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Wednesday, 30 November 1960


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon W C Haworth (ISAACS, VICTORIA) - A wide range of opinion has been expressed on the measure before the House, and I rule that the honorable member for Hindmarsh is quite in order.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I congratulate you on your wise ruling. Clearly, we must try to get more markets if we are to achieve the objective of increasing our exports by £50,000,000 a year for five years. We must find fresh markets. I am fascinated by the series of questions that have been asked by the honorable member for Grayndler because he has devoted his attention not only to the enormous freight rates charged by the conference lines, but also to the question of trying to discover ways and means of increasing our export earnings. The honorable member has asked the Minister for Trade whether there is a possibility of selling at least 10,000 tons of Australian meat to Greece each year if arrangements can be made for the " Patris " to be allowed to take the cargo to Greece. The honorable member has pointed out in question No. 30 on the notice-paper that this vessel has 183,000 cubic feet of refrigeration space. Of course, an answer is not yet available.

The honorable member also wants to know whether shipping freights represent 40 per cent, of the value of meat now being exported to Greece. He will never get an answer, or if he does get one, it will be evasive, indicating that nothing is to be done that will interfere in any way with the monopoly that the conference lines have over the right to transport Australian produce overseas. 1 am pleased to notice that the newspapers have taken up the questions that have been raised by the honorable member for Grayndler. It will be interesting to see what the Government proposes to do about this important matter because while only one ship is affected, a vital principle is involved - the right of other shipping companies to enter the Australian market and compete freely with the conference lines.

I have no more to say on this matter. I feel that I have proved conclusively that this Governm'ent would do far more good for the economy if it were to direct its attention to such things as take-overs and monopoly controls that are contributing to inflation which the Government is trying to correct by the indirect method contained in the bill. The Government would do far more good if it gave attention to capital issues control, about which it has done nothing. The Government should also do something to correct the situation which in the absence of import licensing allows people to import frogs' legs in aspic and red ants in sugar and other unessential stuff. I believe the Government would do well to impose import restrictions again on unes sential goods so that whatever money we have for imports can be used to maintain payments for essential goods.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Daly) adjourned.







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