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Thursday, 29 October 1959

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - The conference of Ministers in London, described as the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council, was made up, primarily, of the finance Ministers of the various parts of the Commonwealth, but its discussions were not public- Therefore, it is not proper for me to disclose publicly all that was advanced in the course of that conference. However, I can assure the honorable member that Australia's viewpoint - which I think would be the viewpoint held, irrespective of any party labels we might carry - on the importance of the removal of restrictions to agricultural trading, acceptance of obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the development of the widest European Economic Community were stated quite forthrightly by myself and, indeed, were also put forward vigorously by the representative of New Zealand, whose interests in these matters lie very close to our own.

I have already indicated that I hope to be able to make a statement to the House regarding my various official activities while overseas, and if opportunity presents itself before the session is much older, I shall do that. In the course of that statement I will say as much as I feel able to say in the direction sought by the honorable member.

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