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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1401

Mr LLOYD (MURRAY, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Trade and Industry. In view of the fact that Australia is now a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is the Minister in a position to indicate whether Australia will be joining the OECD gentlemen's agreement on whole milk powder?

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development gentlemen's agreement on whole milk powder was negotiated in 1960. It was designed to set a floor price for the international export of whole milk powder. The present minimum price for whole milk powder under this agreement is about $454 per ton. However, this should not be confused with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade working party's arrangement for skim milk powder, which was negotiated in 1969 and which fixed a floor price for skim milk powder of $227 a ton. However, I believe that the need to join this gentlemen's agreement is quite imperative. With the possible loss of our assured market to the United Kingdom, there is a greater need than ever to have orderly international marketing arrangements for dairy products, and we will certainly push ahead to try to achieve this. The Australian industry has been consulted about the possibility of joining this OECD gentlemen's agreement. I believe that it is near finality and that as soon as an understanding is reached we will institute measures in order to become a full member of this agreement.

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