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Thursday, 17 September 1942

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - I understand that, formerly, about 10,000 tons of cocoa beans were imported into Australia annually, and they usually arrived about September. Owing to shipping difficulties, only 2,000 tons have been obtained this year, and the beans have been allotted to various parts of Australia. I understand that the allotment has been made in the past on a population basis, and Queensland should, therefore, ,be entitled to 300 tons; but that State is to receive only 13 tons, 8 tons being supplied to one firm and 5 tons to another. The beans are used in the manufacture of chocolate.

Senator Leckie - Are there any chocolate manufacturers in Queensland?

Senator BROWN - Yes, Morrows Proprietary Limited and Plumridge Proprietary Limited manufacture chocolates, whilst I believe that Nestle and AngloSwiss Condensed Milk Company (Australasia) Limited is still operating in that State. The importation of cocoa beans into the southern States has declined in the last year or two by over 90 per cent. I understand that manufacturers in Queensland have received information from the southern States that no cocoa beans at all are to be allotted to Queensland. It is only fair that that State should receive a portion of the 2,000 tons of beans landed in this country. A request has been made for 60 tons, which would be only 20 per cent, of the quantity due to that State. T trust that the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator Keane) will investigate this matter, and see that Queensland receives a fair deal.

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