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Thursday, 23 March 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - la opening his question the honorable member put into my mouth words which I have not employed. What I have said is that one of the principal aims of the overall economic policy of this Government is to create conditions in which, in the decade ahead, a much larger increase in export income can be produced, and that this process will be assisted if the Commonwealth Government, in co-operation with the State governments, can proceed with some developmental works of a major kind calculated, in themselves, to further this general objective. I have made the point that it may be both undesirable and impracticable for us in the next ten years to develop in the same fashion as we did in the last ten years, around Melbourne and Sydney in particular, manufacturing industry which has now become so large an absorber of imports from overseas for its maintenance. I questioned whether that process could continue on the same scale rn the period immediately ahead of us. This Government needs no reminding of the importance of encouraging the production of rural industries and of the outlying areas and, as we shall have an opportunity a little later, on a proposal which I understand is coming from the Opposition, to discuss this subject, I shall demonstrate that we have, in the arrangements made through the Reserve Bank arising out of the Government's measures, given special emphasis to the need for the provision of adequate credit for rural industries and for exporters generally.

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