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Tuesday, 22 March 1966

Mr MORTIMER (GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I address a question to the Minister for Trade and Industry. Has an Israeli shipping company made a public announcement that it will start a regular shipping service between Australian ports and the east coast of America this year? Has the Maritime Fruit Carriers company guaranteed to transport Australian frozen cargo at the existing rate until January 1968, and is this the reason why the Conference Lines have abandoned for the time being their proposed steep freight increases? What arrangement or agreement has been entered into between the Maritime Fruit Carriers and Australian interests? Did the Australian Government or its departmental officers play any part in encouraging this company to compete against what was virtual Conference Lines control of this run? Finally I ask: In order for it to compete, would the Maritime Fruit Carriers require an agreement with the Government? Has the proposed entry of this company already proved to be of benefit to our producers, and can or will the Government take action to see that this company gets a fair go?

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