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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) . - This amending measure is to afford relief to primary producers by the payment of a subsidy on superphosphate as provided in section 19 of the principal act. Section 20 of that act sets out the amount payable to each State and section 21 contains the conditions under which payment shall be made. It has been suggested to me that there is hardship in the conditions under which payment is to be made, in that before the 31st October primary producers have to submit a certificate setting out, the quantity of superphosphate used in the production of primary products other than wheat during the year ended on the 30th June. It is very difficult for a farmer to state exactly what quantity of his crop is likely to be cut for hay as that depends largely upon the quantity of hay he may require. The quantity also is governed by the density of the crop. I have a. letter from a farmer written on the 18th November, a portion of which reads -

To participate in the subsidy, I should have applied for the subsidy on the superphosphate used on that portion of this year's crop to be cut for hay. As I have not' yet started hay cutting and cannot say how much I will cut until I have tried the crop to see what I can cut, it is impossible for me to apply for the subsidy.

He then goes on to repeat the old story that the Farmer's Assistance Board has instructed him to cut as much hay as possible, and that he is therefore likely to lose on both hands. This farmer suggests . that the date should be extended to the 30th December. I am not asking that it be extended to such a late date, but it is reasonable to suggest that applications should be received up to the 30th November. Is it possible for anything to be done in that respect?

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