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Wednesday, 23 November 1960

Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice -

What has been the (a) capital and (b) published profit of each of the shipping companies in the Australia-United Kingdom/Continent Shipping Conference in each of the last ten years?

Mr McEwen - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

I have established that to obtain such information would involve the Department of Trade in extensive and protracted investigation of nongovernmental material, which is equally accessible to any one interested in these matters. Even if the balance-sheets were obtained fox the ten-year period for each of the twenty-two shipping companies of the Australian-United Kingdom/Continent Shipping Conference, considerable work would still be required to present the information requested in a form which would be meaningful. This is particularly true of the manner in which variations in capital were made by individual companies. In the circumstances I am unable to undertake to furnish the information which the honorable member seeks.

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