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Thursday, 8 March 1928

Senator CARROLL - So have I.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the honorable senator grew maize at the time that I grew it, he knows what it is to grow maize at a loss. Owing almost entirely to the growth of our secondary industries we are finding a local market for our primary products. The manufacture of glucose is assisting one of our primary industries. The average price of maize ten years before the war was very different from what it has been since the termination of the war. These industries have developed since the war. Unless we are to ignore the evidences of our senses we must admit that the growth of our secondary industries has been a great assistance to our primary industries.

Senator Carroll - I have not denied that.

Senator Kingsmill - Has not the cost of production gone up proportionately?

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The cost of production has increased, but not proportionately. The United States of America is our chief competitor in the growing of maize. According to the Year Book, the average price of maize in the Sydney market for the four years from 1920-21 to 1923-24, was 5s. 8d. a bushel.

Senator Carroll - That includes the drought year.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have excluded 1926- the year of the drought. The average prices realized for maize in the years I have mentioned were - 1920-21, 6s. 6d. per bushel; 1921-22, 5s. 2d.; 1922-23, 6s. Id.; and 1923-24, 5s. Id, or an average of 5s. 8d. a bushel. On page 185 of the Commerce Year-Booh of the United States of America, I find that in January, 1921,- the. price of maize in that country was 2s. 8Jd. a bushel; in 1922, it was 2s. ; in 1923, 2s. lid., and in 1924, 3s. 2d. a bushel, an average of 2s. 8d. a bushel, which is less than half the price paid for Australian-grown maize. Honorable senators will see that in view of those prices, Australian- manufacturers could not produce glucose at a price which would enable it to compete with the American product, and that therefore they must be granted substantial protection.

Senator Kingsmill - "What is the cause of the cheapness of the American product ?

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I take it that it is due to the supply being equal to, or greater than, the demand.

Senator Kingsmill - Why does it pay to produce maize in the United States of America for 2s. 8d. a bushel ?

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - A great deal of ' the maize grown in that country is produced in states where cheap black labour is available. Our chief competitors in glucose, starch, corn-flour and maize oil, obtain their raw material for less than half the price paid by Australian manufacturers for the same material. If the industry is to remain, it must be protected.

Senator Ogden - Surely £12 a ton is a reasonable protection?

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Tariff Board made full inquiries, and apparently was satisfied that further protection was warranted. In the circumstances, we are justified in increasing the duty.

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