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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr CALWELL - I ask the Prime Minister: Were quantities of rutile supplied to mainland China and used in the manufacture of aircraft? Was the export of rutile to China stopped only because the Opposition objected? Honorable members opposite may laugh, but these are the fact's. I invite the Prime Minister to turn up his files on this matter. As the Prime Minister has not answered the question asked by the honorable member for Ballaarat about the export of strategic materials--

Mr Beazley - To Hong Kong?

Mr CALWELL - No. To mainland China. I ask: Is it not a fact that this Government is doing everything in its; power to promote the export of wheat and wool to mainland China? Are not these products classified among strategic materials?

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The honorable gentleman is well aware that wheat and wool may be obtained by Communist China on the markets of the world. By no stretch of definition can these products be classified as strategic materials in the same sense as the other items that have been referred to. Everything is a strategic material in the definition of honorable gentlemen opposite. If is well known that wool and wheat could be secured from other countries, but Australia has weighed the balance of national advantage in this matter and has concluded that it is to Australia's advantage to make these sales. Do honorable gentlemen opposite resist that conclusion?

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