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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) . - I take it that all the Government proposes to do is to carry out investigation and research into the fishing industry and not, as Senator Collings suggested, to enter into commercial fishing. I should have thought that the experiences of the Governments of Queensland and New South Wales in the fishing industry would have been sufficient to convince Senator Collings of the undesirability of Government participation in commercial fishing. If Senator Collings desires that the industry should be developed by governmental enterprise,- it is, I think, a responsibility devolving upon the States and not upon the Commonwealth. I agree, as every other honorable senator will agree, that, as fish are plentiful on the coasts of Australia, every effort should be made to. develop the industry; but at the same time it is desirable that public taste must be considered and the people must have the choice of using fresh fish from our coastal waters or canned fish supplied by Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and other countries, which are good customers of Australia; after all, such trade is only an exchange of goods between one country and another. I commend the Government for taking this action, but at the same time I do not say that we should restrict our people to the use of Australian fish exclusively.

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