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Tuesday, 16 October 1973
Page: 2185

Ms JACOBI (HAWKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The whole of the fuel resources of the United States ought to be rationalised and not left to private combines. This country will suffer the same fate.

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What would that do?

Ms- JACOBI-If you take the Canadian situation-

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is what they cannot do- control life, control everything. That is what you want.

Dr J F Cairns - Who is controlling it now, you idiot?

Mr JACOBI - The honourable member would not understand the position. I will now deal with the Canadian situation. External control of the Canadian mineral industry had reached 65 per cent for the petroleum and natural gas industry it is 74 per cent. Canada established the Canadian Development Corporation with a view to breaking that nexus. In 1940 South Africa established the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited. That organisation was either the first or one of the first government corporations in the world. The objectives of IDC are: With the approval of the State President to establish and conduct any industrial undertaking and to facilitate, promote, guide and assist in the financing of new industries and industrial undertakings. The activities of IDC have no geographical limitation and the Corporation may perform any act 'whether within the Republic or elsewhere which may be necessary for, or incidental or conducive to, the attainment of its objectives. That is the position in South Africa.

The Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) referred to the position in Italy and talked about the Institute of Industrial Redevelopment. I just want to make a brief reference to this matter. Obviously he forgot to mention that in Italy there are 3 sections which are involved in the control of foreign investment. The honourable member did not mention Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi. I will briefly refer to the role of ENI. As Italy is very poor in natural resources it was open to extortion by the multinational corporations who controlled the supply of those resources. The Italian Government set up ENI as a government company to regain control of fuel and energy supplies for the country. ENI was successful in obtaining oil supplies from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics thereby breaking the American consortiums' hold over Italy. Since then ENI has participated in exploration for oil and gas in areas such as Nigeria and the Congo with marked success. ENI was able to negotiate natural gas supplies from Russia and Holland and it is having a transmission pipeline built to both countries. ENI is also prospecting in various areas around the world for uranium. Apart from the fuel and energy areas ENI has diversified into the chemical, textile and engineering industries. This government company is now competing profitably with a range of private industry. At least the Italians had some sense of responsibility in realising that their natural resources ought to be protected.

AIDC is one instrument by which this country can preserve its natural resources and ensure that they are exploited constructively in the best interests of the nation as a whole. From the survey I mentioned it is apparent that the avenues for the AIDC and the Government to control the future investment of the multinational corporations in Australia are numerous. Unfortunately, control of the operation of future companies does not give the Government any say in the operation of existing overseas controlled companies. It does not do that. If the Government is to control the exploitation of this country's resources, especially if it intends to use the resources for diplomatic .negotiations, it is necessary for the AIDC to be able actively to control a significant sector of the mining industry. Let me conclude on this note: After 23 years of benign neglect in this country honourable members who are now in Opposition are responsible for the sell-out of this country's heritage for a mess of pottage. At the moment the Government has an uphill task to reverse that situation. It is my sincere belief that both these Bills will receive the support of the Australian public. I commend them to the House.

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