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Thursday, 2 May 1957

Mr MCMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - It is true that a deputation representing Japanese meat interests visited Australia some weeks ago to try to purchase Australian beef to be processed and canned in Japan for shipment to other destinations. We had a look at the problem, and it was unfortunate that at that time we were not able to make large quantities of meat available. However, I think the honorable member will be glad to know that the New Zealand Government has been able to look at the problem, and the indications are that New Zealand producers will be able to supply this very valuable market. The Meat Board is conscious of the need to develop export markets in the Far East. Therefore, as soon as it is practicable, it will try, with the free quota that is available under the longterm meat agreement with the United Kingdom, to see if additional quantities of the free quota can be directed to the Japanese market. Everything practicable is being done by the Meat Board, the Commonwealth Government, the Department of Trade and the Department of Primary Industry to foster trade in meat products with Japan.

So far as the Philippines are concerned, markets are available there. If further quantities of export beef can be made available, that will be done. In the case of livestock on which there is no restriction, recently representations were made to me to permit the export of live-stock to the Philippines and in the last couple of days approval has been given for that to be done.

I should like to make this additional comment. If anyone asked the export beef producers of Queensland whether they thought there were enormous advantages in the long-term meat agreement, I am quite positive that, by a vote, they would say, " Yes, we think that it gives us considerable advantages ".

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