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ON FARM OR IN FORCES?

Yonng Primary Producers

MARANOA M. P-'s COMMENT

Where should young primary pro ducers be to-day-on the farm or in '-ho forces?

That question is much in the fore front in the public mind to-day. An

Interesting comment oil the subject was made by Mr. Frank Baker, M. 1*. (Maranoa), who is a member o£ the Joint Committee on Rural Industries.

The contention was that our fight ing forces would not do their work properly unless they were .well fed Napoleon's famous remark. in that connection was to the point, Mr. I!ak«r said. When war with Japan broke out, a great cry went up in Australia for the enlistment of men, ami the cry had gone up previously to that. As a result, a psychology was developed which led people to think that those who did not get into uniforms were shirkers and cold-foot td. Many of those who, greatly to their credit, hail joined the colours were young men from the dairying, grazing, fruit and whe^t farms, and from the mines, and, in his opinion, men of that type made the best sol diers. White feathers had been sent to some young men who, for various causes, had remained on the farms.

Last year, Mr. Baker added, Ave may have had a surplus of certain primary products, but the arrival in Australia of Allied forces and the re turn of A.I.F. men from abroad, had changed conditions to such an extent that, instead of a surplus, we were likely to experience a shortage of foodstuffs. Our inability to obtain phosphate from Nauru and Ocean Island had resulted in a shortage of fertilisers, and that would seriously reduce primary production. The pro duction of food on our farms involved the employment of workers over con siderable periods. But where were wo to get the men needed for this imj)ortant task?

Mr. Baker maintained tha'L the Government, by issuing a "blanket" exemption to bona-lidc employees en gaged full time in. the meat, wool, wheat, dairy produce, vegetable, sugar, fruit, rice, tobacco, cotton ami piK meat industries, was taking active measures to meet the situation. Men must be found for" the lighting forces, but. it was also necessary to leave sullicienl men in the primary industries to ensure adequate supplies of food. Thai, could only be done by the care ful planning of primary production.

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