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Tuesday, 27 September 1949

Mr POLLARD (Ballarat) (Minister for Commerce and Agriculture) . - in reply - The honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) is somewhat astray in the figures that he has cited. The contract which the Australian Government signed last year with the United Kingdom Government allowed for the sale of butter by Australian butter interests.

Mr Archie Cameron - I am not speaking of the contract in respect of last year, but of contracts entered into since the end of the recent war.

Mr POLLARD - If I remember correctly, we had the right under last year's contract to sell 3,000 tons of butter outside the United Kingdom contract, and under the contract for the current year that quantity has been increased to 3,500 tons. I am not certain what quantity was provided for under the contract in respect of the year before last.

Mr Archie Cameron - It was 500 tons.

Mr POLLARD - That figure may be correct. Does the honorable member's complaint relate to the contract in respect of that year or the contract for the current year?

Mr Archie Cameron - It is in respect o f contracts for previous years. I want to know what quantities of butter were actually sold in excess of 500 tons, whether those sales were made with the knowledge of both the United Kingdom Government and the Australian Government and whether those governments consented to the price at which that butter was sold.

Mr POLLARD -I shall be glad to obtain that information for the honorable member.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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