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Friday, 29 July 1921

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - I happen to have visited the only district in Queensland in which coffee is being grown, and. I propose to relate my experiences there to honorable senators. At a place called Kuranda there were formerly thirty coffee planters. At the time of my visit there was only one. Some hundreds of acres had been placed under coffee cultivation, and the gentleman who was in charge of the plantation there was good enough to show me the whole of the processes of coffee production from the picking of the berriesup to the drying, cleansing and grinding of the coffee itself. He also showed me a photograph of a magnificent exhibit which he had had at various agricultural shows. When I inquired what had become of the twenty-nine other growers who had been in the district, he replied that they had failed through not having been granted a sufficient measure of protection. He then went on to say that, although splendid coffee could be grow in that locality, its production there was unprofitable. He added, "I import coffee and sell it as coffee which has been grown in Queensland." If honorable senators think that this industry requires further encouragement, by all means let us increase the duty upon the article. I submit, however, that coffee is as much a necessity with many people as is tea. As a matter of fact, tea is a luxury. All the people who come from Central Europe and some parts of Asia are heavy coffee drinkers, and there are many of them in Queensland.

Senator Crawford - Does the honorable senator wish .to give them cheap coffee ?

Senator SENIOR - I am surprised that some honorable senators should regard coffee as a luxury. So far as the production of this commodity in Queensland is concerned, the bounty has not been successful in establishing the industry. At Kuranda, the plantation which I visited had been almost destroyed.

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