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Thursday, 1 October 1936


Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -HU GHES. - That may be the honorable senator's method of dealing with things; but, whatever I may have done in a private capacity, as a members of this Parliament I have not often agreed to the disbursement of public funds without trying to get some return. In dealing with export goods generally, we certainly face an awkward problem. We do "not desire that, in the country of production, the people should be offered inferior fruit, but, at the same time, we know that if we are to develop an overseas market, particularly in prunes, we must send fruit equal to that obtainable from France.


Senator Hardy - It will be cheaper now with the devaluation of the franc.


Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - With few exceptions, it does not appear to me that Australian dehydrators have managed to achieve what the French people have accomplished in the separation of the stone from the fruit. Australian prunes have a tendency to cling to the stone, which indicates that the prune is not properly dry. I do not criticize those engaged in the industry in this country, because I know that years of experience are required to attain the high standards of the French growers, who have been* engaged in the industry for many years. However, if we desire to develop our overseas market, we must send abroad a fairly large percentage of the best that we can produce, even if that means that the home market is deprived of it. What applies to dried fruits applies also to fresh fruits, for honorable senators know that the fresh fruit obtainable in hotels is not always of the highest quality. If the prunes exported cannot compete in the overseas market with fruit from other countries, the Government would be justified in refusing to pay the bounty. I hope that the Leader of the Opposition is now clear as to where I stand.







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