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Australian tobacco leaf

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Issued under the authority of the

Minister for Customs and Excise


The Minister for Customs and Excise, Senator

the Hon. Denham Henty, today announced that the percentage

of Australian grown tobacco leaf required to be incorporated

in tobacco products manufactured during 1964/65» to qualify ·

for duty concessions on imported leaf, will be 41.5$. This

represents an increase of 1.5$ on the percentage to operate

in 1963/64. .

Senator Henty said that the new percentage

had been decided upon after discussions with the Deputy

Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mr. McEwen and the

Minister for Primary Industry, Mr. Adermann.

Senator Henty explained that manufacturers'

tobacco requirements for 1964/65 would need to be purchased

from the 1963 crop, sales from which are scheduled to commence

next week at Mareeba in North Queensland.

The Minister said that until the last two

years the percentage declarations were normally made some

time later than on this occasion. However at the request of

the industry the percentage declarations are now made

immediately prior to the commencement of the seasoris sales.

Because of the earlier stage at which decisions in relation

to percentage are now taken there must naturally be a

greater degree of uncertainty in the estimates used in-the

Government's calculations including estimates of the .

tobacco crop, future leaf usage and manufacturers' forward

stock holdings. -

. Senator Henty went on to say that the percentage

for 1964/65 had been set after taking account of the views

of all interested parties including those of the Central

Tobacco Advisory Committee which met in Canberra on 21st


and 22nd February. This Committee consists of representatives

of growers, manufacturers and Commonwealth and State Government

Departments. Ministers had noted the wide difference of .

opinion which existed between growers and manufacturers on

certain important matters particularly the estimates of the


The percentage which had been agreed upon, the

Minister said, was in line with Government policy which was

to provide a market related to Australian demand and a

satisfactory price to growers for Australian grown leaf of

a quality acceptable to Australian smokers.

The Minister stressed that because the opening

of the current seasonis auctions next week require the pre­

scribed percentage to be announced while much of the crop

is still unharvested and therefore before the quality and

quantity of the crop are accurately known it would not be

inconsistent with the policy objectives of the Government

to review the percentage during the current selling season.

The Minister for Customs and Excise emphasised

that the Government will closely watch the result of leaf

sales and if the objectives of the percentage arrangements

are not being achieved then the situation will be reviewed.

Customs House, LAUNCESTON.

7th March, 1963