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Thursday, 13 September 1928

Mr BRUCE - On the 6th September the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Forde) asked the following questions : -

1.   What is the annual consumption of peanuts in Australia ?

2.   What is the annual production of peanuts in Australia?

3.   for what period was an embargo imposed, and why was it lifted ?

4.   What were the quantites and values of importations of peanuts for 1 025-20, 1920-27, and 1927-28, and what was the country of origin in each case?

5.   In view of the fact that Australia can supply local requirements of peanuts, will the Government give favorable consideration to the request of the Queensland peanut growers for effective protection?

I am now able to furnish the honorable member with the following information : -

1.   The annual consumption can only be estimated by adding the Australian production to the importations. Exports (if any) are not separately shown in the export returns. The figures of production and importation are given below.

2.   Production in Queensland, Western Australia and North Australia for 1920-27 is given in official returns as 1,825,320 lb. The quantity produced in New South Wales is not available, but the crop was valued at £280 only. These production figures, however, differ widely from figures supplied by the Queensland Peanut Board, as the board states that the Queensland crop for 1920-27 was 5,152,000 lb.

3.   The embargo was imposed on the 27th January, 1927, but on the 6th October, 1927, the proclamation was modified so as to allow the importation of peanuts under conditions that exclude the risk of introducing disease. The last-mentioned proclamation is still in force.

4.   -

5.   The request for increase of duty was reported upon by the Tariff Board in 1920, and the board reported against any increase in the existing duty (general tariff) of 4d. per lb. Any further request will, of course, receive careful consideration.

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