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Thursday, 14 November 1935


Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [3.2]. - by leave - In continuance of the policy of the Government to inform Parliament from time to time of the various phases of the dispute between Italy and Abyssinia, I have to inform the Senate that a note of protest has boon received by the Commonwealth Government from the Government of Italy, on the procedure adopted by the members of the League of Nations against Italy. A copy of this note has been laid on the table of the Parliamentary Library for the information of honorable senators.

The Commonwealth Government has received from the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, on behalf of the Co-ordination Committee, texts of four new proposals and a resolution regarding " contracts in course of execution," which have been transmitted to all members of the League.

Proposal IIa. relates to the suspension of clearing or payments agreements with Italy. . It also provides for amounts in payment of the purchase price of Italian products already imported, or to be imported, in respect of which payment has not yet been made, to bo lodged in a national account, which will be employed for the settlement of claims arising from exports. There is no clearing agreement between Australia and Italy, and consequently no action is necessary in regard to the first part of this proposal. The Commonwealth Government hasaccepted the latter portion of the proposal, and the amendment to the Sanctions Bill introduced into the Senate on the 13th November, 1935, would enable the Commonwealth Government to give effect, by regulation, to the measure proposed.

Proposal IIIa.: This proposal is that " books, newspapers and periodicals, maps and cartographical productions, or printed or engraved music," should be an exception to Proposal III., which prohibits imports from Italy or Italian colonies. The Commonwealth Government has accepted this exception to Proposal III., and provision will be made in the regulations under the act whereby such goods may be imported into Australia.

Proposal IVa. : It will be recalled that Proposal TV. related to the prohibition of certain exports to Italy such as metallic ores, rubber and transport animals, coming within the category of war material. The now proposal is that the list shall be extended by the prohibition of -

Petroleum and its derivatives, by-products and residues.

Pig iron, iron and steel (including alloy steels), cast, forged, rolled, drawn, stamped or pressed.

Coal (including anthracite and lignite), coke and agglomerates, as well as fuels derived therefrom.

I f the reply received by the Coordination Committee, and the information at its disposal warrant it, the Committee will propose to the governments of the members of the League a date for bringing the measures contemplated in this proposal into f orce. The Commonwealth Government has accepted Proposal

IVa. in principle, and is notifying the Secretary-General of the League that it is prepared to put the measures into effect on the declared date.

Proposal IVb. : By this proposal governments are asked to take measures to verify the destination of exports of prohibited products of Proposal TV., and in cases of abnormal increases in exports, totake steps to prevent products from reaching Italy or Italian possessions by indirect routes. The Commonwealth Government has decided that it will take steps to give effect to this proposal, and instructions have been issuedby the Australian Customs Department for the responsible officers of that department to report immediately any abnormal increases which come to notice, so that appropriate action may be token.The SecretaryGeneral of the League is being informed to this effect.

In addition to the above-mentioned proposals, the Committee of Eighteen has adopted a resolution whereby it is proposed that certain contracts of essential importance entered into by governments, governmental institutions or institutions solely under government administration, on which not less than 20 per cent. of amounts due thereunder has been paid by the 19th October, 1935, may bo excepted from Proposal III. relating to the prohibition of imports from Italy. To ascertain the required information for the Coordination Committee about all such contracts in Australia, a communication has been addressed to all departments and to State governments asking for particulars of contracts in course of execution. When this information is received it will be incorporated in a general report to the Co-ordination Committee.







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