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Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr McEWEN - As I said yesterday, it is quite clear that the timber industry and the plywood industry are experiencing some trouble, but it is by no means quite clear that this is attributable to competition from imports. I mentioned yesterday that imports of timber have fallen quite steeply over the last four months. A panel of the timber industry, which; interviewed very senior officers of the Department of Trade some considerable time ago, did not have a clear consciousness of the downward trend in the range of imports, nor were they at that time able to present to the Department of Trade all the factual information which was really relevant to the request they were making; and they accepted the necessity to assemble that material. It is my impression that it has been assembled by the industry in the last few days. Yesterday, I asked senior officers of the department when they would be in a position to supply me with this information, and to offer me their advice on the application. I expect that they will be able to do so within a day or two.

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