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Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator MORRIS (QUEENSLAND) - I preface my question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health, by reminding him that on 30th September last I asked a question relating to a report that Sir Ernest Marsden, a scientist who had just returned from an overseas study of cancer, had stated inter aiia; " . the causes of lung cancer had been discovered . . . "

The then Minister for Health referred, in his reply, to seven components of tobacco smoke as being capable of inducing cancer. He referred in detail, and by name, to the most carcinogenic of them and stated that various factors in the growth and treatment of the tobacco plant materially affected the quantity of these carcinogenic compounds in tobacco leaf.

I now ask: Has- any research been undertaken by either the Department of Health, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Department of Primary Industry, or any other department under the authority of the Commonwealth, in an endeavour to assist Australian growers and/or processors to supply a final product free of these carcinogenous components? Alternatively, does he know whether any such research is being carried out by any cigarette manufacturers or any other people or organisation? Having in mind the splendid work that is being carried out by this Government in regard to improved tobacco marketing facilities, will every effort be made to ensure that Australian tobacco growers do not lose these advantages to any other tobacco-producing country because of its earlier discovery of methods of eliminating carcinogenic components in tobacco leaf, thereby gaining one of the strongest possible sales promotion features, to the detriment of our own producers?

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