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Wednesday, 18 March 1936


Senator HARDY (New South Wales) .* - After having listened to the second-reading speech of the Leader of the Senate, one cannot but wonder when this American menace of dumping will cease: undoubtedly it is a danger to Australian exports. The fundamental cause of the disability that the growers of prunes to-day are experiencing through the collapse of their market overseas is American dumping. An extract from The Fruit World and Market Grower summarizes the position thus -

Prior to thu present exchange difficulties Germany imported about 20,000 short tons from the United States in the 1933-34 season. In the period September-.) July 1034-35, Germany imported less than 3,000 short tons of American prunes.

In other words, Germany, in that brief period, reduced its consumption of prunes by 23,000 short tons. Being deprived of his Continental market, the American grower immediately dumped his surplus production, with the aid of substantial subsidies, on the British market, and this action caused the collapse of the price in Australia. While I do not for one moment advocate bilateral trade, instances of this nature make one cease to wonder that people do support that policy. One needs only to consider the position of the prune and dried fruits industries, the New Zealand embargo on citrus fruits from New South Wales, due to American influence, the subsidized shipping lines of America, and Australia's adverse trade balance with America, amounting to £8,000,000 a year, to realize why many people are becoming converted to the policy of bilateral trade agreements. I venture to say that, although Australia has an adverse balance in its trade with the United States of America, the adoption, of a bilateral trade policy by the Commonwealth would materially affect the relations of that country with us. I have nothing but commendation to offer the Government for the granting of this assistance to the prune industry. The growers are doing everything in their power to improve the quality of their product, and to eliminate prunes of small size, which present the major difficulty in regard to the export trade. Honorable senators will join with me in hoping that prices will improve so that the Government will not be obliged to render assistance to the industry beyond the current season.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.







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