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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2708

Senator GUILFOYLE (VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Customs and Excise. In view of the serious consequences which have developed through the Government's policy to encourage imports, does the Minister consider that the investigating staff of his Department in overseas countries for the purposes of establishing whether there is dumping activity is adequate to deal with the problems which certain companies face in Australia? If there is suspected dumping activity, is the Appraisements Branch able effectively to investigate it or are the difficulties experienced by Australian manufacturers due to increased imports exacerbated by understaffing and delay in investigations by the Appraisements Branch officers?

Senator MURPHY - Leaving aside the introduction by the honourable senator blaming certain problems on import policies, that matter having been answered clearly by the Minister for Overseas Trade, Dr Cairns, I turn to the substance of the question, to which I think the answer is no. There is no difficulty being caused by a shortage of staff that I am aware of. In fact my understanding is the opposite. The dumping procedures have been gone over in recent times. A great number of dumping notices have been taken off, some others have been instituted recently and the policy is working effectively. The large number that have been removed from the list indicate that the section dealing with themhas been extremely active and I think I will put a list before the Senate of what action has been taken in regard to dumping over the last 12 months. From it the honourable senator will see that there has been a great deal of activity in an area which hitherto had been much neglected. It was obvious that some dumping notices continued to exist when there was no further need for them. The policy of the Government is that where dumping action is necessary it will be taken promptly. I assure the honourable senator that with these procedures, especially with the computerisation that is taking place in the Department, there is no difficulty that I know of in the appraisement or administrative action, but I will check and ensure that this is so.

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