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Wednesday, 16 October 1974
Page: 1733

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Agriculture whether he has seen reports of a recent meeting between Dr Cairns and Mr Noel Hogan, President of the Australia Farmers Federation. Was the Minister informed that the meeting was to take place? If so, was the Minister present? Has the Minister seen a transcript of Mr Hogan 's interview of 9 October on 'National Farming News' in which he said that Dr Cairns had indicated with very nice assurances that the Government might change its mind about abandoning the superphosphate bounty? As the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Cairns, has made such comments, will the Minister make a firm statement on this matter to clarify the situation?

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Agriculture) -I am not aware that Dr Cairns had discussions with Mr Hogan. I see no reason why he should not. Any Minister is at liberty, as is any other member of Parliament, to hold private discussions with any member of industry, if he so desires. I am not aware of the alleged statement. I did not hear Mr Hogan 's comments on the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I think it would be more appropriate for me to advise Dr Cairns of the question and to seek any further comment he wishes to make. As to the Government's policy on superphosphate, that has been stated on innumerable occasions. It has not altered. That is the position that stands now.

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