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Thursday, 12 October 1972
Page: 1495

Senator SIM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. I refer to forecasts that the price of woollen goods will rise substantially because of the increase in wool prices. I ask the Minister whether the price of woollen goods was reduced when wool prices fell to disastrous levels.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - I do not recall seeing the price of woollen goods reduced for some years now. Even when the price of wool has been at its lowest level, because the cost of preparing the material - be it a suit, frock or something like that - and because wages and other costs have gone up, the cost of the completed garment had to be increased. To me it seems rather strange at this time to see statements about increased prices when one realises that the garments which are now on display m shops for sale - such as suits and frocks - were apparently manufactured from wool which was purchased some time last year. Honourable senators will recall that between July and December 1971 wool growers received for their wool some of the lowest prices in the history of the industry, in fact, the Government had to introduce a scheme to give assistance to the wool industry and particularly to growers who received prices Jess than the average Australian price of 35c per lb. ft seems extraordinary that manufacturers or people selling woollen goods in shops now can claim that the price of wool has forced them to raise the price of their goods when those goods were manufactured from wool which attracted the lowest price in the history of the raw product.

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