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Wednesday, 16 November 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) .- I think that we should press our request upon this item, just as we did in connexion with the duty on bananas. In my view the position is exactly the same. The Committee, when this matter was previously under consideration, expressed the view that 4d. per lb. would be a sufficient duty. Honorable members in another place hold a different view. We are informed that there is fear of American importations in this case, just as we were told, in the case of the duty on bananas, that Queensland growers were afraid of Fijian importations. The only distinction that can be made between the two items is that whilst bananas are grown chiefly in Queensland, prunes are grown in more than one of the other States. I do not wish to appear as the opponent of any particular State, but as the Committee decided that 4d. a lb. is a sufficient duty on this item, and the Minister for Repatriation (Senator E. D. Millen) has adduced no good argument why we should alter our view of the matter, I enter my protest against the motion and trust that the Committee will adhere to its previous decision.

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