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Thursday, 29 October 1931

Mr FROST (Franklin) .- Some "honorable members have said that Tasmania is npt a wheat-growing State, and that its farmers should not get the benefit of this bounty. The honorable member for New England (Mr. Thompson) was so unjust as to say that Tasmania lived on charity.

Mr Thompson - I did not say that.

Mr FROST - Such an accusation is unwarranted. Proportionately, the people of Tasmania contribute more to the bounties paid by tho Commonwealth than the people of any other State, because they do not participate in this largesse. If the bounty were paid on export wheat, only Tasmanian growers would be excluded; yet they produce over 1,000.000 bushels annually, and some of them are in just as great need of assistance as are any growers on the mainland. They will be grateful for a bounty of 4Jd. a bushel. The Tasmanian flour has superior qualities for biscuit-making, and practically all the first-class biscuits made on the mainland are manufactured from it. I Congratulate the Minister on having brought forward this bill. I regret that he is unable to offer a larger bounty; but it is, at any rate, a free gift. Most advances to necessitous farmers have to be repaid in a few years, and, while giving temporary relief, place upon the recipient a heavier burden of debt. If the bounty is paid direct to the growers, it will be of great assistance to them. I hope that the bill will be sent on to the Senate with the unanimous approval of this House.

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