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Thursday, 19 November 1936

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - I desire to stress the necessity for extending the principle of exchange adjustment, particularly to those countries which are operating near the gold standard. One of the great disadvantages operating between Australia and certain countries on the gold standard was in respect of exchange. When this Exchange Adjustment Act was brought in, the privileges which it granted ware not extended to the gold bloc countries, many of which were our principal buyers of wool, with the result that a definite barrier was created between them and Australia. I know that the position has changed since the devaluation of the franc, which was followed by similar devaluation of Belgian currency. I shall be grateful ifthe Minister will briefly inform the Senate of the effect of the devaluation and whether it is the intention of the Government to extend this principle of exchange adjustment in order to enable freer trade to be carried on between Australia and the countries against which it is now operating disadvantageously. This matter has been the subject of deputations by several of the graziers' associations of Australia, because ithas been a definite trade barrier. We are anxious to develop our export trade, and I am sure that the Government has given the matter very serious consideration. In the circumstances, I should appreciate the views of the Minister on the subject.

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