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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Mr McEWEN - The control of the export of scrap iron and steel from Western Australia operates in accordance with the same principles that apply in the other States, but I think that it is correct to say that the same proportions are not applied. In short, the policy is designed to ensure no more than that the needs of the local foundries shall be satisfied, and any surplus over the needs of local industries ought to be freely available for export. That is the basic policy approach. The interpretation of that policy as it shall apply to individual transactions is difficult, of course, and, even with the best of faith and judgment, it may lead to differences of opinion. In order to prevent difficulties arising, the Department of Trade has established consultative committees in all the States. There is in Western Australia a committee representative of all the elements of private enterprise that are interested as users or exporters of scrap iron and steel. Until this question was asked, it had not been brought to my notice that it was alleged that the policy was not working as fairly as it might. On the basis of the question, I shall have a look at the matter immediately.

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