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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 3290

Mr WHAN (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry been drawn to a statement by the Chairman of Elder Smith Goldsborough Mort Ltd in which he announced a profit of $9. 4m for the past year and anticipates another satisfactory result for 1973-74? In view of this profit level and the security obtained by long term contracts negotiated by this Government, does the criticism by Sir Norman Giles of the Government's attitude towards the rural industries suggest some inconsistencies on his part?

Mr Daly - That is Geoff's brother.

Mr Anthony - I wish he were.

Dr PATTERSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Northern Development) - You had better take some sugar, I think. It is becoming more and more apparent as the balance sheets of some of the major wool companies are coming to hand that there are increasingly large profits being made by these companies. Of course, these are the companies that are selling wool at auction on commission on behalf of growers and which are selling wool properties and other commodities associated with livestock production in Australia. But in order to put a cloud over and to try to hide the profits that they are making, at the same time as they make such an announcement they deliver at every opportunity a criticism of the Government for reducing the incomes of primary producers. This,, of course, is the paradox with which we are faced - that we have the companies on the one hand making more and more profits and, on the other hand and at the same time, trying to hide, the extent of these profits from the wool growers themselves. This is typical of the hypocrisy of some of these major companies that are in fact attempting to ridicule the Government at the same time as they are making higher and higher profits for themselves.

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