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Tuesday, 21 March 1961

Mr McEWEN - I am glad to say that the honorable member is under a complete misapprehension. Apparently, he has not paid sufficient attention to the Government's present practices to comprehend that, although import licences have largely been terminated, control over about 10 per cent, of the total volume of imports is still maintained and has been maintained continuously since the announcement in February of last year that import controls were being removed. Also, the honorable member is overlooking the fact that when the Parliament was invited to pass the legislation which provided for temporary protection for Australian industry, as recommended by a deputy chairman of the Tariff Board, it was contemplated and explained that whereas normally this protection might be expected to take the form of a temporary duty, there would be some circumstances in which it would be best for the Australian economy if temporary protection were afforded by means of a quantitative restriction. For these purposes, an officer of the Department of Trade is being appointed or promoted; I forget exactly which.

I add that it is a practice - I think a very proper one - throughout the whole of the Commonwealth Service that at the termination of a policy which has been in existence for a number of years, an examination of how it worked out is made and the records are assembled, so that the records will be available in the government archives if they are needed in the future, whether for policy purposes or only for historical purposes. That is all that this appointment relates to.

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