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Tuesday, 21 March 1961

Mr STEWART (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Acting Prime Minister in his capacity as Minister for Trade. By way of explanation, I refer to the " Commonwealth Gazette" of 16th March, 1961. At page 1 143, under the heading " Department of Trade ", there is announced the promotion of a certain officer to the position of Import Policy Officer in the Imports Division of the Tariff and Imports Branch. The duties of the position are stated in these terms -

Direct the work of the Section responsible for analysis of effects of current policy relating to import controls and the formulation of proposals for future policy.

Is the Minister responsible for the creation of this position, and what are the reasons for the appointment? Is it an indication that, despite statements to the contrary by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Trade and other Cabinet Ministers, the Government is alarmed at the disastrous effects on the economy caused by the removal of import controls, and also an indication that the Government intends to turn another somersault and re-impose import licensing?

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