§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether portions of the Government's holding of wool have recently been offered for sale and withdrawn unsold because the reserve prices were not reached; whether, as those reserves are now shown by events to have been fixed at prices which were several points per pound above the market prices at the moment of offering, he will say what good purpose is served by going to the trouble and expense of putting up Government wool for sale and having to withdraw it unsold because the reserve price fixed by the Government Department concerned is above the price at which wool of similar type can without difficulty be obtained in the overseas markets?
The experience at the Government auctions is in no way different from that at private auctions of wool in England and in Australia, and in every case a considerable proportion of the wool offered does not find buyers. It is expected that the present transition stage will very soon be safely got over and a level of values arrived at which will permit of the resumption of business on a full scale. The question of reserve prices for Government wool is the subject of frequent consultation with the Australian and New Zealand authorities who have an important interest in the matter.