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Thursday, 28 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - Will the Minister say what the export position really is regarding fruit juices? I assert with confidence that there is no considerable export of them from Australia.

Senator Pearce - One hundred thousand gallons.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not want the Minister for Defence to confuse fruit juices with fruit pulp. I am referring to lime, lemon, or raspberry juices.

Senator Lynch - How much did we import ?

Senator Pearce - Eighty thousand gallons.

Senator Russell - We exported in 1919-20, of fruit juices and fruit syrups containing not more than 2 per cent, of proof spirit, a total of 99,678 gallons.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I say, without hesitation, that there was no considerable exportation of lime juice, lemon juice, or raspberry juice from Australia last year. If the figures quoted by the Minister are correct, the export must have consisted of grape juice, or something of that sort. I believe honorable senators would like to do something for the lime, lemon, and raspberry growers of Australia.

Senator Russell - What other fruit juice is there which is not included in that item?

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Very little. We imported last year 20,000 gallons of fruit juices from Norfolk Island^ and 60,000 gallons from other countries across the water. Our imports of fruit juices, on those figures, are bigger than they have ever been before. I have a publication which states the importation for the previous year at 38,000 gallons. The Committee has agreed to a request for an increase in the duty on fruit juices in bulk from ls. 3d. to ls. 6d. per gallon in the British rate, and from ls. 6d. to ls. 9d. in the other columns. My proposal is now to bring the duties on bottled fruit juices into reasonable conformity with those rates by raising them from 2s. to 2s. 6d. in the British column, and from 2s. 3d. to 2s. 9d. in the other two columns. That will preserve a fair balance, and I claim Senator Payne's vote for it. He twitted me with asking for 3d., and said I .was inconsistent in asking for 6d. on bottled juices. Since I asked for 3d., the Committee has agreed to request an increase of 3d. in the duty on bulk juices. I hope the Committee will agree to my request, as a protection to the packers and to the manufacturers of mineral waters and syrups in Australia.

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