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Fruit Industry - Royal Commission on - Progress Report and Minority Report


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1913.

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMUONvYEALTH OF AUSTRALIA.

Pl={O G l1ES-S

AN D

OF

OX TIH;

P ·resmted by Com ma nd; to be zwinted , 12th .An!JilSt, w l a.

[Cost ol P a per. - Preparation, not giren i \lJO copies; ilpproximate cost o[ printint; and publishing-, .£ 21. ]

l'rinl ed and r ub\ishccl fur lhc of th e o f . i\ u srR,\L!.I by ,\ r.HEH J.

Government rrinter for the State of Victoria.

No. 9.- F.6540.

GHEETING:

UO .JJJllON II' EAL'l'Il tJF US'l'RALIA.

C:EOltGE THE FIFTH, by th e Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and I reland and of the British Dominions beyond the S ea s King, Defender of the Faith , Emperor of India.

TO our trusty and well-b eloved F RANCIS JAThnJS FosTER, Esquire, M.P. , WILLIAM FYFE FINLAYSON, Esquire, M.P., JOHN THOMSON, Esquire, M.P., SYDNEY SAMPSON, E squire, M.P., DAVID JoHN GORDON , Esquire, M.P., SEN ATOR PATRICK JOSEPH LYNCH, and SENATOR RUDOLPH KEITH READY .

K NOW ye that we do, by these our L etters Patent, appoint yo·u to be Commissioners to inquire into and report upon th e Prod11ction, Distribution, lVlurketing, and Exportation of A ustralian Fr11it, including the operations of producen shippers, w rn:ers, dealers , and others connected with the fruit industry.

And we appoint you the said FRANCI S JAMES Fos TER to be the Chairman of the said Co mmissioners:

And we direct that at any m eeting of the said Commissioners fo ur Commissioners shall be sufficient to constitute a quorum and may proceed with the inquiry under the se our L etters Patent, notwithstanding the absence of the other Commissioners:

And we ftwt her direct that in the event of the absence of the Glw innun from any meeting of the said Commissioners, the Co mmissioners present may appoint one of their number to act as Ghainncm during such absence :

And tee further direct that in the event of the votes given on any question at an y meeting of the said Commissioners being IY{Ual, the Chairman, i f present, and if the Chairman is not present then the Commissioner appointed to act a8 Chairman in his absence, shall have a secon d or casting vot e :

And we require you with as little delay as possible to repm·t to otw Governor-General in and over otlr said Commonwealth the result of ymtr inquiries into the matters intrusted to by these our Letters Patent.

IN TESTIMONY WHEltEOF we have caused these our L etters to be made P atent and th e Seal of our said Common­ wealth to be thereunto affixed.

( L. S. )

WITNESS our trusty and well-beloved T H OMA S, BARO:N a 1l1ember of His Jtajesty's Most Honorable P rivy Gmm cil, K night Grand Gross of the Most Distingu ished Order of Saini lrfichael und Saint George, Knight Co mmander of the Royal Victorian Order, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chie f of the Commonwealth of Australia, this twel fth day of April, in the year

of our L ord One tho·usand nine hu.ndred and twelve and in the se'c ond year of our reign.

(San. ) DENlriAN,

Govcrnor -G eneral.

B y His E xcellency's Gonwuwcl , (f:lan. ) G. 1.!'. PEARGH.

E ntered on record by me in R egister of Patents No. 5, page 14, this eighteenth day of A pril, One thousand nine hundred and twelve.

(Sau.) ATLEE HUN T .

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REP 0 R T. To His Excellency the RIGHT HoNORABLE THOMAS BARON DENMAN, a Member of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and

St. George, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia ..

MAY IT PLEASE Y OGR Exc ELLE XCY :

1. \Ve, your Commissioners, appointed by letters patent dated the 12th of April, 1912, to inquire ]nto the production, distribution, marketing, and exportation of Australian fruit, deem it desirable to submit this Progress Report. \Ve have been unable to complete our investigation of production and marketing.

In pursuance of our inquiries, we have visited most of the centres of fruit production in Australia. Vve have held 75 sit tings, and have examined 304 witnesses.

EXPORT OF FRUIT. B o oKIXG o F SPACE.

2. In order to secure refrigerated space for fruit for export on oversea steamers, it is required that the fruit-grower shall furnish an estimate of his probable requirements some months before the time of shipment. This arrangement is made entirely to meet the convenience of the shipping companies and agents, quite irrespective of the best interests of their clients, the producers, who are responsible for the payment of freight. As the estimate furnished by the grower must of necessity be purely speculative, his

crops being subject for months to climatic conditions, we are of opinion that he should be given more latit ude in t his respect, and should have opportunity to secure space (as in the case of butter shipments) within a few weeks of the time of shipment. In this connexion G. A ... W. Pope, General Manager , South Australian State Produce Depart­ r.nent, has given evidence as under :-

16:130. By Senator Ready .-Do I underst.:md that yo u take se rio us objection t o the present system of engaging sp 1ce such a long time ahead ]()3:31. Do you consider the present method of obtaining space is de trimental to the interests of the fruit-growers of South Anskllil'1 ?-Yes. I think the present method makes the fruit fit the freight, instead

of the fre ight fitting the fruit, reversing the proper order of things. 1GT13. Why is it th:tt you have t o en gage space such a long time ahead ?-Purely custom.

ALLOTMENT OF REFRIGERATED SPACE.

3. The bulk of the r efrigerated space on oversea steamers available for the fruit trade of the principal fruit-exporting States of Tasmania and Victoria is controlled by two firms. The entir e space in a number of vessels carrying fruit from Tasmania is monopolized by one firm, the ship-owners undertaking not t o carry from Hobart the fruit of any other shipper. This is a regular feature in the contracts of the firm referre d t o. (See evidence of Henry Jones, Managing Director, Henry Jones and

Co., Hobart.) 19820. By Mr. Finlayson.-In your agreement wit h the Federal-Houlder ·and Shire lines of steamers, it is set out that the owners unde1:take not to c.:t rry any fruit from Hobart other than from the companies or their nominees mentioned in the contract, or in any other vessels under their control during the fruit season 1911, without the consent in writing of t he companies is first obtained. Does not

that contract give you an absolute monopoly over all the space in those ships ?-Yes, from Hobart only. 19821. Is that a re gular feature in your contracts ?-I would say yes. 19393. By Mr. John Thomson.-The whole of t he contracting for space is d<>ne by you ?-Ten per cent . is done outside.

19:39 4. Ten per cent. outside you and Peacock and Co. ?-Yes .

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4. In Victoria one firm secures t he allotment of a bout 50 per cent. of the available accommodation, the balance being parcelled out amongst a number of competing agents, preference being given to those already established in the trade. The Orient and Peninsular and Oriental Companies allot from 70 per cent to 80 per cent . of

their available space t o t he particular firm referred to. Mr. Frederick ·white, Agent for the Peninsular and Oriental Co. , Melbourne, stated in evidence (Q. 14164): - " For the last two or three years P erry and Co. have not put in an application, "because I have decided to give them a certain percentage ; Perry and Co. have had 80 per cent.

of my total space in Victoria." Complaint has been made in Western Australia. of the undue prefeTNlce wh ich it is alleged is given t o shipper s in the E ast ern States. The present system of allot men t, it is stated, places the gro\n•rs of Westt.·rn Australia at the mercy of shippers in the other States.

Mr. James F. Moody, Fruit Industries Commissioner of Western A nstralial stated in reply to Senator Lyuch- " We must have better f.'lc ilities for getting spa('P. Western Australia is left until the other States have had their space allotted to them. Last season we could uot get anything like the spaee we wanted, but the bonts enme here with 2,000 or 3,000 feet to spare, ami we were able to fill it hy getting wires from Adelaide. This y ear, I understand from Messrs. Jacoby, George Wills, a nd

Henry Wills, the three principal shippers, that t hey canno t get one half the

space t hey require. But owing to Vietoria and Tasmania applying for more t han they really required we wet·e enabled to obtain space. We are informed hy telegraph from Adelaide that t here is plenty of space available, hut is too late to <'anvass the districts."

5. Under existing conditions, it is pract ically impossible for other s desirous of competing in fruit export to enter the trade ; many have tried to secure a foot ing, but without success. The Hon. J . Hume Cook, Chairman of Directors, Victorian Orchardists' Co. -op. Association Limited which has a m embership of between 700 and 800 growers, was examined in this regard :-

11888. By the Chairman -Have any of your growers been shut out by a combim t ion when they have made individual applicn tions ?-Yes, a lot of them. The fruit must go through t he recognised 11hq.nnels. "\Ve waited upon the shipping companies ; they received us courteously, stated t hat they would be glad t o give us space, but t hat the space was li mited, and t hat men who had been dealing with

them for years could not be set aside. 11889. Who are t he men who cont rol the shipping space ?- H enry Jones and Co. in Hobart , and S. J . Perry and Co. in Melbourne.

Mr. Thomas Murdoch, Merchant, :Market-place, Hobart, gave evidence on the same subject, as under :-23462. By Senator Ready. - Have you ever tried t o open up a trade in fruit wit h any fi rm in England at any time in t he history of your firm ?- Yes.

23463. Wit h what result ?-A negative result. 23464. For what reason ?-Because we could not get the space. 2.3465. When did you try to open up a trade, and with what firm in London ?- I should r,ay I have been trying for the last twelve years t o open up a trade in London.

Mr. Robert H ardy Topham, Barrister-at-law and Fruit-grower, "\Voodbridae, Tasmania, in his evidence on the subject, said:-" My view is that the present poly of space is injurious to the fruit industry of this countrv. In the year 1911 I bought two farms in Tasmania, each of 100 acres. I to London, and I

arranged with Mr. T. J. Poupart, of Covent Garden, t o sell my fruit in London . .. .. vVhen I arrived in J\felbourne, I went and sa w the manager of t he Orient Co. I had then no idea that there was any monopoly of the shipping space. . . . . .

I asked hi:r:n to grant me space in t he vessels of the Orient Co. !n t he following season. That was m September, and I should have wanted the space m F ebruary, nearly six months ahead. The manager informed me t hat all the space was taken up by Jones and Co., of Hobart, and that I must see t hem. That was the first time I h eard that

Jones and Co. had anything to do with the space. Had I known that I could not have t aken my own space from my O\Vn people I would never have come t o Tasmania. I then made inquiries at the offices of three of the shipping companies, and space was denied me by all of them on t he ground that it was taken. I could not take any space for the_ next season if I wanted to, unless I t ook it t.hrough these agents. "\Vhen I had

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made inquiries in Australia and found that I could not take my own space through my own agents, I interviewed Mr. Jones' manager. I said, ' I find I am bound to take space through you.' He said, 'That is so.' I said, 'What is your He said, 'Twopence per case.' I said, 'Do you mean to say that I have to pay you 2d. per case to do business that I do not want you to do r He said, ' Yes.'

I said, ' Will you kindly put it in writing r He said, ' Yes.' I produce his letter

of the 5th November, 1911."

6. Further, by the operations of those controlling the space, the firm instanced below had been squeezed out of the business. (See evidence of Edmund Mills, Manager for C. Knight and Co., Hobart.) 18817. By Senator Ready.-Does your firm ship fruit for London now. We were shipping

some years ago. 18818. Why did you discontinue shipping could not get the space. . .

18819. We have been informed that there is plenty of space available. Why 1s 1t that you could not get space 1894 we shipped about 30,000 cases of apples to London for growers, but we had our space grrdually cut down, year by year, until we were cut out altogether. 18821. By the Chairman.-What agent cut you down Orient Steamship Co.

18822. By Senator Ready.-Year by year you were cut down and we then had to apply tor sp:we to Messrs. Jones and Co., or to Messrs. W. D. Peacock and Co. 18823. Does that mean you were forced out of business

7. It is claimed by the largest exporting firms that by virtually monopolizing the avn.ilable space, they are enabled to secure the lowest rates of freight for their clients. On the other hand, the freedom of action of the grower is thereby restricted, for ib is usually understood that he shall ship to those London and Hamburg firms

of selling agents or brokers who are represented in Australia by those controlling the space. This business involves the payment of a rebate or return commission, referred to hereafter in paragraph 11.

8. We submit that this system, by which the sale of Australian fruit is confined to a few agents in the London and Hamburg markets, militates against effective distri­ bution, and is therefore detrimental to the interests of Australian growers. Mr. Walter Preedy, Chief Commonwealth Superviser of Commerce, Department of Trade and

Customs, stated in evidence as under :-29459. By Senator Ready.-Do you think the present agency system controlling largely the distri­ bution of fruit in London, is inimical to the best interests of the fruit industry I think it is. 29460. Do you think confining the market to London is hindering the growth of the Australian fruit industry am sure it is. If we were to send three times the quantity of fruit to Covent Garden that

we do at present, there would be a slump. The channels must be extended.

Mr. Elwood Mead, Chairman, State Rivers Commission, Melbourne, also stated before this Commission :--" I was in Great Britain two years ago, and visited a number of ports, including London and Manchester. There is no question that London is behind Manchester in its facilities for handling any kind of perishable product, and

we ought to broaden our trade here by sending to other ports."

9. We recommend that the possibilities of securing a more efficient distribution of Australian fruit throughout Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe should be specially investigated. The evidence tendered us indicates that, by the introduction of some better system than that which at present exists, an immense additional outlet

for our products would be secured.

AGENCY CHARGES.

10. Apart from out-of-pocket expenses, the principal Australian shipping agents make to the fruit-growers a charge for their services of 3d. per case. In Tasmania, there is a minimum charge of 2d. per case. These charges are considered by growers to be reasonable, and sufficient to enable agents to secure fair profits. Mr. Henry

Jones, Managing Director of H. Jones and Co., Limited, who shipped over 450,000 cases in 1912, and whose minimum agency charge is 2d. per case, stated :-19104. By Senator Ready.-Cannot you say approximately what are the profits of the fruit export agency per case would be about the net profit we make.

19105, What charge do you make per case, sometimes 3d.

There were mure than one million cases of fruit exported from Australia during the 1912 season, which extended over ten weeks; during that period the charges to growers for agency amounted approximately to £11,000.

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11. In connexion with tl1c consignment of {mit by n.gents in .A11 stmli[l. to sc!ling agents in London and J-Imnburg, of whom they are the accredited repTes?ntatn'es, a system of rebates or return commissions is in exiHtence. The London sellmg agent charges a commission for his services, usually of 5 per cent. on the gross proceeds of sales ; in addition to this, a consolidated charge of from 7 d. to 8d. per case is made, ostensibly to cover incidental expenses. The actual out-of-pocket expenses , however, it is stated in evidence, amount to from 4!d. to 5;}d. a case. Portion of the evidence of Mr. G. A. W. Pope, General Manager, South Australian State Produce Depart ment, hears upon these London charges:-

Hi 30G. By Senator Ready.-Is the total amount 4.;j;-d. a C< tSe besides the . . . . ·

.\.ccording to the latest circular issued by the Port of London Au thority on the 4th August, 1912, various charges are given for fruit. . . . . You can take it t hat the act ual London minimum charges would lw 4fd., and the maximum 5}d. per case. 16307. May we fairly assume if any private firm charges 7d. per case it is making a profit out of

the business ?-Yes, they are certainly making a profit.

Mr. Pope stated also, " We never did charge our growers more than 5d. per ease at the London end." Mr. vV. D. Peacock, Jam Manufacturer, Hobart, has also given evidence regarding this matter:-

22720. By Senator Ready.- Do you say there is a smd l profit in the consolidated charges may be. I think this matter has been gone into by Sir Jol1n l\1cC,tll, and he forwarded a m cmorandnm to t he Tasmanian Government, in which he showed what was made. I think he brought it out at l}d. a box, but I am not quite sure.

22722. I am dealing with the fact that the South Australian Government is getting the same service for the growers for 4fd. to 5!d. per case for which the growers of Tasmania are p.q ing 7d. a case do not admit that. I have bought thousands of cases of South Australian apples, and I know something about the matter.

Mr. Albert Duthoit, Ex-fruit Exporter, J\felbomne, who has had over twenty years' experience in the export trade, stated (Q . 28594) :--" The charges are 2;td. dock dues (London Port Authority), rd. a case rail from Tnbury to Commercial-road depot, and ld. a case for carting to the market, and the broker's charge of 1d. That Js 4! d. That is to say, the brokers make money out of the 8d. a case,

because the out-of-pocket expenses are 4!d., and he has 3!d. a case for himself, out of which he pays the men on this side. They cannot work for a 5 per cent. commission and pay a man 3d. a case as well, for if the fruit only fetches 8s. a case they work for nothing, a state of things I have not yet found to exist in Covent Garden. They would make a consolidated charge, which would be out-of-pocket expenses plus what they pay to agents, leaving them 5 per cent."

If, as it would appear from evidence, the London consolidated charge is approxi­ mately 3cl. per case in excess of actual expenses, the loss to growers thereby would amount, at the lowest estimate, to £5 ,000 in an average season.

12. Out of the profits made by the selling agents in London, most of their Australian representatives receive a rebate or retmn commission, usually of 3d. per case­ a fact not generally known to growers. The following extracts from evidence prove the existence of the rebate or retmn commission :- •

Mr. S. J. Perry, Fruit Exporter, .M:elbourne-12281. By Senator Ready.-What is your charge to the grower get from the grower about 3d. per case. 12282. What retaining fee did you receive from Dennis and Son ?-For the next season it will be 2t per cent.

12283. Did you receive 2! per cent. last year And a h alf-penny. The !d. was refunded

by us, because the London charges had gone up. We really received 2! per cent. 12284. What does T. J. Poupart give you as a retaining fee ?-Last year 4d. and 3d. p er case. The Loudon charges are increasing, and we do not want to put it on to the grower. 12285. What do Astheimer and Sohn, Hamburg, give you per cent. and .15 pfg. or ltd.

12286. What do Connelly and Co., Liverpool, give you a case. 12287. Did you draw over £1,200 in retaining fees last year ?- Yes.

Mr. Perry stated also: "The big people m Germany, every agent there, grves the retaining fee to shippers." Mr. Matheson Hany Jacoby, l\Ianager of the Fruit-growers' Shipping n.nd Tmding Association Limited, Perth-

26486. By the Chairman.- What about the export trade ?-As far as the export trade is concerned, there are certain rebates which are paid to agents in Australia representing brokers, whi ch this company •rants to obtain for itli members.

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Whinh rdntnR ?- All thosr. hrokr.rs w1w have agrmts in pay ngcmt.R a

eOJilllliN N LOil. 26489. 'Vh;ci; woultl y ou U

These arc only small items, b ut tlwy amoun t to a good deal in the scawn. And you h ope to save t hese it.ems to your grcmers ?-Yes.

Mr. Frank H . Nicholls, Mer chant, Adelaide-IG54G. Do you receive a retaining fcc fro m those firms in London whom you represent ?- Yes. ]()547. Docs it vary from 3d. t o 4d. a c,1se ?-It rnns out at about 2Q. per cent.

Mr. Henry John Simper, Fruit and Produce Merchant, P('.rth-27645. What firm in London do you represent ?- J. B. Thomas. 27646; What commission does Thomas allow you?- 3d. per case. 2765-L . . . I understand that it is the usual thing in I"ondon ?- They all pay 3d. I have

Thomas' letter to me. . . . . "'Ve will send you d raft t o balance the net and of course cn·dit

you sepitmtely with 3d. a case commission."

13. It was stat ed in ev-idence that the largest Tasmanian exporting finn did not receive the rebate r efened t o. This finn, however, h as a controlling int er est in F. \V. Moore and Co., a London firm of selling agents, through whorn most of the fru it shipped by them is so1d.

Henry Jones, Managing Director, H . J ones and Co. Ltd.-19847. By S enator Ready .- I s F. W. Moore a nd Co . a subsid iary branch of H enry Jones and Co . Co.-op. Limited ?-Yes. 23916. \Y ill you swP:lr that :\'Io01·e and Co. tlo not. ge t any rel mtc from any l> rok er to whom tllf'Y

hand frnit ?-1 th in k it won ld he rather risky fo r me to swear th is.

14. In order to emure t hat the rrrower should have freedom of action as to whom he should consi gn on the O\'ersca and al::;o t hat tl1e grower, and not the

middleman, should receive the amount represented by rebate or return commission, we recommend that the Government should cont ract with t h e steamship compan ies for the whole of the necessary space, and allot it pro ratrl,, according to the requirements of the growers in the seveml St ates. I n this regard, we would quote from t he evidence before this Commission of Mr. Elw ood Mead, Ch airman, State Rivers Commission,

Victoria :-" There is no doubt a Gover nment agency orl erat ing the cool stores here could arrange for shipping space, or provide ships for marketing t he fruit abroad, and could do t he >vork at less expense to the grmn'rs t 1mn any number of privat e organizations coul d do it."

The firms eontro1ling the fruit ex ;_1 ort trade of Au stralia exereise a great influence over the indnstr.\'1 and nrc well represented on t l1 e ho

that large orehardists arc shareholders in Henry .Tones and Co. Co-operati ve . A number of smaller growers are dependent on these fi rms for supplies, shipping space, and, in many cases, for fi nancial accommod ation .

In Southern Tasmania a ePrtain amount of timidity was nmnif<)Sted before the Commission hy growers who were evidentl y somewhat nmvous in speaking of present con ditions. The infltH'II<"P referred to does no t operate to t h<· hPnefi t of t he fruit indnstrv . .;

The lett<'r following fr-.,m Messrs. F. ,V. 1\Ioore a nd Co. , London, to .Jones and Co., I lohart, discloses another unhealthy aspect of the present system:-23900. "Mr. M. Fitzpat riek wrote tons to know if we conl< l for him 5,000 cases for ne xt y <'a r, made up as follows :-About .. 200 A, L .X., 100 R.P. , 2.iO C.K, 11)0 B. O. , 250 .N.Y .!'., 000 A P. !\L,

1,200 F.P . .M., 2,400 S.T.P.; lw stated tl1 at he wolil

"Mr. R. J . (Messrs. Knill n, ncl Grant) cam e in to se e 1 1s about this, as he had exactly a

simil ar letter which ha

'"ill tronble abont hnying just now."

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UNSATISFACTORY l\fETHODS OF SALE.

15. The evidence o£ Mr. W. J. ·williamson, Fruit-grower, Barrister and Solicit:or, of Portland, Victoria, and others, throws considerable light on the conditions under whi ch a great proportion of fruit is sold in the London market.

Mr. Williamson stated-15159. I was in London during the 1911 season, and I attended several apple sales in Floral Hall, Covent Garden. I found that the number of auctioneers is limited, and that there is a close monopoly. Speaking from memory, there were seven or eight auctioneers in Floral Hall to sell Australian apples. All the apples are sold thro'Jgh this Hall, and the ordinary retail market is close by. The principal firms are the two firms of Jacobs, Den nis, Thomas, Kelly, Wolf, a nd Isaacs. With one exception, they all sell from one rostrum, and they sell for twenty minutes each. When I went there I expected to see a large gathering of buyers of the hundreds of thousands of cases of apples sold. The rostrum is in a circle, uot

wider than this room is long, and there are four tiers of pla nks for people to stand on, around it. Under­ neath the auctioneer's rostrum a case of fruit is exhibited by a man standing on the floor, who knocks the head off, and leans it forward so the buyers can see it. Then the bidding starts. The fruit is sold in a great hurry. When I went into Floral Hall the noi.se was like a carpenter at work hammering; they were

knocking down the fr uit. They have only twenty minutes to get through. The auctioneers sell in lots, and they knock down as many as they can at a particular price, and when they cannot knock down any more they start again at perhaps 3d. a case lower, and repeat the previous performance, and so on. 15160. Is the fruit sold on a one-case sample ?-Yes.

15161. Where are the rest of the are thev not exhibited in the Hall ?-When I was iri the

ktll, out of the whole shipment of fruit selling there only a few hundred cases. Out of my shipment of 200 c.1ses there were 40 cases there in a little space by t hemselves . All the cases are nailed, and they just take off the lid of one case and exhibit it when offering for sale. I asked one of the buyers how he knew what the apples were like, and he s:2id, "We get information as to how the shipment as a whole

has arrived, and then we go for the districts, such as H arcourt, Western Australia, and so on." All they have to go on are t,he names, and the condition in which the shipment arrived. I suppose they have to allow a margin for security. I was surprised that even the small circle for buyers was not full, and there was plenty of room. I went ro Jnd to James-street, close to Floral Hall, and I noticed the names of Jacobs,

Thomas, Isaacs, and so on over different wholesale shops. I went into one of the shops, and said, "You sell in t he Hall as well as here ? " He said. " Yes." I said, " Do you get through much business "

" Yes," he s11id, "we do a large business all over the kingdom." I "Where do you get the And he said, "In the Hall; of course we have to get our profit." I then went back to the auctioneer to have a conversation with him, and I said, " I see you sell privately," and he said " we all do." I said, " Where do you get the and he said, "In the Hall there." I said, "How can you be a buyer

and seller both and he said, "They are different departments." I said, " What does it matter if there are 50 departments, if you are head of them all ?" a nd he said, " Our managers come here and compete in the open market." I said, "Who knocks down to them," but I was so disgusted at the man's blindness to business ethics that I did not go any further.

15162. Did you come to the conclusion that the seller of fruit was a distributor also?-Yes; he di stributes and gets the price I should be getting. He probably never handles the fruit. It is knocked do wn to his manager, and straight away it is started to be di stributed throughout Great Britain. However, I go t into further conversation w-ith him, and he said, "Of course, we have a great number of sellers scattered throughout the country tha t we have to help financially." In other words, these sellers were the creatures of the firm and its distributing medium. I object to that state of affairs. On another day, I had a small shipment of from 200 to 250 cases of Rome Beauty apples, and I went to Floral Hall to see

them sold. They had 40 cases out of the shipment in the H all, and these 40 cases were stacked by them­ selves. I saw the 40 cases were all in good order, in hardwood cases, and clear of water stain. I could see the apples through the spaces in the cases, and they were all in good order and dry. When my apples came on the cat alogue, a case was brought out from near the rostrum, all discoloured with

water. The head of the case was wrenched off, and there were the apples, with paper hanging round them. wet. They were knocked down for 4s. a case on that sample, including portions of the shipment which were not then in the Hall. I jumped down from where I was st anding and looked at my 40 cases again, and they were perfectly free from water stain. I said afterwards, "Where did you get that case from ? Why didn't you tip it in the rubbish heap?" and he said," We always try to sell on a fair sample."

15163. How would you say that this particular case became wet ?-I do not know. I can only say that 40 cases were perfectly dry, and here was one that should have been put aside and not sold nsed as a sample. I did not want one of the best cases picked out, but I wanted a fair sample. 15164. Do you think t he case had been dipped in a tub of water ?-I cannot say. My impression

wa s that the case had been under water somewhere. I will swear the other 40 cases were perfectly dry. After visiting the market in London, I went up to Manchester. They have a magnificent market there, but there were no sales on at the time of my visit. I saw one of the principal men, and had a conversation with him, and I found out that the auctioneers not only sold on commission, but bought fruit right out. He would give me the option. I said I could not see how it could be done. The accommodation at the

Manchester market is vastlv ahead of that at Covent Garden. The accommodation at Covent Garden is wretched, and I have se;n such a block that a pedestrian could not get by. This place is within sight of the Agent-General's office , away from the railway and docks, and miles from Tilbury, right in the congested part of London. I n my opinion the conditions at Covent Garden can never be changed. It is private property, and, I think, belongs to the Duke of Bedford. It is too closeamonopolyforanychange

to come. Then I have to find fault with the primitive method of handling the stuff. The waggons with the fruit come up to the door entrance of the Hall, and there is no regular staff of men to unload the stuff.

11

They get casuals and give them so much an hour. What I saw was this: These men, loafers

on the street, come in with one case on their heads, and drop it on to the floor. Some were a little more careful than others, but it is a farce to deal with Australian fruit in that manner. I will swear that one man dropped a case of fruit from the top of his head on to the floor without bending his back. Another thing I object to is that there is no proper advertisement before the sale. Some have printed

but to show the ridiculously inadequate provision for advertising sales, one man had only a few typewnt.ten eat alogues; he did not even go to the trouble of having them printed. TheRe were handed here and there among the buyers as he mounted the rostrum. 15165. . . . . I have no objection t o the catalogues themselves, but it was ludicrous t o

sec a big shipment of fruit sold on a few typewritten catalogues. Then there is no provision for storage when a glut occurs. One boat may be in, and ftnother just coming in to unload, and t o reme dy that defe ct. there should be cool storage accommodation to tide over a glut of that sort. At present the fruit has t o be got rid of at once, and it is knocke d down for what they can get. As to t.he auctioneers Reiling selves, we have no reliable or effective means of checking such a practice. A grave wrong t o us 1s selhng

on sample. I have spoken to a number of spec buyers. It, is open to these men to buy on sample, and nfterwards dispute as to the bulk not being up to sample. . . . . I was present at the sales in London when my fruit was knocked down at 4s., nnd my return came out at 3s. 6d. I sa\V that occur, and I made a note on the catalogue at the time, and brought it out with me.

The Ron. .J. Hume Cook, Chairman of Directors, Vietorian Orchardists' Co-operative Association Limi ted, stated-(Q. 11883) . "In England there should be some sort of inspection of the fruit on arri val fro m Australia. All sorts of tales are told by men \vho have followed their

fruit, and have seen it sold. As most of the people in Covent Garden are dealers as well as brokers or auctioneer::;, it is very easy for them to fix things satisfactorily to t hemselves, but not satisfactorily t o the growers at this end. We are told that another practice is to sell the whole line to an employe, a partner, or a friend of the agent, and then resell at a profit. It is also asserted that the account sales are averaged.

(Q. 13519). " A certain grower sent avvay 101 cases of apples

by the Morea, and they consisted of four grades, 'AA,' ' A,' 'B,' and ' C.' Those apples ought to have brought varying prices, but, as a matter of fact, the return came to hand showing that 100 cases had brought an average of 8s. 6d. per case. I am perfectly satisfied that theRe cases of fruit were not sold at 8s. 6d. per case all round,

but I cannot prove it." W. E. Shoobridge, Orchardist and Hop Grower, Bushy Park, Tasmania :-23274. By Mr. Gordon.- -What about conditions at the other end ?- . . . . I spent three

months in London. . . . . There are several di stinct classes of sellers of fruit. First of all, the Covent Garden brokers. Then t here are speculators, who either sell on commission or pubEc auction. 23275. By the Ohairman.-Do you mean to say that t hese men who auction the fruit are specu­ ?- Yes, they purchase themselves; they a11ction More than that , t hey have a great

number of tied houses, and they have their own buyers buying at the auction Rales , h1lying for their own t ied houses.

16. We are of opinion that the disposal of Australian fruit in London can never be satisfactorily effected so long as these methods exist, nor so long as the Australian agents of the growers are influenced by the London selling agents.

IjoNDON AccouNT SALES.

17. We have elicited from our inquiries into the export trade, that a certain amount of dissatisfaction exists amongst exporting growers in regard to the prices returned by J_,ondon agents. It would appear that there is in t he minds of many growers a suspicion that there is a discrepancy between the price realized by their frui t in

London and that shown on their account sales. Mr. George Griffiths, Fruit-grower, Somerville, Victoria, stated (Q. 13286) :­ ,,In one instance I sent 400 cases-200 to Hamburg, and 200 t o Covent Garden. Covent Garden returned very little, and said the fruit was inferior, ' scrappy,' and I forget the other word. Absolutely the same quality of stuff was sent to Hamburg, and the return was 'fruit in good order, fair quality, and good price.' I am not alone in that experi­ ence." (See also evidence of R. W. G. Shoobridge (Q. 19901), and J. H. Knappstein

(Q. 16675 et seq.)

LONDON AND HMIBU RG AS DISTRIBUTIN G CENTRES.

18. From evidence tendered to us, it would appear that the Port of London is a costly and unsatisfactory selling and distributing centre. There are no facilities for cold storage, the sale rooms are of inadequate size, and are situated about 20 miles fr om the docks, where most of the frui t is discharged. On the other hand, the Hamburg

12

markf' t afTords ample pro ....- ision for display and sale of frnit, and the business is conducted under pr oper sn1wn·ision. rf'he follO\ving is an extraet from a statAmcnt submitted by Mr. Alfred Pfaff, ?IIerchant , of 90 Will iam-street, Melh oum e, IYho personally inspected the methods in vogue :-

"Auction SaleB. - -Tho fruit sheds are tho property of the municipality of Ham­ burg, and are situated about h aH-n-mile distant fron1 the city. The frui t is di scharged from lighters alongside the frui t sheds, the latt er being of enormous dimensions. As soon as tho fruit is diseharged and placed in the sheds, samples are t aken of each lot, sometimes t\\'o c:a Bcs, which are opened and exhibited on stands allotted to different firms of auctioneers. Buyers invited h om aU parts of the continent, who wish to make

an inspection, generally have a day and a ha.lf in which t o do so. On each separate stand the buyers can obtain blank cat alogues, and with t hese catalogues t hey can make 11 thorough inspect ion, mark their price limits on each list, and make general notes.

"At about two. o'clock in the afternoon the auctions begin. Not in the fruit sheds, but in a large building, the Fruchthof, in the city itself, in which the offices of the principal fruit importers are situated, and which contains a number of large auction r ooms, fitted up with plenty of seating accommodation, in the same way as our local exch;mge or the wool exchange. About half-an-hour is all otted t o each fi rm, and the auctio n:-; in the different rooms often continue till one o'clock at night. After t he auction sale, new catalogues are printed, in which t.llC different prices realized are set out. The system itself is perfect, and enables large quantities to be dealt with within a very short t ime. (Viele also evi dence, Mr. J. \V. Moss, of Melbourne, Q. 12406.)

19. As a result of our investigation, we have arrived at the conclusion that in justice t o Australian fr uit-growers, it is essential that there should be a further inquiry into the charges made by selling agents, methods of sale, handling, storage, display, and distribution of Aust ralian fruit, as well as into the practices of selling agents in ovorscn. markets, particnlarly at Garden, London.

20. In recommending the extension abroad of this inquiry, we are of opmwn that it would be expedient at the same time, seeing that the interests of Australian shippers of perishable products are in many respec ts identical, t o extend its scope to cover the storage and distribution of ot her Australian perishable products in oversea markets.

ExPORT OF I NFERIOR FRUIT.

21. \Ve recommend that the export of inferior and di seased fruit he prohibited. The provisions of t he Commerce and Customs Ads dealing wi th t he matter should be strengthened where fo und ineffective. The maintenance of the go!Xl name of Australian produ('ts in oYersca markets is of paramount importance. (Vide evidence, l\fr. W. Precdy, Chief Supervisor o{ Commerce, Department of Trade and Customs.)

SELF-REGISTEIUNG T HEHMOMETE RS .

22. In order to ensure t hat fmit shipped in refrigerated chambers shall reach its destination sound and in good condition, the maintenance of a suitable uniform temperature is necessary throughout the voyage.

Shippers have not any cffcetive check on oversea steamship companies in this matter, noT have they any redress in the event of losses due to faulty refrigeration. \Ve strongly recommend the installation o{ self-registering thermome ters in the refrigerated chambers of all vessels carrying fruit oversea. These thermometers should be placed in boxes, scaled at the commencement of the voyage, the seals to

be broken and rer ords noted by the supervisor of import.s at the port of destination.

U NIFomr GRADIKG BRANDI NG.

23 . We arc of opinion an effec ti,Te Rystem of uniformly grading and brandinO' cases is essential t.o the return of the best results to growers, and to ensure t ho lishment of the highest standard of excellence for our fruits in ov erseamarkets. \Vo find that at t:be present time t here is no unifor mity, with the result. t hat the grade marks are to a groat extent valueless to prospective buyers.

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To the desired end, we would recommend the ci'\tablishmcnt of central pa.r.king sheds in fruit-growing districts, under the supervision of oflic crs of the E:l ta te Departments of Agriculture, who co uld institute the best methods of packing and grading as well as attend to general inspection.

We are of opinion also that drying and curing kilns or sh eds, with improved methods, should be attached to packing sheds in citrus district s to proviJ.c a suffic ient supply of oranges and lemons in the off season, when those fruits arc most in demand. This would tend to reduce the present he avy importations from Southern Europe.

UNIFORM C ASES.

24. \V e recommend, for the transport of frui t, cases of uniform size, and advise the bushel as the standard. New cases only should be used; second-hand cases are disease carriers, and should be regularly inspected. Their use should be permissible only after disinfection.

Vve recommend also that all carts, waggons, and cars used in the carriage of fruit be periodically inspected and disinfected, as they tend t o become active disseminators of disease.

C oiYIMONWE ALTH LINE OF

25. The continued expansion of the export trade, which it> inevitaulc as a result of the great increase in plantations, part icularly of apples for export, in mos t of the States, will create the necessity as time advances for increased space accommodation. 1N e are of opinion that the establishment of a line of steamers owned and con­

trolled by the Federal Government , equipped with the most up-t o-date system of refrigeration, would be of great benefi t t o the industry. Incidentally, it would ureak down the space monopoly, and thereby rest ore to the grmvers fr eedom of action as to whom they should consign their fruit shipments.

On this question, The Hon. Ge orge Graham, .Minist er for Agriculture, Vic toria, stated in the course of his evidence before this Commission (Q . 11953) :- " My reason for saying that the Commonwealth will never be able to do any good until it establishes a Commonwealth line of steamers is this : ·we bring all our produce down to the r:;ea­

boaJ;d by train ; it is dumped down at the sea-board, and we-arc left entirely at the mercy of the shipping ring afterwards, no matter what it is we are sending away. I gave evidence before the Butter Commission, and emphasized that point very strongly, and I have not changed my mind since. I feel certain that the only solution of the

difficulty is a Commonwealth line of steamers, and I say if we can run our railwayr:;, we can run a line of steamers. By that means we can carry our mails, our passengers, and our perishable pr oduct s, and at the same time train young Am;tralians in navigation and sea life. I do not care what Gonmunent is in power, in this r egard we shall not

do any good until the Commonwealth Government has the power t o establish a line of steamers of its own."

SHIPPING TRANSPORT-INTER-STATE TRADE.

26. Conditions in regard to the shipment of fruit in the Inter-S tate trade arc far from satisfactory. Growers and agents are unanimous in denouncing the present mcth?ds of handling and stowing fr uit cargoes, and complain t hat their protests to shippmg companies have received scant attention. :Frui t caniecl on deck deteriorates :h·om exposure to weather and deck-war:;hing operations, whilst that carried below ii3 heated and sweated, and consequently is landed often in an unsaleablc condition. Shippers of bananas and citrus fruits suffer exceptionally heavy losses in this way.

27. Our inspection of the ships and the methods of transport has disclosed a serious lack of reasonable accommodation and facilities for the satisfactory carriage of the softer varieties of fruits. During the summer months the available refrigerated space is utterly inadequate. Heavy losses result in consequence, and the volume of

the Inter-State trade is thereuy limited. "\V e recommend that it he made compulsory that 3:11 vessels carrying fruit cargo be equipped with refrigerat ed chambers of reasonable capacity.

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28. Complaints have been made of pillage, loss, and deterioration caused by delay, sometimes of more than a week, in transhipment at Sydney of Tasmanian fruit consigned to Queensland ports. There is not any direct service at present provided, and it is stated that trade between the States named i::; restricted in consequence. The rates of freight also are considerably higher from Sydney to Brisbane than they are on the return journ ey. The Tasmanian grower carries an unreasonably heavy burden on that account.

The understandings which exist between the Inter-State Shipping Companies as to uniformity of freight, and the limitation of the trading sphere of each, are in no wise beneficial to the fruit industry.

29. Better methods of handling at ship's side are essential. Much d es truction of fruit has been caused by the use of rope slings and canvas parachutes, and by the trampling on cases by waterside workers whilst handling cargo.

·we recommend that the use of trays be made compulsory, and that gratings should be introduced at suitable and regular distances amongst fruit cargo, t o provide necessary ventilation and t o serve as walking planks.

Complaints have been made also that the I nt er-State Shipping Companies adopt the device of stamping the words " Insufficient packages " across their bills of lading, and disclaim on t hat account all liability in respect of loss, or damage t o fruit in transit.

\Ve are of opinion that legislation is desirable to prevent this or any evasion of reaso nable liability.

30. I n connexion with Inter-State shipping, we quote the evi denc e of Dr. H. Benjafield, Fruitgrower, Physician, and Medical Officer of H ealth, H obart :-22994 et seq. By the What is your opinion in regard to co ol storage in t he I nter-State

trade. Is there much accommodation for it is what I would like to go int o. The carriage of our fruit all along the Aust ralian coast at t he present time is most unsatisfa ctory. I would like t o use an even stronger term t han that. The boats here won't do anything except take our money. They serve us as they like, after we have co ol-stored our fruit. . . . . Last year I wanted to get 3,000 half­

cases of pears canied in cool storage, and I offered to pay double freight for it, but I was unable t o get any accommodation. I could not get a single case carried. . . . . . I demanded to know why they charged me t wic e as much to carry my fruit north

as t hey did for the carriage of fruit down to Sydney, but I could get no satisfaction. 23026. By Senator questioned a Mr. Finlayson in Queensland, and he informed us

t hat at one time there were no pears available in Maryborough or Brisbane, and at the same time you had 3,000 cases in your store in Hobart, which you were prepared to send to t hose places, but could not do so. Is that true perfectly true.

23027 . If that condition of things obtains, must it not prove a very bad thing for the Tasmanian fruit industry ?-Undoubtedly. 23028. And you recommend action on the part of the Federal Government as the remedy ?-Yes.

31. We are of opinion that the advent of a Commonwealth line of Inter-State steamers into competition with the existing companies would secure the immediate correction of the disabilities complained of.

R AI L TRANSPORT.

32. Much improvement is needed in the handling of fruit on railways. The damage to fruit by bruising in transit could be minimized by bet ter stacking in trucks and more careful shunting.

The Inter-State trade is seriously hampered and restrict ed by the absence of a uniform gauge and refrigerated cars. Delays in delivery are unreasonably frequent, and are also irksome and destructive. I n the absence of refrigerat ed cars, a sufficient supply of louvred vans of the most effective type in all St at es is imperative. Periodical fast perishable goods trains would be of inestimable value to t he fruit trade.

15

COLD STORAGE DEPOTS.

33. We find that, whilst a progressive policy has been pursued by the Gov crm_ ncn ts of most of the States in regard to cold storage accommodation, the Stat es of New South ·wales and Queensland have to a great extent neglected this essential adjunct t o the industry. In times of glut, facilities for cool storage would be of incalculable benefit

to growers. We reco_mmend that cold storage depots under Government or co-operative control should be established in convenient centres t o suit growers, packers, and traders, and utilized in conjunction with the railway and steamship services. (Vide evidence, Ron. George Graham, Victoria, Q. 11967; and Mr. J. C. Hunt , M.L.A.,

New South Wales, Q. 7618.)

GovERNMENT AssiSTANCE.

34. The Governments of the various States, through their Agricultural Depart­ ments, have done much to educate the producers as t o methods of culture, the selection of the best and most suitable varieties of fruits, as well as in regard to the most effective methods of dealing with pest s and diseases. There is still, however, great scope for the extension of Government activity in connexion with the many problems affecting the fruit industry. We recommend, therefore, the establishment

by the Federal Government of a Central Bureau of Agriculture to work in co-operation with, and to supplement the work of, the State Departments.

STATE PRODUCE DEPARTMENTS.

35. In this connexion we would recommend also the establishment in all States of Government Produce Departments on similar lines to that at present existing in South Australia.

These Departments could organize and regulate the trade, particularly in regard to exports, and could also co-operate with the Federal authorities in the work of developing the fruit industry. We are of opinion that by shipping and trading through the Government Departments, the cost of agency to the grower would be reduced; in addition to which a check would be established on the operations of private agents.

The evidence of Joseph Hermann Knappstein, Orchardist, of Clare, South Australia, deals with this matter :-16664. By the Ohairman.- Are any of those firms better as agents than others?- . . . . The Government Produce Department is the best, I find.

16665. In what way is the Government Produce Department the best ?-It realizes higher prices a.t the other end. 16666. How long have you been shipping through the Government Produce Department ?- The last nine years. ·

PESTS AND DISEAS ES.

36. The carelessness of growers in several of the States in dealing with pest s and diseases, especially in citrus culture, is an open menace to the safety and stability of the industry. There is urgent necessity for uniform legislation, giving ample powers to departments in control of the fruit industry to eradicate orchard pest s and diseases

at the expense of growers who have failed to do so after due notice.

ORCHARD LABOUR.

37. Complaints have been made by growers in some districts to this Commission of the scarcity of skilled orchard labour, and evidence was tendered in some instances indicates that the scarcity was due to insufficient pay and unsatisfactory

conditiOns.

FRUIT AGENTS AND TRADE RS .

38. Instances have been brought under the notice of this Commission of fraud perpetrated by so-called fruit agents. The actions and practices of some others have not been altogether above suspicion. We do not desire however to reflect upon the integrity of the general body of agents. ' '

1 ·!..II

l G

.

I t is extremely diflienlt, if n ot impossible, for the grower to obtai n redress irl. the event of loss dne to fraudulent pr< tetiues. \V e consiJer that t he producer is ent.itlecl to some protection, and that there should be some check on the operations of agmtts. \V e t herefore recommend the compulsory licensing of all fruit traclers ·and agents doiug

business in the Commonwealth.

O:F :N lJH S ElUES.

39. In our opinion the sec uring of trees and plants true to name and free hom disease is vital to t he suecess of the industry. We recommend, therefore, the registration as well as the careful inspection of nurseries.

1\IARKETIKG.

40. The possibilities of expansion of the frui t industry in Australi a are almost unlimited. In order t o absorb the increase in production, country markets within the Commonwealth should be mor e vigorously opened up and other markets oversea should be exploit ed.

vVe fi nd that t here has been but lit tle co-operative attempt either by producers or consumers to organize the fruit t rade on economical and sound lines. A co-operative system of marketing would not only reduce the expenses of dis tribution and losses by waste, but "\Vould largely increase the consump tion of a valuable article of diet , and secure prices more favourable to producer and consumer.

A system of distribution per medium of the Postal Department has been inaugurated in New Zealand, but we have been unable up to t he present t o ob tain sufficient information in regard to the scheme in op m'ation t o enable us t o make any r ecommendation in t hat direction.

Voluntary co-operation in the frnit industry in Australia is in its infancy, and the outlook is not enconraging so far as concerns the t rue eo-op orativc ideal embodying the prineiple which gives equal representation to all shareholders. \ Ve would advise growers t o embark with caution in any so-called Co- operative Association '"'herein

the principle of one shareholder one vote is not embodied.

41. \V e arc ot opinion that the Go vernment could, wiih a

FRu i T -GlWWING DrsTi tTOTS.

A.ppcmliecs to this Heport imlieatc t he distric ts of Australia ::: uitable for [rui t.

uulture, and show the varieties which may pTOfitahly be grown, as well as, in S01'l3 instances, the land available.

\ Vc have t he honour to be,

Your Excellency 's most obedient Servants,

FRANK J. FOST ER, Cl1a irmau.

\V. F. FINLAYSO N.

P .. J. LYNCH.

H. K. HEADY.

,V. J. ANDER SON, S <: cretary.

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SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS.

1. That fruit-growers be given opportunity to secure refrigerated space for fruit for export within a few weeks of time of shipment.

2. That inquiry be made abroad as to the possibility of seeming more effective distribution of Australian fruit in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe.

3. That the Government contract with steamshi p companies for the uecessary refrigerated space, and allot same pr·o m ta according to the requirements of growers in the several States.

4. That inquiry be made abroad into the charges and practices of selling and distributing agents, methods of sale, handling, storage, and display of Australian fruit. 5. That the export of inferior and diseased fruit be prohibited.

6. That self-registering thermometers be installed in the refrigerated chambers of all oversea vessels carrying fruit cargo.

7. That t o ensure uniform grading and branding central packing sheds be established in fruit-growing districts.

8. That all cases used in the transport of fi.'uit be of uniform size-the bushel to be the standard.

9. That all carts, waggons, and cars used in the transport of fi·uit be

periodically inspected and disinfected.

10. That refi·igerated chambers of reasonable capacity be pr ovid ed for the carriage of fruit in vessels engaged in the Inter-State trade.

11. That the use of trays and walking planks in the handling of fr uit at ship's side be made compulsory.

12. That a sufficient supply of louvred vans be provided on the railways of each State.

13. That cool storage facilities in connexion with the fruit industry be extended under Government or co-operative control.

14. That a Commonwealth Bureau of Agriculture be established.

15. That Export Departments be established in all States .

16. That the controlling authorities be given power to eradicate orchard pests and diseases at the expense of growers who have failed to do so after due notice.

17. That all fruit agents and traders be licensed.

18. That all nurseries be registered and periodically inspected.

19. Co-operative marketing of fruit.

F.65-!U. B

1 '1

ROYAL UN THE PH.UIJUCTION,

ETC., OF AUSTRALIAN FHlT lT.

To I-hs Excetlenc'l} tlw RIGHT HoNORABLE BARON DENMAN , rt

Jlfember C!f lhs Majes

MAY IT PLEASE YouR ExcELLEKCY :

We, the undersigned Commissioners, disagreeing· with many of the recom­ mendations in the Majority Heport, beg to present a Minority Report, expressing our views and making a series of recommendations.

SHIPPING SPACE.

Difficulty seems to have been experienced in some of the States by shippers in securing space when required to carry the fruit to oversea markets. This has been accentuated hy the long notice required by the shipping companies, and the irre12:ular manner in which the vessels leave the ports of Australia. The disappointed shippers also in many instances have failed. to make proper application for space

within the prescribed time. The long notice required for the booking of space hy the ship-owners is a source of great inconvenience to shippers. The short notice system in operation in respect to butter should also be applied to fruit. The

evidence shows that shipping companies are rapidly increasing their areas of insulated space, and although extra provision has not kept pace with the increasing demand of the industry, it is believed that shipping companies are alive to the importance of the industry, and that the additional space necessary will, by systematic arrange­

ment, be provided in the near future. (See Questions ! 982, 4712, 11:",76, 11683, 11890, 11923, 12173-5, 12193-4-5, 12275-6, 13412, 13676, 13740, 13821, 14099, 14135, 14386, 16344, 16407-9, 18157.)

OF SPACE.

The rates for space appear to be uniform on the mainland of Australia -with the exception of the Orient Company, which is under a specially subsidised. contract from the Commonwealth Government .. The Orient Company provides space at 60s. per 40 cubic feet. The rates generally hy other eompanics from the ma,inland are

65s., or about from 2s. 10d. to 2s. lld. per case. The export trade has been

controlled on the mainland hy agents in competition, with the addition of a State HZ

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Department of E xport in South A ustrali a. I n T asmania, where the inJustry i:-; more compact, has a larger volume of production, and is of greater age, t he system is much more effi cient and eftecti ve, as well as cheaper in freights a nd charges. The agents in that State have the confidence of the growers and shippers. These agents allot the space at the price for which t hey contract with ship-owners on a pro m ta basi s.

The system in Tasmania might be regar de d as combining the elements of private enterprise, of concentration, and co-operation. The practice of the Hobart agents is to make special contrads with the ship-owners fo r several years in advance; t he largest of which have, as in those of ,Jones and Company, been covered by heavy monetary guarantees. By undertaking these fi nancial risks, a closer concentration of t he business in connexiou with the industrv has been made possible. The agents haYe been abl e to bring about a of fi·eight fi·om

2s. 10d. or 2s. lld. to a millimum charge of 2s. 6d. per case, the diffe rence more than covering their agency ch arges. The agency charges hnYe also, ow ing to the larger quantities handled, been redu ced to 2d. per case as against 3d. , the general charge on th e mainland. l f in . case of failure in the er op or hom other causes tl1 e space contracted for by the

grower is not fill ed, the agents fill the space thus thrown on their hands with frui t or other products. By this means serious loss to growers is avoided. The Vi ct orian Agricultural Department some time ag o made informal application for the whole of the :-;hipping space for Victoria, but th e shi pping

companies declined, in the eircumstances, to shut out agents with whom they had done satisfactory business for many years. T he weakness of the Victorian State action seems to have been twofo ld. First, they fail ed t o approach the companies with a business proposal such as had succeeded under the Tasmanian system, and the departmental action had n ot generally the endorsement of the fruit-growers of Victoria. (See Questio ns 4712, 7458, 1151'1', 1158 1, 11586-7, 13821, 13977, 13986, 147 43, 15023, 15 23 6, 15826 , 18201, 18365, 18687, 18 988, 19019, 19088, 19091, 19100, 19 587, 2188 3, 232 73, 23280-2-3-4, 31174-5- 6, 13676) .

C oMMONWEALTH LINE oF S TEAMERs .

. Opinions were expressed by a number of witnesses, but no concrete e vi dence was tendered, on th e subject of the b uilding of a Commonwealth of oversea steamers. The Ministt>r eontrolling the Victorian Agrieultural Department suggested the expenditure of £40,000,000 on this project, hut failed to plaee befo re the

Commissi on any scheme or business proposal in su pport thereof. His Department had come inlo conflict with the shipping companies ou the subject of aUotment of spaee, and this seemed to be the principal r eason for his s we eping and ill-considered recommendation in favour of Commonwealth-owned steamers. In reply to leading questions, witnesses expressed themseh·es f(Jr and against the proposal, admittin g generally that they had not given the subject mature consideration, and 1rere unable to support it as a practical business proposition.

Your Commissioners, therefore, have no hesitatio11 in declaring that no evi dence of any Yalue hn s been tendered in support of this ::;cheme. Indeed the chief complaint::; made about t ransportation were against Government-owned 'railways. Government steamers would have to enter into competition with the shippinG' of the world on the high seas, "·here no monopoly is possible as in the case State­

owned rail way ::;. (See Questions 3317, 3505, 4662, 49 27 , 63 22, 64 09, 11988-9-90-1- 2-3- 4, 12243, 13464, 13676, 15874, 1608 1, 16228.)

ExPORT OF FRUIT.

Our in ve stie:atio ns into the methods of CX} )Or t of fi.·uit were rreuerall v extensive . . Various systems of eontrol of th e export trnde by the Common wealth, the States, bodies, and by private and competitive enterprise, were advocated by

wrtnesses. The absence of any direct evidence based on cxperienee t hnt would warraut definite r eeommendation was felt.

21

\Vith the growing demands of the industry it is advisable .that most efficient systems should be adopted in respect to handling hy mechmncal car rying, securing· of space at a minimum rate, and proper temperatures durmg the voyage. So far as the export and transpm't are concerned, we have only t wo ?ases

of comparison. This comparison lies between purely State control and pnvate enterprise, supported hy growers and sh ippers in a form of co-operative effort as in Tasmania. The South Australian Export Department takes control of the fruit from the grower, sh ipping and selling it in the oversea markets. It is a State Department

exclusively . This Department has been doing business about nineteen year s. It has secured during that period only about 11 per cent. of the total fmit export of S.outh ,Australia. Messrs. Jones and Company, of Tasmania, on the other hand, hy pnvate 'enterprise has secured 80 per cent. of the export of that State. The total charges for

shipping fruit to London (freight included) after deducting cost of pre-cooling- - say, 1d. per case-is 4s. 4:1-d. in the State Department of South Australia. Messrs. J ones and Conipany's charge from Tasmania is fi·om 3s. 10d. t o 3s. lld. .This me:u:s an advantage to the grower of ti·om 4d. to 5u. per case through eo-operative an d p1:m1te.

effort as against State co ntrol, a saving, if applied to Australian export of frmt, of from £25,000 to £00,000 per annum. (See Questions 21 74, 327 5, 7009, 9111 , 11581, 11 586-7, 11923, 12275-6,13676, 13740, 14 972, 16262, 16299, 18 151 , 1815 3, 18174, 18359, l8i165, 18391, 1841il, 18.18 8, 18666, 19452-3, 212 26, 21 950, 21974 ,

31373.)

O v ERSEA MA RICETS.

Up to the preseu t the great hulk of the Australian fruit has been sold in the London markets, but there are stroncr indications that by a svstematic effort several additional direct markets might he opened in other cent res of the United Kingdom and also on the Con tinent. Hamburg possesses a system of municipal markets which

provides ample facili ties for the display and inspection by buyers. T his market promi ses to prove, if availed one of the best outlets for Australian fruit. A Commonwealt h trade commissione r should he appointed to make investigRtions with a vie w to opening up new markets nhroad. (St'e Questions 7Gtl , 19 509-1 U- 11. )

L ONDON

A good deal of co nflict of evidence was submitted respecting the L ondon charges and the methods of marketing Australian fruit. Shippers and growers who had visited London stated in evidence that dock, railway, and other charges have been reduced to a minimum, viz., 7d. per case. Un the other hand tl1e evidence of

a witness who had been an agent in London and that of the manager of the State Export Department of Routh Australia st ated that the charge should not exc eed 5d. Further evidence showed that the charges vary considerably according to the method of sale adopted. It was also stated that agents frequently acted as buyers and t raders in fruit-if true, an objectionable practice. Rebates from London agents t o

local agents were admitted in some instanees. In view of the g reat importance of improving the methods of marketing Australian fr uit in the II nited Kingdom your Commissioners recormnend · the Government to nmke investigation into th e method of disposing of fi·uit in London and other centres, with special nttention to do ck, transport, handlin g, charges, and agents' (See Questions 15 826 , 19163- 7, 21232-3-4, 21709.)

INTER- STAT E T RANSPORT.

The Inter-State shipping facilities for fruit have been fully investigated. There seems, except in a few sh ips, a failure to meet the growing demands of the trade between States. Ship-owners state that there is a disinclination on the part of consignees to pay the extra cost of insulated space. Shippers, on the other hand,

state that if such space were reg-ularly available, it would he utilized. Between Tasmania and the mainland, particularly Tasmania and Queensland, the provision for space has been largely neglected, and shipping companies sh ould he

reqmred to make adequate provision in that respect. On all coastal boats better provision should he made hy properly ventilated or insulated chambers in lieu of carrying the fruit on deck. Also in respect t o loading and handling on the wharfs greater care is essential. Equally serious complaints were made against the absence

of a progressive policy on the railways of the various State:,; . There is a lack of

trucks, delays O('('Ur in tmm,it, nnd rough lwndling· causes

Quick Jnter-Stnte tmins with proper tru('ks would greatly stunulnte the mdnstry. The varions States apjwar, up to t liP present, to have given very little attention to this branch of tra.ffie_ by prov_iding quif:k t rains1 louvred and reti:igerated. ears.. A greater supply of smtable frwt c:trs, qmc.ker trams, aud more of produce should he pHn·idcd by tlJC ra1lway management w1tlnn their respective

The sntisi:lctory transit of fi·uit is seriously lmmpt>re, 23H, 2352, 2779, ·H8(i, 41%- 7-8, ,1221, -+ :2 8:3, 12 8H, :">G21, 5650, :·J705 , 5741,5805,

f>820, 58f56 , 723 7-f.l - H--,10- 1, 7:i9!l, 7400, 7410, 7433, 795n, 8042, 8141, 8334, S51.3, 9807, 984 7, l00H2, I03G:\ 10870, 11875, 1 12011, U433,

147:)3: 1<180 8,

CoLD STOHAGE PnoviSION.

Owino· t o the wid<' variation s in climate in Austrnlia there is great difficultY in "'=' <._..; .; making general recommendations in regard to cold :;torage and pre-cooling. In Tasmauia thr hulk of the evidence was to the efteet that pre-cooling: before loa

trucks and shipped without delny-or tl1at the eold stores should he esta1Jlished hy the Goverument at t he port of sl1ipment. Owing to the uncertainty of the ship's arrival and the greater fiw ilitv g·iven fc>r inspection to ensure the export only of sound fi·uit, the establishment of p{.e::-ceooling depots and cold stores at tl1e shiJ)ping port would appear to be the most desirable :llld utilitarian a i; a general policy, hut every eneomagement should he given to the e reetion of distriet packing sheds 1Jy eo-operative eft( Jrt, nnfl State assistnncc on lines similar to the Doncaster (Victoria) stor:1ge. (See questions 4672, GBD7, (j[J15, 80-1 J, 10576, 1G473, 18164, 19709.)

C usTOMS DuTIES.

The evideuce nllll statistics tc•tHlered show that Northern Qnecnsl:lnd elimate ans were all urged as reasons for the decline in banana lJroduction in Oueensland, where it waH once a tlourishino· industrv. Statistics were "' ;:--,

produced to show that. in Cairns tl1c• export to the other S t.ates has decreased from i"l9.3,000 hunches in 1902 to 7.5,000 bunches in IHll. The present duty on hananas is Is. 6d. per eental. urged that the amount of duty should l>e doublcJ

to enable Qm•e>nsl:md growers, who paid 30s. per week, mth hoard and lodging, for labour, to compete with F iji, where 1\'ages Gs. per week, witl1 board and lodging. Serious consideration was given t o these claims for an increased dt'ty, hut in Yiew of the evidence tendered that Fiji hananns were selling in Australian markets nt fi·om three to fonr times the price of the ( fruit, your Commissioners

<·onsider the decline of the industry must be primarily due to other causes than the rate of duty now imposed. Claims were also made for a higher dnty ou lemous to check the Hooding of the loeal market hy importatious to the valnc of about £37,000 per annum from Sicily and other centreH in Sontl1em Europe. These ti·uits are in the smne position as

bananas, viz., that European lt•JliOJJS are selJing at from two to tln·ee times the prif·e of the loeally-grown product. The diff'erenee in pri<·e is not, in our opinion, due tn any inherent inferiority in <1nality of Australian lemons, hut that Australian growers are not yet skilled in the lllethods adopted in euring or toughening the rind of the fruit to seeure its keeping qualities . Investigations slwuld he conducted into the methods adopted a broad, and such experiments and tests made as arc necessary to adapt an effectin· systf•m tn A ustralian eonditions. Some very l'ommenda ble ettorts

23

in the curing of lemon :-; are heing made by one grower, Mr. W. E. Shoobridgc, in T asmani a, but the importanee of this branch of tlw fr uit-growing industry demands a wider and more sear ching· investigation and experiment. It is a subject that thf..: Government might well t ake in hand without delay. The question of higher duties in respect to bananas and lemons should receive the consideration of the T ariff Board. (See Questions 261, :no, 6b1, 1711, 1712- 3, 460 1,4811, 5113, G76 4, 78 HJ, 100f> 3,

31 81!), 31 863, 3186 -1, 31867- 9.)

PETITION TO THE M INISTE R.

T he petition presented t o the :Minister fi·om some Tasmanian residents asking " that a R oyal Commission he appointed to enquire into and report upon all matters in connexion with export, tra nsport, reeeiving, anu marketing of trnit" . "in view of the serious po :-;ition and outlook of the fruit industry in that State," was

enquired into. The overwhelming eYide nce of f,nna fide growers was that they were not aware of the petition until after it was pl'esented to the Minister, and that no opportunity was given them to sign. Only two members who had signed the petition proffered evidence, and they were not generall y prepared to substantiate the statements made in the petition. The evidence showed that the petiti on ·was organized by persons not in the industry, and

that it was generally repudiated by g row ers. Your Commissioners found that the industry is making steady progress in Tasmania, where the organization !s superior and charges and costs lower than in any other State. (See Questions 18371, 19474-5-6, 19558, 1955 9, 19559A,

19 560, 19569, 21981, 23670- 1- 2, 23844.)

LABOUR C oNDITIONS.

The condit ions governing the employment of labour have been improving g·enerally. T here was found to be a fairly good demand for reliable and effi cient workmen. I n a very large number of instances employes have developed into competent growers and business men. ( See Questions ::?61 , 280, 4484-, 5280,

5522, 7099, 10 876-7, 2409 3.)

P ROSPECTS OF THE INDUSTRY.

Ueviewing the evidence as a whole, amplified by personal inspection of orchards, and observation generally, yonr Commissioners regard the prospects of the frui t industry in Australia as highly encouraging. Unlimited possibilities exist of suitability of soils, climate, fo r further expansion in all the States.

Many of the growers in the principal fr uit districts have brought t heir orchards to a high state of cultivation. Scientific methods have heen employed, in

eo nservation of moisture, the use of soil fertilizers, combating diseases and pests, improving the qualit y of the product, the selection of suitable varieties, and the earefnl handling and gracling of the fruit. With a more genera·] adoption of this eommendable effort and dticieney, supplemented by judicious State assistance, reasonable legislation and encouragement , especially in respect to liberal terrns, easy payments fo r the purchase of fruit lands by growers of small capital, fruit production should make rapid progress and become on e of the first industries in

t he Commonwealth. (8ee Questions 1073, 108 5, 10 93, 283!i, 2903, 3334, 3308, 13, 4522, 46 84, 4685, 48 94, 5062, 57 }1 2, 6018, 6326, 6538, 6

10561, 10975, 109!H, 11 900, 12030, 1H44, 16421 , 18 18i.)

24

RECOMME.\'DATIONS.

1. That the noti<:e now demanded by the shipping companies to secure allotment of fruit space be much rerlnced, and as far as possible the system m operation in the case of allotment of space for butter be adopted.

2. That an extension of the policy already initiated by some of the States for the erection and control, either by liberal subsidy to co-operative companies or by the State Governments, of cold storage at railway termini nnd ports of export he carried out.

3. That a uniform system of inspection in regard to oversea and Inter-State trade he adopterl.

4. That the use of trays in loading and unloading fruit be made compulsory.

5. That the use of mechanical appliances on the loading and unloading of fruit to and from the ships be encouraged.

6. That uniform and effective legislation and administration in respect to eradication of orchard pests should be passed by the State Parliaments.

7. That perishable goods trains, Inter-State and Intra-State, be provided and equipped with refrigerated or louvred cars, and that au early conversion of Inter-State trains to a uniform gauge be strongly urged. •

8. That uniform system of branding, so as to indicate the size of all fruits co nsigned for Inter-State and oversea trade be adopted.

9. That encouragement by liberal subsidy be g·iv en for the erection of district packing sheds by co·operative effort where practicable with cold stores attaehecl.

10. That a uniform Australian case be adopted.

11. That uniformity in the naming of Australian fruits be adopted.

12. That new cases onlv he used in Inter-State trade. ·'

13. That the installation of self-registering thermometers in all insulated fruit chambers in oversea ships to secure a specified temperature over the 'vhole voyag·e be made compulsory.

14. That legislation ensuring the provision for properly ventilated storage space ou Inter-State steamers carrying fruit should be pas::;ed.

15. That more effeetive enforcement of the provisions of the Customs and Commerce Acts to prevent the exportation from Australia of unsound fruits be made.

16. Thnt a Federal Agricultural Bureau be established at nn early date.

Your Commissioners have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's most obedient sermnts,

Parliament House, Melbourne, 12th July, 1913.

JOHN THOMSON.

DAVID J. GORDON.

SYDNEY SAMPSON.

(L.S.)

(L.s.)

(L.s.)

25

APPENDICES.

NEW SOUTH WALES.

THE FRUIT Drs·rRICTS OF THE STATE.

New England.

The country in the Armidale district is in general hilly to mountainous, with tablelands and valleys, the New England range and its spurs running right through the centre. Basalt, granite, and trap are the prevailing rocks. Much of the soil is inferior, the richest soils being usually found in the valleys. English fruits . thrive particularly well, more especially cherries, plums, apples, pears, bush frui ts , &c.

The climate is superb, and very healthy both for human beings and stock. The New England district is a favourite summer health resort. The mean annual temperature is about 61 degrees Fahr. The mean summer temperature about 71. The winters are cold, and snow is common on the hills. The rainfall is good, and the whole district is well watered. The average rainfall is 33 to 35 inches, about one-third

of which falls between December and February. Whilst waiting fo r the trees to come into bearing potatoes are largely grown and pay very well. The markets fo r fruit are very good, the Sydney, Newcastle, and Queensland markets being largely used. The New England district is situated from 350 t o 450 miles fro m Sydney, the altitude varying from 2,750 to 3,500 feet. In and around the Inverell district the country

is undulating to hilly, with soil varying from black t o light-red loams of volcanic origin. Stone and citrus fruits have been found to grow and fruit very well around the Inverell district in sheltered places. Grapes, mulberries, and figs also thrive particularly well. The seasons are regular wit hout violent inequalities. Land values range from £8 to £15 per acre.

Batlow.

The Batlow district , although situated some 300 miles from Sydney, offers splendid inducements to the intending orchardist . Land may be purchased reasonably cheap. Clearing operations are, however, heavy. Still, returns are quickly secured from the land by crops such as potatoes, peas, &c. Small fruits, such as raspberries, gooseberries, &c. , do remarkably well. Apple and pear growing are the chief factors at present in the fruit production. Prunes and English plums, as well as cherries, have been largely planted.

The prunes have turned out quite profitable, when grown on a large scale, it will be necessary for growers to erect evaporat ors to fini sh off the dried fruit. The rainfall of the district is very good, ranging from 40 to 50 inches, and as the altitude is over 2,000 feet the climate is nice and cool. Unimproved land can be had from £3 to £6 per acre. There is a large area of Government land, which it is anticipat ed

will be thrown open before many years. Bathurst.

The country in this district varies from slaty ridges with granite t o undulating and flat. The soil varies from light sandy loam to stiff clay, with occasional pipe clay. Apple orchards have been largely planted, and up to the present the results have justified the investment. Apples fo r export have proved most suitable in this district, on account of their long keeping qualities, excellent flavour, and good colour.

Pears, prunes, and peaches have also proved to be admirably adapted to selected posi tions, and from orchards where these fruits are grown have proved very satisfactory. At present only small areas of grapes are being cultivated, and unless placed on slopes, where plenty of sunlight may be secured, it would be unwise to plant large areas. Land varies in price in the district from £8 to £12 per acre, ready

for the plough. The distance from Sydney is about 145 miles, and the altitude about 2,000 fee t.

Orange.

In and around the Orange district apples and pears, cherries, and other cold country fruits are widely cultivated. The above district is one of the largest cherry-producing cent res of the State, and growers gei.erally are in a very prosperous condition. The soils in the neighbourhood are fairly rich red and choco ­ late loams, of a rather heavy type, with black soil in the valleys. Crops of peas and potatoes are largely grown by the orchardists between the rows of young trees. This enables the grower to secure an early

return from his land before the trees reach bearing. The price of land ranges from £10 to £30 per acre.

Richmond, Penriih, P arramatta, Kurrafong.

These centres may be said to be the birthplace of the fr uit industry of this colony. Parramatta &nd the outlying district have been from the inception of orcharding noted as the example of t he State's suitability for fruit culture. On the slopes and hills thousands of acres of citrus fruit may be seen growing. Passion fruit are very largely grown in conjunction, and in the poorer soils of Arcadia, Galst ou,

Glenorie, Dural, &c., it is considered the most profitable procedure to plant these fruits throughout the rows of young citrus t rees. In the hollows and sandy loamy soils large areas have been devoted to apples, more especially those varities suited t o the coastal climates. This fruit has met with very high prices on the Sydney market, on account of being harvested at a season when apples are scarce.

Throughout the Hawkesbury River and clistrict, on the alluvial flats, great attention has been given to citrus and stone fruit s, more especially the latter, and there can be no doubt of the high quality of t he peaches. It is perhaps difficult to secure land in these parts for planting, unless one goes fu rther back from t he more settled centres.

The high value of land for residential purposes has practically stopped t he extension of the industry clos.e .to the towns. Unimproved land varies in price from £12 to £25 per acre1 according to quality and po;ntaon.

26

Goulburn and Surrounding Distn'cts.

In the Monaro and Cooma district ;; lying to the west of Goulburn, the country varies from a rather lmun to reel and dark loam. There is a good deal of red and black loam about Crookwell and Taralga,

and granit e, "·ith limest one prtt chcs, about Go ulburn itself. Cherries, apples, pears, and all E nglish fruit s may be gmwn "·ith in mo ;t of the district . Potatoes may Le grown in r: onjunction wi t h fruit

in many parts. Burrowa, Yass, &c., are for t he most p

wnstern plain country. ·when ;;electing si tes for orcharding purposes, care must be t aken not to plant on lanrl that is low-lying and subject t o ln,t e frosts. I mproved land may be had from £1 t o £10 per acre.

J{empsey, Cotfs Harbor, Port Macqua1·ie.

In and around these districts stone fruits, citrus, and passion Yines, as well as bananas and pinr­ apples, may be grown with profit. Fruit-growing on a large scale has not up to the present receiYed much attention in these centres. The transport is for the most part hilly and rough, and on this account stone fruits have only been grown for local consumption. Some of t he finest citrus fruits in the St ate may be seen growing at the head of the Hastings River, and on the Comboyne the soil and conditions are most suitable for t he growing of mixed fruits. Land unimproved, which is heavily timbered, may be purchased from £3 upwards.

Maitland, Singleton, Gosford, Wyong.

The first two are among the finest wi ne-growing districts of the State, and the Hunt er River wines have a deservedly high popularity. The principal vineyards are in the Pokolbin R ange. Around Dungog, Paterson, and Bulga some very fin e orchards have bee n planted, mostly to citrus and stone fruit s. In t he Sydney m:trkets the Paterson River oranges are noted for their high quality. Since the advent of the

r:Lilway a great deal cf orchard planting has been carried out. The Gosford and Wyong districts are quite handy to the metropolis of Sydney and the Newcastle markets. Right along fro m Sydney, the northern line to Newcastle is being largely devoted to orcharding. Citrus fruits, stone fmits, and apples, as well as passion fruit, l1ave been heavily planted. Passion fruit, peas, and ot.1er inter-r-rops have been grown to a large extent during the period of waiting from

the time the young trees are planted until they reMh bearing Land may be procured at a. reasonable price, but clearing is a factor that has to be reckoned wi t h. The soil and rainfall are very suitable for the production of heavy crops, and, as the markets are 8 0 handy , fruit-growing in these districts is proving a profitable undertaking.

A range of hills lying to the westward of Gosford, known as the Penang Mountains, have been found to be for the production of citrus and passion fruit. Large areas are being planted to these fruits during the last few years. Unimproved land lying back from the railway coAts from £10 to £15 per acre.

Fo1·bes and Surround1:ng Districts.

The country comprised in this district is fairly uniform iu character, being for the most part undulating to flat. Aho nt a qwtrter of the district is level. In the western and southern parts the country is for the most part fl at. The soil varies, the typical soil being a rich red lo am, gonernJly with a rather stiff subsoil. Chocolat e and sandy loams of a light volour are represented; heavy black soil s a re found on the riY" r

fl ats. The clirnct te is fairly even over the district, the average summer temperature being about 76 degrees Fahr., with a winter average of 56 degrees Fahr., the western portion being somewhat hotter in summer. The district generally may be described as rather dry, t he mean annual rainfall for the western portion being a bout 1 9 inches. In the eastern part the rainfall is somewhat hi gher, being a bout 23 inches. It. is a good healthy climate, and no t sn bject t o extremes of heat and cold. The country is well adapted for irrigation. Parkes anrl Forbes arc growing htrge quantities of stone fruits, grapes, and citrus frnits under irrigation ; in these di stricts frui t may be profitably grown. Prunes, cherries, and almonds, and even apples anu

pears, are being grown in parts of the di strict. Improved land may be se cured from £5 to £8 per acre.

Cowra , Koorawatha, Young.

Although large orchards have not been planted in the Cowra district, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, prunes , and gmpes have been found to grow and fn'tit a bundantly. Closer settlement is taking place in this district, and greater attention is being giYen to the fruit industry . Althous;h situated many miles from the Sydney markets, there Me large markets t o be had throughout the surrounding districts. The

quality of the fruit throughout this part is all that could be desired. At Koorawatha pr Wles and peaches for drying have been largely planted. Prune growing has proved to be quite a profitable investment, and as much as £800 was taken from 10 acres during the 1911 season. In sandy, loamy soils on the slopes, apples might be planted with a certain amount of confidence. Young district is one of the earliest cherry producers of the State, and during the 1912 season close on 50,000 cases were forwa.rded to market. Grapes, peaches, apricots, prunes, and almonds also, have proved their suitability to the dist rict. An orchard set out in these parts may be confidently expected to proYe profitable if due attention be given to the situation and varieties best suited to the locality selected. The price of improved land ranges from £6 to £10 per acre. Distance from Sydney, 250 t o 300 miles.

M urrumbidgce lrrigation Area.

Citrus fruits, almonds, peaches, apricots, gra pes, figs , all thrive to perfection, and good crops are always assured. The growers here are dependent upon irrigation. Late t able grapes prove very valuable . The rainfall is 13 to 17 inches. Thi s is comparatively low, therefore the neccl of irri gation is apparent.

27

Facts about the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Lands. The Commissioner will hire out, at reasonable rates, machinery for preparation of the soil. Any person, other than a married woman not living aymrt from her husband under "' decree for judicial separation, of or over 16 years of age, or two or more such jointly, may apply for a farm.

The fact that a person is an alien, or"is the holder of land other than irrip:ahle land, is not a fieation ; but any alien who becomes the holder of a farm must become naturalized within three yean;. Rent must be paid half-yearly in advance, and for the first period of twenty-five years after granting of application, or such other date as may be notified to applicant, is at t he rate of 2§- per cent. per annum of notified capital value. For each subse quent twenty years period the annual rent 2§- per cent. of the c:t pital value, as separately determined by the Special Land Board, exclusive of improvementf1 effPct<·d or ownetl by the leRsee.

Survey fe cK range from £3 for a 10-acrc block, to £8 for a 320-acre block. One-tenth part of the survey fee need only be lodged with the application, aml the remainder paid in nine annual instalments with interest 4 per cent. per annum. More than one instalment may be paid at any time. Survey fee is not required where it has l1em1

paid by a previous holder. Every eligible applicant may obtain a block if same he available. An application may include any number of blocks or farms in one irrigation area, and the order in which t.hey are entered in the appli cation is taken to be the order of preference, but only one farm may be allotted on each application.

The conditions· to be fulfilled are perpetual residence, payment of rent and balance of suryey fee , all

or at any time during the term of the lease, be caused by or arise out of the construction, maintenance, and user of any of their works. The lessee shall, \Vithin six months from the date of notification by Commissioner, plant along the boundaries of his block, or on the roads adjoining his block, trees for wind-breaks of such variety and of such number as the Commissioner may prescribe, and shall replace any of such trees which may die with

fresh trees of a like variety, such trees to be supplied by the Commissioner. The lessee shall destroy all noxious plants and weeds on his block, and also on any land between t he boundary of his block and adjacent irrigation or drainage channels, aml shall keep the land free from such noxious plants and weeds during the currency of the lease.

The lessee shall, \Yithin three months from the date of notification by Commis!'ioner, fence the external boundaries of his block with "· substantial fence, of a class and material to be approved by the Commissioner, and shall maintain such fence in good and substantid repair. Any resi dence or building constructed by the lessee on hi s block shall be erected under the inspection and to the satisfaction of such officer as the Commissioner may appoint for the purpose, and shall be erected in a position and of a type to be first approved by the Commissioner or such officer.

At any time after the issue of a grant of a farm or block to the lessee, the lessee may divide his farm or block into two or more farnu; or blocks, and dispose of all or any of the said subdivided farms or blocks; but such division and such disposal shall be subject in all oases to the approval of the Commissioner. The lessee shall, within such time as the Commissioner may appoint, provide storage sufficient for the supply of water, and for domestic usc and stock and any other necessary purpose, between the periods of deliveries of water bv the Commissioner.

The lessee shall, "in a manner to be approved by the Commissioner, prepare and }Jlallt iu each ye;lr of the term of the lease an area of his farm or block to be specified by the Commissioner. The lessee shall not sublet his block, or any part thereof, without t he approval in writing of the Commissioner being first had and obtained.

The title, except where otherwise provided, is :'\, lease in perpetuity, and commences from the date of application therefor if valid. After expiration of five years from granting of farm or block, and upon the Commissioner being satisfied that all conditions have been fulfilled to date, a grant will be issued to the lessee, his representatives and assigns, for ever, subject to the conditions attaching to the perpetual lease.

A condition of perpetnal residence, commencing within six mouths from gmnting of application, by the lessee having his principal place of abode on the farm or block attaches to every perpctuaJ lease. Suspension may be granted in any case fo r such term and on such conditions as the circumstances may to the Commissioner seem warranted; and where any farm or block is held jointly, the residence condition may, with consent of the Commissioner, he performed by any one or more of such holders. It is further

provided that in certain eircu:m.stances residence may, on approval, be carried out on a holding of a member of the same family. Non-irrigable or dry lands may be applied for and applications made and dealt with in the same manner as applications for irrigable lands.

A lease ·within an irrigation area may, under certain circumstances, be pretected by registration with the Government against sale for debt. Farms are not transferable until five vears' residence has been completed, unless in adverse circum­ stances and with approval of Commissioner," or in cases of death or lunacy of a holder, or by au execution

creditor, or by a mortgagee who has submitted the land for sale by auction. A transfer must be to a pcrsm: qurdified to apply for a lease within an irrigable area, &c.

ri ght. A fixed volume of water is guaranteed to every settler by legislative enactment as a permanent For every acre dispoBed of hy the State, an acre-foot of water will be so attached-that is, suffitaent water to coYer every acre to a depth of 1 foot- during the summer irrigating season.

'The p rice of this water is the remarkably lmY figure of 5s. per acre-foot, during summer.

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Thi 5 wa ter rate is t o be reduced by one-half during the settler's first year of occupation, increasing uni fo rmly each year until the sixth year, the following being the charges:-s. d.

1st year 2nd ,

3rd

2 6 per water right of 1 acre fo ot .

4th 5th 6th

"

"

"

"

3 0

3 6

4 0

4 6

5 0

,

" "

" "

" "

" "

" "

If the settler requires more wat er, lw may obtain it by an annual arrangement. Fact ories for butter-making, for ba con-curing, and fo r fruit-canning will be establ ished on the Irrigation Area when required. .

Cold storage will, if necessary, be pro vided for pork, sheep, lambs, eggs, poultry, a_ nd frmt. . 'Phe fa ctories may be handed over at cost price to co-operative bodies , the promotJOn of whiCh t he Commissioner consistently encourages. Demonstration farms have also been establi shed on the Irriga tion Area.

At these farms the adaptability of various commercial plant s to t he climate and soil of the locality is A State-owned nursery will issne t o t he settlers horticult.u ral stocks t rue to name and free from dise;tse.

Primary State schools will be established throughout t he Irrigation Area. Secondary scho ols will be founded later. Citrus and stone fruits and vi nes grow here t o perfection. ·wine and table grapes, rai3ins, sult anas, currants, figs, oli ves, asparagus, peachei:!, apricot s, nectarines, and prunes furnish goo d paying yields.

Apples, walnuts, almonds, strawberries, lemons, cantaloupes, berries, and all citrns fruits here a fi ne size, and have a splendid colour and flavour. Lucerne yields uniformly and heavil_ v. Five cuttings each year is the rule, yielding a ton or more of dried hay t o each acre per cutting.

Dairy stock thrive in the open in t hese halcyon climes throughout the year. The Murrumbidgee Valley farmer milks thirty to forty dairy cows on 50 acres of lu cerne. The average return from a dairy cow is £6 t o £10 per annum. The dairv-farmer's cream is treat ed at the central butter factory, for which he receives regular cash returns. · ·

Pig-raising will fo rm a valua ble adjunct to dairy-fa rming. Fattening lambs for market is another profi table industry for the Murrumbidgee Valley farmer. Ostriches acclimatize well in New South Wales, and their plumes are of fin e quality. Each se ttler in the Murrumbidgee Valley will have the advantage of a good road t o his farm. The Murrumbi dgee Irrigation Area is directly connect ed by rail with t he great capitals of Sydney in New South Wales and Melbourne in Victoria.

His grain, flour, and vegetables cost him little more thau lls. per t on to land in Sydney. Hay, straw, and chaff cost him about £3 lOs . per 6-ton truck-load. Butter, milk, fruit, and other dairy and garden produce he can get to the Sydney market for less than I s. 9d. per 60-lb. package.

No block on the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area will be further distant than 10 miles fr om a railway. Persons travelling to inspect blocks in t he Murrumbidgee Valley with the bon a fide intention of obtaining a block t here are allowed concessions on t he railways. They are allowed half-rates while on the journey of inspection.

Settlers who have selected a block are also allowed half-rates for thems elves and fa milies when travelling to take possession. Thei r belongings, including live-stock which were in t heir possession immediately prior to making application for an irrigation block, will be bro ught to the farm at half-rates.

The concessions stated are to be given to all bona fide applicants fo r land on the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Intending applicants desirous of obtaining concessions in respects of railway fares may obtain fo rms " A " and " Al " from any Crown Land agent in the State, or from the Immigration and Tourist Bureau, Challis House, Sydney, which must be handed to the Stationmaster upon applicatio n for a ticket, or, if unable to obtain forms, t he applicant should furnish t he Stationmaster with his name and address , the amount paid as fare, and number of railway ticket.

vV. J. ALLEN,

Fruit E xpert and Trrigationist, Department of Agriculture.

VICTORIA. Department of Agriculture, Victoria, Melbourne, 29th March, 19 13.

The districts of Victoria most suitable fo r fruit production are t hose where the soil is of granitic ongm. Fruit t rees on these soils are comparatively moderate in growth, and produce fmit in great abund­ ance, and of excellent quality. Harcourt and Pakenharn are districts where soil of this character is extensive, and apples and pears are chiefl y grown ; but other fruits, such as plums, apricots, peaches, and are equally at home .

The sandy soils of Somerville, Portland, and Pomonal have etrong claims fo r prolific orchards, where tb.e fruit is of exceptional colour and quality, while the Silurillon formations of Doncaster, Dian1.ond Creek, Arthur's Creek, and Gippsland no less important. ·

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Excellent apples and pears are produced in W arncoort, near Colac, and t he Heytesbury Foresi south of Carnperdown, in the Western District. In none of these districts, except Harcourt, is irrigation carried ou t, as the rainfa ll is sufficient to support and mature heavy crops of fruit. .

Export varieties of fruit, apples and pears, are the safest to plant out , as considerable ext ension in orchard planting in recent years has taken place, so t hat local markets are fully su pplied. Canning peaches, such as Pullar's Cling, Orange Cling, Elberta, &c., can also be profitably extended. As the atea under oherries is decreasing of late years , growers who have families to assist them could plant out this variet y

)f fruit with the assurance that the supply in the near future will be readily exhausted. In the northern areas, subj ect t o irrigation, the greatest activity prevails in the newly opened up .iistricts of Bamawm, Nanneella, Tongala. , Shepparton, Merbein, and Cohuna. Barnawm and Cohuna are not yet supplied with railway facil ities for marketing t he fruit, but a railway line is t o be constructed in the near future. Citrus fruit, pears, apricots, and peach trees thrive best under present conditions in

t hese areas. It is always advisable to plant out the major portion of the orchard wit h trees, the fruit of which in times of abundance can be shipped t o oversea markets to avoid gluts, and supplement these with fru it most sui table for marketing locally and canning. As these areas may be regarded as the most southern zone of the orange in Australia, late fruits

of this variety should command a ready sale, as they would meet with but little competition on the local markets. However, it will be some time before Victoria will be in a position to supply her own needs in citrus fruit, as, according to t he statistics published in the Journal of Agriculture by the Inspecting Branch of t he Department, 422,073 cases of citrus fruit were imported fro m oversea and the other States of the

Commonwealth during the year 1912. Definite information relative to the t otal area suitable for fruit growi ng, and available, is not obtainable.

QUEENSLAND.

s. s. C AMERON, Director of Agricult ure.

STAT E ME NT SHO WING I N A G ENERAL WAY D ISTRI CTS I N QUEENSLAND WHERE PARTICULAR K I NDS OF F RUIT ARE Suc c EssFuLLY G RowN.

Fruit.

Almonds Apples Apricots Avocado Bananas

Brazil cherries Cherries Coconuts Custard apples

Granadillas Grapes ••

Lemons Mangoes Nectarines Olives

Oranges Passion fruit Pawpaws Peaches

Pears •.

Persi=ons Pineapples Plums ..

Quinces Rose !las Stawberries

Variety Recom mended.

All kinds All kinds All kinds

All kinds

All kinds

All kinds

American on coast, European else- where All kinds All kinds

All kinds

All kinds All kinds All kinds Persian on downs, China and India

on coast All kinds All kinds All kinds All kinds All kinds All kinds Local seedlings on coast, European

elsewhere All kinds

District where now growing successfully.

Toowoomba and Warwick Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, Herberton Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, Herberton, and Maranoa On the coast from New South Wales border to far north On the coast from south t o north On the coast from New South Wales border to far north Stan thorpe On coast from Mackay northwards Along coast from south to north On the coast from New South Wales border to far north

Darling Downs, Roma, and on coast

Along coast and on Darling Downs On coast from south t o north Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, and Herberton Darling Downs and coast from New South Wales border

to Maryborough Practically throughout Queensland On coast from south to north On coast fro m south to north Practically throughout Queensland

Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, and Herberton Darling Downs and on coast from south to north On coast from south to north Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, and Herbcrton Darling Downs On coast from south to north Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, and Herberton ; on

fro m New South Wales to Maryborough Darling Downs , Stanthorpe, and Herberton

ERNEST G. E. ScRIVEN, Under-Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Stock.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

THE FRUI T INDusTRY IN SouTH AusTRALIA.

. The fruit-growing in this State is carried on throughout a st retch of country about 450 m1les long, from Coonawarra lll t he south-east t o Port Augusta in the north. This may be divided into three zones, based on climate and soil differences, and the items of production are in keeping with the

2··g ' '

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adaptabilities shown by tl1e various kinds of fruit for these zones. Apart from this point, the question of marketing the produce also is a very considerable factor in determining what shall be gro wn with profit to the prod\wer. These zones may be summed up as follows:-(1) With a rainfall ranging from 25 inches to 40 inches per annum, and a maximum shade tempera­ ture rarely exceeding 100 degrees Fahr., and a minimum which sometimes falls to about 26 degrees FalJr.

The wils consists chiefly of strong red or dark loams, overlying stiff red or yellow clays, shales, sancbtonc, or travcrting limestone crusts. This country is found in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the south-eastern portion of the State. The large fruits best suited to this country arc apples, pears, plums, cherries, quinces, walnuts (and grapes to a limited extent). Whilst amongst small fruits, the b11sh currant., raspberry, st raw­ berry, and gooseberry also flourish in selected spots.

(2) The second zone has a rainfall varyi ng from 20 inches to 25 inches, and a maximum shade temperature which sometimes reaches as high as llO degrees Fahr., but usually ranges between 90 degrees to 100 degrees Fahr. dry heat during December, January, and February. The minimum temperature rarely falls t o 26 degrees Fa.hr. , in fact freezing point is reached usually only a few nights in the mont hs of June, July, and August. The soils in this portion of the country range from light sandy loam through heavy clay loam and alluvials on the sites of old st ream beds. Subsoils are heavy red clays, gravels, lime­ stone crust s and rubbles. This area comprises a large proportion of t he fruit-growing portion of the State, and includes the plains from Aldinga t o Adelaide, the Gawler plains, and much of the Barossadistrictaround Angaston, as well as the country between Riverton and Clare, and portions of Wirrabara and Beetaloo districts. The fruits grown are apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, and grapes (both for wine, table, and drying purposes), figs, almonds, and along the· valleys of the river Torrens, near Adelaide, the Para

Para, at S:ctlisbury, and t he Crystal Brook, at Beetaloo Valley , citrus frnits of all kinds are grown t o very great perfection by the aid of irrigation fro m wells or permanent waters fro m the streams referred to. (3) The third zone is where the annual rainfa.Jl ranges from 14 inc hes do wn to ll inches, and there­ fore is not of much value t o the crops, the fruit being almost wholly dependent upon irrigation. The temperature occasionally for brief periods reaches as high as 11 8 degrees Fahr., and as low as 26 degrees

Fahr., but the atmosphere is particularly dry and healthy, possessing none of the oppressiveness of the tropics. The soils are alluvials, or very deep sand, and occ>asionally heavy intractable loams occur; the subsoils being gravelly under the alluvials, whilst limestone marls usually underlie the others; though so metimes stiff blue clav underlies the stiff clav loams. Some of the districts included in this zone are

lo cated along the n,nd western slo pes of the Flinders R ange about Quom, Orroroo , Stirling North, and Baroota. The largest portion, however, is fo und along the valley of the River Murray, where many irrigation settlements are established. The fruits best suited for these region." are apricots, peach, nect arine, almond, pear , gra:pe vines of all sorts, and citrus trees.

Commercial production of fruit in these various zones may be summarized as fo llows :-At Ooonawarra, in t he sout h-east, apples and pears for Inter-State and oversea (E uropean) export , prunes for drying, and grapes ior wine-making, walnuts, peaches, and apricots for local sale. In the 1J1ount Lofty Ranges.- Apples and pears for export, cherries, plums, strawberries, goose­ berries, blackberries, raspberries, and to a limited extent apricot s, peaches, quinces, and walnuts, all for local market in Adelaide and for preserving faetories near by.

On the Adelaide Plains.-·Oranges and lemons, almonds, apricots, peaches, figs, pears, grapes for dessert and wine-making, and olives for oil-making. Of t he latter product, about 16,000 gallons are annually produced. These fruits are practically all utilized fo r local and Inter-State markets. About twelve miles north of Adelaide, at Salisbury, are many fine orangeries, the fruit of which is also used in a similar manner. In the Barossa, commonly called Angaston district, an orchardist ma y grow apples and pears for export, apricots, plums, and peaches for camling and drying, currants for drying, and wine grapes, all side by side on the same block. The same may be said of the Clare district; but owing to the absence of canning factories the fruit suited for that purpose must be dried, and t he climatic con­ ditions are slightly moister, so that drying kilns are in use. The more northerly districts of Wirraba.ra,

Beetaloo, &c. , grow apples for export and other fruits, which are consumed at the large seaports and mining centres, such as Port Pirie, W allaroo, and Broken Hill. Along the Murray River Valley at Renmark and other irrigation settlements, the fruit, owing to the distance from the sea-board, is all dried on the spot, with the exception of pears and Washington navel oranges, which have been successfu ll y exported to Europe.

To sum up , the chances of the settler at any of these places may be said to depend upon :- (1) The ca. pi tal at command. (2) The capacity for hard work. (3) But by no means least, bu siness management and capability of grasping lo cal conditions and acquiring a knowledge of the business. To establish a pear or apple orchard would take from £15 to £25 per acre, including the purchase

of the land, planting and fencing, and will cost on an average £2 5s. per acre in upkeep for the fi rst five to seven years, during which time scarcely any return will be obtained. From then onwards the returns should rise from an average of Is. to lOs. per tree (100 trees are set to the acre). If this is undertaken in t.he Mount Lofty Ranges, near Adelaide, returns are obtained earlier by growing small fruits, strawberries,

&c., and vegetables on the hillside and swamps respectively. These, however, call fo r much hard work and close att ention . In the warmer districts where the peaches, plum!", and apricots are grown for canning and drying, a return is obtained in t he third to fifth year, and it increases thence onwards until fro m £20 t o £35 per acre gross may be expect ed. It has been estimated for me by practical fruit-growers t hat a conservative calculation is £15 per acre net return for apricots, peaches, plums fo r drying, pears and apples for export and local use ; £25 per acre for citrus (orange chiefly), and £15 to £20 per acre for currar.ts, sultana, and raisin grapes when in full bearing.

4th April, 1913.

G EO. QUINN,

Horticultural Instructor, &c.

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TASMANIA.

The best fruit-growing dist l'i:-t -; of Southern Tasmania are the Huon Valley, The Channel, Lo,ver Derwent, Upper Derwent, Bagdad <>nd Peninsula. Practically the same variet: es of apples and pears are grown throughout these districts, and the following are considered to be most suitable, namely :-

Apples.-Sturmer Pippin, Scarlet Nonpariel, French Crab, Cleopatra (New York), Cox':-J Orange Pippin, Jonathon, Ribstone Pippin, and King of the Pippin (Adams' P earmain). P ears.- Williams' Bon Chretien, Beurrc Bose, Winter Nelis, Gausell's Bergamot, Ber­ gamot, Giblin's Seedling, Beurre de capiaumont, Beurre d'anjou, Madame Cole, Winter Cole , Doyenne de cornice, and Vicar of Wi nkfield (Na poleon).

I n the Lower Derwent Valley apricots, such as Moor P:trk and E:u ly Moor Park ; peaches, such as Brigg's Red :ii:Iay, Royal George, Globe, Elberta, aml other later buds are grown, but. not to a very large extent. Plums.-Angelina Burdett e, Green Gage, Coe's Golden Drop, Coe's Late Red, White Magnum

Bonum, Diamond, Prince Englebert, Kirk's, Early Orleans, Late Orleans, and De Monfort. The districts referred to above are those which produce the bulk of the small fruits, which usually grow in more or less elevated and sheltered positions. Of the small fruits the following are consideTed to be the best varieties :-

Raspberries.-Northumberland Fillbasket and Cuthbert. Black Ourrants.-Carter's Champion, Lee's Prolific, and Naples . Red Currants.-La Versailles. Gooseberries.-Crown Bob, Bright Venus, Roaring Lion, and Billy Dean. Ohern:es.-Florence, Bigarreau Napoleon, Black Eagle, May Duke, and St. Margaret 's. Strawberries.-Royal Sovereign, Trolloppe's Victoria, and Melba . .

Ou the east coast, Taniar Valley and l\Iersey Valley Districts, apples and pears are mainly grown, and the following varieties are recommended :-Apples.-Cox's Orange Pippin, Sturmer Pippin, Cleopatra, Munroe's F avourite, London Pippin (Five Crown), and Jonathon.

P ears.-Williams' Bon Clmitien, Beurre Bose, Doyenne du cornice, Gilbing's Seedling, Winter Cole, and Winter Nelis. No large quantites of berry or stone fruits are gro wn in these districts. Land for fruit-gro wing is available in all districts. In the older settled districts, however, the more ea sily accessible situations have been taken up, and the price of land is comparatively high, still there is

much laud yet suitable for orchardiug. In the newer districts, such as the East Coast, Tamar, and Mersey Districts there arc large areas of land, both Crown and private property, suitable for fruit-growing. ALBERT H. BENSON'

Director of Agriculture.

FRUIT LANDS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. The principal fruit lands of Western Australia lie in the south-west of the State, and extend over a stretch of country which has a length (north and south) of 300 miles, and an average width (east and west) of 100 miles.

In the southern portion of this area, where the land is served by the Kalgan, King, Hay, Frankland, Warren, Donnelly, Blackwood, Margaret, Capel, and Preston Rivers and their tributaries, the ideal home of the apple is found. Climate, soil, and situation leave nothing to be desired, and the prices realized in the world's markets for apples grown in the districts mentioned prove conclusively that the contention of Western Australian orchardists that their apples equal if not surpass the best that can Le produced

anywhere in the world is not mere idle boast, for in competition with the products of other countries Western Australian apples top the market with unfailing regularity. P ears, plums, and peaches also do well in these districts. To the northward of the districts named above, there is a large tract of country extending from

Boyanup to Perth, a distance of 130 miles along the south-western railway line, and from Cranbrook to Northam, a distance of 200 miles, on the Great Southern railway line, with an average width o[ 100 miJeK , where a great variety of fruits can be gro\vn. Grape vines, stone fruits, and pears thrive and bear abundant crops of high-class fruits. Citrus trees grow exceedingly well on many sites in the range of hills lying immediately to the eastward of the South-west railway line, and also on land near the Harvey, Murray,

and Canning Rivers to the westward of the South-west railway line. Apples can be grown well in many places amongst the hills within this area . Following the Midland Railway Company's line northward to Gingin, a distance of 50 miles, an

extending eastward for a similar distance, is a stretch of country in which is situated of the grape vine land in the State. Stone fruits and or

Busselton and Fremantle.

JAs . F. MooDY,

21.4.13. Fruit Industries Commi ssioner.

Printed and P ublished for ltle GOYEHN MENT of the CO!>DION \V K\ LTII of AUSTRAL!.\ b y J\Ln,: RT J. MULLEr:: . Government Printer for the State of Victoria.

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