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Thursday, 28 April 1932

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Trade and Customs aware that it is the intention of the Government of New Caledonia to impose on Australian-grown rice duty at the rate of 50 francs per 100 kilos, which, at the present rate of exchange, is approximately £7 16s. 3d. per ton in Australian currency? Up to the present the rate of duty on rice imported into New Caledonia, irrespective of the country of production, has been 6s. 3d. per ton. In view of the contemplated action of the Government of New Caledonia, I ask the Minister whether the time is not opportune for preference to be extended to Australiangrown rice so far as the Mandated Territory of New Guinea is concerned.I understand that the present rate of duty on rice imported into the territory is£1 a ton. Will the Government give consideration to the question of extending preference to Australian-grown rice which is available for export to that or any" other country?

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