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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Mr FORDE - The honorable gentleman asked me a question on somewhat similar lines yesterday, and I promised to confer with the Minister for Trade and Customs with a view to obtaining the information for him. I have been assured by the Minister for Trade and. Customs that the exports to Russia have been of certain worsted materials of a kind that is unsuitable for use in Australia, and that only a token quantity of materials of a kind that can be used in Australia has been exported to Russia and other countries. I believe that the Minister for Trade and Customs has stated further that token quantities of materials have been exported to certain countries, notably New Zealand, and, I think, India, for the purpose of retaining their interest in the Australian manufacturer; because provision has been made fora big expansion of the manufacture of woollen goods in Australia, and the aim is to obviate the complete capture of those markets by the manufacturers of other countries, to the exclusion of the Australian manufacturer and the detriment of the thousands of additional workers whom it is hoped to employ in Australian factories in the near future. I shall obtain further information for the honorable gentleman.

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