Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 15 November 1935

Senator FOLL - The period of fourteen years covers a time of depression and prosperity, which is the only true basis on which one can arrive at an accurate estimate of the average trade between the two countries. For the same years, the total value of British exports to Argentina was £351,800,000, a figure just exceeding half the value of British exports to Australia. But the value of Argentine imports retained in the United Kingdom was no less than £930,200,000 showing a balance of £578,000,000 in favour of Argentina. If the post depression years alone are taken, the figures are' necessarily on a less colossal scale. But during the three years L932-1934 the value of Australian purchases of British goods was £67,600,000 and the value of Australian imports to the United Kingdom was £144,600,000. The balance of £77,000,000 was just about sufficient to cover the annual interest bill which Australia pays to the United Kingdom. When dealing with these figures, it must be borne in mind, that it is impossible for Australia to export and import, on exactly the same basis. Allowance must, be made in our imports for the large interest bill which has to be paid in London. I remind Senator Hardy that, when the representatives of Argentina originally approached the British Government for the purpose of securing a beef agreement with Great Britain, they held the pistol at the head of the

British Government and said : "Unless you are prepared to take a certain proportion of our beef we shall refuse to meet our interest obligations to Great Britain." No such threat was ever made by Australia or any other dominion when seeking trade treaties with Great Britain. To my mind it was largely because of the stand-and-deliver attitude of the Argentine representatives at that time that that country was enabled to get the concessions accorded it on the London market. In the same three years thu value of Argentine purchases from Great Britain was £38,400,000 and of Argentine exports to the United Kingdom £139,600,000, leaving a balance of just over £100,000,000 which is more than sufficient to meet a normal rate of interest on British investments in Argentina and far more than is required to meet the actual payments on account of British money invested in that country. In 1934 South Africa purchased £30,000,000 worth of British goods, whereas the whole of South America, with a population ten times greater than, that of South Africa, purchased only £28.000,000 worth of British goods. New. Zealand, in 1934, bought British goods to the value of £11,400,000, but the total value of British exports t(> China and Japan amounted to only £10,300,000. Canada bought £19,700,000 worth of British goods, and the United States took only £17,500,000 worth, showing that 10,000,000 British people in that dominion were more valuable to Great Britain than 120,000,000 people in the United States. The facts that India bought £36,600,000 worth of British goods and China £6,500,000 worth indicate the immense difference in the values of these two vast masses of population to the British manufacturer.

From my own experience, and from conversations with those who took a prominent part in the meat negotiations in London this year, I know that had it not been for the presence of the Australian delegation in the Old Country and its representations regarding Australia's view of the import of dominion meat into the British market, we would not have received anything like the concessions that we are likely to get now. I sincerely trust that this meat board will realize the Government's expectations of it. I believe that it has a great opportunity before it. By the proper organization of our marketing ' methods, the improvement of our herds, the supply of the quality of meat that is required on the British market, and the advertising of our product in order to persuade the British people themselves to acquire a taste for it, the board will do a tremendous amount of good for the beef industry of Australia.

Suggest corrections