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Friday, 4 March 1932

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - The Government has already been in touch with representatives of most of the primary industries, and has discussed the questions likely to arise regarding preferential treatment in the British markets for our exporting industries. We have also conferred with representatives of the manufacturing industries in Australia which have an export trade, or any prospect of such trade. In a statement issued the other day these facts were published, and it was announced that if there were any industries concerned with trade preferences that might be obtained from Great Britain, with whom the Government has not been in touch, they should communicate with the Government, to assist in the framing of the general case for Australia. We are now considering what preferences might be granted to Great Britain in the Australian markets in exchange for our preferential treatment by Great Britain. The consideration of all the facts of the case has not yet advanced sufficiently for a useful consultation with the Australian delegation, but, no doubt, consultations will be held later.

As to the suggestion of the honorable member that certain trade representatives should either officially or unofficially he attached to the Australian- delegation to Ottawa to assist it in its work, presumably as economic advisers, the matter has been under consideration, and a decision will have to be made upon it later, when we have discovered to what extent the preliminary discussions may have removed, or emphasized, the need for such assistance.

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