Australia and Tasmania have together an area of three million square miles—taking round figures—40 per cent. lying within the tropic. Soil and climate render the continent capable of producing every kind of tropical, sub‐tropical and temperate fruit in abundance and full advantage has been taken of this fact. It has been said that Canada is the “wood yard” of the Empire, of Australia it may with equal truth be said that it is the orchard of the Empire. The three members of the Empire south of the equator all grow heavy fruit crops. New Zealand does not can its fruits. South Africa has a growing industry in fruit canning and exporting, but the Union is still a long way behind the Commonwealth in this respect. Nor is the capacity of the Commonwealth to produce sheep and oxen expressed ultimately in terms of mutton and beef less than its power in fruit production. Meat preserving began in 1846 in New South Wales, and tinned Australian mutton found a market in this country. Freezing and cold storage methods were developed so that in the early 'eighties frozen mutton and beef from Australia made its appearance on the British market. Frozen beef, however, is less liked over here than is chilled beef, so that Argentina is a serious and successful competitor with Australia on the British market in this respect, and it will continue to be so until the researches into the problem of how to transport beef, that has been chilled and not frozen, over a long distance and to land it in good condition on the English market has been satisfactorily solved by means of the investigations that are now taking place both in this country and in Australia. The total quantity of canned meat exported from Australia in 1930–1 amounted to 4½ million lbs., which is only a very small proportion of the meat that is exported in the frozen state.
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