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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1748

Mr HUNT (GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address a question to the Acting Minister for Overseas Trade. Does the Government support the Seamen's Union's ban on French ships entering and leaving Australian ports as a means of protesting against the French nuclear tests in the Pacific? Is the Acting Minister aware that last year the value of Australian goods exported to France was $153m, while the value of our imports was $70m? Is it not a fact that more than 65 per cent of our sheepskins are exported to France and are valued at approximately $34m? Would the Minister agree that the proposed action by the Seamen's Union would, in effect, force the sheep farmers and other exporters to pay the price of the Government's failure to dissuade the French Government from its nuclear testing in the Pacific?

Dr PATTERSON - The honourable member will be well aware that the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General and other Ministers over the years have taken extensive action in an endeavour to minimise and to stop French nuclear tests in the South Pacific. The Australian Government will support any legal action which will prevent these tests being carried out in the South Pacific.

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