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Friday, 2 December 1938

Mr PATERSON (Gippsland) . I was glad to hear the concise expression of opinion by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) regarding the relationship between the various States in this matter, and the duty which one State owes to another. A State which has been a beneficiary in one year should assist another State in a subsequent year if it is in difficulty.

The honorable member for Henty (Sir Henry Gullett) followed up his somewhat splenetic attack of a few days ago on this measure with another this morning on this amendment, and the second attack is, to my mind, equally unreasonable. He apparently takes the view that this amendment, if agreed to, will place an additional impost on the people. He fails to realize that the Parliament has already agreed that a certain home-consumption price shall be payable to the wheat-growers for that part of their wheat which is consumed within Australia. It must be remembered that the money used to assist growers in distressed areas is" to be taken out of the fund created for the purpose of ensuring to the growers a home-consumption price. Therefore, it will actually be provided by the wheatgrowers, who have a crop, for the benefit of those who have no crop, or who are, in distress because of seasonal conditions.

Parliament has already decided - indeed, seven parliaments have decided - how much the wheat-growers are to receive for wheat consumed in Australia, and any payments to impoverished wheat- ? rowers will be taken from that amount, do not think that that is so unreasonable because, in a season when certain areas suffer from drought, those who have crops obtain additional advantage which otherwise they would not obtain. It is only a part of that additional gain which is to go from the more fortunate of the wheat-growers to the less fortunate.

Mr Lane - -Where will they get it from?

Mr PATERSON - They will get it from the home-consumption price, which seven governments have agreed that they should receive.

Mr Lane - And who will pay that home-consumption price ?

Mr PATERSON - If the honorable member for Barton persists with his insane interjections, I shall be compelled in. future to write his name with an apostrophe after the " L " and a circumflex accent over the " a ".

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