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Tuesday, 5 July 1949

Mr Davidson n asked the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, upon notice -

1.   What are the reasons for the shortage of asparagus on the Australian market?

2.   What were the quantities and values of Australian asparagus (a) produced, (b) exported and (c) supplied to the Australian market during each of the last three years and to the latest possible date this year?

3.   To what countries were the exports made, and how much was exported to each country in each period?

Mr Pollard - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The production of asparagus is entirely a matter for private enterprise and neither the Commonwealth Government nor the State Governments exercise any control over production. However, the asparagus industry has not escaped general consequences of labour shortages in rural industry, while at the same time there has been an increased demand for fresh and canned asparagus.

2.   (a)-


(b)   The exports of asparagus were not recorded as a separate item prior to the 1st July, 1948. The exports of asparagus preserved in liquid from Australia during the ten months ended April, 1949, were as shown in the following table:-

Exports of Asparagus Preserved in Liquid from Australia during tub Ten Months ended APRIL, 1949. le) This information is not available except for the period of ten months ended April, 1049. In that period the production of canned asparagus is estimated at 2,82fi,000 lb., whilst exports totalled 130.2.12 lb. This would leave approximately 2,09(1.000 lb. available for supply to the Australian market.

8.   See answer to No. 2(6).

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