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JUTE EXPERIMENTS

IN NORTH

SUCCESSFULLY GROWN AT SOUTH JOHNSTONE

PROBLEM OF EXTRACTING

FIBRE

BRISBANE, May 14.-The jute bag shortage in Australia may be alleviated eventually by jute growing -and processing experi- ments in North Queensland. The first attempts to extract fibre from the jute plant by machinery are now being carried out They follow the construction of a de- corticating machine by a young Queensland engineer -who recent- ly visited Nigeria to study me- chanical means of processing jute.

The engineer (Mr. Treloar, of Walkers Ltd., Maryborough) may be sent back to Nigeria to make further studies of jute process- ing there. He is working in co- operation with the State Agri- culture and Labour and Industry departments.

The Minister for Labour (Mr. A. Jones) said to-night that -is» had been grown su<**3sfully-wn several experimental f.üts in the South Johnstone and Ayr dis- tricts. The fibres produced after decordication was being studied by the C.S.LR.O.. and technical advice was awaited. Economic methods of producing jute mech- anically in Queensland were be- ing considered fully.

ft is expected that certain as- pects of jute producing will be v discussed by Cabinet to-morrow. I Australia imports about nine million dozen of all sorts of jute bags a year. In 1949 £13.484,000 was paid to foreign countries for bags. Over .100,000 hundred- weight of jute fibre and about 800,000 square yards of piece goods also were imported.

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