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FARMERS RESTIVE MEETING WITH MR. NASH P.A. WELLINGTON, Friday. Over 150 members of the Farmers' Federation, the Sheepowners , Federation and the Women's Division of the Farmers' Union waited on the acting-Prime Minister, Mr. Nash, this afternoon to discuss the proposed taking over of the Bank of New Zealand, stabilisation and other matters.

Mr. W. Mulholland said the deputation was concerned about the intention that the Government, through its State banking institution, should control and determine the financial assistance each individual might have, and to what purpose he might put his personal credit, as indicated by Mr. Langstone. They were concerned that a group of persons not responsible to anyone should be allowed, as "citizens committees" to interfere in these personal matters. The Government had led the people to believe at the last election that the country quota would not be an issue, yet repeated statements by Labour members had caused great uneasiness. He also asked for an assurance that the Electoral Boundaries Commission would take into consideration • the normal place of residence and not the present place of residence of displaced persons, to be indicated in the coming census.

Mr. Mulholland said that they supported the policy of stabilisation provided it was effective and treated all sections of the community alike, but there had been no positive statement of the Government policy since very important amendments had changed the whole complexion of stabilisation. The Price Tribunal had passed into prices the whole amount of the recent increases in wages. ■ In many cases they knew that certain groups—watersiders and certain miners—whose increases in wages had been a large factor in the disequilibrium which the recent rises awarded by the Arbitration Court were designed to correct, had been awarded a very large increase, and so disequilibrium was again being established, with' the inevitable result of further rises in fairness to other workers. A further 3Jd an hour, making sevenpence an hour in all, would put primary industries in a position where they could not hope to recoup anything like sevenpence in their produce prices.

Mr. Mulholland also mentioned the increase in rates which, he said, was becoming an intolerable burden. There were also the difficulties in regard to rural housing, and the damaging effect of exchange and import control on the country's economy to which they wished to draw the Minister's attention.

Mr. H. E. Blyde (North Taranaki), Mr. B. V. Cooksley (Lower Hutt) and Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. Orr, president and past-president respectively of the Women's Division, supported Mulholland.

Government's Aim Mr. Nash said farmers were saying that the Government should stop prices gbnig up. What the Government had decided to do was to hold prices as much as it could, but where there were difficulties in that course to let them go up. Where the Price Tribunal was satisfied that costs could not be met price increases were allowed. In certain fields prices would not be allowed to go up, and that seemed as far as the Government could go.

Mr. Nash said the Government did not intend to let prices run away, or to let the prices of essential commodities required in every home go up one fraction more than they could help.

As far as the Bank of New Zealand was concerned he had alreadystated the management would remain the same as at present. The account of every customer would be secret, and there would be no alteration whatever, in the deposit system. The only alteration, if Parliament agreed to the proposal, was that the Government would determine the policy of the bank as it did with the Reserve Bank.

Mr. Nash said the census would be taken, and he hoped to make a statement shortly on electoral boundaries. Provision would be made on the census form for the former residence of displaced persons to be recorded. Mr. Nash said he agreed that nospital rating was difficult, but he did not agree about other rates. When land appreciated in value through the expenditure of public moneys it could justifiably be taxed. He had discussed with the Minister of Health the possibility of devising a better method of raising hospital funds, but he thought it would be unjust to put the whole cost of hospitals on Social Security. In conclusion Mr. Nash said he was not competent to discuss the country quota, as it was a matter entirely for the Prime Minister, who was in charge of the Electoral Department, and he did not think Mr, Fraser would comment because no decision had been made.

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Bibliographic details

BIG DEPUTATION, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

Word Count

BIG DEPUTATION Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

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