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Thursday, 1 July 1920

Mr HUGHES - I do not think it would be quite accurate to say that re- presentations by the French Government h ave been made, but it would be true to say that during the adjournment of Parliament representations were made to me by the Consul-General for France. I had a long interview with that gentleman, and asked him to lay his views before' me in the form of a memorandum. This he did last Thursday, and on Friday or Saturday I submitted it to the Minister (Mr. Laird Smith) who was then acting for the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene), and requested him to consider the memorandum, with a view of seeing how far the views as there set forth could be sustained, and whether some remedy could be found for the injustice under which the French Government states France is suffering. The matter was again mentioned in Cabinet yesterday, and I think it fair to say that it will be settled without any very great delay.

Mr Fenton - Will the House have an opportunity of discussing the question before a final decision is arrived at?

Mr HUGHES - The intention of the Government is to ask the House to commence the consideration of the Tariff tomorrow, and I think it would be in order for honorable members to discuss, during the Tariff debate, the question of foreign exchanges, because that has relation to the valuation of goods for Customs purposes. If, however, that cannot be done, some other opportunity will be afforded.

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