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Thursday, 25 October 1956


Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I am indebted to my colleague the Minister for Defence, who for a few short hours administered the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, for the information on which I shall base the answer to this question. I understand that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization undertook research into the development of new varieties that would resist diseases, particularly Irish blight. The job has now been handed over to the State agriculture departments, which are working in co-operation with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization on the development of better disease-resistant varieties. There is a second aspect of the problem. I do not wish to be too technical about it, but I have been informed that pathological research is being undertaken in relation to potatoes with particular emphasis on ascertaining how they contract diseases, especially Irish blight. Tissue friction is being studied to ascertain what happens when tissues are broken and disease is likely to enter the potato. These investigations are being continued, and 1 shall obtain a full report on the matter and pass it on to the honorable member. I am glad he has raised this question, because it is obvious that as





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