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Tuesday, 2 April 1957

Mr STEWART (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Prime Minister, in the absence of the Minister for Trade. The right honorable gentleman is aware that many small firms and individuals have been endeavouring, without success, over the last two or three years to obtain an import quota. The reason for refusal in many instances has been that no new licences were being issued. These refusals have resulted in the individual or small firm concerned being forced, in order to stay in business, to obtain imported supplies at a premium on existing licences. In view of the Prime Minister's recent announcement on the relaxation of import restrictions amounting to £75,000,000, will he give a guarantee that applicants for the establishment of a quota will be granted licences and that the £75,000,000 will not be used to increase licences already in existence?

Mr MENZIES - The question, of course, should be put, if a detailed reply is required, to my colleague, the Minister for Trade, who will be here either to-morrow or the day after - I am not sure which - but I do direct attention to the fact that in the announcement on the relaxation of import restrictions, reference was made to a substantial allowance for an overall sum of money to deal with anomalies and hardships, and it may very well be that that covers the category of matters to which the honorable member refers.

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