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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr McEWEN - It is quite true that the Department of Trade and Industry, and indeed the Government, wishing to provide a more secure base for the export of Australian primary products and other products have sought constantly to diversify our export points, particularly having in mind the possibility that if the United Kingdom, our main buyer, should join the Common Market under terms which minimized our trading opportunities there, we would badly need other markets. This process has gone ahead. I would not be in a position to attempt to recount details as I stand here, but I will secure some table showing these. I think it would be appropriate if I answered the honorable member's question fully by endeavouring to have these details incorporated in " Hansard ". I can say that a quite substantial measure of success has occurred. I am watching carefully what might develop in the near future in the light of the apparent new attitude of General de Gaulle to the admission of Britain to the Common Market; of the reported announcement of policy by Mr. Heath, the Leader of the Opposition in Britain, that he, as Prime Minister, would lose no time in taking Britain into the Common Market; and of the fact that Mr. Wilson, while not being so explicit, provided there were certain safeguards for the trade of Britain's present trading partners would also be prepared to contemplate Britain's joining the Common Market.

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