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Tuesday, 8 March 1966

One matter which has had and is still having our attention at ministerial level is the matter of supply of goods and material of various kinds by Australian industry to the American forces in South Vietnam. Late last year, the present Minister for Defence (Mr. Fairhall), when Minister for Supply, outlined personally, to the United States Secretary of Defence Australia's capacity to provide a wide range of military supplies. The Minister's talk has been followed up actively at the official level and, as one result, agreement has now been reached on the sale of a substantial quantity of Australian small arms ammunition to the American forces. We have also been asked to quote for a number of other important items most of which are needed in large quantities. We are now working on these requests. I might add that we took the opportunity to put this whole matter in the mind of Mr. Humphrey on his recent visit. We believe that Australia can, with advantage to the allied effort, to the strengthening of our own capacity and to the advantage of our own nation play an increasing part in this matter of supply.

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