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Thursday, 9 March 1961

Mr DUTHIE (WILMOT, TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Acting Prime Minister, as Minister for Trade. In view of the Tariff Board's rejection of the request for the protection of the Australian timber industry from cheap imports, will the Government consider giving emergency tariff protection to the industry? Is the Minister aware that in Tasmania alone, up to yesterday, 160 men have been dismissed, and that 200 will receive notices of dismissal in a few days, whilst 360 are to go on a short working week, with a possibility of 1,000 men being affected by an enforced 50 per cent, cut in production to enable the sale of stock-piled timber? Has the Tariff Board the final say in this matter? In view of the gravity of the situation brought about by the credit squeeze, will the Minister consider meeting representatives of the Australian timber industry? In asking this question I speak also on behalf of my colleagues, the honorable member for Bass and the honorable member for Braddon.

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