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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - It is correct to say that the prices paid for tobacco leaf in Queensland are greater than those paid for tobacco leaf in certain parts of Victoria. I am not prepared to enter into a discussion of the reasons given by various interests. Some people say that the smoking quality of Queensland leaf is a little better than the smoking quality of Victorian leaf, and vice versa. Others say that because of certain transport difficulties, and because of the need to encourage the production of Queensland leaf, a small premium should be given. There are several considerations which enter into this discussion, which is not one that the Government willingly enters into, but which it leaves to the two parties to work out for themselves. What I should like to say to the honorable member is that I think that this year the returns to Queensland producers have been excellent, and I have every expectation that this year also the prices paid to the Victorian growers will certainly not be disappointing.

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