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Wednesday, 20 November 1974
Page: 2558

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Agriculture whether he attended the much publicised but not well attended farmers' protest rally outside Parliament House today. I ask him whether it is true that this rally was inspired by the Leader of the Australian Country Party, Mr Anthony, in his reported statement in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' on 6 November when he said:

I strongly support the proposed Canberra march. It is extremely important that it is very successful and effective. Farmers had to march to get their message across.

Is the Minister aware that the farmers' rally today was attended by 6 members of the Government's resources committee and was not attended by any of the Leaders of the Country Party who have sought to use farmers as a political football?

Senator WRIEDT - I did attend the meeting at lunch time and, as far as I know, no member of the Australian Country Party was present although Mr Anthony had indicated his support for the protest. I can understand why no member of the Country Party would be there. It was rather embarrassing to go out and find oneself confronted by 2 people. One can understand the difficulties faced by anyone calling a protest meeting on a working day but I am sure that the embarrassment would have been greater to Mr Anthony or any of his colleagues had he been out there.

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