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Wednesday, 9 November 1938

Mr Price e asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   What is the estimated consumption of petro] in Australia during each of the last five years 1

2.   What were the imports during those years ?

Mr Perkins - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   On the basis of clearances for consumption of imported and locally produced petrols, less exports, the consumption of motor spirit in Australia during the past five years is estimated to have been as follows: -


2.   Imports into Australia of motor spirit during the five years, 1933-34 to I937-3S, were as follows: -

Mr Holloway y asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

With regard to the promise made by the then Acting Minister to representations made by the honorable member for Melbourne Porta (Mr. Holloway), that he would make inquiries and report later to honorable members on the methods used in assessing and collecting the excise and customs duties upon petrol, will the Minister he good enough to ascertain if such inquiries have been finalized?

Mr Perkins - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

As promised, full inquiries have been made into the matter forming the subject of the honorable member's question, and a communication setting out the position, is being addressed to him.

Peanuts. " Mr. .Forde asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   What was the quantity of importations of peanuts into Australia for 1928-29, 1929-30, 1930-31, 1931-32, 1932-33. 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1937-38, and what was the value for each year?

2.   What are the countries from which the importations were made?

3.   What were the circumstances under which these importations were allowed?

4.   Is it a fact that the peanut-growers in Queeusland contend that they can supply the whole of Australia's requirements?

Mr Perkins s. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - 1 and 2. Imports into Australia of peanuts, both shelled and unshelled, and the principal countries from which they were obtained, during the past ten years, were as follows: - 3 and 4. In April, 1927, an embargo under the Quarantine Act was imposed on peanuts. This embargo was modified in September or that year, imports being permitted for roasting and manufacturing purposes. This position obtained until April, 1929, when action was taken under the Customs Act to prohibit further imports of peanuts, excepting that prior contracts entered into by importers wore exempted from the embargo. As a result of a drought the Australian production of peanuts in 1932-33 represented only 14 per cent, of requirements, and the following year there was again a shortage due to many growers changing over to maize production on account of the high maize prices at that time. Having regard to the needs of consumers the Government removed the embargo in December, 1933. Since that time the Australian industry has been adequately protected by duties under the general tariff of4d. per lb. on unshelled peanuts and6d. per lb. on peanut kernels. The adequacy of the protection is demonstrated by the small quantities which are imported under these duties. Peanuts for oil expression purposes are, however, admitted free of duty, but only in respect of such quantities as are found necessary to meet the requirements of manufacturers after the local supplies of milling nuts have been absorbed.

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