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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr McMAHON - That is a very fair question. I am responsible, administratively, for the primary industries. Therefore, when I had the opportunity of speaking to the Australian Primary Producers Union on Friday, I took the line that, in an increasingly competitive economy, it is essential that quality be maintained. I venture to say that the representatives of the Australian Primary Producers' Union were wholeheartedly behind me in what 1 said. It so happened that various other speakers who preceded me adopted a similar line. I think that the statement made in the second part of the honorable member's question was correct. In an expanding economy such as ours we need expanding rural production, because the rural industries are the main source of our overseas funds. We have hopes that, in the future, we shall be able to keep costs down, because primary industries, being competitive internationally, have to have low costs if they are to be successful. The honorable gentleman has asked whether I will direct similar comments to the secondary industries. I will not do that. I have sufficient difficulty in handling my own portfolio.

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