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Wednesday, 3 August 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) .- I cannot support Senator- Lynch in his effort to remove the special duty imposed on 'bananas by another branch of the Legislature. I recognise that a duty of Id. per lb. amounts practically to prohibition, but I have the assurance of not only the representatives of Queensland and New South Wales in this Chamber, but people I have met outside, and particularly in Queensland, that under reasonable conditions, it .is quite practicable for those States to supply at moderate price all the bananas required by Australian consumers.

Senator Rowell - They cannot supply Western Australia.

Senator Crawford - Western Australia .can supply herself.

Senator EARLE - I see no reason why, in certain parts .of Western Australia, the banana cannot be successfully cultivated.

Senator de Largie - If the honorable senator knew Western Australia, he would be aware of reasons why the banana cannot be grown there.

Senator Rowell - What would be the position if a similar prohibition were imposed in connexion with apple-growing?

Senator EARLE - The apple industry _ is established in at least three of the States, while the banana-growing industry is in its infancy.

Senator Russell - It is a pretty healthy infant, seeing that Australia produced last year 435,000 centals, and imported only 76,000.

Senator EARLE - One important factor is that bananas, unlike apples, cannot be locked up or stored for any length of time. They must be placed on the market when ready, and that consideration is bound to regulate the trade when this country is able to produce the whole of its own requirements.

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