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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade) - It is true that better opportunities will exist this year for the export of apples and pears to West Germany, and I am sure that the honorable member's electorate will benefit from this. Import restrictions imposed by the West German Government have in recent years inhibited the free entry to that quite important market of these fruits. But at the present time, following negotiations which we have had, the West German authorities are prepared to issue import licences without limit for Australian apples and pears during the next export season, which in that country is from March until July.

The United Kingdom, of course, historically, has been and still will be the greatest market for Australian apples and pears, and any over-supply from this country to the United Kingdom bears seriously on the price for the whole crop. That explains the importance that we have always attached to entry to the European market. Sweden will receive Australian apples and pears in the forthcoming season without restriction. For the first time in many years, France will receive Australian apples and pears unlimited by licensing; and Norway will receive in our season apples and pears to a ceiling value of £1,000,000. This opens the widest and brightest prospect for these fruits which has existed for many years. I acknowledge the interest which the honorable member for Franklin has always taken in this matter.

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