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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade) - When representations were made to me through the department that, in the view of the spinning industry, it was necessary to have a quick look at the position of the industry, which was said to be worsening, and on a prima facie case being made, I referred the matter to the Deputy Chairman of the Tariff Board. After a preliminary examination, he reported that the problems of the industry related to the importation of acrylic yarn from Japan and that in his opinion the best protection for the industry would be secured by an arrangement with the Japanese, either voluntarily or by reference to the appropriate clause of the trade treaty, which would in any event reduce the importation of the yarn from Japan to a level of 45,000 lb. a month. The point was immediately put by officers of the Department of Trade to the Japanese authorities, who, I must say, within a matter of several days, notwithstanding the shortness of the notice, indicated agreement. Imports did rise to more than 100,000 lb. in March, I think, and the Japanese agree that this shall be offset against future imports to give a monthly average of 45,000 lb. as from 1st March, in accordance with the recommendation of the Tariff Board.

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