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Wednesday, 30 November 1938

Mr CLARK (Darling) . - I support the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin). I think Ave cannot do more than repeat what has been said at an earlier stage of this debate. As a matter of fact, other bounties have been paid, and are at present being paid, by this Parliament; but' the money to provide them 13 not being raised by way of special excise duties. I do not think that the proposal put forward by the Government now provides any permanent cure for the evils that exist in the wheat industry. The wheat commission, which made an extensive investigation of this matter a few years ago, reported that one of the greatest difficulties faced by the industry was its debt structure. It suggested that that disability should be dealt with by this Parliament in a proper way. I do not think that the bill now before us represents an attempt to deal with that problem. The interest burden is one of the greatest problems which has to be faced by the farmer himself. As has been pointed out, the debts of the farming community amount to about £140,000,000 and over £97,000,000 of that amount is owing to the financial institutions.

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