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Tuesday, 6 December 1938

Mr CURTIN (Fremantle) .- The Opposition has examined this bill and the relevant matter associated with it. We have nothing to say other than to express the hope that the expectations of the Minister, in introducing the measure, will be realized. If it were not for the fact that these trade treaties were having the effect of partitioning the world into divisions of favorable and unfavorable influence, we would say that there ought to be some hope that the world, as the result of the economic readjustments, would overcome these troubles which lead to political divisions and to grave international consequences; but it so happens that we are living in an age of economic nationalism. We hope, however, that, to the degree that these treaties lessen the extension of that nationalism, they may be contributing factors towards a solution of the problem. I need not say, because I think it will be taken for granted, that measures of this description passed hitherto bythis Parliament to ratify trade treaties with a number of countries, have not been as useful as their propounders hoped; but in an age in which failure is attached to so many things I do not feel disposed to offer criticism on the fact that things are not. better than they are.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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