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INTERESTING DERATE IN THE HOUSE. [From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, October 21. The statement made in the House by the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon ami reported in the ‘Star’ led to considerable" discussion. Continuing; his remarks. Mr Massey said he had already impressed on the producers the urgent necessity of utilising mure of their land for the towing of grain, and in response to that request thousands of additional acres had been laid down in wheat. If something of that eort was not done there was every reason to anticipate that the price of flour would go up to £l6 a ton. The Government proposed to import a certain amount of wheat or Hour, and he was obtaining quotations from Australia and Canada and the United States. Mr Wilford : Why are not the transports coming back full? Mr .Massey : There is another difficulty ; we require then, as soon as wo can get them hack, because, at the time they ought to be hack we shall Ire. in the thick of the export season. The insulated ships will be carrying our frozen produce, which I believe we shall send mlarger quantities than usual. 1 have arranged with the British Government to liberate them at the earliest moment. Mr Myers: 111131 is the position of the wheat market in America? Mr Massey : In America they expect to have a. surplus of 150,000,000 bushels. In Europe there is a delicit of 500,000.000 bushels. Mr Witty asked the Prime Minister how was it that the Government had utterly failed to meet the situation in regard to flour and wheat? Why did the Government refuse to take otT the duty when they wcw asked to do so by several members? Which millers were to have the wheat that the Prime Minister had bought in Australia? Was it a, he millers' ring or the millers outside the ring? Why had not the Prime Minister issued a proclamation demanding to know the quantity of wheat held by anybody, and why had he not made it a penal offence for refusing to give such information? The Prime Minister said the questions asked by Mr Witty showed that on every occasion he wanted to make party capital against the Government. The hon. member did not care what happened even if the people of New Zealand were starving. “1 honestly believe that to be tho ease,” lie added. Mr Witty: Point of order! I object to tho words used. My intention is to prevent them from starving. Tile Prime Minister: I repeat that is my opinion. I honestly believe that the hon. gentleman cares absolutely nothing for anything but party capital in his own small way against the Government. Opposition .Members: Answer the questions. Mr Massey ; The hon. gentleman asks me why we have not grappled with the position? I say we have grappled with it successfully. Every other country that has had to deal with this subject has set up a Commission and accepted their report. We have grappled with the position successfully. {Laughter from the Opposition benches.) Mr Massey contended that tho Government had risen to the occasion, and were doing the right thing. “There has,” he add-d. " never been a Government in the British Dominions that has had so many difficulties to deal with as we have had." (Derisive laughter from the Opposition.) “If those hon. members would lead up a little political economy—(Opposition laughter) —it would do them an immense amount, of good. I hat e explained (he position ; I have said that so far a.s I am able to ascertain between now and the middle of February there will he a shortage, in addition to what we have in New Zealand, of approximately 12X00 tons of flour. If private individuals import wc will remit the duty." Mr Wit tv ; Why didn't von sav that six week s a no? Mr Davev : The millers in flic South j Islam! were, prepared to supply flour at £lO a (on before t!m war luol.c out, Mr Massey : Without the war the position would have ben -as it is now. The millers t.> be supplied with (he wheat would be those who oembd i( most. 1! j did not know T.<:| her liny wne u.embei ■ j of a ting or nol They would be the small j men whose supplies were exhausted.

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FLOUR AND WHEAT, Evening Star, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914

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FLOUR AND WHEAT Evening Star, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914