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Tuesday, 23 October 1956

Mr McMAHON - There has been a fall in the sale of Australian apples and pears to Malayan and entrepot markets throughout the Far East, but I think it is correct to say that the percentage of Australian apples and pears being sold there as a proportion of total sales from all production centres is the same as it was last year and the year before. In other words, there has been a total falling-off in sales, but the Australian proportion of sales remains the same as it was. I do not think that this is due to the activities of selling agents. Recently, a board was established to deal with the sale of Australian apples and pears but, due to import restrictions by the

Mayalan and Singapore Governments, and to the fact that a duty of 7s. 6d. a case was placed on apples, exports to those areas have declined. In answer to the last part of the question, I inform the honorable member that it is intended to continue the present method of sales for the time being. However, the problem is being considered, particularly as a result of representations made by Western Australian producers. As soon as a decision is reached, I will let the honorable gentleman know.

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