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Wednesday, 29 November 1944

Mr Harrison n asked the Minister for Munitions, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that a permit has been given to StandardTelephones and Cables Proprietary Limited, which is controlled by foreign interests, to enter the refrigeration industry and to employ skilled man-power to develop sample refrigerators of a type which Australian manufacturers, because of their pre-occupation with war work, have not had an opportunity of making?

2.   Was he advised before the permit was granted that this company and its oversea owners were not in the refrigeration industry?

3.   How many other manufacturers have been granted approval to manufacture, or to prepare for the manufacture of samples, or experiment preparatory to manufacture?

Mr Makin (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Munitions) - The answers to the honorable members questions are as follows : -

1.   An announcement has been made by the Prime Minister that in preparation for postwar reconstruction commercial firms may apply for permits for" tooling-up " and production of pilot models of any commodity likely to fill a need of the public. Accordingly a permit has been granted to Standard Telephones and Cables Proprietary Limited, but the departments concerned are not aware of the particular type of refrigerator proposed to be manufactured. There is no Australian manufacturer so fully pre-occupied with war work thathe would be refused a similar permit.

2.   The departments concerned were aware that the firm had not made refrigerators in Australia previously, but they did not inquire as to whether the company or its associates overseas were engaged in the business. It is the business of the department in accordance with the policy of the Government to encourage competent overseas interests to establish industries in Australia.

3.   Permits have been issued to four other firms.

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