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Friday, 18 November 1938

Fresh Fruits

Apples. - Reduction from 4s. fid. to 3s. per cwt.. during the period from the 15th August to the I5th April. The full duty of 4s.6d. will still operate during the Australian season, viz., from the 10th April to the 15th August.

Pears. - Reduction from 4s.6d. to 3s. per cwt., August to January inclusive. The full duty of 4s. fid. still to operate during the Australian season.

Fruits, Tinned or Bottled in Syrup.

Apples.- Reduction from 3s.6d. to 2s. 3d. per cwt.

Grapefruit. - Duty of 15 per cent. removed; free entry substituted.

Fruit salad. -Change from an ad valorem rate of 15 per cent, to a specific rate of 5s.6d. percwt.

Pineapples. - Change from an ad valorem rate of 15 per cent. to aspecific rate of 5s. per cwt.

Loganberries. - Change from an ad valorem rate of 15 per cent. to a specific rate of 4s. per cwt.


Reduction from 7s. to 5s. per cwt.


Duty of 2s. a quarter removed; free entry substituted.

In addition to the above changes of preferences enjoyed by Australia, the agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States of America provides for a reduction of the duty on rice imported into the United Kingdom from foreign countries. The duty provided in the Ottawa Agreement between the United Kingdom and India was1d. per lb. This is now to be reduced to two-thirds of a penny per lb. Although Australia had no treaty rights in respect of rice, the strongest representations were made by the Commonwealth Government to the Government of the United Kingdom to retain the duty of1d. per lb. This action was taken because Australia has developed a substantial trade in rice during the last five years. The small reduction of duty, while regretted, could not be prevented by Australia. However, it will not seriously affect the Austraiian rice industry.

This morning the Prime Minister received the following cablegram from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs.

On the occasion of to-day's signature of the United Kingdom - United States Trade Agreement I should like to express again to the Commonwealth Government cordial appreciation of their readiness to facilitate our agreement with the United States by consenting to such modification of their rights under their existing trade agreement with the United Kingdom as were necessary to enable it to be concluded. It is our confident hope that the agreement now signed will assist substantially in reducing the barrier to trade and will thereby prove a real contribution to world appeasement.

I should add a few words in connexion with the direct trade relations between the United States of America and Australia. As was indicated when Ministers returned from abroad early this year, the possibility of Australia commencing commercial negotiations with the United States of America has been discussed informally. The study by both Governments of the problems involved, initiated some months back, is still proceeding, and will, of course, now be continued in the light of the contents and the probable effects of the Anglo-American Agreement. It is too early yet to" indicate whether a sound basis for negotiations can be discovered, but we are confident that both countries will desire that this should turn out to be the case. I lay the paper on the table and move -

That the paper be printed.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Toura;) adjourned.

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