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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr SCHOLFIELD (Wannon) . - I have listened with interest to the speech by the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley), and if anything would induce me to vote against the amendment submitted, by the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Frost), it is that speech. Both the honorable member for Franklin and the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Mahoney) have told us that we should consider this matter from a broad, national point of view, but the honorable member for West Sydney asks us to help Tasmania, and claims. that that State has a right to this industry. 1 do not concede that. I contend that individual apple-growers in Tasmania have only the same rights as those of individual growers in any other part of Australia.

Mr Rosevear - If there were overproduction, the apple industry throughout Australia might crash.

Mr SCHOLFIELD - I am coming to that point. The honorable member for Franklin claims that the board should take into consideration only the exports of the previous three years.; but I contend that, in dealing with his amendment, we should also have in mind the amendment to be submitted by the Postmaster.General (Mr. Archie Cameron), which takes other factors into consideration. The honorable member for West Sydney ha.s mentioned the financial obligations of those already engaged in apple growing. 1 suggest that those things should be considered as well as climatic and seasonal difficulties. If the present amendment were carried these things could not be taken into consideration, because the export quotas would be determined entirely in accordance with average shipments during the previous three years. If Tasmania experienced an unfavorable season, and had a very small quantity of fruit available for export, that fact would be taken into consideration, if the Minister's suggested amendment were carried.

Mr Frost - Tasmania will take that risk, if my amendment is accepted.

Mr SCHOLFIELD - The honorable member makes that statement because he knows that growers in other States run a greater risk of bad seasons than do those in Tasmania. The amendment to be submitted by the Minister would enable consideration to be given to factors such as small crops in any of the States in the three years prior to the determination of the export quota. I suggest that this arrangement, although it might operate against Tasmania occasionally, would more frequently operate against the other States. I do not agree with the honorable member for West Sydney that orchardists in parts of Australia other than Tasmania, where apples can be grown well, should be prevented from growing them.

Mr Rosevear - Why encourage them to grow fruit if a market cannot be obtained for all that is produced.

Mr SCHOLFIELD - That ma) be a sound argument, but Australia has, at times in the past, produced more apples than could be profitably marketed. It is impossible accurately to forecast the crop in any year.- Tasmania might experience a total failure in one year, but there should be other sources of supply in the other States. Australia has a vast potential home market for apples, and more apples than at present could be marketed locally if the industry were organized on a proper basis. Tasmania would get as fair a deal under the Minister's proposed amendment as under that now before the committee.

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