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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 34

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 27, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 34 - THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD - Wednesday, January 27, 1971 Loss of Communist market would be severe blow China leaves Australian farmers with too much wheat By COLIN CHArMAN I London Observer Service SYDNEY-Australia is deeply concerned that it will not be able to sell any wheat to Communist China this year. In recent years China has bought about 40 per cent of the Australian crop, and loss of the Chinese market would be a $125 million blow to Australia's agriculture, already underg o i n g severe difficulties because of over - production, falling prices and increasing costs. A team of negotiators from the Australian Wheat Board has been ready to fly to China for two months, rfbwever, the Chinese have given no sign that they are ready to negotiate' a new contract. Cables1 from the Australian Government to Peking have been ignored. Officials are keeping silent at this stage in the hope that China will sign a new contract before it is too late. They are refusing to speculate on what will have to be done for the wheat industry if China does not buy any grain this year. It is obvious that the industry could not survive without some sort of Government help if China does not buy - some of the crop harvested the year before last is still unsold and stored in barns that have had to be spe- cially constructed to store it until better times. Innermost in Canberra's mind is the thought that Peking may decide to do without Australian wheat in view of the Government decision to vote against the admission of China to the United Nations, and to continue its refusal to recognize Chairman Mao Tse-tung's regime as the legal Chinese Government. Canada was able to sign