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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr McEWEN - I shall endeavour to assemble all the facts needed to enable me to provide the honorable member with the information that he seeks. It has not been the Government's policy to exclude by import licensing all foreign production of a commodity merely because we in Australia have a capacity to produce it. The honorable member mentioned Japan. I hope that he does not overlook the fact that that country is now Australia's second biggest customer, and is buying from us about £100,000,000 worth of goods a year, whereas we are buying about £20,000,000 worth per annum in return. I venture to say that it would not be in the public interest for us to adopt a policy of preventing such a good customer from selling us a product merely because we in this country had a capacity to be self-sufficient in that commodity, regardless of considerations of quality, cost, or customer preference.

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