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Thursday, 28 May 1942

Senator McBRIDE - And the people who urged him to commit himself in that way now refuse to pay for that wheat.

Senator FRASER - The people who asked, him at that time to commit himself were the wheat-growers. I repeat that this Government is carrying out the policy laid down by the previous Government. There were two alternative methods of payment. One is the method which was accepted by the previous Government, and which is being implemented by the present Government, namely, the total fund spread over total receivals. The second would be to pay the guaranteed price of 3s. lOd. a bushel on 140,000,000 bushels and to place the excess receivals in a separate pool. Wheat-growers would be paid whatever amount was received for the sale of the wheat in the second pool.

I have been informed that the former Minister for Commerce at first favoured the second alternative method but that he sought the advice of the industry before making any pronouncement as to the Government's policy. He therefore convened a conference of members of the Australian Wheat Board, the Wheat Industry Stabilization Board and the Wheat-growers Advisory Committee, which met in Melbourne on the 2nd May, 1941.

For the information of honorable senators, I would mention that the Wheatgrowers Advisory Committee consisted of representatives of the Australian Wheat-growers Federation which nominated a member from each of the four large wheat-growing Stales. The representatives on the committee were : Mr. Maycock of the South Australian Wheatgrowers Association, Mr. Marshman of the Victorian Wheat and Wool-growers Association, Mr. Watson of the Wheat and Wool-growers Union of Western Australia, Mr. Kendall of the Farmers and Settlers Association of New South Wales, and Mr. Stott, secretary of the Australian Wheat-growers Federation. In addition to the foregoing, the following wheat-growers' representatives were present at the meeting: - Mr. Cullen of the Victorian Wheat and Wool-growers Association, Mr. Field of the Farmers and Settlers Association of New South Wales, Mr. Diver of the Primary Producers Association of Western Australia, and Mr. Clarke, representative of South Australian wheat-growers. Those four men were the wheat-growers' representatives on the Australian Wheat Board.

I have detailed these names because they will indicate to any one familiar with the Australian wheat industry that those men were competent to represent the wheat-growers. After a lengthy discussion of the problem of the method of payment, the conference unanimously recommended to the Minister for Commerce the following resolution-

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