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Tuesday, 21 May 1957

Mr JEFF BATE (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question to the Minister for Trade relates to various reports and statements that threaten the premier position of the wool industry in Australia. Is it a fact that for many years the people of Australia have been told that substitute textiles will replace wool and destroy the Australian wool market? Were they told also a few years ago that uranium would become Australia's leading export and that rabbits, droughts, floods and other catastrophies would make disastrous inroads into wool production? Is it a fact that in spite of all these things the wool industry through exports this year has increased by not less than 50 per cent, its contribution to the Australian economy? Therefore, can some balanced expression of views be made on this question and every possible support be given to the premier industry of wool-growing, particularly through research and market organization, and in every other way that lies in the power of the Government, so that the industry will be aided in its continuing contribution to Australia's economy?

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