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Friday, 2 December 1938

Mr Lazzarini (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) i asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact, as reported, that the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited has been given permission to export pig iron to Japan at the rate of 1,000 tons a day?

2.   Is it a fact that representatives of British interests who have asked for shipments from that company of the same commodity for use in England have been refused.

3.   Does the Government intend to prohibit the export of iron ore and pig iron to all countries; if so, when?

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

1.   As no restrictions at present exist upon the exportation of pig iron from Australia, the question of granting permission forexport does not arise. Advice has been received to the effect that the quantity of pig iron for which definite contracts have been entered into by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited for export to Japan is 23,000 tons.

2.   The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited states that it has not on any occasion declined to supply pig iron to British interests.

3.   The exportation of iron ore from Australia to all countries is already prohibited. The Government has decided that the exportation of pig iron will be permitted to be continued for the time being. The volume of exports is comparatively small viewed in relation to the quantity of iron ore which would have been exported had not restrictive action been taken. Moreover, the Governmenthas been advised that the present exports of pig iron are not prejudicially affecting the ability of industry to meet Australia's requirements of iron and steel products. The whole position is. however, being kept constantly underreview, and. if it appears at any time that the exportation of pig iron is likely to increase to such an extent as detrimentally to affect Australian industry and development, the question of the restriction of exports will receive immediate consideration.

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