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Reference to Industries Assistance Commission

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PRESS STATEMENT NO.[325 12 September 1974


The Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, announced today that he had forwarded a reference to the Industries Assistance Commission on whether assistance should be accorded the production in Australia of soaps and other detergents and

other related products.

This reference has been forwarded to the Commission following the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Prices in its recent report on the Prices of Household Soaps and Detergents. The Committee recommended that as a further measure to increase competition the question of the level

of protection on household soaps and detergents be referred to the Industries Assistance Commission. .

The Committee stated that the insignificance of imports and the level of profits earned in this industry indicate that it is over-protected. It said that the removal of import duties may not have an immediate effect on competition in the domestic market because the major manufacturers are corporations who have manufacturing plants in countries

such as New Zealand. However, the Committee considered that the removal of duties increases the potential for import competition from countries such as Japan and could have the effect of restraining price increases on the domestic market.

The last comprehensive review of the level of protection for the soaps and other detergents industry was that by the Tariff Board in October 1963.