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Wednesday, 24 October 1956

Mr McMAHON - The problem mentioned by the honorable gentleman has received the Government's most urgent and long attention, but .1 think the main rise in price is due to a fall in supplies rather than to any other single factor, and that therefore those producers of potatoes who were lucky enough to be able to produce this year will have got the main benefit from the increase in prices; I do not think there is any doubt about that particular matter. As to the second point, whether a stabilization scheme can be introduced, at the instance of the Commonwealth Government this matter was fully discussed at the recent meeting of the Austraiian Agricultural Council, and I personally investigated about five or six separate schemes. If the honorable gentleman is very interested. 1 shall be only too happy to make the details of each scheme available to him, but it was agreed unanimously that a scheme for the stabilization of an industry, based upon such perishable articles as potatoes, was hardly a practicable proposition, unless the States were also prepared to bring in compulsory plantings and compulsory limitations of acreage.

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