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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr PROWSE (Forrest) .- I support the bill. The loss on the last scheme was greater than it might have been. The idea underlying the scheme was excellent, but management and distribution may have been at fault. The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) has made a special plea on behalf of a few growers at Doncaster who supply the market daily. Their rights are no greater than are those of growers who are not so close to a market. In assisting the industry, the 'Commonwealth cannot pick out a few growers for special treatment. The war has made it necessary for the Commonwealth to legislate with a view to saving this industry, the development of which has cost millions of pounds. The export of fresh fruit from Australia has returned large sums, which have helped to establish the overseas credit of this country. As shipping space is not now available, those who have put their life's savings into orchards must be assisted to maintain their properties. The Minister has stated that an early pronouncement will be made of the Government's intentions. That pronouncement will be welcomed by apple and pear growers throughout Australia. It should be possible to evolve a scheme which would be of greater advantage to both the public and the growers, and reduce the extent of the loss.

Question resolved, in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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