. He would not be a party to compulsion. "Representatives of the growers indicated that Government control in any form, regarding the management of the realization of the new clip, would not be acceptable. Mr. Hughes again emphasized his determination to have nothing to do with control. " Reference was made by Mr. Hughes to the drought difficulties in many parts of Australia, and he expressed the hope that the British authorities would, without further delay, make a statement of accounts as to the amount of money that already stood to the credit of the Pool. The presence of the Treasurer in London would, he felt sure, be helpful in obtaining a proper statement, and also in securing an immediate payment of the amount due to Australian growers. "As the amount to be made available from accrued profits was uncertain, it was agreed to leave the consideration of the Prime Minister's financial proposals to a later date, pending receipt of replies to his cable communications to the Secretary of State and to Mr. Watt. " In order to allow carcass butchers, sheepskin buyers and fellmongers to be unhampered, in their operations, and also to safeguard the interests of the fat stock and sheep-skin markets, it was indicated that special arrangements would have to be made whereby skin wools could be realized, thereby preventing an undue amount of money being locked up. Permission to sell privately through selling brokers during the period from July 1st to October 1st, would, it was held, no doubt meet the difficulty. "It was announced that an executive had been appointed to be known as the Australian Wool Council. This body will be available to receive all communications from, and discuss all matters with, the Prime Minister in connexion with his negotiations."

Quotation ends.

Central Wool Committee have not at any time been consulted by Prime Minister, or invited to attend conferences with regard to proposed new arrangements.

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