asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will explain the arrangements governing the guaranteed price for Australian meat and for which the additional sum of £158,000 is required in the 1961–62 Supplementary Estimate.
Under the United Kingdom-Australian Meat Agreement. which runs from 1952 to 1967, Britain guarantees minimum prices for all Australian beef and lamb shipped to this country. If the weighted average price realised for beef or lamb over the year as a whole falls below the agreed minimum, the difference is paid to the Australian Government on all the beef or lamb landed during the year. In the year ended October, 1961, a deficiency of 1·07d. per 1b. was incurred on Australian lamb, representing a total of £211,288 on 21,157 tons. This was more than was anticipated when the original estimates were put in.