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Thursday, 6 October 1927


Senator ANDREW (through Senator Foll) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Markets and Migration, upon notice -

1.   Has the Empire Marketing Board of Australia taken up the report of the damage done by frost to the river Murray grape crop, and sent an urgent message to its expert at Montpellier, in France, asking him to come to London to advise on the matter?

2.   Has it been reported that the French vignerons have a method of treating vines affected by early frosts whereby they are able to produce a later crop?

3.   Will the Minister ask the board to ascertain if the scheme would apply to tomato vines, as thousands of tomato plants have been killed by the frost in Australia during the last few weeks?


Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow: -

1.   The Development and Migration Commission and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research advise that the State viticultuval experts have a close knowledge of methods of fighting frosts and of the treatment of vines injured by frosts, and have from time to time issued statements and recommendations in regard thereto. In order to possibly supplement this information and to ascertain whether any development of very recent date had occurred in Europe, the Development and Migration Commission recently cabled Mr. F. L. McDougall, their correspondent at Australia House, through the High Commissioner, asking him to forward the fullest particulars of any recent developments in knowledge of this subject. A reply has been received that the Empire Marketing Board, London, on which Mr. McDougall is the Australian representative, has immediately despatched an expert to Montpellier, in France, and that the expert's report will be furnished at the earliest possible moment. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has also cabled to a special investigator in California, with a view to obtaining the latest information on the subject in that country. Meanwhile, the Development and Migration Commission are consulting with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the State authorities to obtain the most authoritative and agreed statement on the matter, which it is proposed to embody in the report upon the dried fruit industry now in course of preparation. Past experience indicates that a later crop of less quantity but high quality is often obtained after damage by frosts, if conditions are favorable and proper treatment of the vines is carried out.

2.   Yes.

3.   After consultation with the proper State authorities the Government will consider this request.







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