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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr McMAHON - When the stabilization plan for the dried vine fruits industry was under investigation, it became obvious that one of the important causes of losses was wet weather or humid conditions, which ruined the grapes while they were on the racks. It was considered that one of the causes was probably a lack of airflow over the grapes while they were drying on the racks. Investigations were made, with the co-operation of my colleague, the Minister for Supply, who lent the services of a top-ranking officer from the Aeronautical Research Laboratory, and also of my colleague the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, and it was thought that an artificially induced flow of air could be passed over the grapes while they were drying in order to save enormous quantities. The Department of Primary Industry has made funds available, and I am hopeful that, within the next few weeks, a technical expert will begin his investigations, if he has not already begun. When his work is completed, he will report to me and to representatives of the dried vine fruits industry.

Mr Turnbull - Will the Minister report to me?

Mr McMAHON - I shall do so with pleasure.

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