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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Mr SCULLY (Gwydir) (Minister for Commerce and Agriculture) . - by leave - The agreement which was entered into between the Governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa for the disposal of accumulated stocks of wool and of oncoming, clips provided for decisions by the four Governments, first, of a reserve price for the season, below which sales would not be made, and secondly, for a contributory charge which would be struck in each country to meet the industry's share of the cost of administration. Inow inform the House that the general reserve price agreed upon is the price at which wool is at present being sold ex store. For Australia, this is, on average,18.15d. Aust. per lb. The contributory charge decided upon by the Commonwealth Government is 5 per cent. of the value of the wool, which works out at . 91d. Aust. per lb. average. The 1st, July, 1946, has been proclaimed as the date of the commencement of the contributory charge.

The price of18.15d. per lb. less the contributory charge of . 91d. gives a net average return of17.24d. Aust. and this is1.79d. Aust. more than the average price of 15.45d. Aust. over the whole clip payable by the United Kingdom under the war-time agreement between the United Kingdom and Australia. This must be considered very satisfactory to growers, because it gives to them, in effect, an overall minimum guaranteed return substantially greater than that received by them under the war-time contract. It is true that the table of limits upon which the reserve price will be based will undergo alteration and that this will mean that some types will be valued higher and other types lower than war-time appraisements. It may be assumed, however, that the average reserve price applied to any single grower's clip will be greater than the average price that he received under the war-time appraisement scheme.

Mr Abbott - I desire to move -

That the paper be printed.

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