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Thursday, 4 August 1921

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) . - I support the request. Maizegrowing involves more labour than the cultivation of any other grain. It cannot be carried on wholly with horses or by power implements. A great deal of the work must be performed by hand. There need be no hesitation about increasing the duty for fear that the price of maize might become exorbitantly high. For all purposes, except in regard to the manufac.ture of starch, maizena, and glucose, maize comes into direct competition with other grains. No One would buy maize for horse-feed who could get oats, peas, or the like for very much less. Thus there are safeguards against inordinately high prices. . The Minister (Senator Russell) remarked that, in addition to the duty, adequate protection wa3 afforded by freight costs. A number of Victorian growers waited on me .and informed me that local manufacturers who use maize had announced their intention to import from, Java. Freight can be obtained, or could have been secured recently, at 25s. to 30s. a ton. I doubt whether the maize grown on the Snowy River can be landed at Melbourne at a lower transport cost.- Considerable quantities of maize are grown in New South Wales, and a fair amount is cultivated in Queensland ; but the companies which use maize for the manufacture of glucose and other products are all situated in Melbourne. Thus, the Queensland and New South Wales growers who might desire to dispose of their products to Melbourne « manufacturers would 'have to pay actually higher freights than in respect pf importations of maize from Java or South Africa. The alleged additional protection by way of freight may be, therefore, disregarded. Melbourne manufacturers are very fortunate in having so .large a market as is afforded by the more than 2,000,000 people in New South Wales and the 750,000 population of Queensland. I am strongly of opinion that the request should be agreed to.

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