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Wednesday, 17 May 1939

Mr Forde e asked the Prime Minister, upon notice- -

1.   What was the precise purpose of the visit to England last year by the then Minister for Commerce ?

2.   What actual concessions were gained by Australia as the result of that visit?

3.   What was the personnel of the delegation; how long were the members absent from Australia; and what was the actual cost to Australia ?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Consultation with United Kingdom Government representatives in connexionwith trade, international and other matters of Empire interest.

2.   The attention of the honorable member is directed to the statement made in the House of Representatives on the 27th September, 1938, by the Right Honorable Sir Earle Page, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Commerce, together with official memorandum of conclusions dated London, 20th July, 1938.

3.   The Right Honorable R. G. Menzies, the Right Honorable Sir Earle Page, and the HonorableT. W. White. The staff accompanying the Ministers comprised nine departmental officers. The delegation was absent from Australia for approximately five and a half months. Total cost, £15,466, of which £5,401 was attributable to Ministers. "Dumping" of Goods.

Mr Jennings (WATSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) s asked the Minister for

Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   On what grounds has the Government refrained from taking action under the Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act to deal with cases of " dumping " brought under the notice of the department?

2.   Will he give early consideration to amending that act so as to bring its provision into line with present-day circumstances?

Mr JOHN LAWSON (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   There is no case of any importance submitted to the Department of Trade and Customs in which a prima facie case of "dumping ". within the meaning of the Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act has been established which has not been referred to the Tariff Board for inquiry and report under section 15 2 d of the Tariff Board Act.

2.   Consideration is being given to the question of whether the Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act can be improved.

Trade Agreement with Czechoslovakia.

Mr Forde e asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

What are the Government's intentions regarding the trade agreement entered into between Australia and Czechoslovakia?

Mr Menzies - This matter is under consideration by the Commonwealth Government.

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