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Tuesday, 30 August 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The new duties imposed on citric acid will date from 1st January, 1922. If the impositions are for the purpose of establishing the manufacture of citric acid in Australia - principally, as I understand it will be, from Australian lemons - the item will have my support; that is to say, if there is a reasonable chance of a factory or factories being established. One reason why the production of such a commodity should be encouraged is that growers of the citrus fruits will be materially benefited. With respect to tartaric acid and cream of tartar, honorable senators know that the latter commodity is used by almost every householder in the country. I have been informed that practically the only factory making cream of tartar in Australia has been closed down. If that is so, I am inclined to think that the Tariff should be reviewed, particularly so far as concerns the general rate. I am informed, further, that British manufacturers of tartaric acid produce the commodity in England from ingredients obtained on the Continent. They are therefore in a position to be able to export favorably to Australia, as against outside competitors, and the British public is able to make up home consumption requirements by importations of the manufactured article itself from the Continent. I would like to know what information the Minister has upon the subject.

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