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Wednesday, 6 August 1930

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) (3:43 AM) . - Apparently certain Tasmanian growers of hops would like me to vote for a measure the effect of which will be to put the Victorian growers out of action. Senator Dunn just now made an impassioned appeal on behalf of returned soldiers who are engaged in the hop-growing industry in the Derwent Valley. A few minutes later he admitted that he did not know how many were in the business. Evidently he knows nothing about the conditions of the industry in that State.

Senator Barnes - Several returned soldiers are growing hops in Tasmania.

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - Returned soldiers are also growing hops in Victoria. If I supported a bill which would put them out of the business, they would have something to say to me. I have received a communication from growers of 1,500 bales out of a total of 1,700 bales grown in Victoria, asking me to vote against this measure. I understand that they have written to the right honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Scullin), to the same effect. The telegram to me reads as follows: -

The growers of over 1,600 bales out of 1,700 grown in Victoria have made written protest against proposed hop marketing legislation, which will gravely disadvantage them for the benefit of the growers of small portion of Tasmanian crop who are pushing this legislation. Urge you to reject legislation. From press reports the pool and board suggested to be elected by growers, irrespective of acreage, is quite unfair. £75,000 invested in the industry, and employing 7.50 men as pickers, will be in the hands of a board elected by small growers.

Senator Daly - What is the date of that telegram?

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - It was despatched yesterday, the 6th August. I have also received a telegram from Colonel Cohen on behalf of the brewing interests of Victoria protesting against any Commonwealth interference with the industry.

SenatorHoare. - I have received information to the effect that that gentleman is not opposed to the bill.

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - That is contrary to the message which I received. This measure will not be of any assistance to the hop industry generally, and I certainly cannot support a proposal which will have a very detrimental effect upon a large number of persons engaged in the industry in Victoria. Under this proposal the Melbourne brewers may be compelled to obtain portion of their requirements from Tasmania.

Senator Daly - That is not possible under this legislation.

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - I understand that the area under crop is to be restricted, and that possibly a portion of the Victorian requirements will have to be supplied by Tasmanian growers.

Senator Daly - As Commonwealth legislation can affect only interstate trade, there will he no interference with the Victorian hop industry.

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - I do not see how the industry is to benefit unless the area at present under crop is reduced. I presume that if this industry expands, and the growers in Tasmania or Victoria desire to dispose of their surp?us product in New South Wales or in Queensland, the Commonwealth Government can intervene.

Senator Daly - Tes, but that is not the intention.

Senator H E ELLIOTT (VICTORIA) - I have merely expressed the opinions of certain persons who are strongly opposed to the passage of the bill.

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