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Friday, 4 November 1938

Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) .- The honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard) said that we should not look at this matter from a parochial point of view. I agree with him. I have always taken a broad, national view of the matters that come before this Parliament. Moreover, I have always supported proposals for the granting of assistance to Tasmania. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee some years ago, I did much to ensure the bringing in of reports that were helpful to that State. Year after year, I have supported the granting of assistance to Tasmania as a necessitous State, and I have enthusiastically supported the granting of hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years to make up losses sustained on the export of apples and pears. Included in this amount were grants of £125,000 in one year, a grant of a similar amount in the following year, £S0,000 the next year, and a final grant of £60,000. My desire is to assist the industry, but I wish to assist it in all the States. If the amendment of the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Frost) were agreed to, the effect upon the industry in Queensland would be most harmful. Queensland is now producing an average of 250,000 bushels of apples per annum, and, although it is not a large exporter, it requires outlets overseas for 50,000 bushels each year. Had the Tasmanian proposal been applied to Queensland on the basis of its average exports for the three years 1927, 1928 and 1929, its quota would have been 64 bushels.

Mr Mahoney - That is 64 bushels too many.

Mr FRANCIS - That is how broad a national outlook the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Mahoney) is able to take. The amendment proposed by the Minister should satisfy ail the legitimate requirements of Tasmania. It provides that the board, when fixing State quotas, shall take into consideration production over the previous three years, but that if shall also consider other factors relating to the production of apples and pears in each State, together with the available market. I want to protect the Tasmanian growers against themselves. If the Tasmanian crop were to be a complete failure next year, its average over the next three years would be greatly reduced, and its quota would be correspondingly reduced. It is imperative, when dealing with proposals to assist an industry, that justice should be done to all parts of the Commonwealth. I ask honorable members to reject the amendment of the honorable member for Franklin. I am sure it is the desire of all honorable members to deal out evenhanded justice to all sections, but the proposal of the honorable member for Franklin would not ensure that result.

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