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Tuesday, 30 August 1960

Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) .- The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) is the first Australian Country Party Minister to participate in this Budget debate. He is also the first Minister to have referred to the problem of rural products and rural incomes. I regret that he seemed to take satisfaction in the fact that the Government has brought about a freeze in the basic wage and has limited margins. He thought that this action would reduce the cost of the machinery and other materials which farmers use. He does not seem to realize that the wage-earners and salary-earners are the people on whom the farmers principally depend for their incomes. The other people on whom the farmers depend for their incomes are the people to whom we export our rural products. Because there is no disputing the gravity of the situation in recent years, the Minister for Primary Industry very naturally quoted his leader, who told the New South Wales Country Party conference two months ago that despite the increase of 11 per cent, in the volume of rural production in the last four years compared with the preceding four years, net farm income fell by 11 per cent, over the same period.

Mr Ian Allan - That has been quoted four times in this debate already.

Mr WHITLAM - You did not produce any solution of the problem, nor did the Minister for Primary Industry. We are in the same boat, because Australia depends-

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