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Tuesday, 1 July 1941

Senator DARCEY (Tasmania) . - I commend my colleague from Tasmania for the trouble which he has taken to bring this matter to the notice of honorable senators. Tasmania is not an industrial State. When we were a?ked to grow flax in order to help in the war effort, many farmers entered wholeheartedly into the scheme; but they now find that, owing to i . : r ; i i i i the unsatisfactory layout of the mills by Commonwealth officers, they cannot engage in the industry economically. I do not know the officers responsible for the planning of those mills. The farmers in Tasmania were sanguine that the industry would be established permanently, and would prove of immediate benefit in our war effort. I do not think that Senator Gibson's statement that the experts in Victoria could have overcome the difficulties experienced in Tasmania helps us in any way. It is evident that the experts who were sent to Tasmania by the Commonwealth were not capable of doing their job. It may be. that among the many committees now functioning, one may be able to deal with this industry. However, I still think that an inquiry into the flax industry must be held. Senator Aylett's statement about the difficulties of processing flax should be investigated by one of those committees.

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