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Friday, 4 March 1932

Mr GULLETT (HENTY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - When the present Government assumed office the prohibition imposed by its predecessor against the importation of canary seed, with a view to correcting the adverse trade balance, was still in operation. The 'total Australian requirements of this commodity is about 1,500 tons, and Queensland growers had estimated that they would produce that amount. The Canary Seed Price Control Board fixed a price of approximately £32 a ton. Owing to abnormal seasonal conditions, this year's crop did not exceed 500 tons. Therefore, I felt justified in recommending that, the embargo be removed. I was then asked by the Canary Seed Price Control Board to ration imports so that the price would be maintained at £32. Having already ascertained that the 500 tons produced locally had been sold at ±'32 a ton I could not approve of the artificial regulation of imports to maintain that price. Therefore, canary seed is being allowed to be imported without restriction, but, in the interests of the growers, developments will be closely "watched.

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