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Wednesday, 28 April 1915

Mr HUGHES - I am rather at a disadvantage in answering a question in which questions of constitutional law and facts relating to prices of commodities and certain suggested action in regard thereto, involving frightful consequences, are closely associated. I can only say that the Commonwealth is unable to take any official cognisance of the prices of commodities, wholesale or retail. The question of the honorable member, as interpreted to me by the Minister of Trade and Customs, appears to be whether I will most carefully consider the effects of any action proposed to be taken. I certainly shall. As to the powers of the Commonwealth I have no doubt at all as to what these are; and I have already expressed my opinion in regard to their use in reply to a previous question.

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