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Thursday, 2 June 1949

Mr POLLARD - I understand that the position of China as a purchaser under the International Wheat Agreement has yet to be clarified by consultation between the Australian Government and the authority, whichever it may be, that is competent to deal with the matter on behalf of China. I am not able to give a conclusive answer to the honorable gentleman on that point. If he read the bill which has been circulated, he will see that under the International Wheat Agreement a Wheat Council is to be set up. Should China be a contracting party when the council is set up, I have no doubt that that body will make recommendations in an endeavour to overcome any situation which may arise as the result of unsettled conditions in China. At this juncture, however, it i# impossible for me to say what will happen ultimately in respect of an obligation which has been entered into by a government in China which may have lost its authority and whose functions may have been taken over by another government which may repudiate, or honour, that obligation.

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