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Wednesday, 3 August 1921


Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) . - I .have not had such an experience of the dried fruit industry as that related by the Minister (Senator Russell). In that part of the Commonwealth in which I chiefly reside when I am not in Melbourne, large quantities of dried apples are used, and the quality is. all that could be desired. The same remark would apply to the dried fruits mentioned by Senator Cox, and particularly to dried nectarines, -which . seem to retain their natural flavour better than any other fruits which I know. It is our duty to do whatever we can to assist the fruit industry generally. At the present moment it is facing a crisis, due chiefly to over-production. In all the States so many people have been encouraged by the advice and financial assistance offered by their Governments to become fruitgrowers that in every branch of the industry we are faced with over-production. While our production is in excess of requirements, and fruit can be obtained at a reasonable price, no fruit should be permitted to be imported. If fruit could be brought in from overseas there would be loss, not only to the man on the land, but to the Governments tendering financial support.


Senator Bolton - Would the honorable senator prevent fresh apples from entering from America?


Senator CRAWFORD - I would have no objection to such importations, provided that Australian-grown apples were not procurable at a reasonable price. We have considerable provision for cool storage, and, generally, there is a fair supply of Australian apples throughout the year. I am prepared to give reasonable encouragement, by means of the Tariff, to any branch of the fruit-growing industry, but there should be fair play all round; and I shall want to know, for example, why dates, which are a tropical product, should be given protection to the extent of only1d. per lb., compared with the protection granted in other directions.







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