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Wednesday, 6 August 1930


Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) (4:55 AM) . - The whole of the argument of the honorable senator who has just resumed his seat (Senator O'Halloran) went to prove that the introduction of this bill was unnecessary. He told us that there was no serious surplus of hops in Tasmania, clearly implying that there was no need to control the industry.


Senator O'Halloran - I said that the surplus was not nearly so serious as had been alleged.


Senator HERBERT HAYS - The honorable senator said also that this bill need not interfere with those contracts that had been made. I remind him that Mr. Gunn has pointed out that because these contracts have 'been entered into it is impossible for the small growers to continue in the business.


Senator O'Halloran - I was referring more particularly to the contracts mentioned by Senator McLachlan.


Senator HERBERT HAYS - Those are not the contracts referred to in the bill. I was surprised to hear the Minister (Senator Daly) say that this measure, if enacted, will not have any effect upon the industry in Victoria, which is the only other State producing hops. If that is so it would appear that instead of asking this Parliament to enact legislation that will affect only Tasmania, the proper course would be to pass State legislation providing the necessary control over the industry. Mr. Gunn, the Director of Development, in his report, quotes the following concerning the position in Victoria -

We, the undersigned Victorian hop-growers note with alarm that a certain section of the Tasmanian hop-growers are calling for a Federal pool, and wish to raise an emphatic protest against any pool, either Federal or State, being formed in relation to hops.

I fail to see how this measure can prevent over-production, which has been the trouble for a number of years, or stabilize the industry. Some years ago, a deputation of hop-growers which waited upon the Treasurer in Melbourne, asked for a substantial advance on surplus production which was then being exported at a loss. Those supporting the bill have stressed the fact that a number of small hop-growers will be unable to continue in the industry if this measure is not passed. While I and other honorable senators representing Tasmania are particularly anxious to assist such growers, we cannot overlook the fact that our responsibility is to assist all sections of the community and in this instance to record a vote for the benefit of the whole industry. Mr. Gunn shows clearly in his deport that the demand for hops is diminishing instead of increasing. Even the brewers and the bakers are not using as large a quantity as they did years ago. From whatever angle we study this subject, we cannot overlook the fact that this industry is not likely to expand, and that in common with other primary industries it cannot without substantial financial assistance profitably market its product overseas. Mr. Gunn further states that hops can be purchased in other countries at prices from 50 per cent. to 90 per cent. lower than those now ruling in the Commonwealth. This measure does not provide a solution of the difficulty, and if it is enacted it will be even more difficult to help the hop-growers in the future.


Senator McLachlan - The Tasmanians should have as a slogan " Drink more beer."


Senator HERBERT HAYS - Unfortunately, the quantity of hops used by brewers and bakers is smaller than it was some years ago. After giving the matter the most careful consideration, and closely studying the opinions expressed both for and against the proposal, I am firmly convinced that it will not he of advantage to the industry. We have received telegrams, letters and information in other forms from many sources, from which it would appear that the only way in which the industry can be assisted is by reducing the area under hops and compensating those who are compelled to go out of production. I oppose the bill.







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