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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3741

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Has his Department or those studying crop and livestock insurance arrangements studied the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) of the United States of America.

(2)   If so, who controls this scheme, how is it financed, and what agricultural products are covered by it.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The Corporation is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture and offers crop insurance not generally available from private insurance companies. It was established under the terms ofthe Federal Crop Insurance Act.

The Secretary of Agriculture is responsible, through a Board of Directors and Manager, for the administration of the insurance program. The Corporation receives an annual appropriation (US$12m in 1973) for operating and administrative expenses, but is required by law to collect premiums, sufficient over a period of years, to pay for crop losses and set up a reasonable reserve.

The scheme has been developed by experimentation and gradual expansion and is not yet available in all Counties or on all crops in any County. Generally, however, where the scheme is operative, an all-risks insurance cover is available for grains, oilseeds, cotton, flax, sugarbeet, sugar cane and tobacco. For certain fruit crops (tree crops) and other speciality crop, because all-risks insurance has been found to be impractical, only specified risks are covered, e.g. freeze, wind, hail.

Australian Officials in Peking (Question No. 1853)

Mr Charles Jones asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

How many officials were stationed in Peking at the time of

(a)   the former Prime Minister's visit in November 1973 and

(b)   the Prime Minister's visit in June 1975 (Hansard, 7 December 1976, page 3457 and Senate Hansard, 6 December 1976, page 2680).

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable gentleman's question is as follows:

My Department's records show that there was a total of 1 8 Australian officials stationed in Peking in November 1973. The corresponding figure for June 1976, the date of the Prime Minister's visit, was 23. Neither of these figures includes locally engaged staff.

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