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Tuesday, 6 December 1938

Mr THOMPSON (New EnglandAssistant Minister for Commerce) (Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce) . -Under the Apple and Pear Organization Act 1938, provision is made for the establishment of an apple and pear export fund, into which shall be paid all moneys collected under the Apple and Pear Export Charges Act 1938. The Apple and Pear Organization Act indicates the purposes for which the fund is to be used. The bill nowbefore the committee provides for the levying of charges on all apples and pears exported from Australia, in order to provide the necessary fund. This follows the usual procedure in regard to all statutory boards established for the purpose of controlling the exports of primary products, and looking after the welfare of the respective industries.

The maximum rate of levy is fixed in the bill at¾d. a case. This rate was agreed to at a conference of apple and pear growers' organizations held at Canberra, and sets the limit of the charge which may be made. The actual rate of charge, which must not exceed¾d. a case, will be determined by the board and recommended to the Minister, who will then arrange for the necessary rate to be prescribed.

With regard to the provision in clause 5, for the exemption of certain apples and pears from charges imposed by the act, it is not intended that any wide or general exemptions sha ll be granted. It may happen, though, from time to time, that a small experimental shipment of fruit is being forwarded overseas, or that some other special circumstance may arise in regard to a small shipment, in which case it is desirable that the power to exempt such shipment from the charges should be available. That is the only reason for the inclusion ofthis provision, which appears in all other export charges acts for the purposes mentioned.

Bill agreed to, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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