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Wednesday, 8 March 1961

Mr McEWEN - I think the point that the honorable member is making is that franchise restrictions are exercised by the overseas principals of certain companies operating in Australia. That is true, and I have spoken of it in this House before. I have said recently, and the Prime Minister himself has said recently, that in the circumstances in which overseas investors in Australia and, indeed, Australian industrialists, produce under licence for overseas principals, this Government does not accept that the climate for profit established here shall be exploited only on the Australian market and that some of these Australian subsidiaries shall be forbidden to export, or be restrained from exporting, from the Australian base. I have said that, and it is now part of my responsibility to get that through firmly to the principals as the view of the Government. I feel that I can put it as the view of this Parliament, also.

Mr Pollard - What action do you propose?

Mr McEWEN - This is not a socialist government. The suggestion that there should be some attempt arbitrarily to compel any Australian industrial entity to export is a different thing. This Government does not contemplate compulsion. We believe that great industrialists overseas who enjoy the industrial climate in Australia can be brought to understand that restrictive franchises are not acceptable to this country.

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