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Thursday, 22 September 1949

Mr ANTHONY - -Will the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture inform me how many tons of sulphate of ammonia of Australian manufacture were lost during the recent coal strike? Will he state whether the loss exceeded 10,000 tons? Has an endeavour been made to meet that loss by importing supplies of sulphate of ammonia from the United Kingdom and Russia at substantially increased prices? Have those higher prices been passed on to the whole of the Australian farming community by increasing the price of sulphate of ammonia by £2 a ton under the direction of the Commonwealth fertilizers pool? Will the farmers receive a direct subsidy in respect of the sulphate of ammonia on which the excess price is being charged? At what price is this fertilizer being made available to industrial users and to primary producers respectively ?

Mr. POLLARD.The honorable member for Richmond has asked a most comprehensive question and unless he places it on the notice paper, I shall not be able to give a detailed reply. However, the position generally is that because of the coal strike, a very considerable tonnage of locally produced sulphate of ammonia was lost. Every endeavour is being made to recoup that loss.

Mr Anthony - By whom?

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