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Thursday, 1 December 1960

Mr Cash (STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) h asked the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice -

1.   What has been the result of the investigations by the Department of Customs and Excise into the importation from Japan of motor vehicle spare parts suitable for Holden cars to which I referred in a question without notice on 11th May last?

2.   If spare parts bearing the names of wellknown motor companies, but not manufactured by them, are being imported into Australia, what action can be taken by the department, particularly in regard to infringements of the Trade Marks Act?

Mr Osborne - The Minister for Customs and Excise has furnished the following answers to the honorable member's questions: -

1.   From the inquiries made it has been established that parts suitable for Holden and other well-known makes of cars are being imported into Australia from Japan. In the last five months six shipments of automotive parts which infringe either the Trade Marks Act or the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations have come under notice of my department. These included 1,000 sets of brake linings for Holdens and some 600 hub caps for various other makes of cars. Three small shipments of parts also came under notice in 1959.

2.   In those instances where the parts are described as " Holden " parts and/or the containers bear the word " Holden " action is taken by my department in accordance with a notice and security furnished to the Comptroller-General of Customs under the provisions of section 103 of the Trade Marks Act 1955-1958 by General Motors-Holden's Limited. Such action may take the form of seizure as forfeited goods. Disposal of the goods after seizure may be by destruction, release on removal of the offending marks or reexportation. However, where the parts imported, or their containers, are not marked in any way which would indicate that they are held to be " Holden " parts, no infringement of the Trade Marks Act occurs. In a number of instances the marks applied to automotive spares of Japanese origin and their containers, both for " Holden " and other well-known makes of cars, have infringed item 2 of the Third Schedule to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations. This item prohibits the importation of articles to which, or to any covering or container of which, there is applied any marking (including, in addition to words, any contraction, abbreviation or any substitute for words) in a language other than the language ordinarily used by the people of the country of origin of the goods unless the following conditions are complied with: -

There shall be applied to the articles or to the covering or container thereof, as the case may be, in conjunction with the marking referred to, wherever such marking appears, and in conspicuous and legible characters, a definite qualifying statement in the English language indicating the country in which the articles were made or produced.

The item provides that the Minister for Customs and Excise may direct that the application of the qualifying statement to any particular article, coverings and containers is unnecessary in which case the statement shall not be required. I have given no such direction in relation to the automotive spares in question. Certain spares or their containers have been marked in the English language so as to indicate that they are for use in cars of particular makes such as Ford, Morris or Austin. Action has been taken by my department in terms of item 2 to ensure that the parts are properly marked as to country of origin before release from customs control. As notices under the Trade Marks Act in accordance with section 103 have not been given in respect of Ford, Morris or Austin trade marks, no action can be taken by my department under the Trade Marks Act to prohibit the importation of parts marked Ford, Morris or Austin. I understand that it is open to owners of trade marks to take action to protect their interests under other provisions of the Trade Marks Act. I might mention that this problem has been discussed with officials of the Japanese Embassy in Australia. The honorable member may be assured that my department is keeping a close watch on importations of this nature.

Importation of Books.

Mr Osborne e. - On 23rd November, the honorable member for Griffith (Mr. Chresby) asked certain questions regarding the book " Lady Chatterley's Lover ". The Minister for Customs and Excise has now SUPplied the following answers to those questions: -

The unexpurgated version of the book which was banned some 30 years ago is still deemed to be a prohibited import under the Customs Act. The question of continuing the ban is at present being examined. This examination will take in all aspects of the matter including the views expressed by various sections of the community.

Australians undertaking Training Courses in Moscow.

Mr Erwin asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Is he able to say whether Australian citizens who have undertaken training courses in Moscow have been sponsored by any reputable government, academic or industrial organization?

2.   Who provides the finance, including fares and living expenses, for Australians who undertake these courses?

3.   How many Australians (a) have now completed and (b) are at present undergoing, these courses?

Mr Menzies s. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   While Australian instrumentalities have from time to time sent representatives on visits to Moscow, to attend scientific conferences or for other purposes, there has been no case in which the Government has sponsored the training of Australian citizens in Moscow.

2.   Financial arrangements made by nongovernmental organizations in respect of persons whose visits to Moscow are sponsored by them are a matter for those organizations.

3.   As regards persons sponsored by the Australian Government, none. As regards other persons, the question falls outside my competence as Minister for External Affairs.

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