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Friday, 25 May 1973
Page: 2685

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Minerals and Energy. Although it deals also with overseas trade, perhaps he could answer it. Has he seen reports that the United States of America has accumulated a stockpile of minerals which would supply the world's minerals and energy requirements for 3 years? Has he also seen the reports that this stockpile is now to be released and, presumably thrown on the free market? Could the Minister tell us what effect this is likely to have on Australia and other countries which are significant mineral exporters?

Mr CONNOR (CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Minerals and Energy) - This will have a most undesirable impact on certain sections of the world metals market. We are doing our best to minimise the impact. With regard to energy sources, I gravely doubt whether there will be any release by the United States. As a matter of fact, at present the United States has a debit of about $US10 billion a year in imports of energy and it is anticipated that by the year 1980 that figure will have escalated to between $US30 billion and$US35 billion. That being so, I do not think the honourable gentleman need have the slightest concern about such imports. But the release of the stockpile of certain strategic materials will undoubtedly have a most unfavourable impact and we have already been taking what steps we can to minimise the situation.

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